Andover School Committee Reaches Memorandum of Agreement with Andover Educators
Agreement has been ratified by Committee, with Union vote next week
Andover, Mass.— Following 15 months of negotiations with Andover Education Association (AEA) Unit A leadership and their Massachusetts Teacher Association (MTA) representative, the Andover School Committee announced they have ratified terms for a three-year successor contract for Andover Public School teachers and Unit A employees (see notes below for complete list). The tentative agreement requires a vote by the AEA, which is planned for early next week. With union approval, the Collective Bargaining Agreement will cover the term August 2020 through August 2023.
Financial terms of the agreement include a 1% salary COLA (cost of living adjustment) plus a one-time payment of $800 for year one of the contract; a 2% salary COLA and 2% stipend increase for year two of the contract; and a 1.5% salary COLA for year three of the contract. The agreement also improves parental leave language, provides additional money for teacher graduate studies, establishes a joint labor-management committee to evaluate coaching and other stipends, and provides a mechanism to review and update the teacher evaluation process.
The School Committee is hopeful a ratified contract will be in place by the June 30th fiscal year-end, which allows retroactive increases to be paid for work during the 2020-21 school year. As required by Massachusetts municipal finance law, any money left in the school budget at the end of the fiscal year must be returned to the town, and the district is unable to pay increases to union members without a contract. In case the union does not finalize the agreement, the Committee voted at their meeting on June 25th to place money intended for pay increases into the Town of Andover Unfunded Liability Offset (ULO) account. This fund subsidizes the cost of post-employment benefits, including health insurance for teacher retirees.
“It has been a difficult year for so many in our community, including our educators and nurses,” says Susan McCready, chairperson of the Andover School Committee. “I am confident the School Committee offered generous benefits that are agreeable for all, the district, our teachers, students and families. The Committee recognizes the hard work and dedication of our faculty and staff during the pandemic; we feel this agreement validates this and our support for those educating and caring for Andover students.”
“Today’s agreement follows months of negotiating with the AEA leadership,” notes Shannon Scully, former chairperson of the Andover School Committee and member of the negotiating subcommittee. “We are grateful for the hard work of all involved to continue the district’s commitment to offering high-quality educational experiences for our students.”
“We have done an extensive amount of work to arrive at a fair and responsible agreement that benefits our educators,” adds Tracey Spruce, member of the School Committee and the negotiating subcommittee. “We are pleased to be able to start the 2021-22 school year with a contract in place.”
Important information and details:
- AEA Unit A members includes all classroom teachers, head teachers, program heads with teaching assignments, media librarians/digital learning specialists, learning specialists, guidance counselors, school social workers, moderate and severe special education teachers, speech and language therapists, Board Certified Behavioral Analysts, and Registered Nurses, excluding paraprofessionals and all other employees.
Unit A Comparative Salary Data released to AEA (see charts): Data show Andover teachers are paid comparably to our demographically comparable districts and are among the most highly paid of our geographically comparable districts.
- Demographically Similar Districts: Arlington, Chelmsford, Franklin, Holliston, Natick, Needham, North Andover, Wellesley, Westwood, Winchester (considering % low-income, race, % special education students, ELL students, etc.)
- Talent Competitive Districts/Reasonable Geographic Reach to Andover: Amesbury, Billerica, Dracut, Haverhill, Lawrence, Lowell, Masconomet, Methuen, North Andover, North Reading, Reading, Tewksbury, Wilmington.
- In 2020- 21, the School Committee successfully negotiated contracts with APS Administrators, Custodians, Food Service Employees, Occupational and Physical Therapists, Licensed Practical Nurses and Secretaries. The remaining outstanding contract covering the 2020/21 school year is the Andover Assistants’ Organization, or instructional assistants. Currently, the AEA Assistants’ Organization (instructional assistants) is in mediation.
More information and an overview of negotiations can be found on the APS website: All In for APS Students