Votes pending on Monte teachers’ contract

Negotiators for the Montesano School District and Montesano Education Association have a handshake agreement on a contract for teachers.

Eight hours of mediation seems to have been fruitful for the Montesano School District and the Montesano Education Association.

Negotiators for the district and the teachers union entered mediation Wednesday, Oct. 3, seeking a new contract. By Friday night, Superintendent Dan Winter said they had a “tentative agreement.”

“I can’t give you any particulars at this point,” Winter said in an email, “but will as soon as the agreement has been ratified by the teachers and approved by the board.

On Monday, MEA co-president Tina Niels also confirmed the accord.

“After eight hours of mediation, we have a tentative agreement,” she said in an email. “We hope to take it to our members this week to be voted on.”

Winter also looked forward to the district voting on the contract.

“It is likely that we will have a special meeting to vote on the agreement,” he said.

There was no word as of Monday afternoon on when those meetings will be held.

Late last month, the MEA authorized a strike.

“We do not want to go down that road. We are confident that the district will work with the mediator and us to come to a solution,” Niels said at last month’s school board meeting.

For now it seems, a strike has been avoided.