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Tentative agreement reached between Hartford Board of Ed and Teachers Union

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HARTFORD – FOX61 learned a tentative agreement was reached between the Hartford Board of Education and the Hartford Federation of Teachers.

A heated meeting was held at Bulkeley High School as parents and teachers continued to express their frustration.

Teachers protested last week and they were ready to protest again Tuesday evening but they ended up dumping their signs in the trash after learning a deal may have been reached.

Teachers wore red as they stood in solidarity for what they think they deserve – a reasonable pay raise, more sick days, reliable health insurance and no pay freezes.

Tiffany Moyer-Washington has been teaching for 15 years. She teaches 8th grade English at Hartford-Trinity College Academy and she said the back and forth has been painful.

“When you can compare pay raises in other districts and they’re continuing to get 8 percent or 11 percent or whatever the raises are overtime, then it definitely feels insulting. It feels like okay well, if other districts can do it and they can offer more sick days and give more prep time but Hartford can’t - really feels like a slap in the face,” said Moyer-Washington.

The new, three-year contract has been up for debate since there was a proposal to reduce sick days from 20 to 15, two years of pay freezes followed by a 1-percent pay increase in the third year and a switch from a preferred medical plan to a health savings account.

The teachers and parents all said no to the proposals.

“They have this low level of education and how to deal with certain situations. They’re not going to be able to deal with that because they’re not being taught right! And then after that like the woman eloquently said they’re going to end up in prison cells!” said Terrance Raneo of Hartford.

Board of Education Chariman Craig Stallings responded to the public comment and said Board of Ed members have nothing to do with contract negotiations between the city and teachers.

Board of Ed Chairman Craig Stallings responded to the public comment saying the board has nothing to do with contract negotiations between the city and teachers.

“Most of what’s proposed in the contract, we just learned about tonight. We had no idea about what’s being proposed in the contract, what was being offered in the contract,” said Stallings.

Hartford Public Schools released a statement that said:

We have maintained the integrity of the negotiation process with respect to this contract. From the outset, we have held the fidelity of this process in the highest regard and have continuously negotiated in good faith.

The district has followed the required negotiation timelines throughout these discussions. It’s important to note that, at no time during this process did HPS walk away from the negotiating table. Information that has been reported and shared regarding the negotiation process and specific contract proposals has been inaccurate.

As of today, HPS/BOE and the HFT are in the final stages of developing a joint agreement, which will be submitted to the arbitration panel, per the TNA (Teacher Negotiation Act) to be rendered as an arbitration award.

Stallings did empathize with teachers and said he agrees they deserve more which sat well with the crowd. However, moving forward, there is still no final decision made yet.

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