On March 23, the day after our Rally ‘Round Bolling, the BTU Negotiating Team met with the School Department / city team. We presented the department a complete bargaining proposal, including a request that we be treated the same, economically, as another city union that has already settled a contract that calls for a wage increase of 2% for ’16-17, 3% for ’17-18, 3% for ’18-19, and 3% for ’19-20. We have been offered a wage proposal that calls for 2% each year for the next four years. We seek economic parity, nothing more. We deserve nothing less.
The School Department and the city left the negotiating table after we made our proposal, and we have no current plans to reconvene.
We followed up that meeting with a complete written package, along with a potential schedule of 14 full days from April 3 through May 3 during which we would be willing to bargain to resolve these issues, which have dragged on for 15 long months.
In addition to pay parity, the following major items remain unresolved:
- Inclusion: How best to provide needed service for our most vulnerable students. Our most vulnerable students need class size maxima and increased staffing support, not merely a single teacher who holds two or three licenses. We will not stand idly by as students with disabilities lose their extra support to save money.
- Paid family leave: Non-unionized city employees receive additional paid time for maternity and paternity leave. We seek the same benefit for our early-career members.
- Pay equity between our autonomous schools and our traditional schools: Why should teachers in some of our autonomous schools work hundreds (!) of additional hours for little or no additional compensation? Why should school autonomy lead to exploitation of those who provide the instruction to our students?
- Class size: Our youngest students need and deserve smaller classes. High-quality early childhood classrooms for 4-year olds should not have as many as 22 students.
- Supports for classroom management: A new state law has helped to decrease suspensions and expulsions, but many schools lack the supports needed to successfully implement alternatives, such as Restorative Justice practices. We are advocating for increased staffing, training and support for Restorative Justice in our schools to improve school climates.
It is not without a tinge of irony that on March 29 we received an announcement from the city that included the following:
April 4th is Equal Pay Day
The City of Boston, in partnership with American Association of University Women (AAUW), is offering 14 FREE salary negotiation workshops during the week of April 4th in honor of Equal Pay Day.
These workshops are offered as part of our multi-pronged approach to closing the gender wage gap in Boston. They empower Boston women to evaluate, negotiate, and articulate their worth confidently in the job market. The Equal Pay Day workshops are filling up quickly, so check out the list below reserve your spot now!
MONDAY, APRIL 3
6:00 pm at Brookline Office of Diversity & Inclusion
TUESDAY, APRIL 4
5:30pm at Curaytor
6:00 pm at The Latina Circle
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 5
6:30 pm at Suffolk University
THURSDAY, APRIL 6
5:30 pm at Ellevate Boston
6:00 pm at Boston Alumnae of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority
6:30 pm at Locs Collective
There is no better example of a gender wage gap in Boston than what we are facing in negotiations right now. Our teacher members, 76% of whom are female, deserve to treated as equal members of the city’s work force. If a primarily male bargaining unit receives a financial package of 2%, 3%, 3%, 3%, then a primarily female bargaining unit deserves the same.
The school district talks a good game about equity and equal treatment. What’s more, it publishes many circulars and runs a variety of workshops about the same. Let’s see the district put its pronouncements into practice.