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Teachers get 1.5 Percent Pay Increase Next Year

In a brief meeting on June 25, the School Committee ratified the Mendon Upton Regional Teacher's Association Memorandum of Agreement, which gave the teachers a 1.5 percent pay increase for the next school year. Joined by Ken Picard, Upton Board of Selectmen Chairman and a voting member of the Negotiations Subcommittee, the School Committee quickly voted unanimously to approve the new contract.

School Committee member Liana Moore gave a "high-level" highlights of the new, two-year contract which will include a cost of living increase of 1.5 percent for the first year and a 1.25 percent increase for the second year; a leveling of step increases to 2.5 percent for the first year and normal step increases in the second year; a sick leave increase from 165 days to 180 days; an addition of a professional development committee of teachers and administrators to determine professional development goals for the district; and a new 5 by 7 schedule for the High School starting in the 2012-2013 school year. "Concessions were made on both sides," said Moore about the "fair terms" of the new contract. Last year, teachers in the district agreed to a one-year, zero increase for both cost of living and step changes.

Picard told the Committee that the new contract was "very well done by both parties," and publically commended past School Committee members Don Morin and Donna Coakley-McGowan on their "hard work" on the negotiations sub-committee during the past year.

Superintendent Dr. Joseph Maruszczak was also pleased with the new agreement. "This is a really reasonable two-year deal," he said. "I am proud of our teachers for being part of the solution." Maruszczak said that this new contract has put the district "in a favorable position." Maruszczak also commented on the new high school schedule that will move from six-periods per day to seven-periods per day. "This will give the students at the high school opportunities to access additional classes and will drive class sizes down," he said. Drennan asked when the new schedule information would be communicated to the parents and was told by Maruszczak that preliminary information will be sent to high school parents the week of July 9.

Before adjourning, Drennan announced that now that the teacher contract was approved, they will be reviewing and releasing the Executive Session minutes from July 19, August 2 and August 15 and the Negotiations Sub-Committee Executive Session minutes from August 15 and September 12. Drennan said that the minutes will be available on June 26.

The next School Committee Meeting in scheduled for August 13.


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