THE DAILY HAMPSHIRE GAZETTE
by Nick Grabbe
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
AMHERST - Negotiations over teacher contract givebacks, which could play a role in the March 23 override vote, are nearing a turning point.
The Amherst Pelham Education Association, the union representing the teachers offered the School Committee a proposal, to which the committee made a counter-proposal, said president Timothy Sheehan.
A meeting set for Thursday will "continue the discussion," he said.
The union represents 550 school employees. The fiscal year beginning July 1 is the final one of the current contract, and union members are due to receive 3 percent cost-of-living raises. Some are also due to receive "step" increases.
Combining these two increases, the raises average 5 percent for the regional schools and 4 percent for the elementary schools. The cost to next year's budget is $1.3 million.
The current average teacher salaries in Amherst are $57,877 in the elementary schools and $56,603 on the regional level, according to Kathryn Mazur, the human resources director.
My Goal in Blogging
I started this blog in May of 2008, shortly after my election to the School Committee, because I believed it was very important to both provide the community with an opportunity to share their thoughts with me about our schools and to provide me with an opportunity for me to ask questions and share my thoughts and reasoning. I have found the conversation generated on my blog to be extremely helpful to me in learning community views on many issues. I appreciate the many people who have taken the time to share their views. I believe it is critical to the quality of our public schools to have a public discussion of our community priorities, concerns and aspirations.