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Boston, City’s Teachers Union To Meet On Contract Again

BOSTON — Boston Public School officials and the city’s teachers union are scheduled to meet Tuesday to try once again to end a more than two-year-long contract dispute.

Boston Teachers Union President Richard Stutman says the union wants to reach an agreement but has already offered to accept a lower pay raise.

“So to ask us to go further without having the school district come along is insulting to us,” Stutman said. “They have yet to make an offer that even touches the surface of what we’re looking for.”

He adds that teachers need more social workers, nurses, special education help in autistic classes and some smaller class sizes.

“None of those items personally enriches any of our members,” Stutman said, “but they all help deliver services to our students.”

School Department spokesman Matt Wilder says the city already compromised in saying it will adopt the state model for a new teacher evaluation system.

“We believe we’ve put forth a proposal that does resolve the main issues of this contract, which is teacher evaluations, and every time we come to a point where we believe we’ve reached something, the [BTU] leadership has presented new things that need to be negotiated.

“We’re not willing to resolve this just for the sake of resolving it,” Wilder added. “It has to be a contract that works for kids and really ensures that they have the very best teachers in their classrooms.”

If the two sides can’t reach a deal Tuesday, a state mediator will step in.

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  • DottieHigh

    Earlier
    this week Dr. Johnson declared in the Herald that the… “Teachers are working. They’re
    very committed,” she said. “They really are focused on children and
    their learning and doing the best job they can.”

    The Boston public school students have some of the highest test
    scores in the country because of the work of these committed teachers,
    who have continued to do their job despite being without a contract for
    over 2 years. 

    It may be easy to point at the teachers, but the teachers may be
    just about the only part of the BPS that is working, and working well.   The inference in Mr. Wilder’s reckless statement is insulting to the teachers, and contradicts his boss’ clear statement.    Measured by student achievements, Boston Public School teachers are among the best, if not the best,  in the nation.   Stop being a distraction, Mr. Wilder.

    Its time for the City to get serious and meet with the teachers in candid, earnest, face to face, negotiations.  For the good of the students!

  • jonshore

    Matt Wilder said “We believe we’ve put forth a proposal that does resolve the main issues of this contract, which is teacher evaluations, and every time we come to a point where we believe we’ve reached something, the [BTU] leadership has presented new things that need to be negotiated.”

    I didn’t realize that Matt Wilder was at negotiations! Or that he was a decision maker for the BPS Negotiating team! Is that why he couldn’t cover for Dr. Johnson at Targets? If he wasn’t at negotiations, then he hasn’t read the memo’s from those that were! The information, he is using to frame his current comments, is dated!

    Obviously, Matt Wilder has never been in a Boston Public School. He hasn’t heard that Boston Public Schools are the Number 1 urban school district in the Nation! That was accomplished by, according to Michael Casserly, Executive Director of the Council of the Great City Schools, “the district’s many excellent teachers to guide classroom instruction have resulted in academic progress that is the envy of other cities.”

    We have the very best teachers in every Boston Public School classroom already Matt!  The Council of the Great City Schools says so!  Mr. Casserly goes on to say, “Boston is the only big-city school district to have actually caught up with the nation in any grade or subject after having started significantly below it. Eighth graders in Boston have gone from proficiency levels in math that were 10 percentage points below national averages in 2003 to levels that match the country in 2011!” 

    WOW! Boston Public School Teachers accomplished that, not administrators from Court Street, or the BPS Office of Communications!  

    These negotiations exemplify why Boston Teachers need the protection afforded them with clear language in the contract that protects them from abuse and unwarranted termination, so they can do their jobs without worrying whether they are the administrators’ pet or from a principal like English High Schools, Narcisse, who had a personal agenda, or that the Boston Public Schools can hire a younger teacher, cheaper, from Teach For America or Boston Teacher Residency, because that’s what this is really about. 

    Boston Teachers expect to be evaluated, but given the tone and language used by Matt Wilder right in this article, the threats Mayor Menino made in the newspapers and media, and the teacher demonization in the press for the past two years by Dr. Johnson and her “team,” that has filtered down to school level administrators, our Union is trying to make sure evaluations are done fairly and on a level playing field!

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