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Harrisburg School District reaches deal with teachers

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HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Harrisburg School District and the Harrisburg Education Association, which represents many of its employees, including teachers, nurses and other staff, have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract.

The HEA had become increasingly vocal about not having a contract, repeatedly filling school district board meetings over the last month.

Today, on the last of three days of scheduled negotiations, they came to an agreement. Negotiations were supposed to end at 4 p.m. Tuesday, but they ran long as both parties worked to put the finishing touches on the agreement.

Neither side would disclose terms of the tentative agreement other than to say it would run through the end of the 2017-18 school year.

“Once we figured out what we had to work with we knew where we needed to go and both parties wanted to get it done and we did we had to do to get a tentative agreement," Jody Barksdale, the HEA president, said.

The 543 members of the HEA will meet early next week, likely next Tuesday, to learn about the agreement. They would have a 24-hour cooling off period and then vote. A simple majority is required to ratify the agreement.

As for the district, a simple majority of the school board will have to ratify the agreement. That could happen as soon as its meeting next Tuesday.

District teachers have not had a salary increase in five years and have been working without a contract for more than 1,400 days.