The City Of Boston's School Department and the Boston Teachers Union have agreed to enter into a formal mediation process with the state after Wednesday's meeting to negotiate teacher contracts ended with both sides declaring an impasse, according to this Boston Globe article.
“The union refuses to accept a $32 million raise for teachers,” Menino said in his speech to the Boston Municipal Research Bureau yesterday, as quoted in the Globe, and added that, because of the teachers' failure to agree with the City's contract proposals, "Unfortunately, we must start planning for next year with the old process in place. A process that puts teachers with mismatched skills in mismatched classrooms. That’s wrong."
Richard Stutman, the Boston Teachers Union president, sees things differently. Per the Globe, "Stutman said the city’s contract offer 'looks like a lot, but it really isn’t,'" and that "The $32 million in raises would be spread over three years and would amount to an average pay increase of about 1 percent for the city’s 7,000 teachers, paraprofessionals, and substitutes. The union has asked for what Stutman said would be an average raise of roughly 3 percent."
The proposed 3 percent raise is in line with the Bureau Of Labor Statistics' Consumer Price Index, which shows the cost of living in "Northeast urban" areas rose about 3 percent last year.
The School Department says the smaller raise currently offered is its effort to make "prudent use" of tax dollars. The Globe also mentions other debated topics, including: "annual pay raises for teachers, a new way to evaluate teachers, and whether they should be paid for teaching a proposed additional 30 minutes a day."
Who should begin making concessions, the School Department or the Teachers Union? Vote in our poll and leave a comment with your opinion.