After a year-and-a-half of negotiating, the Kinnelon Education Association (KEA) and Kinnelon Board of Education may agree on a new contract in the near future.
The KEA, which includes teachers, secretaries and other district employees, has been working with an expired contract since July 2011. In September, after months of disagreement between the board and KEA on a new contract, negotiations entered a fact-finding phase.
Vickie Walsh, a field representative for the New Jersey Education Association who is assisting with the negotiations on the KEA end, said the report has been completed and was reviewed by the union's negotiating team on Thursday.
"The team will be recommending that the general membership ratify this agreement," Walsh said.
Walsh said the KEA is waiting to hear whether the board will agree to the terms.
"It is our sincere hope the board negotiations team will make the same recommendation to their constituents," she said.
The lengthy negotiation process has been due to what former school board president Margaret Zybrick described as a difference of opinion between both parties, particularly in regards to financial considerations. However, Kinnelon Public Schools Superintendent Diane DiGiuseppe said Monday that the board of education is moving in the direction of contract ratification.
"The board negotiation committee is also going to recommend the fact-finder's proposal for ratification," she said. "We're as hopeful as anyone."
Both DiGiuseppe and Walsh said the terms of the new contract are not able to be shared until both parties have had the opportunity to review and discuss its content with members. Once a memo of agreement is in place, the contract can be made public.