Westford Teachers Ratify Contract

The decision ends a more than year-long standoff between Westford's teachers and the School Committee.

Westford's teachers' union, the Westford Education Association, is reporting this hour that they have ratified a new contract by what they are saying was a substantial majority.

Now the contract goes to the School Committee for their ratification, with the two sides coming to the tentative agreement last week shortly after

“Recognizing that these are difficult financial times for many local residents, our members agreed to accept an extremely frugal contract,” said Ruth Freeman, outgoing president of the Westford Education Association. “We hope that these sacrifices are acknowledged and remembered when the economy improves and we are back at the table.”

Under the new agreement, teachers will drop their prohibited practice charge against the district for failing to give teachers previously negotiated step increases and will receive no step increase in the first year of the contract.

According to a release from the WEA, there will also be no raises for the first two years of the contract, but a one percent raise in the third year of the contract will be given.

Teachers will also see a step increase reinstated in the second year of the contract, and a step increase at the beginning and the end of the third year.

The agreement also includes changes in sick leave, family medical leave, length of the school year, staff meeting schedule, longevity pay, and will provide increases in reimbursements and conference stipends.

“The taxpayers in Westford are saving a lot of money under this agreement, especially when added on top of the reductions in health insurance benefits we previously negotiated,” said Mary McCusker, an active member of the WEA bargaining team.  “We have tightened our belts in the hopes and expectation that the town will support our schools in ways that are good for students and fair to teachers in the future.”

Alex Finnegan June 21, 2012 at 03:04 AM
It sounds like you have not read "A nation at risk" It was also Jesse James that told me to read it, but you have read it too? It's a fairly obscure book. I understood it perfectly, It sounds like you didn't. I fundamentally disagree with most of the book, as should you. You always tout finland the Korea, who have shorter school days. S. Korea pays teachers very highly as the book recommends (competitive). ALl ideas you are against. Once again, you didn't answer any of my questions. "How many tenured MA teachers have been fired for incompetency in the last 10 years? Doesn't matter this is Westford so probably very few, it's one of the best school systems in the state. How many tenured MA teachers have been fired for drug dealing in the last 10 years? You can't terminate someone who resigns. Don't' know if she was tenured or not but what about Jessical Palkes, Rosemarie Pumo? How many tenured MA teachers have been fired for statutory rape in the last 10 years?" Again you can't fire someone who resigns, But there was one, I can't remember her name. The kicker in all this is is all the result of your precious SI and school committee, teachers have nothing to do with those regulations. MA does not matter, this is westford. It's part of the Westford contract, I have no idea if it's part of anyone else's contract. So if all those teachers were terminated or resigned will you admit you were wrong?
Alex Finnegan June 21, 2012 at 03:15 AM
Why do we have charter schools, if our public schools are #1? Because some people like to have choices. Does the #1 ranking of our public schools retain its standing when compared to the various private and religious schools in MA? It doesn't matter, compare the states however you want. Massachusetts stacks up very well. Westford stacks up very well. Saying the U.S. is 25th in the world means nothing when there are 49 other states dragging MA down. How does MA stack up to the rest of the U.S. I've given you numerous examples none of which have been been up to your standards. Why don 't you provide them. Just MA, public private, whatever you want. You might find the studies you desire are not that easy to find. You aren't happy with any of my stats, evidence, studies. lets see your relevant ones showing how terrible MA schools are. Being 25th in the world means nothing when you have 49 plus the territories averaging MA down.
Andrew Sylvia June 21, 2012 at 03:48 AM
I'm beginning to think you three need to start a book club at the J.V. Fletcher Library for "A Nation at Risk." I'd be interested in covering it.
Andrew Sylvia June 21, 2012 at 03:51 AM
Okay, deleted one comment that insulted another user somewhat surreptitiously and deleted another that insulted another user more bluntly. C'mon people, knock it off. It's too hot for this.
Alex Finnegan June 21, 2012 at 06:18 PM
Thats the truth


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »