South Burlington teachers, board reach tentative agreement

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SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) Students headed to class in South Burlington Wednesday after the school board and teachers union reached a tentative agreement. Teachers will vote Wednesday on whether to make it official.

"Tired, but I am really happy that I will be going to school tomorrow along with our kids," union negotiator Kathy Murphy said.

Both sides struck a deal after 10 hours of negotiations. It's an outcome many parents didn't see coming.

"I'm excited," parent Ashley Lizotte said. "I honestly thought that there was going to be a strike. So this morning when we found out that there wasn't, we were a little shocked."

It comes after a year of negotiations between the board and union. The school board imposed contracts back in August. Teachers were unhappy with health benefits and the salary grid used to determine raises.

We asked where compromises were made but neither side would release details until the contract is official.

"It's been a long evening," said Martin LaLonde of the South Burlington School Board. "Both sides worked really hard to arrive where we are and we are pleased that we can move forward. Once it is ratified, the details about what the agreement was."

While parents are relieved their kids remain in the classroom, a few we spoke with say it should never go this far.

"I definitely think that teachers striking created such an upheaval in a community," parent Amy Bennett said. "I think it would be really good if that changed."

The teachers are expected to meet Wednesday and vote on whether to deny or approve the tentative agreement.