NEWBERRY - Teachers and the Tahquamenon Area Schools Board have finally reached a tentative contract agreement after months of failed negotiations.
Details of the multi-year pact are being withheld until ratification votes are taken by the teachers' union and the school board.
"I think both sides are happy with it and hopefully it will be ratified," Tahquamenon Area Schools Superintendent Alice Walker said Friday. "Upon ratification, more details will be forthcoming."
Walker said she was not at liberty to elaborate, but expected ratification could take some time.
In July, the school board voted to impose contract terms on the district's teachers, after saying negotiations ongoing for the previous 10 months were at an impasse on issues of health insurance, teaching time and salary increases.
"We had imposed the contract and by law, you still have to negotiate," Walker said.
In a 4-hour negotiation session last week with a state mediator present, the two sides reached a multi-year contract agreement. It was the first bargaining session held since the board imposed the contract last summer.
"We're very pleased to finally have an agreement with the board which not only ends the imposition, but extended us into the future," said Randall Griffis, chief spokesman for the teachers' bargaining team.
The Tahquamenon Area Education Association represents 70 teachers in the district who have worked under the terms of an expired contract this school year.
A tentative agreement was also reached with support staff in the school district. Walker said that pact will be voted on by the support staff union on Monday and on Dec. 15 by the school board.