For the first time since 1999, Bismarck teachers and the local school district are at irreconcilable odds over salaries and other policies included in teacher contracts.

Bismarck Public Schools representatives and members of the Bismarck Education Association will participate in a public hearing 3 p.m. Aug. 17 at Bismarck High School to collect information from both sides.

The Bismarck School Board and the BEA mutually declared an impasse late last month after district representatives failed to come to an agreement on teacher salaries, a new safe work place policy and a definition of the length of a work day.

The state Education Fact-Finding Commission, a three-member group appointed by the governor, attorney general and superintendent of public instruction, will conduct the hearing. The commission is composed of Dean Rummel, of Dickinson, Jerry Hieb, of Valley City, and Barbara Evanson, of Bismarck.

Rummel, who is chair of the commission, said commissioners will issue a report within seven to 10 days after the hearing, then both sides will have 20 days to come to an agreement.

(Reach Blair Emerson at 701-250-8251 or Blair.Emerson@bismarcktribune.com)

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