SHREWSBURY, Massachusetts – At their February 5, 2014 meeting, the Shrewsbury School Committee voted unanimously to ratify a new three year collective bargaining agreement with the Shrewsbury Education Association, which represents professional educators in the Shrewsbury Public Schools. The Shrewsbury Education Association members ratified the contract in a vote on February 3. Shrewsbury Town Manager, Daniel Morgado, also voted to ratify the contract; per state law, the town manager may vote on such collective bargaining agreements.
Statement from Shrewsbury School Committee Chair, Sandra Fryc:
“We appreciate the efforts of the Shrewsbury Education Association in negotiating this agreement and getting it approved. This is a fiscally responsible agreement that provides modest salary increases for Shrewsbury teachers, who continue to do an outstanding job under difficult circumstances due to a lack of resources. These compensation adjustments are fair, reasonable and affordable, allowing the School Committee to focus its budget development on restoring teaching positions in order to reduce class sizes that are currently much too large, and to provide adequate funding for the instructional program.”
The three year agreement is retroactive to August 2013 and runs through August 2016. Under its terms, teachers will receive no cost of living increase in the current year, then a 1.75% cost of living increase next year, a 1.5% increase at the start of the third year and an additional 0.5% midway through the final year. Step increases based on experience are also being adjusted to increase the number of years required to reach maximum salary from 12 to 13 and to more equally distribute these steps. Teachers who were at the maximum experience step prior to this year will move to the new maximum step, which represents an average salary increase of just over 1% for those teachers for this year. About half of the teaching staff is at the maximum experience step.
Teachers will work a 184 day schedule in the current year including two full professional development days, 183 days next year including one full professional development day, and return to working 184 days with two professional development days in the final year. Up to five school days each year may be early release days for students in order to provide necessary training for various mandates and instructional program changes.