As of September 2012, we are six months into a state-sanctioned mediation process as both sides try to hammer out a mutually agreeable contract settlement that will be in place for the next four school years. The Boston Teachers Union recognizes that we all have a stake in improving our schools. We may disagree on the mechanics, but we do not disagree on the need and urgency of rebuilding confidence in our schools. We join with the school department in working jointly on this endeavor of mutual interest.
Towards these goals, we are interested in a wide array of issues: extension of the school day, closing the achievement gap, improving school climate and our working conditions, enhancing our professionalism, maintaining our benefits, and obtaining a fair salary increase for our members. The proposals we have present through our negotiating team we firmly believe are good for students, affordable to the city and fair to our members.
We are also interested in giving teachers and staff more voice in the day-to-day operations of their school, as we seek to give our members more control over their professional lives. As part of this we wish to provide our members with a clear professional growth path to sustain us for the duration of a career.
As this process proceeds after some two years of negotiations that have not led to initial success, we continue working on an expired contract, which remains in full force. If you do not have a copy of our contract (orange cover), please call the BTU ofá¼ce (617-288-2000) or speak with your BTU Building representative
The collective bargaining package we presented to the School Department in March 2010 received input from hundreds of our members. The final vetting of items was performed by a 35-member Collective Bargaining Committee, which deliberated for many hours this winter. This committee was open to all BTU members who wanted to participate.
Actual negotiations are being conducted by our six-member team plus the BTU president, Richard Stutman. Our team is composed of people with a wealth of experience and a broad range of interests: Erik Berg, Philbrick Elementary School teacher; Ed Doherty, former BTU President; Josefina Lascano, Edison K-8 paraprofessional; Gary Fisher, Timilty MS teacher; Christine Langhoff, O”Bryant High School teacher; and Garret Virchick, Brighton teacher.