And it's now been three years that TAL has been in with the Lindenhurst Board of Education, according to Rose Russo, president of the union.
She told Lindenhurst Patch after the most BOE that TAL and the board .
"We've offered things, and the board's offered things. We've been going back and forth," Russo said, who declined to comment on specifics, as per New York state law ( and ) that prohibits either side from publicly stating specifics of these negotiations.
"We've been going back and forth. And we've been talking for three years now, since was here," she said, referring to the person who immediately preceded current Superintendent Richard Nathan.
As president of TAL, Russo is at the helm of one of six bargaining units in the district, and it's the largest. It's also one of five units that are in contract talks, and the contract of the sixth unit - the custodians - is set to expire this June.
There's been much talk in the community at BOE meetings, and in comments on Lindenhurst Patch articles about the , about contract talks - and the negotiations between the teachers and the BOE, in particular.
They've questioned the BOE at meetings and have made comments that the board needs to get tougher in its talks.
The board's been careful about what it said in response - especially after last year when 300 teachers walked out of a school budget workshop following what Russo and many of her teacher constituents felt was a public challenge by BOE President Ed Murphy, Jr. to take a true zero (or pay freeze) with no steps or increments to help save program and instructional jobs.
(Read more about that meeting .)
Tensions in the community following the meeting, with many residents left feeling the union wasn't on board with helping the community and preserving program and jobs.
Some of those tensions seem to have resurfaced during this year's budget process at workshops and BOE meetings, with many and feeling it's now time for teachers to - especially in the face of the and the on-going economic struggles of many in the Lindenhurst community.
Many residents have also mentioned teachers' unions in other districts have given some concessions on and .
However, by and large, Russo and the rest of the TAL brass have really kept mum at this year's budget workshops and regular BOE meetings.
When asked about what other districts' teachers' unions have done, Russo again declined to speak to the specifics.
"Yes, we've offered things, but I'm not going to say what we've offered," she said.
She added talks are on-going, but "we haven't come to a fair agreement yet."
As for the BOE it "remains hopeful" an agreement will be reached.
In fact contract talks were briefly discussed at the when former BOE Member Robert Spero the status of the negotiations.
Murphy said at the time, "We continue to negotiate, and we continue to be hopeful."
BOE Member Ray Doran added: "We've made some positive inroads with some of the units."
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