Narragansett Teachers Return To Work

Teachers in Narragansett have accepted a one year contract extension. They voted this morning to accept a deal hammered out earlier in the morning. Orientation sessions for teachers were planned today. Classes begin on Tuesday.

Both sides met Saturday and Sunday, after Washington Superior Court Judge Ronald Gagnon ordered more talks on Friday. Gagnon had indicated he was likely to order teachers back to work, if a deal were not struck.

"We started at 5:00 last night. We basically had an agreement at 11:00 that we signed at one,? said Kevin Sheehan, President of the National Education Association of Narragansett.

The deal does not settle all of the labor issues in Narragansett. Instead it gives both sides another year to work those out. ?We didn't address every issue we were interested in . I know the teachers didn't address every issue they were interested in. We're hopeful to come back in maybe a month and work on another contract and get an additional three year contract after this," said Stephen Robinson, a lawyer for the Narragansett School Committee.

?It's a one-year extension. It addresses some of the concerns the teachers had about the low salaries especially the lower steps. It addresses a few of the professional issues and concerns that both groups had and, I think it addresses one or two of the issues the superintendent would like to address," said National Education Association of Rhode Island President Larry Purtill.