Proposed Collective Bargaining Agreement Ratified by City Council; Councilor Connolly Lone Dissenter
Boston City Councilors, by a 12-1 margin, overwhelmingly endorsed our proposed collective bargaining agreement (CBA), with Councilor Connolly the lone holdout. Connolly got no support from fellow councilors at the council meeting for his position.
The mayor and the School Committee had previously endorsed the CBA, as had the BTU membership with nary a dissenting voice.
Over the last few years Councilor Connolly has gone solo many times in an attempt to try to embarrass and plant a negative perception on the school district, and this latest ploy is seen by many in that light. Councilor Connolly’s opposition to the contract appears to be as much about positioning himself for a mayoral run as anything else. In his remarks Connolly threatened legislative action as the only way to get an extended school day for students without having to pay teachers for their added work time.
We thank the mayor (and by the way, we wish him a quick return to good health), the school committee, and the city council for their belief in the public process, however painful at times, that brought us to a mutually agreed-upon negotiated settlement. We look forward to working with all to continue to build upon the progress we have made.
When we began the negotiation process, we set out to obtain a contract that is good for schools and fair to our members. We accomplished both. Now we begin the process of contract implementation, and we will shortly release a “punch list” of items we are working on to get the contract up and running. We understand that there will be blips in the implementation process, and issues may arise, but that is all part of a healthy give and take between parties. Again, thank you all for your continued support.
The pay increase — an effective 3% — for all teacher and para members is scheduled to be in place in the November 23 paycheck. Because of the nuances of payroll timing, substitute members have already begun to get their increase.
The 3% salary increase is broken down as follows: There was a 1% increase effective November 1, 2011, and another 2% increase effective November 1, 2012. The check on November 23, 2012, will be in effect a cumulative 1%, then another 2%, higher.
(We will also receive a 3% increase on November 1, 2013, a 3% increase on November 1, 2014, and another 3% increase on November 1, 2015.)
The retroactive for all of the above is now slated to be paid at the end of February. The retroactive piece is a change.
Originally we reported, based on information we received, that the retroactive amounts would be completed before the holiday break. We did think that was a bit optimistic, and it turned out to be.
By the way, the new hourly rate as of November 1, 2012 is $42.49; the hourly rate in effect from November 1, 2011 through October 31, 2012 was $41.65.
There is a regularly-scheduled membership meeting this week. All members will need either a membership card or a current payroll stub to enter the hall. Please bring one or the other. If you don’t have either, you will be asked to report to the problem table and verify membership.
We had a discussion at our executive board last month concerning our membership meetings and how to make them more give-and-take. We’ll try out a few new ideas this week, specifically encouraging members to contribute general questions to be addressed during the meeting. We will also serve cheese, crackers, soda and water at the beginning of the meeting (3:45 to 4:15) as we try to establish a pre-meeting “social” event prior to the official start of the meeting at 4:15.