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 contractOn April 6thwe reached a Tentative Agreement and on Thursday, May 5thNBEA 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 teamsThose 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 agreementNow 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 letterThere 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

Thank you



19 thoughts on “Lou St. John’s comments to the School Committee regarding the new Unit Agreement

  1. I hate the fact that to get one of those planning times I need to get my kids to a daycare by 7:00 so I can start my day at 7:30. That does not help with planning. It is the same as having to do my work at home. You took the early morning time with my kids and make me go to work. NOT FAIR! I not only loose money for my morning duty but I now need to pay for daycare. All for 6.68 more a day. Yeah we got a raise…. and yes I went and voted no on this contract


  2. In less than three years of service another principal has resigned. The latest one is from Ashley. What is going on and why can't the district retain principals?


  3. I'm with the writer about having planning time before school we all know what's really going to happen,while your doing your planning you'll be called by administration to do some stupid thing or another,asked to watch kids who come in early ,be called to talk to parents who now come in because they know your there and the office doesn't want to deal with them so they send them to your far as having art ,physical Ed music tech every week I will believe that when I see it.The specialists should not be used by administration to cover prep time ,this is not fair to them ,separate people should be hired for that task.also they forgot to tell that students loose an hour a day just by arrivals and dismissal and that's being conservative,,the superintendent is the biggest bull shit artist ,,,


  4. ^ I'm not cowardly so that won't happen to me, It never has in my 16 years and it never will. Sometimes you just have to grow a pair. btw: life isn't fair so get use to it. If it were, we'd all be rich.


  5. I am a bit disturbed by many of the negative comments that have been made concerning the Friday planning time that New Bedford teachers have lost under the terms of their new contract. Many people do not understand why the early Friday dismissal occurred in the first place. Up until the contract of 1975 Elementary Teachers had NO planning time – we were required to stay with our class (and even participate) when they had Phys. Ed., Art, and Music. There was no built-in planning time – secondary teachers had planning time built into their schedules.


  6. To the person who talked about not being cowardly ,as long as you kiss ass your alright but as soon as your not cowardly they eWILL come after you and make your life miserable.


  7. The contract is very fair. Teachers at all levels will now work the same number of hours. Any teacher, in any position, at any level, can make the case of why they believe their role is the most difficult. Nobody cares. If you think other people “have it made” at a different level, then get the certifications you need and transfer.


  8. It's not that ……….my contract is fair guy…….it's that elementary teachers always get screwed by losing there planning time for various reasons during the week and no one really cares when it happens,and then administration justifies why you lost your prep time.specialist I'll no sub,special program you have to attend,special meeting you have to go to,etc,etc,etc,you'd e surprise Ed by all the excuses.But the best part is downtown and the general public think you're getting all this free time which your notLet's not forget elementary teachers are the work horses of the system,they never have a free moment….


  9. I will never go to a “discussion about issues” with Dirky again. She basically tells us it's her way or the highway. Why waste the teacher's time? She puts her failures on us. I really think something is wrong with her mentally. Thank you SC for hiring such a winner …again! How much in 3 years? Almost a million. We need more behavioral counselors in our schools because these kids need help. No respect at all, they feel entitled. It starts at home. Dirky gets all the help she needs. How about redistricting the north end. Lincoln is so over crowded it's dangerous. Dirky doesn't seem to think our children's safety is as priority.


  10. I hear you loud and clear. She lives in her own world, not taking the time to understand other points of view. Until she is hit over the head repeatedly she acts as if she is deaf. You hear very little of John Carvalho these days, because she finally got the message that we don't do spokespeople. We are the salt of the earth! She is an outsider, preying on the stupidity of the people of this district. It's that simply. Can you say mega pension in three years! All at the expense of the district.


  11. Salt of the EARTH and hearts of GOLD♡♥<3 The bad Ed.D. will die with $ but never remembered fondly if at all. Her "team" is dysfuntional and incompetent. Our current mayor's albatross.


  12. I am disappointed by the apathy of the City Council . Seems they could care less now about over crowding issues in our schools. Next vote hopefully, there will be a change.


  13. Here is the MO. There is no problem unless the superintendent says there is. She may listen to her principals, but there is no way she will listen to a foot soldier. I believe that she believes that it's below her to do so. So here is the deal. Principals rarely listen to teachers because it's a sign of immaturity in the position. Stiff upper lip chaps. They will listen to issues from parents or caretakers because the principal doesn't want them to call Durkin directly or the Standard Times. So teachers should teach, principal should pretend, and PRAB should continue to kiss the ring, to stay employed.


  14. I guess Wareham schools are having the same problems as NB schools. Bullying, intimidation, unfair evaluations….did Durky clone herself? Or is there just another nasty witch on the loose?


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