BAYONNE – Just when it seemed all had been lost – after nearly five years of negotiations and coming so close in an Aug. 27 meeting – the Bayonne Board of Education and Bayonne Teachers Association came to an agreement on a $9.2 million, five-year contract for teachers Tuesday afternoon.
Time seemed to stand still at 5:31 p.m., when BTA President Alan D’Angelo announced to about 100 people, most of them teachers, in the City Council Chambers that the union and board had come to terms.
“The mayor will have something to say to you; it seems like we’ve reached an agreement,” he said.
“This was a long process for the last couple of weeks, a process that should end today,” said Mayor James Davis, who played a part in the negotiations at the end.
The two sides agreed that the deal was not what each had sought, but ultimately it was one they could shake hands on.
“Teachers didn’t get everything they wanted, and the board didn’t get everything they wanted,” said Bayonne Board of Education President William Lawson.
D’Angelo must still bring the deal to his 800 members for discussion and then a vote, expected to take a week and possibly longer.
The deal was struck at about 4 p.m. on Sept. 2, a source close to the negotiations said, following back-and-forth talks over the holiday weekend.
Upon becoming mayor, Davis had pledged to end the stalemate by the start of school for Bayonne students, which is Sept. 3.