It looks like we are extremely close to a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for working in a hybrid model or a fully remote model. This has been a long process but we feel that we have developed a meaningful document that meets the needs of our educators, students, and families during this pandemic.
Through these negotiations, we were able to adapt our proposals and discussions around working conditions based on our actual experiences in the first month of school. While we would have preferred to have many of these issues settled before returning to work or bringing students into the buildings, we think this has ultimately made our MOA a more useful document because so much of it has been tested in the field. The tentative agreement covers a long list of concerns that members wanted addressed and represents what is, in our opinion, the best arrangement that both sides could come together on. Tonight, after multiple sessions and several long caucuses, we came to an agreement on expectations for elementary school teachers. This last item was very difficult, but it was important to all involved that we could agree to a model that could actually work.
The next steps are to review all the tentative agreements and clean up the draft document for a read-through to ensure there are no errors before presenting it to you all for full consideration. We also agreed to have a smaller committee discuss other potential changes to this year’s evaluation process next week, and will present those to the members separately.
We want to thank the dozens of our Union sisters and brothers who have joined us for 15 negotiation sessions with the School Committee since August 12th. Their support, and the support of the entire membership behind them, has made all the difference in these negotiations. While the time to celebrate is not here quite yet, we see the light at the end of the tunnel and hope to have a final draft of the tentative agreement for you to review very soon.
Nancy Koorapaty and Christine Hickey
Bargaining Team Co-chairs