Educators Approve New Contract by 2-1 Margin

Members of Haverhill Education Association (HEA) wore black to protest the lack of a contract during a school year kick off meeting at DiBurro's last month.

A four-year union deal for Haverhill public school teachers is now officially on the books.

By a 2 to 1 margin, Haverhill Education Association (HEA) members Wednesday ratified the agreement reached between school committee and union negotiators Sept. 14 and ratified by the full school committee Sept. 16. The total count from HEA members was 287 for ratification and 148 against, according to an HEA spokesperson.

“The executive board would like to thank the negotiation team, the action team, and all of our members who worked so hard to make this agreement possible,” the spokesperson said in a statement Wednesday evening. “It is because of your efforts to stand out and get the community behind our cause that we were successful!”

The deal, retroactive to July 1, 2014, gives teachers 5.75 percent salary increases over the next four years. The agreement 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.

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.

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 “Educators Approve New Contract by 2-1 Margin

  1. This should be absolutely frightening to any parent with a child attending a Haverhill public school!!

    The City of Haverhill is literally bankrupt and should be under State receivership, but there are 148 city employees who think they’re not getting compensated enough. This is what you get with the mentality of a union worker. Even though the system in which they’re employed is a financial Ponzi Scheme with unsustainable numbers, these 148 people still wanted more. It’s not just the “it’s all about me” mentality of these union folks, it’s that they are ‘educating’ the city’s children and aren’t smart enough to realize the system they themselves works is on the brink of collapse and they should take whatever they can get. That’s frightening.

    Of more importance now to parents is what happens with the quality of their child’s education with the 148 who happen to be classroom teachers. It is very well known that unions breed mediocrity. Under normal circumstances every union worker knows there is no financial incentive to work harder than anyone else because they won’t get paid more. How do you think these 148 people are going to perform with the mentality that somehow they didn’t get enough?

    More importantly, it’s not just these 148 people…it’s all 435 union members who voted. Ted Kempinski has been complaining from the beginning of these negotiations that the teachers wanted to be treated fairly and receive the same pay raises that other city union members got. Now that they didn’t get it, how are these 435 people going to look at their employer, especially with the typical union mentality? There’s not doubt they think they got screwed in this negotiation compared to what other city unions got. Every single person will be demotivated by the results of this contract, mainly from their leadership putting it in their head, and them complaining among themselves about it. It’s the way it works.