Mayor Mitchell, Members of the School Committee, and Dr. Durkin:
The New Bedford Educators Association and the New Bedford School Committee negotiated for over 13 months, a successor Unit A contract. On April 6th, we reached a Tentative Agreement and on Thursday, May 5th, NBEA members ratified the Agreement. This is an agreement with many significant changes. One major change deals with Elementary planning time.
Our elementary educators having been asking for daily planning time for as long as I’ve been a teacher and this is my 32nd year as an educator.
For the first time in history, all Elementary Professional Employees will have guaranteed planning time every day, and classroom teachers, preschool teachers, art, music, physical education, and technology teachers will have planning time twice a day. This is a huge achievement for kids and our teachers.
Our children, the reason why we are all here, will now receive art, music, physical education and technology every week. This is something that our children will enjoy immensely.
Negotiating a new contract is never easy. It takes a lot of time and commitment on the part of those who serve on the teams. Those that served on the teams gave up time from away their families. To me that is a huge sacrifice, especially for those with children.
We’ve done our part negotiating this agreement. Now it’s your turn to make sure that it is implemented seamlessly.
It is crucial that you make sure that every change is rolled out as agreed. Every provision of the agreement and every understanding must be followed to the letter. There can be absolutely no room for error.
You must be as committed to this agreement as our educators are committed to our children. The stakes are high and our children andeducators are counting on you.