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Tentative Agreement With Teachers Topic of Oceanport BOE Meeting

Negotiating committees for both sides have signed an agreement for a new, three-year contract.

About 25 teachers came to the meeting Thursday night to show support for the approval of a pending three-year contract.

"We urge you to vote as soon as possible," Oceanport Education Association President Annamarie Ippolito said to the board at the Aug. 2 meeting. "We'd like to start the school year with a contract."

The board of education held a public comment period at the beginning of the meeting, which lasted about 45 minutes, and then went into executive session to discuss the issue. Board President Colin Soyer said following the meeting that the contract would be voted on at the Aug. 16 meeting.

While the board's negotiating committee signed a temporary agreement with the negotiating committee from the education association, the new contract needs to be approved by the board of education and members of the teachers' union. Ippolito said at the meeting that the teachers have already voted on and ratified the agreement.

A few members of the board indicated that they didn't feel like they had been supplied enough details by the negotiating committee to approve the contract.

At one point, board member Mark O'Neill seemed surprised to learn that one of the documents he was referencing during the meeting was the temporary agreement. He said he had expected a more "formal, signed document."

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