Boston teachers, city, reach tentative labor deal

Updated:

BOSTON (AP) - The Boston Teachers Union and the city have reached a tentative contract agreement after more than two years of negotiations.

The deal was reached early Wednesday.

The union and the school department had stalled over a new teacher evaluation system. Under the new system, the city will rely more heavily on student achievement in evaluations.

Union president Richard Stutman said the school department agreed to lower class size in under-performing grades, and to hire more nurses, social workers and assistants under some circumstances.

The city's 125 schools can remove unsatisfactory teachers from classrooms. Principals will have greater flexibility to hire teachers transferring from another school. Pay raises for new teachers are also tied to performance.

Mayor Thomas Menino says the deal is great for students, works for teachers and is fair to taxpayers.