Statement of the Andover School Committee
Last night, the Commonwealth Employment Relations Board at the Department of Labor Relations ruled that the Andover Education Association’s decision to engage in an illegal strike violates state law. Because the union is now in violation of the CERB’s order, we understand the CERB’s counsel will seek a court order today directing the AEA to comply. We urge the AEA to comply with all court orders that may be issued so school can resume on Monday.
The CERB also ordered a state-appointed mediator to work with both parties and help reach a fair and equitable agreement. Our first session will be today at 2 p.m. We look forward to resuming negotiations and will continue to work in good faith towards an agreement.
We believe our most recent offers to both units are fair and competitive. Our offers increase salaries and wages, provide significant additional elementary teacher prep time, and expand paid parental leave, while staying within our budget parameters and long-range financial plan. The proposal would:
- Increase starting-level teacher salaries to $58,870 (a 23% raise) and top-level salaries to $118,882 (an 11% raise) after three years.
- For instructional assistants, increase starting-level hourly wage to $25.54 (a 32.6% increase) and for most senior instructional assistants, increase hourly wage to $32.72 (a 14.4% increase) by year three. For their 184-day work year, this equates to $42,137 for a senior level IA and $32,889 for an entry level IA.
- Provide elementary teachers with an additional 10 minutes of uninterrupted prep and planning time nearly every day. Currently, elementary teachers have 280 minutes per week, roughly 56 minutes per day, exceeding the average time provided in comparable school districts by nearly 15 minutes per day. In addition, our elementary teachers have a 50-minute duty-free lunch period, while teachers in several other districts have shorter lunches and are required to perform duties.
- Provide 10 days of paid leave within four months of the birth or adoption of a child without using accrued sick time, and allow non-birthing parents to use 20 days from their bank of accrued sick time as well. Unit A members are allowed to accumulate up to 180 days of sick time, while Unit B members also are permitted to accrue a significant number of sick days in their bank.
The School Committee is committed to working in good faith with the AEA bargaining team to end this disruption to student learning. We will continue to provide the community with updates as we are able.