Wilmington School Committee, Teachers Union Agree On New Contract

WILMINGTON, MA — The Wilmington School Committee and Wilmington Teachers Association have struck a deal.

After months of negotiations, both sides have come to terms on a 1-year contract covering September 1, 2017 through August 31, 2018, followed by a 3-year contract covering September 1, 2018 through August 31, 2021.

Teachers will receive a 2.25% cost of living adjustment during the current 1-year contract and 2% cost of living adjustments annually during the 3-year contract.

In addition to the 2% cost of living adjustments, teachers will see an annual “market rate adjustment” during the 3-year contract. Each adjustment, on average, works out to an approximate 1% increase.

“The market rate adjustment resulted from an analysis and comparison of Wilmington’s salary schedule to 28 other surrounding School Districts,” explained Interim Superintendent Paul Ruggerio. “The results showed that, on average, Wilmington’s salary schedule fell below comparable Districts and the parties wanted to narrow the gap.  The Town of Wilmington and the Wilmington Public Schools strive to pay our employees a fair wage somewhere in the middle of comparable towns/districts.”

“We worked extensively with the teachers to try make up the disparity between their pay scale with that of their peers, while keeping in mind the hardships of all the taxpayers of Wilmington,” added School Committee Chair Steve Bjork.  “We certainly don’t want the Wilmington school system seen as the lowest paid system in the region.  We want our district to excel. We want the best possible teachers we can secure and we appreciate the teachers we have on staff. ”

Some language changes to the contract — compared to the most previous contract — are highlighted below:

Personal Days: Personal days will be prorated for part time employees.

Vacancies: Notice of bargaining unit vacancies for the following year or season shall be exclusively posted internally for a period of seven (7) calendar days.  Notice of openings for the current school year shall be exclusively posted internally for two (2) calendar days.  Any subsequent postings for the position will be posted internally and externally simultaneously.

Interdisciplinary Block: All high school bargaining unit members shall be assigned a group of students during the Interdisciplinary Block.  It is the intent of the parties to not exceed ten (10) students and to assign students equitably among unit members, whenever possible.  Two times each month, a portion of this block (maximum of 15 minutes each), shall be considered an Advisory.  During the Advisory time, the advisor shall deliver curriculum to students based on topics and curriculum provided by the school district.  Bargaining unit members will not be required to prepare for Advisory time, nor will they be required to complete recordkeeping or evaluation of students, except for taking attendance.  Prior to the start of each school year, the parties will meet to review how the Advisory block worked and make any modifications to the program, if necessary.

Duties: Principals will meet with representatives of the Association to develop a list of current duties.  In the event that a building principal wishes to assign a new duty, the following process will be followed: should an individual building principal desire to implement a new administrative duty, he/she shall meet with representative(s) from the Association at the building level to explain the rationale for the duty.  Duties will be equitably distributed among all bargaining unit members at the school.

Opening Day: Parties agreed to greater flexibility on the first day of the teacher’s school year to allow the District to cover necessary meetings/topics and for teachers to prepare their classrooms.

The School Committee approved the contracts, which had already been ratified by the Wilmington Teachers Association, during an Executive Session Meeting on Monday, November 20.

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