Herricks teachers’ contract still under negotiation year after expiring

Tom McCarthy
Superintendent Dr. Fino M. Celano and Board President Juleigh Chin could not reveal much about union negotiations in the district. (Photo by Tom McCarthy)

Members of Herricks Board of Education told parents at last Thursday’s meeting that some movement has occurred in the teacher contract negotiations, but they were not able to reveal more details.

The Herricks Teachers’ Association and the district are having trouble working out a new contract and a mediator has been brought in to help both sides reach an agreement.

The teachers’ contract expired at the end of June 2018 and negotiations have been underway for about a year. 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 for scheduled salary increases.

Negotiations are currently in a process known as fact-finding, where a neutral third party enters the talks and analyzes both sides of financial deliberations. The state Public Employment Relations Board appoints a neutral party as fact-finder who hears the positions of both parties and provides assistance toward a settlement.

Nydia Degliomini, president of the Herricks Teacher Association, said there will be no fact- finder report released at the end of the month as the union has a meeting with the mediator in July. Like the board members, Degliomini could not disclose much information about the negotiations, saying “we’ve been asked not to speak about it.”

Degliomini said that the fact-finder report will only become public if an agreement is not reached.

Superintendent Dr. Fino M. Celano promised parents at the meeting, “I will not let this district slip in quality of education.”

Board President Juleigh Chin said to worried parents, “We just have to get through it.”

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