New Contract Calls for Teachers to Receive 5.75% Increases After Concessions

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

Haverhill Education Association (HEA) members during a school committee meeting earlier this year.

Within four years, Haverhill educators will be earning 5.75 percent more after the Haverhill School Committee and members of the Haverhill Education Association (HEA) reached “tentative agreement” Monday afternoon.

The agreement, still subject to ratification by union members and the school committee, is split between two contracts. The first covers last year and contains no pay increases or changes over the prior contract. During the next phase, teachers receive a 1 percent increase retroactive to last July 1, 2 percent increase beginning July, 2016, and 1.5 percent July, 2017, followed by another 1.25 percent during January, 2018. The unusual arrangement was dictated by state law, which limits municipal contracts to three years, according to HEA First Vice President Ted Kempinski, negotiation committee chairman.

“All four years—zero that we received last year, and the subsequent three years—this year and proceeding—the teachers will see a 5.75 percent increase,” Kempinski said.

School Committee President Scott W. Wood Jr. said the agreement “allows us to retain our best and brightest teachers while at the same time being fair to taxpayers.”

“When I took over as school committee president in January, I said one of my biggest priorities was to settle the teachers contract. We have done that. I also said the contract needed to be fair to both the teachers and the taxpayer. I believe this contract accomplishes that,” he added. Wood would not confirm the salary increases until the full committee receives the contract.

Kempinski said the two-part increase during the final year is not as unusual as it seems.

“This is an agreement that often school districts and teachers make to save money for the school districts. They don’t give the increase all at once, they stagger it over the year,” he said.

Earlier sticking points about an increase in the school day and changes to teacher preparatory time were largely dropped from the tentative agreement. Kempinski said all agreed the current system is working.

“There was no need to change the start of the school day and increase the length of the school day in the morning for elementary school teachers and at the high school as well,” he said. Wood agreed, but added union members did make important concessions.

Wood: Union Concessions Deliver Cost Savings

“The language in the contract hasn’t changed much except for some concessions that will be a cost savings to the district,” Wood said. He explained there would be fewer paid sick days. “New hires would receive a prorated number of sick days and personal days on the basis of when they were hired.”

Kempinski said HEA members probably wouldn’t vote on the memorandum of agreement for two or three weeks. He explained time needs to be set aside for teachers to ask questions.

HEA represents teachers, clerical unit and education support personnel.

6 thoughts on “New Contract Calls for Teachers to Receive 5.75% Increases After Concessions

  1. I am not a resident of Haverhill but I can say one thing… you cannot pay teachers/educators enough for the responsibility they carry in educating our children… long overdue…

    • Every one I know who works for a living works hard – not just teachers.

      Many – if not a majority of people I know who work every day – many for 10-13 hours per day – haven’t received a raise in years – based on a poor economy brought to you by the politicians (and supported by teachers unions) who are willing leave the debt to the next generation they so love to remind us they “care” for.

      Being a teacher is a profession that is chosen – no one is forced to be one, just like any other position in life.

      If teachers are not happy with the pay structure – then, just like ANYONE else, you have a personal obligation to try and seek a better paying position somewhere else – or perhaps explore changing careers.

      Haverhill isn’t exactly killing it with our education stats – so lets get real. This is just another gun to the head of the Haverhill Citizen robbing them blind.

      • Chairman’s remarks are “right on.” Everyone who works, works hard; and it is also very true that many folks who work in the dreaded private sector have not been given a raise recently. If they have received a salary increase, it is very small…. much smaller than what the teachers have been given. Teachers are fortunate that they are dealing with such compliant City officials; too bad the taxpayers of Haverhill are not as fortunate because WE pay for all of this.

  2. Saves money for the taxpayers? You’ve got to be kidding! As described, all that is accomplished is that the pay-out is staggered. No money saved here as far as I can see.

    We have been taken for a ride once again, spending money that Haverhill DOES NOT HAVE! When the system collapses, when the City hits that proverbial wall, The City of Haverhill REALLY runs out of money and can’t pay its bills, everyone will be surprised.

  3. “Scott W. Wood Jr. said the agreement “allows us to retain our best and brightest teachers while at the same time being fair to taxpayers.” –

    What is that anti-free speech Wood smoking now? Mr. Rossi and Mr. “C” are long gone. A day (years) late and a dollar short as they say.

    No Mr. Wood, as long as The City of Haverhill continues with DEFICIT FINANCING BONDS, and whatever Rep. Brian Demspey can steal from other municipalities to keep Haverhill going, there will be no “fairness to taxpayers”. Haverhill will remain a financial and corrupted nepotistic train-wreck that it is.

    No one in their right mind would think about running for office for either Jimmy’s or Brian’s positions, within a year, anyone who was to succeed would be ruined by their crony friends. The filth of this city and this banana republic of a state is just too much to overcome.

  4. Hello Haverhill Citizens – Whenever the city council or school board is in session you better watch your wallet – because they are coming for it.

    – and your return on interest will always be ZERO.