Teachers Set to Vote on Four-Year Contract Terms

Haverhill Education Association President Lisa R. Begley.

Haverhill public school teachers are casting votes Wednesday for ratification of a tentative four-year contract agreement with the city school district.

Rank and file members of the Haverhill Education Association (HEA) face a 4 p.m. deadline to vote on the plan, already given a favorable recommendation from HEA’s bargaining team and recently approved by the Haverhill School Committee. An informational session was held by the HEA Tuesday afternoon in the Haverhill High School auditorium. The proposed agreement, retroactive to July 1, 2014, includes a “service agency fee” provision, a fee an employee must pay if they choose not to be a union member, according to HEA Second Vice President Anthony Parolisi, who played

“The fee is to cover the costs of collective bargaining, from which the non-union employee benefits, even if they do not join the union,” Parolisi said. “The type of services and activities for which a union can charge non-members is governed by the Massachusetts collective bargaining law, regulations and decisions of the Massachusetts Department of Labor Relations interpreting that law and court decisions interpreting the constitutional rights of non-members asked to pay an agency fee. The amount is the annual cost per person which is deducted from each non-member’s salary just as dues are for HEA members.”

According to HEA documents, the 2014-15 service agency fee, totaling $463.36, includes $96 to the HEA, $301.92 to the Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA) and $65.44 to the National Education Association (NEA).

The deal, which gives teachers 5.75 percent salary increases over the next four years, was ratified by the school committee Sept. 16 during an executive session by a vote of 5-0. Those who voted were President Scott W. Wood Jr, members Joseph J. Bevilacqua, Shaun P. Toohey, Paul A. Magliocchetti and Maura Ryan-Ciardiello. School Committeewoman Susan D. Danehy was absent and Mayor James J. Fiorentini, chairman, abstained from voting because his son is a teacher.

Documents distributed at the meeting show the agreement will cost approximately an additional $5.6 million over the contract period. The amounts are $1.2 million for the current fiscal year, $1.9 million next year and $2.45 million during the year ending June 30, 2018. Increases for administrators, principal clerks, custodians, education support professionals, nurses, cafeteria workers and others add another $1.3 million to the school system budget over the same term.

One thought on “Teachers Set to Vote on Four-Year Contract Terms

  1. Scotty Wood….what’s going on? I saw you last night over on Kenosa Avenue picking up some of your campaign signs that had been knocked over. I would have thought there would be teachers lined up down the street to help you with this given the kiss you gave them all?