Though the six-year contracts for Yale’s unionized workers officially expired Sunday, union and University leaders have agreed to extend the contracts until March 1 as part of a continued effort to improve Yale’s relationship with its unions before resuming the renewal process.

The old contracts for locals 34 and 35, which represent Yale’s clerical, technical, service and maintenance workers, will remain in effect for at least another two months. After March, the contracts will be renewed on a month–by–month basis, and either side will have to give a 15-day advance notice if it wants to end the agreement the following month, union sources said.

Though past union contracts have often expired before a new contract is agreed upon, bargaining for new contracts has generally begun in early November. This year, leaders from both sides delayed the negotiation process while meeting with labor–management consultants in an effort to improve their historically acrimonious relationship.

In February, negotiatiors from both sides will meet with one of the consultants to learn about and explore the possibility of mutual interest bargaining. Actual talks are expected to begin afterward.

–Arielle Levin Becker