In a conversation with Association of Manchester Principals President Rick Norton, Girard at Large has confirmed that the union reached an agreement in principle with Mayor Ted Gatsas on the terms of a proposed contract extension.

Norton expects to receive word of the finalized language today or tomorrow, at which time he will meet with the mayor for a final review. He expects that the agreement will be presented along with the Manchester Education Association Pact at the special meeting of the Manchester Board of School Committee scheduled for this Monday night.

While Norton declined to say what particular areas of negotiation were settled, he did confirm that the general terms of the contract were in line with the city’s request to restructure employee health benefits so that co-pays rise from $5 to $20 for doctor visits and deductibles rise from nothing to $100 and be added to a variety of services. Similar changes in co-pays for prescriptions and other services are part of the deal.

Also included are incentives hoped to induce employees to retire or to not take city sponsored health benefits. As with all settled extensions, the cost of living raise scheduled for July 1, 2012 is unaffected.

Stay tuned as Girard at Large continues to bring you the latest breaking details and stories associated with this issue.