BRISTOL - The Bristol Board of Education on Wednesday approved a three-year contract with the district's employees, following several months of negotiating that included bringing in a mediator.
Board of Education President Barbara Cibella said the new contract for the nearly 70 employees represented by the Bristol Association of School Employees includes a wage freeze the first year, 2 percent salary increase the second year and 2 percent the third year. Step increases remain intact.
Cibella said all employees will contribute 10 percent toward their health care coverage starting in the second year. She said currently all new employees and hires in recent years pay 10 percent while others were not at that percentage.
''It depends on when you were hired. Everyone will now be contributing the same 10 percent,'' Cibella said.
Also, teachers will work one more day for an in-service day, increasing their year from 184 to 185 days.
The new contract is effective from July 1, 2012, to June 30, 2015.
The board approved the contract 4-0. Member Kathie Johnson was absent.
Cibella said the employees ratified the agreement last week. The union includes both certified and classified employees.
Negotiations have been taking place since last summer with a mediator brought in to assist in the two sides reaching an agreement.
''We are happy to have reached an agreement that was accepted by both sides,'' Cibella said.
School Superintendent Marty Santillo said the third-party mediation was brought in to assist bringing the negotiations to a close.
''Negotiations ended up very well with both sides working to reach an agreement,'' he said.