Haverhill Teachers, City Iron Out Wrinkle in Proposed Pact; Union Votes Thursday

Educators, parents and supporters from across the region joined the Haverhill Education Association for a rally at City Hall on June 11, 2019. (Courtesy photograph)

There’s a new agreement between teachers and Haverhill Public Schools to resolve a problem discovered late last week that threatened to scuttle the proposed three-year pact.

Both sides ironed out the wrinkle after three hours of talks Monday morning. Haverhill Education Association President Anthony Parolisi told WHAV about the sticking point.

“The district agreed that, in some scenarios, there were members who would stand to make less money than what they should have, than what was intended. We came up with language to rectify that situation and preserve the spirit of the agreement.”

Parolisi says a key change is teachers eligible to receive extra payments for years of service used to receive a lump sum payment at the end of the year. There will be a change moving forward.

“In the second year of this contract, that longevity payment is going to be folded into the salary scale so that the members still get the money, but rather than it being paid in arrears at the end of the school year, it will be paid upfront throughout the school year,” he said.

He adds the change allows teachers with at least 11 years of experience to move through the scales faster with the addition of new stepped pay raises. Previously, those were flat percentages of 1, 4, 5 or 6 percent. As WHAV previously reported, other benefits are tuition reimbursement for the first time, better compensation for mentors and continuing talks on equity between schools.

About 650 affected members of the HEA plan a ratification vote Thursday.

Taking part in talks on behalf of the union were Parolisi, a Consentino School teacher; Suzette DiTonno, of Pentucket Lake; Sarah Emilio, of Haverhill High School; Deb Russell, of Golden Hill; and Erin Lavallee, of Nettle School. They received support from Massachusetts Teachers Association Field Representative Charmaine Champagne. On the city side were School Committee members Richard J. Rosa, who led the talks; Vice Chairman Sven A. Amirian; and Paul A. Magliocchetti. Participating Monday by telephone was Superintendent Margaret Marotta.

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