Herricks district, teachers reach ‘tentative settlement’ in labor contract

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Herricks Superintendent Fino Celano, left, and School Board President Juleigh Chin, right, said that they could not comment on the teacher contract settlement until it is ratified by both parties. (Photo by Tom McCarthy)

The Herricks School District and the Herricks Teachers’ Association have reached a tentative settlement for a new teacher contract, Board President Juleigh Chin said Thursday.

“I am pleased to report that the district and the Herricks Teachers’ Association achieved a tentative settlement late last night of the terms for a successor labor agreement to the one that expired last June 2018,” Chin said.

The reason the contact is tentative is because the agreement has to be voted on by the HTA and ratified, Chin said. Beyond her statement, Chin said she could not comment further.

While the faculty’s previous contract expired in June 2018, Celano said that state law required that Herrick’s faculty members continue working under the terms of their previous contract at a June 13 board meeting.

“Details will be released upon ratification of the tentative settlement by both the district and association,” Chin said.

Herricks Superintendent Fino Celano said he could not comment on the agreement until it was ratified.

The Board and the Herricks Teachers’ Association have been engaged in negotiations for a successor labor contract since January 2018. Since last fall, a state mediator has been a third party for the negotiations.

The teachers’ contract expired at the end of June 2018. This is the first time in decades that the contract has not been settled by the opening of the school year. Under state law, the teachers continue to work under the provisions of the expired contract except scheduled salary increases do not take place.

In a May 23 statement, the board said, “This past fall, when it became apparent that the parties were unable to reach an agreement after eight negotiation sessions, a Declaration of Impasse was filed with the New York State Public Employment Relations Board. PERB appointed Jay Siegel as mediator. Unfortunately, after five mediation sessions, the parties were not able to reach an agreement, particularly with regard to salary.”

Representatives from the Herricks Teachers’ Association were not immediately available for comment.

In June, Herricks Teachers’ Association President Nydia Degliomini could not say much about the negotiations. “We’ve been asked not to speak about it,” she said.

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