MOORHEAD — Moorhead Area Public Schools reached a tentative agreement with the district's teachers union on a two-year contract Thursday, Sept. 30, which includes a 2% boost to salaries each year.

The contract also includes an increase to the district's health insurance contribution, expansion of parental leave and a retention bonus for eligible teachers, according to a statement from the district.

"Moorhead Area Public Schools appreciates our teachers, and our intent is to provide a fair package that will allow our teachers to feel valued, empowered and prepared to help our students thrive in a changing world," Superintendent Brandon Lunak said in the statement.

The bargaining process began on May 19, and union and district officials met six times before reaching the tentative agreement. For the agreement to become official the district's teachers union, Education Moorhead, and the school board must approve the contract.

"To honor the union's work, our goal is to accommodate union requests while still maintaining the commitment to be fiscally responsible and to maximize the dollars the public is investing in public education," school board chairwoman Cassidy Bjorklund said in the statement.

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Education Moorhead President Jean Sando said the union is pleased with the agreement.

"The atmosphere was collegial. People often ask how they can show support to teachers in these difficult times, and this contract shows support for our Moorhead teachers," Sando said in the statement.