Educational Support Professionals Reach Tentative Pact with Haverhill Schools; Starting Wage Increases

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The union representing Haverhill’s educational support professionals and negotiators from the School Committee have reached tentative agreement on a new contract.

While the draft agreement still requires working out details, Haverhill Education Association President Anthony J. Parolisi and negotiator Maureen Zuber thanked the full School Committee. Parolisi said the new agreement moves in the direction of ensuring living wages.

“This is an incredible step on the path towards economic justice for education support professionals, not just here in Haverhill but across the Merrimack Valley and the Commonwealth. This deal will make Haverhill one of the most desirable places for an ESP to work,” Parolisi told the School Committee.

Zuber was equally enthusiastic, calling the bargaining “The most thoughtful, engaging and meaningful contract negotiations in the history and we look forward to finalizing this contract on both our ends.”

Following the meeting, Parolisi described the tentative pact in broad terms. “So, we reinvented the salary schedule for Haverhill ESPs. It is going to take the starting salary from $19,000 a year to about $23,000 a year,” he said.

Specifically, the educators will receive a 2% increase for the current year, paid retroactively to July 1, and a new three-step pay scale for the next school year. The steps are $21 per hour for one to three years of service, $24 per hour for four to nine years of service and $27 per hour for 10 or more years of service. New hires with a bachelor’s degree would come in at the second step. A little more than a year from now, a 1.5% increase would take effect.

The breakthrough came Wednesday night between the union and School Committee negotiators Paul A. Magliocchetti and Toni Sapienza-Donais, building on work also started by member Richard J. Rosa last year.

Employees with an active state license and library and technology staff not supervised by a certified teacher will also be paid a stipend of $1 more per hour.

The agreement is still subject to ratification by the full School Committee and ironing out details such as modifications to job descriptions.

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