Bennington Teachers Reach Tentative Deal

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Teachers in southwestern Vermont say they have reached a tentative deal with their Bennington county school boards that would end a nine-day-old teacher strike.

Union spokesman Darren Allen said late Monday afternoon teachers were going over the details of the deal and they are ready to go back to school on Tuesday.

"Both sides gave a little, both sides got a little, and the end result is a contract that both parties feel is fair," Allen said, noting a series of compromises:

"On health care. There were concessions made on work rules and there were concessions made on salary. The teachers’ negotiation teams feels confident that one of the biggest issues, which was the boards’ refusal to acknowledge that bargaining should begin at the point where the parties both agree, the boards were able to make compromises on that."

The school boards have a meeting scheduled for Monday night to discuss the details of the negotiations.

The district with about 3,000 students and about 300 teachers covers schools in the towns of Bennington, Pownal, Shaftsbury and North Bennington, as well as the Mount Anthony Union and Southwest Vermont Regional Technical district.

The issues that separated the two sides were salaries, health care benefits, and how much time teachers will be in contact with students during the day.

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