Negotiations drag on between Norwich teachers and district

NORWICH – Norwich teachers have been working under an expired contract for more than a year and a half, and the president of the local teachers’ union is concerned that it could be several more months before a new agreement is reached. The district shares that concern.

The protracted negotiations between the Norwich City School District and the Norwich Educators Organization hit another snag this month, when the parties failed to reach an agreement in mediation.

“At this point it is starting to hurt people (financially),” said Dr. Bruce Race, president of the Norwich Educators Organization.

It is not just the teachers, but the district as well, that would like to see an agreement in place.

“The district needs a contract with the teachers,” said Superintendent Gerard O’Sullivan.

But after three sessions with Cliff Dunn, the state-approved mediator who helped the district and the school support staff union reach an agreement earlier this year, the parties were still unable to reach mutually agreeable terms.

Percentage increases in salary, employee health care contributions and the proposed reallocation of a portion of unassigned/preparation time in the high school are the main sticking points.

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