Negotiations Update: February 3, 2015




“We worked hard to resolve”

“We met on 8 separate occasions”

  • We are not aware of any time the Superintendent and Business Administrator attended negotiations or were present to answer questions that could expedite the process.
  • Most sessions-time were used by BOE for their private caucusing- the SEA did their homework- the BOE was less prepared.
  • We met 9 times -most meetings less than an hour

The SEA refused to negotiate in summer

“The board thought that this offer was fair and reasonable.”

  • Board said at June 9th negotiation meeting: “We won’t go above 2%.” Over 3 years-2%, 2%, 2% vs. state avg. of 2.5%.
  • The last negotiation, June 18th, SEA tried to cont. negotiation on other issues –the board said there’s no point if we would not accept their numbers -their offer remained the same (6% total over 3 years) -impasse was declared at this meeting

“The board never proposed the longevity increment be abolished for existing staff members, only new hires.”

  • Over the last decade, the BOE has proposed numerous changes that limit longevity pay: freezing the amount, changing “longevity” to “Years of Service Award”, disqualifying time not worked in Somerville. Now all new employees would be ineligible under new contract. This sets up unequal and divided treatment of employees.

The SEA rejected settlement offer (post mediation) 

“The board hopes to responsibly and sensibly resolve the collective bargaining agreement issues and will continue to work toward this goal.”

  • Counter proposals are not rejections
  • BOE sent 5-pt. proposal on 1/13
  • SEA countered with 6-pt. proposal on 1/15 (accepted some proposals and offered counter proposals for others)
  • Our proposal asks the BOE to cont. negotiation -so far they are unwilling.

Superintendent stated no cuts to arts and music programs

  • Proposed SMS schedule has drastic cuts to both

SEA STATEMENT: While our members’ salaries have been frozen for three years, our pay scale has dropped each year, nearing the bottom of the county. The average gross salary fell $2,391.82 dollars in the last year alone when steps were “frozen.”  The real issue is getting our dynamic, younger staff to stay: the board’s tactics demonstrate indifference, not “fair and reasonable.”

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