Watertown TAB: Teacher Contract Negotiations

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Timeline Due to budget cuts, school fears it will lose 13.5 positions in FY2010 The School Committee’s budget subcommittee said 7.5 positions would be teaching positions, while the other 5.5 positions would be administrative, guidance-related, or custodial positions. With a $615,000 budget gap to close, the School Committee said they hoped to reduce the amount of staff in order save programs from being cut.
Timeline Watertown School Committee holds off on budget vote The School Committee did not vote on a proposed fiscal year 2010 budget on Thursday night, hoping that in the coming days it will receive good news that could allow it to change the budget.
Timeline FY 2011 Budget approved by Town Council FY 2011 budget is approved in June, the school district received $33.5 million, a 2 percent increase from fiscal 2010 and $500,000 short of maintaining level services.
Timeline School year starts without contract A month after their contract expires, Watertown Educators Association President Deb King rallies with 100 fellow co-workers – all wearing red WEA t-shirts during a staff gathering.
“We are faced with a WEA sea of red T-shirts, but unlike the other Red Sea, we won’t be parted,” she said, followed by union members erupting in applause. “We stand united. We have WEA pride. We are progressive, responsive, integral to the success of our students, devoted and effective. We shall build a bridge with a
Timeline Scheduling difficulties delay negotiations School district officials and the Watertown Educators Association hope to resume negotiations on teacher contracts in mid-October, but are still trying to settle on a date.
Superintendent Ann Koufman-Frederick said they’re hoping for Oct. 13, but it’s a complex task to find a time that works for 10 or 15 people with full-time jobs. http://www.wickedlocal.com/watertown/news/x1380096889/Watertown-teachers-union-look-to-negotiate-contract-next-month#ixzz1hsRAhivg
Timeline Teachers storm superintendent’s office, demand contract A delegation of about 40 Watertown Public Schools teachers and staff delivered a petition to Superintendent Ann Koufman-Frederick calling for her to take swift action on their contract.
“We are here as a representative sampling of all those who have signed their names in the hope that you will exercise your leadership in helping settle a fair and reasonable contract, one that acknowledges the value of educators to this district,” read Watertown Educators Association (WEA) member Maureen Regan fr
Timeline Contract talks resume Citing an overemphasis on technology, Watertown Educators Association President Debra King said in an email that the group is concerned about Superintendent Ann Koufman-Frederick’s management of the district’s budget. The emphasis should be on good teachers, not gadgets, King said.
“The priority should be placed upon recruiting and retaining great teachers so that our schools will continue to thrive,” she wrote. http://www.wickedlocal.com/watertown/news/x4800424/Watertown-teachers-contract-sti
Timeline Koufman-Frederick responds to petition from teachers Koufman-Frederick released a response to the teachers on Nov. 5, writing that the School Committee is responsible for negotiating the new contract but she was working alongside the committee with a focus on saving jobs and providing support teachers need.
She told the teachers and staff she agreed that it is they, not technology, that has the greatest impact on students’ academic development, and described the current economic situation as the most difficult one she’d seen in her career.
“The ma
Timeline Year ends in no contract, different ideas about the hold up The Watertown teacher’s union and members of the School Committee have different ideas about what is holding up the contract negotiations that have been hotly debated since August.
Paolillo said it is the committee’s goal to maintain as many of the available services as the finances will allow. After receiving an additional $265,000 from one-time infusion of federal funding, they were able to restore and support teaching positions, which used $140,000 of the funding.
“The remaining $125,000 will
Timeline Tentative agreement reached in new Watertown teacher contract After months of negotiation, the Watertown Educators Associate and the Watertown School Committee have come to a “tentative” agreement regarding teacher contracts.
WEA President Debra King confirmed with the Watertown TAB & Press that a tentative agreement had been reached on Jan. 25, but the specifics of the contract will not be disclosed until the WEA membership and the School Committee vote on the terms.
“I think everyone is pleased,” King told the Watertown TAB & Press. “We all considered t
Timeline Watertown Educators Association ratifies new contract The Watertown Educators Association has ratified a recent teacher contract agreement after months of negotiations with the School Committee.
Committee members are expected to follow suit during their meeting on Thursday. http://www.wickedlocal.com/watertown/news/x1371484829/Watertown-Educators-Association-ratifies-new-contract#ixzz1hsYIWOfF
Timeline Watertown School Committee postpones teacher contract vote Dozens of teachers filled the Council Chambers anticipating a vote of approval on the new contract they had been fighting for since August, only to learn they would have to wait a few more weeks.
At the Feb. 10 School Committee meeting, Chairman Tony Paolillo announced to the teachers, town councilors and other audience members that they would like to discuss the impact the contract would have with the Town Council before they take a vote.
“We will bring it back as soon as possible for a vote, b
Timeline Deb King’s writes a letter to the TAB in response to non-vote http://www.wickedlocal.com/watertown/news/x1349633735/Letter-Teachers-contract-negotiations-have-taken-a-wrong-turn#axzz1hg3minAD
Timeline Still no new meeting on teacher contract A month after Watertown teachers ratified a new contract, it remains unsigned and is not likely to be signed at the School Committee meeting next week.
The teachers union president has criticized delaying the vote, but committee chairman Tony Paolillo said the contents of the contract – which have not yet been made public – are not behind the delay.
“[The contract is] an issue, but it’s the total package,” Paolillo told the Watertown TAB & Press. “It’s a loss of the stimulus money. If it wasn’t
Timeline 4 percent raise would layoffs for Watertown teachers The proposed teachers’ contract would give educators a 4 percent raise over three years, which could lead to 15 to 35 layoffs throughout the school system. But while the teachers are fine with that, the town has had second thoughts. http://www.wickedlocal.com/watertown/news/x698034103/4-percent-raise-would-mean-layoffs-for-Watertown-teachers#ixzz1hsaiCFYi
Timeline Watertown Superintendent: No budget increases could close elementary school If the Watertown Public Schools do not receive an increase over last year’s budget, Superintendent Ann Koufman-Frederick said she will be forced to consider closing an elementary school, eliminating middle school sports and maximizing class sizes. http://www.wickedlocal.com/watertown/news/x2011268197/Watertown-superintendent-No-budget-increase-could-close-elementary-school#ixzz1hsd95MrY
Timeline Watertown teachers say layoffs were not part of the negotiations, School Committee disagrees While the teachers union insists layoffs were not mentioned during negotiations for their new contract, school officials say they were told raises would cause job loss. http://www.wickedlocal.com/watertown/news/x13282380/Watertown-teachers-union-town-clash-on-layoffs#ixzz1hsevwT2P
Timeline Cunniff School parents fear of possible school closing Following Superintendent Ann Koufman-Frederick’s fiscal 2012 budget scenario presentation to the School Committee on Monday, a Cunniff parent said it was like being stabbed in the heart when she read in the Watertown TAB last week that she might lose her school. http://www.wickedlocal.com/watertown/news/x1777827268/Cunniff-parents-fear-possible-school-closing-in-Watertown#ixzz1hsfgDUMo
Timeline Superintendent, School Committee lampooned at joint budget meeting With two weeks to go before the school budget is up for approval, town officials sharply criticized the School Committee and Superintendent Ann Koufman-Frederick at a meeting, saying numbers don’t add up and that options like closing the Cunniff School should not have been put on the table.
Timeline School Committee votes against teacher contract The School Committee voted down approval of a contract that would give teachers a 4 percent raise over the next two years.
"As much as we would love to support an MOA that gives teachers raises, we can't ignore the fact that the town has real fiscal challenges," said School Committee member Laurie McManus.
Timeline Numbers don’t add up in Watertown teacher contract negotiations Before the Apr. 4 School Committee meeting in which the School Committee voted down the union-approved teachers’ contract, WEA President Debra King said that that over the past three years, 94 new teachers have been hired to replace the ones that have left and only a small fraction retired.
But a three-year analysis done by the Watertown Public Schools shows that 78 total teachers left. Of these teachers, 29 retired and seven left for another district.
Timeline Watertown School Committee asks for 2 percent budget increase Despite pleas from parents requesting a level service budget, the School Committee voted Tuesday night to ask for a 2 percent increase for Fiscal 2012.
The vote was nearly unanimous, with Town Council President Mark Sideris voting "present." Sideris said he wanted to look at the entire budget after the town budget comes in.
Timeline Watertown Superintendent Koufman-Frederick leaves for Newton Superintendent Ann Koufman-Frederick has left her job for a position in Newton.
Koufman-Frederick will become Deputy Superintendent of Teaching & Learning in the Newton Public Schools this summer, according to a letter she gave to the School Committee Wednesday afternoon. http://www.wickedlocal.com/watertown/news/x90881233/Watertown-Superintendent-Koufman-Frederick-leaves-for-Newton#ixzz1hsmW2TzT
Timeline Hosmer School bus on the chopping block in Watertown school budget While four teacher positions stand to be cut in the revised school budget as opposed to the previously projected 10, the bus bringing children to the Hosmer school is still on the chopping block. http://www.wickedlocal.com/watertown/news/x1539856821/Hosmer-school-bus-could-be-cut-in-Watertown-school-budget#ixzz1hsn3rjR0
Timeline Watertown teachers march on Town Hall to protest Dozens of Watertown Educators Association members marched from the Watertown Middle School to the front steps of Watertown Town Hall demanding that the School Committee give them their contract and that they give it to them now.
Timeline Watertown teachers union will cut back on non-contract activities According to a letter sent to the Watertown TAB by the WEA, starting May 23, teachers will only enter the schools “at the contractually obligated times” instead of coming in early and will no longer maintain teacher websites, barring the elementary level student instructional pages.
Timeline Watertown School Committee chair steps back from negotiations School Committee Chairman Tony Paolillo said he has taken a break from the negotiating table and according to another town official, reaching an agreement may be more likely if School Committee Vice Chair John Portz and member David Leon have a chance to work with the teachers.
Timeline Parents, students protest Watertown school budget While Watertown’s schools are getting a 2 percent increase in this year’s $34 million budget, parents and students think that’s not enough.
“My main comment tonight is that I don’t see a strong reaction from the council,” Parent Alli McCrary told the Town Council on May 31. “I see a lot of sympathy for other departments when they struggle and I don’t see that tonight.”
Timeline Parent reaction mixed over contract negotiations Every morning, members of the Watertown Educators’ Association members stand together outside the Hosmer School before classes start to remind residents that they want their contracts.
But parents of the Watertown Public Schools have mixed feelings about their tactics.
Timeline Watertown says goodbye to old superintendent, welcomes Jean Fitzgerald The School Committee unanimously voted to appoint Assistant Superintendent Jean Fitzgerald as the interim superintendent for the next school year to fill the void that will be left by Superintendent Ann Koufman-Frederick on June 30 when she heads to Newton.
Timeline Watertown teachers union files complaint against School Committee The teachers’ union has picketed and protested about their lack of a contract, and now they’ve filed a complaint against the School Committee with the state labor relations board, alleging they’ve been bargaining in bad faith.
Timeline Paolillo pledges to negotiate through the summer http://www.wickedlocal.com/watertown/news/x977393388/Watertown-School-Committee-chair-We-will-negotiate-with-teachers-over-summer#axzz1hg3minAD
Timeline Open letter from Cunniff School parents to Watertown School Committee http://www.wickedlocal.com/watertown/news/x1721563532/Open-letter-from-Cunniff-parents-to-Watertown-School-Committee#axzz1hg3minAD
Timeline Watertown teachers could further reduce activities if no contract is reached Although both sides want to reach a contract agreement before the school year begins on Sept. 6, teachers could still start the year without a contract. And that means they won’t participate in some activities, like buying classroom decorations or starting school before the contractually set time.
Timeline Watertown parent pushes for teacher contract breakthrough As teachers are cutting back on non-contractual activities to protest the lack of a new contract, one Watertown parent is trying to rally other parents to petition the School Committee to come up with a contract.
Timeline Watertown officials fire back after teacher contract letter A week after Watertown parents sent a letter to town officials demanding they negotiate a contract with teachers, the Town Manager and School Committee responded, refusing to approve a contract that would lead to job losses and saying any contract needs both officials and teachers to work together.
Timeline Parents criticize Watertown manager, School Committee over teacher contract More than 100 residents, parents and teachers attended Thursday's School Committee meeting, and the majority wanted to see the committee quickly settle with the teachers' union in their ongoing negotiations over a contract.
Timeline State to scrutinize Watertown teacher contract negotiation complaint The state labor relations board will hold a hearing with the teachers union and the School Committee on charges that the committee bargained in bad faith when it rejected a proposed contract in April.http://www.wickedlocal.com/watertown/news/x898695717/State-to-scrutinize-Watertown-teacher-contract-negotiation-complaint#ixzz1ht2H3Mkj
Timeline Bonus squabble led to teacher contract disintegration The School Committee and Watertown Educators Association (WEA) met Wednesday to make a final stab at settling the teacher contracts, but negotiations fell apart over the timing of a teacher bonus, representatives from both sides said.