State to advise on teacher impasse

Both sides of teacher contract negotiations at Greater Lowell Technical High School are moving to a fact-finding process with the state Department of Labor Relations in an effort to reach an agreement. Talks between the school’s teachers union and the Greater Lowell School Committee have been ongoing for 18 months, with the union rejecting the committee’s final offer earlier this month. The two sides have been unable to agree upon a number of contract points, including step salary increases and the number of after-school hours required for teachers to provide extra help for students. The teachers’ contract expired June 30, 2010. By appealing to the state Department of Labor Relations, the sides will be issued a nonbinding ruling by a fact-finder. -Karen Sackowitz