Guam - Contract negotiations have begun between the Department of Education and the Guam Federation of Teachers for a collective bargaining agreement.

According to DOE superintendent Jon Fernandez the purpose of a meeting that was held today was to set the ground rules and a plan of what will be done moving forward. "What I have said in the past there is no collective bargaining agreement in existence now and so that really gives an opportunity for our management our employees and our teachers our counselors and our nurses to sit down at the table and think what is possible for our school system," he told KUAM News.

He says both teams are willing to start fresh and talk about the big picture which reflects where we are today taking into account what is being done with Common Core, student achievement and professional development which will enable the department to push forward with its goals and our teachers to be supported.

The last teacher negotiated collective bargaining agreement with GFT expired in November 2011.