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Vermont Teachers Sign Tentative Contract Just Hours Before Planned Strike

Vermont Teacher Strike Sept 14

South Burlington teachers are planning to vote in a tentative contract that was agreed to just hours before the educators in the Vermont city were due to go on strike.

Union officials say details of the agreement that was reached early Wednesday won't be released until after teachers have voted on the proposal.

The vote was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. Union spokesman Noah Everitt says the agreement preserves great schools and it was reached after compromise by the union and the school board. The talks had been going on for nearly a year with the city and teachers in disagreement over pay and health care costs.

Negotiations lasted nearly 10 hours before the two parties reached an agreement around 2 a.m. Wednesday.

School Board Chair Elizabeth Fitzgerald said in a statement they are pleased to have reached a settlement that averts a strike.

"It was long," said School Board Member Martin LaLonde. "Both sides worked really hard to arrive where we are and we are pleased we can move forward."

Chief Union Negotiator Kathy Murphy stated she felt happy that she was going to be teaching Thursday. 

The new contract will cover the next two school years.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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