Schools, Teachers Prepare to Close on Collective Bargaining Process

Haverhill Education Association (HEA) President Lisa R. Begley

The Haverhill School Committee is scheduled Thursday night to formally close the recent collective bargaining process reached with the local teachers union.

On the agenda, committee members are expected to vote to approve a “memorandum of agreement” between the committee and the Haverhill Education Association (HEA). With approval, the 11-page, two-term contract agreement over four years will take effect. Committee President Scott W. Wood Jr. and HEA Teachers’ Group President Lisa R. Begley are expected to sign the agreement, retroactive to July, 2014.

Among its provisions, teachers receive no salary increase for last year, one percent this year, two percent next school year and, in fscal year 2018, a total 2.75 percent raise over two steps. Another contract provision calls for “student support” study periods for teachers at the high school to assist with student assignments, if requested and if qualified. However, an HEA posting online indicates the contract makes, among other things, no changes to the teacher workday and teacher prep periods remain “sacrosanct.”

“Though the negotiations team fought hard to strengthen the language regarding prep periods, it was unable to convince to school committee to confirm with new language what has already been decided through past grievances won by the HEA,” a spokesperson said. “Prep periods are and have always been for teachers to prepare themselves for their students.”

Also before the committee, a request by Superintendent James F. Scully to approve a one year, $35,000 consultant contract with the Hanover Research Council LLC, Arlington, Virg., effective Sept. 25. It was to have been selected through a “formal advertised competition,” as outlined under Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 30B, for contracts more than $25,000.

“Hanover Research will provide administrators with requested research on any topic, drawing from research capabilities,” according to a summary statement. “All project production services will be available in unlimited amount within the confines of one sequential queue. Partnership also includes unlimited access by central office employees to Hanover’s Online Education Library. The contract amount covers all labor costs across each annual term and the cost of registrations for central office staff for the research library.”

The Haverhill School Committee meets at 7 p.m., Thursday in city council chambers at Haverhill City Hall.

One thought on “Schools, Teachers Prepare to Close on Collective Bargaining Process

  1. Jim Scully: I’m sorry to say, for the first time since you took over the Superintendent job it looks like you’re a bit out of touch with reality of your rank and file.

    Don’t you have your finger on the pulse of the attitudes and moods of teachers/school union administrators after this lengthy contract negotiation? Teachers feel cheated that they didn’t get the same pay raises that other city department unions did. It was their number one argument in negotiating the contract. In the end they didn’t get it. So now their union mentality is kicking in and their disgruntled. Being disgruntled leads to unmotivated behavior. Like all unions…it leads to broad based mediocrity.

    And now Jim you’re asking to make an investment into a tool that would help them in their jobs? How are you going to monitor who uses and how often? Like any union employee, their thinking is that the money used for this investment should have been put toward increasing their pay raises….so the hell with it…I’m not going to use it. That’s how it’s going to be for a long time on any financial decision you make. Until you weed out the slackers and trouble makers that is.