ESP Bargaining – Restart Update #6
The ESP Bargaining Team met with the School Committee, January 13, 4:30 – 6:30 pm.
The team presented the School Committee our most recent counter-proposal and rationale. The SC met and returned unwilling to move from their position in terms of salary. While they tell us how much we are valued as educators, those values simply aren’t reflected in their response.
Our demands are reasonable:
- 2% for this current year (retroactive to 7/1/2020)
- a $25,000 starting salary effective next year for all ESPs
- a path toward a living wage ($34,272 according to MIT’s Living Wage calculator)
- maintain a 6-step salary scale
- max base salary in year 3 (6 hr day): $32,045.18
The District’s current offer is:
- 1.75% (retroactive to 7/1/2020), 2.00%, 1.5%
- increasing the toileting stipend to $500 per semester for this year
- merging longevity into the salary scale
- adding 3 additional steps (bringing the total to 9)
- max base salary in year 3 (6 hr day): $27,825.58
While this is far better than the days of arguing over adding nickels or dimes to our hourly rate, we still believe we deserve better. The School Committee told us they preferred incremental change over a series of contracts in order to reach our goal.
In response, Lynn Sullivan, a veteran member of the ESP Bargaining Team, responded, “This is my third contract negotiation and we’ve heard a common theme from the School Committee – we value you, but we can’t afford to give you the raise you deserve”.
Mauren Zuber, our HEA ESP Unit Representative, stated “The ESPs’ time is NOW!”
Many valid arguments were presented to the SC Team encouraging them to reconsider their position. After two hours of bargaining, we agreed to schedule another session on Wednesday, February 10, 4:30 – 6:30 pm.
The ESP Action Team will be reaching out with details of our next organizing meeting. In the meantime, your Bargaining Team will continue to negotiate on your behalf.
ESP Bargaining Team Member