[This post was updated on 5/13/23] After more than a year of negotiations, the Wellesley School Committee and Wellesley Educators Union announced Saturday they’ve agreed on a four-year, $11.57 million package “that boosts compensation for teachers and staff, expands benefits, and provides additional support for students.” This includes cost of living adjustments of 11% for teachers and administrators, 15% for teaching assistants and paraprofessionals, and 13.75% for secretaries and other positions.
A day after the Wellesley School Committee filed a petition with the state’s Department of Labor Relations to try to prevent a possible strike by the Wellesley Educators Association, the WEA announced on Friday it had “moved to accept the latest offer from management.” It did indeed ratify the offer on Friday night.
The School Committee earlier on Friday issued an update in which it stated it is “very pleased” with the latest development and that its bargaining team is “carefully reviewing” a draft memorandum of understanding forwarded by the WEA.
“The four–year proposed agreement that the Committee presented May 8 provides substantial compensation increases for our teachers and staff, increases some benefits, provides additional supports for students, and meets the School Committee’s fiscal responsibilities to the Town,” the School Committee wrote.
WEA members had been working without a contract since last July, and the two sides had been working with a state-assigned mediator in recent weeks to try to come to terms.
The WEA on Thursday claimed victory on several fronts, including: starting salaries above $31K for educational support professionals, also known as paraprofessionals; more prep time for classroom teachers; a task force for specialist full-time teachers; and expanded parental leave for more employees.
The new agreement will be in effect through June 30, 2026.
Even with the deal sealed, the red-shirted WEA will continue to make itself visible. It plans to rally on Saturday at 1pm at Wellesley Middle School with peers from the Weston Public School system, which has also gone the mediation route to settle a contract dispute.