Contract appears settled for Line Mountain

By Sarah DeSantis, The News-Item

MANDATA — The Line Mountain School Board and teachers union have reached a tentative agreement that may end a five-year stalemate on a teachers contract.
Attorney Benjamin Pratt, who represents the district, said the two parties came to an agreement during a negotiation session with a mediator held Wednesday evening.
“We are finalizing the details,” Pratt said Thursday afternoon.
Board President Troy Laudenslager said the union and the board will each vote on the terms, and he is optimistic both sides will approve.

“Based on (the mediator’s) verbal feedback… everyone gave their head nod to it,” he said.
Laudenslager and Pratt both declined to give details about the contract until the votes take place. Pratt said he didn’t think the board would meet until sometime next week for a vote.
The next scheduled board meeting is July 19.
It is unknown when the teachers would meet to vote on the terms. Line Mountain Education Association (LMEA) state union representative Mark McDade did not respond to a call for comment Thursday, June 30.
The district’s contract with LMEA expired June 30, 2011. Teachers continued working on a one-year extension of that contract but the two sides have remained at odds over salary, health care, the number of teaching positions and other issues.
If a deal is inked, a battle that has included two strikes, a work-to-rule session and multiple grievances will come to an end. Because of the strikes, Line Mountain’s last day of school was Thursday, June 30.

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