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Greenfield teacher negotiations underway

GREENFIELD — The school year will begin next week without a new contract for teachers, but no one seems worried.

The teacher negotiations for their next three-year contract are underway, and both sides don’t anticipate any major issues even though the last contract expired June 30.

The Greenfield Education Association, the local teachers’ union, and the School Committee began negotiating last spring. The union hopes to reach an agreement by December on a contract that would extend to June 30, 2017.

The previous three-year contract will remain in force until a new one is agreed to. Once an agreement is reached, it will only be retroactive for 12 months.

The school board’s negotiations subcommittee consists of Donna Gleason, Margaret Betts and Jeff Comenitz.

Mayor William Martin and School Committee Chairwoman Maryelen Calderwood also serve as ex-officio members on the school negotiating team.

Before negotiations started, the union surveyed members about major issues. The union then compiled those concerns into talking points, association President Thomas Bevacqua said.

Both sides said there are no major issues or concerns so far, aside from the typical salary questions.

Right now, the negotiators are working on language, Gleason said.

Many of the thorny topics like implementation of the educator evaluation system, fingerprinting faculty in accordance with new state laws, and curriculum and program changes have already been dealt with earlier this year in separate negotiations.

You can reach Kathleen McKiernan at: kmckiernan@recorder.com or 413-772-0261 ext. 268 On Twitter, follow @RecorderKatMcK

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