Teachers Claim Town Wrongly Nixed Contract

     PROVIDENCE (CN) – The union representing public school teachers in Middletown, Rhode Island claim in court that the town council illegally nixed a new contract after the local school board gave the pact its blessing.
     In a complaint filed in the Providence, R.I. Superior Court, the Middletown Teachers Association, an affiliate of the National Education Association, claims it spent nearly a year negotiating a collective bargaining agreement to replace a contract set to expire on August 31.
     When the parties could not reach an agreement amongst themselves, they went to mediation, and ultimately crafted a tentative deal that the teachers approved on Aug. 28, and the Middletown School Committee endorsed on Sept. 1, the complaint says.
     However, the teachers say, on Sept. 21, Middletown Town Council voted to reject the agreement.
     Since 1966, the teachers’ unions and the school committee have bargained and executed the agreements between the parties, according to the complaint.
     The teachers claim the town council does not have the authority to reject an agreement the unions and the school board approved.
     The union seeks declarative and injunctive relief. It is represented by Carly Iafrate of Providence.
     Representatives of the parties did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Courthouse News.

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