Providence teachers to vote on new contract Friday

Providence

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Providence Teachers Union is expected to vote Friday on a new collective bargaining agreement, the first one negotiated with state leaders since the R.I. Department of Education took over the district.

The union’s executive board approved the agreement Monday evening, according to PTU president Maribeth Calabro. Details of the contract agreement have not yet been made public, but are expected to be shared with the more than 1,900 rank-and-file teachers on Tuesday.

The full union vote is slated for Friday evening.

Gov. Dan McKee had announced the tentative contract deal last week, after more than a year of negotiations that grew tense at times, but improved after McKee took over as governor and rearranged the negotiating team.

Getting a new contract was a major unmet goal of the first year of the state takeover. The current contract expired nearly a year ago.

Mayor Jorge Elorza, who no longer has authority over the city’s school department, has repeatedly said the state should be taking drastic action against the contract, which leaders have argued slows down progress in the district.

“I eagerly await to see the details but anything short of a transformational contract will be selling our kids short and it is something we will not accept,” Elorza said last week.

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