At a press conference today in New Bedford City Hall, Mayor Jon Mitchell joined with New Bedford Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Pia Durkin and leaders of the New Bedford Educators Association to announce the parties have reached a new labor contract for New Bedford teachers, subject to approval of the New Bedford School Committee.
Last evening, New Bedford teachers voted to ratify the new one-year labor contract (7/1/2014-7/31/2015) which includes important changes that will support the school department’s efforts to provide teachers with additional professional development throughout the school year as well as to hire the most qualified teachers.
“This agreement represents another significant step forward for the New Bedford Public Schools. New Bedford teachers have really stepped up and they can be confident in the district’s demonstrated commitment to supporting their work,” Mayor Mitchell said.
He added, “The contract provides teachers with the support they need in the form of additional professional development. And, early decision-making will give the district a competitive advantage in selecting qualified applicants to fill open positions.”
“This contract is a game changer for New Bedford,” said Superintendent Durkin. “We will have a competitive edge not only when we hire new teachers, but also be able to stabilize school staff for those who continue working with New Bedford students.”
Superintendent Durkin said, “I want to thank NBEA President Lou St. John and New Bedford’s teachers, for working with us on an agreement that will benefit both the city’s students and educators.”
Highlights of the new contract, which covers the period July 1, 2014 through July 31, 2015, include:
  • Teachers Supported with Additional Professional Development: Teachers will receive twenty hours of professional development throughout the school year at bimonthly meetings.
  • District Gains Competitive Advantage in Selecting New Hires: Resignation and retirement notices will be several months earlier, allowing New Bedford to be competitive with other districts who receive early notices. New Bedford Public Schools will be in position to hire teachers earlier in the year, giving the City the edge when it comes to selecting qualified applicants.
  • District Can Better Plan Staff Assignments: Transfers and reassignments will, like retirements and resignations, now have earlier notices, so the school staff will know where employees are assigned earlier in the year, allowing for more planning.
  • Compensation Increases: Educators on Steps 1 – 11 in the 2013-14 school year and full-time teachers in the 2014-15 school year will receive a $500.00 increase. Educators on Step 12 in the 2013-14 school year and full-time teachers in the 2014-15 school year will receive a $1,500.00 increase. The cost of the contract in the current fiscal year is approximately $480,000 which will not require a budget increase.

21 thoughts on “New Bedford Teachers Ratify Contract With City

  1. The contract sure reads differently in the newspaper. Also, the mayor's remark about Lou, “Stepping up to the plate.” seems to insinuate that it is a new behavior. We need a new mayor, a new school co., and a new superintendent. We don't need a new union leader.

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  2. For top step teachers who were cut off last time that equals a .02 per cent raise before taxes…what do you call that? NBPD wages will increase by 1.5 percent retroactive to Jan. 1, 2014, with another 1 percent increase on July 1. There will be future increases of 1.5 percent on Jan. 1, 2015; and 1.5 percent on June 28, 2015. An arbitration panel has unanimously awarded city firefighters a three-year contract providing 7.5 percent in wage increases over the life of the contract and giving every firefighter an immediate $2,500 lump sum payment, according to the parties. New Bedford teachers get beat by the City, the school committee, and the superintendent again.

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  3. I hate the Standard-times – they never report anything fairly. Given an opportunity they will refer to Lou St. John, the NBEA, and the teachers in a negative manner. I think Lou should have been named Southcoast man of the year. He has had every reason to bash the school committee and Durkin….yet he remains a gentleman and treats all people with respect.

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  4. I would like to thank the negotiation team for putting in the hours it took to get us a raise and a one year contract. I think the people on the team tried their best to at least get us something for all the hard work we do in the trenches everyday. Instead of criticizing what you “got” why don't you step up and become active in “your” union? I can't imagine trying to get anything out of Pia Durkin so to me this is amazing.

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  5. First I would like to thank Lou and the members of the negotiating team for volunteering hours of their personal time to bargain a contract on behalf of the NBEA. With that said, I am not ecstatic over the results. To my understanding, a top step teacher with a masters currently earning $75,013 will receive a one time increase of $1,500 which will be accepted by MTRS bringing this year’s salary to $ 76,513. However, next year my salary will return to $75,013. For any teacher near retirement this is very disappointing as the average of your last three years determines your pension benefits. With the number of teachers that left the district last year, and I would expect similar numbers this year; this should have been a strong consideration on the part of the negotiating team. One other item that appears to be a big win for the administration is a push back to notification of resignation and/or retirement to Feb. 1 this year from April 1 stated in our previous contract. What is mind numbing, is that the date is pushed back to January 1, 2016 when that contract has not even been bargained yet. I do place much of the blame on those teachers who do not involve themselves in union participation. If you do not think that the other side of the table is not aware of the low membership turnout to ratify this contract and how it effects their power to negotiate your next contract you are either misguided or apathetic.

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  6. I thank the negotiation team for their hard work and as always, Lou St. John. I am sure this was not an easy contract to negotiate. I do hope the new contract is put into place much earlier as we will lose the 1, 500 in 2016 reducing our pay but still requiring the ever increasing workload.

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  7. Who said the $1,500.00 is a one time increase? I took it to mean that it would be added to my salary next year as well. Lou, could you clarify this?

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  8. Teachers need to show up, speak up, or shut up. Make up your minds. There really isn't a Santa Claus. Learn to fight for what you want.

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  9. Once again those that didn't bother to attend the meeting are going crazy trying to figure out the new provisions. I attended so I can say that every question that has been asked here was answered yesterday. Who said ignorance is bliss? Not I.

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  10. I did in fact attend the meeting. I also took the increase to be a 1 time increase just for this year. As it clearly states when the increase will be given out (the two dates). That is how I took it from the meeting.

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  11. The same claimers won't bother to show up Monday to discuss evaluations or at the Century House on the 22nd. Everyone is “busy”. Make the time!

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  12. Thank you to Lou St John for never giving up. With some of the negative comments on here, I don't know how you do it day after day.

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  13. Durkin is full of crap. She would (and has) throw Lou under the bus in a New York minute. This is just damage control for her past actions.

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  14. It seems the only person with any balls is Lou! He has always been there for us, the mayor should try “stepping up to the plate”. That would be a new behavior the Mayor McCheese.

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