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School Board Locked In Talks With Union

The Greenwich Board of Education and a laborers' union are locked in discussion to negotiate a new contract for school instructional aides and security guards.

"I am confident we can come to an agreement," Peter Sherr, head of the school board's labor negotiations committee, said in published reports. "I think we share the same goals." Sherr also said the district values employees such as the instructional aides.

Initial proposals were made July 7. The union and board were in closed-door meetings Wednesday and will continue negotiations Aug. 26.

The current contract for instructional aides and security guards includes an average of $1.45 an hour less in wages than their counterparts in other Fairfield County towns such as Stamford and Darien. Last year, aides and security guards received a 4 percent raise, but there is no indication as to the contents of the contract being worked out.

"I would prefer this not drag out," Lynn Mason, business manager of the Laborers' International Union of North America Local 136, said in a published report.

In 2007 negotiations, the union and the board disagreed on wage and insurance increases, a contractual lockdown that broke months later in summer 2008.

According to published reports, Mason said the union hopes to finalize the contracts in October to present to the town legislature.

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