Hartford High School Class of 2017 Graduates; Current students are attending without a new contract for teachers

Parties have not met since failed mediation in May

Despite a negotiation process that began over a year ago in the summer of 2016, the Hartford School Board (the Board) and the Hartford Education Association (the teachers) have yet to reach a new agreement for the 2017 – 2018 academic year.

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The old contract currently remains in effect, but can be terminated if either the Board or the teachers give written notice, prior to October 16, that they wish to do so.  Additionally, if both parties mutually agree, in writing, to extend the contract beyond its expiration date, that may be done “from time to time.”

The Board and the teachers last held a negotiating session, with both parties present, on March 1, 2017.

According to Board minutes of the meeting, “Health insurance proposals were exchanged. The teacher’s (sic) presented their proposal which indicated a 90%/10% board/teacher responsibility for insurance premium(s).  The teachers also request(ed) 98% of medical expenses (be) paid by the board with 2% paid by the teacher’s (sic).

“The school board proposal asked for an 80/20 split on the insurance premium.
“After a short discussion, the Board decided that the negotiations have reached impasse.”

The Board and the teachers then reconvened on May 11, 2017, for mediation.  According to Board minutes, “At the same time, the legislature was coming out with some things.”  No agreement was reached and no further meeting date, for anything, was set between the Board and the teachers.

Board negotiation representative Lori Dickerson and teachers’ negotiation representative Thatcher Hinman were both contacted for this article, and asked to comment on the current status and most contentious issues of the negotiations, citing broad public interest.  They were also asked if they had ever, as a teacher or board member, anywhere, experienced a teachers' strike.  Both declined to respond.

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