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Weigh In: Teacher's Union, Menino At Impasse

The Boston Teacher's Union has gone 21 months without a contract with the city, and neither side, including Mayor Menino, is happy about it.

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 impasseaccording 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.  

Benjamin Day March 31, 2012 at 02:20 PM
A 'raise' that doesn't keep up with cost-of-living increases isn't a raise: that's a pay cut.
Bob from JP March 31, 2012 at 07:42 PM
Perhaps if the Boston pols weren't so anti-business in their policy-making, similar to you and your brethren at the JPNC, there would be more of a tax base in place to fund higher pay for teachers.

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