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School District Signs New Three-Year Contract With Teachers Union

Aug 03, 2015 06:49PM ● By Bill Gilman

Tewksbury Teachers Union President Marco Basiliere and School Committee Chairman Krissy Polimeno shake hands prior to signing a new, three-year contract. Photo courtesy Tewksbury Access Television.

No pickets. No protests. Not even any working under the terms of an existing contract for a lengthy period of time.
The Tewksbury School Committee and the Tewksbury Teachers Union reached agreement on a new, three-year deal last month. It was signed by Union President Marco Basiliere and School Committee Chairman Krissy Polimeno at the July 15 School Committee meeting.
The deal, which took eight months to hammer out, runs through June 30, 2018. The contract calls for 2.5 percent pay increase in each of the three years and also includes a longevity stipend of $500 for teachers with 10-13 year experience. In total, the new contract will cost the district $1,476,157 over the three years.
"After extensive negotiations between the Tewksbury School Committee and the Tewksbury Teachers Union, an agreement was reached and signed this evening," said Polimeno, in a prepared statement. "This contract represents exceptional collaboration between both parties, which resulted in significant changes which will impact student achievement."
One of those changes involves a lengthening of the school day for the town's four elementary schools from six hours to six hours 25 minutes. According to Superintendent of Schools Dr. John O'Connor, students will arrive 15 minutes earlier and leave 10 minutes later.
"As I mentioned in a communication to parents, this has been a longstanding goal of the school committee to extend hours here in the dfistrict," said O'Connor. "It has been a statewide priority as well."
In addition, starting in the 2016-17 school year, Tewksbury High School will drop its four-class-a-day block scheduling and replace it with a scheduling system that allows students to take five or six classes a day, said O'Connor.
At the same meeting, the School Committee also ratified and signed a new three-year contract with the school district secretaries. The deal calls for a 2 percent raise the first year, plus a $1000 increase in "step increases" and follows with a 2.5 percent increase in both the second and third years.
In total, the new deal will cost the district $56,368 over three years.

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