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Providence, R.I., Teachers Reject Tentative Contract

By a large margin, teachers in Providence, R.I., have rejected a tentative collective bargaining agreement, the Providence Journal reports.

The current agreement expired Aug. 31.

One of the sticking points appears to be the elimination of a "no layoff" clause instituted in 2011, which prohibited layoffs for financial reasons. Another was the possibility of the creation of a new program in the third year of the contract that would have given teachers who took on new roles and responsibilities additional pay (possibly similar to the career-ladder programs in place in Baltimore and New York City.) 

The president of the Providence Teachers Union cited "misrepresentations" of the proposed contract in a summary issued by Mayor Angel Taveras as a reason for its failure. But other commentators argue that this may be a strategy to shifting blame onto the lame-duck mayor, who was recently defeated in a gubernatorial primary, in the hopes of getting more concessions out of his still-to-be-determined successor.

It's unclear when the district and union will return to negotiating or, indeed, when another contract might be proposed.

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