Educators Elect Begley as Union President; Contract Talks Continue

Haverhill teachers, clerical unit and education support personnel at a recent meeting of the Haverhill School Committee.

Teachers attending a recent Haverhill School Committee meeting.

There is a change of leadership within the union representing Haverhill public school teachers even as negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement with the school district were to resume Wednesday.

Haverhill Education Association members voted last week to elevated Treasurer Lisa Begley to union president, according to a spokesperson. She ran unopposed to succeed outgoing President Joseph Cunha. The union is holding an election Thursday to fill the treasurer post vacated by Begley.

“On Thursday, April 9th the HEA held elections for the offices of president, second vice president, secretary, and ESP representative.  Second vice president Anthony Parolisi and ESP Representative Lois Silva were each re-elected to new two-year terms without opposition. Treasurer Lisa Begley was also the only candidate to replace outgoing President Joe Cunha and, as such, has become president-elect of the association.  In the only contested race, Jeff Blaustein was elected over Andrea Laws to replace John Craven as HEA Secretary.  The HEA thanks Andrea for her willingness to serve as well as the many members who turned out to vote,” a spokesperson said.

Wednesday’s scheduled contract negotiation session with a team of school committee members and district administrators was the first since HEA members publicly petitioned the school committee during its March 26 meeting. The teachers union seeks a contract agreement by the end of the current school year. Their previous contract expired last June.