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Labor Negotiations

Westfield Teachers Vote to Accept Contract

Members of the Westfield Education Association, Unit A, approved the tentative contract. Details of the contract can be found at http://westfield.massteacher.org/news/contract.html. This puts the ball squarely back in the court of the City Council who will vote on Thursday to move $744,345 out of the stabilization account and back into the city's budget where it can be used to offset the $864,345 that was cut by the City Council in June.

Let's not take this vote for granted! Please call your you City Councilor and tell them to vote yes on putting the money back in the budget with no strings attached. Click here for more details on the vote.

More Details on the Tentative Agreement With Teachers

We have more complete details on what's in the tentative agreement. These figures have been compiled from a Westfield Evening News report:

  • It's a one year contract
  • More than $500,000 in concessions were made by the teachers, $537,400 to be exact
  • Teachers gave up enough to allow them to bring librarians back to the elementary schools
  • Lori Hovey, the Westfield Education Association President called the deal "fair and equitable" and said she hoped the City Council would do the right thing and bring the money back
  • $265,000 in professional development money was cut
  • $175,600 saved with a one-day teacher furlough
  • $98,000 in long-term substitute retroactive payments cut

According to the School Committee Vice Chairman, Kevin Sullivan, the deal "allows us to keep nine teaching positions and to save more than $200,000 in unemployment insurance payments over and above the actual savings, bring librarians back into the elementary, middle, and high schools." The article does not make clear whether Sullivan meant these things would happen even if the City Councilors voted against restoring the money next week.

Deal Struck Between City and Teachers

The leadership of the Westfield Education Association (WEA) agreed to over $475,000 in concessions which are detailed on the WEA website.

More details soon as they become available.

Westfield Teachers Vow to Come Away With a Deal

The Westfield Education Association (WEA), the union that represents approximately 575 teachers still negotiating with the city, has issued a statement on their website saying that they are determined to come away with a deal this Thursday.

From the WEA website:

The WEA Team goes back to the table on July 22nd and we aren't leaving the room until we have a deal in place. We will be working with a mediator which should help us expedite the process and seeing as we ALL (both sides) are very motivated to solve this problem, we are feeling very positive about the outcome.

Westfield school cuts over union conflict total $1.8 million

TV 40 Coverage

As published on WGGB.com:

"Mayor Daniel Knapik said the move on the part of the council to institute a budget cut for the schools is unjustifiable, and could result in the closing of Juniper Park School. Other measures that could be necessary include the elimination of art and music programs at every level and the loss of teachers, counselors and coaches."

Westfield Teachers Challenge Councilors Flaherty and Keefe

The Westfield Education Association (WEA), the union that represent approximately 575 teachers in Westfield, issued a statement that challenges Councilors Flaherty and Keefe on their roles in cutting the school budget.

From the WEA website:

Do you realize that your insistence on cutting teacher step raises and longevity pay flies in the face of the law? As you have been told dozens of times by the Mayor, the Superintendent, and the City Solicitor, step raises and longevity pay cannot be cut without first changing the state laws. You are part of the legislative branch of government on the Westfield City Council, you're not in the legislative or judicial branch of the State government, you can't make and judge the laws.

Negotiations break down between Westfield teachers' union, school officials

The Westfield Education Association, the union that represents over 570 teachers in Westfield, and the Westfield School Department were unable to come to an agreement on a new contract. As a result, the teachers decided to seek the assistance of a mediator to try to help the two sides come to an agreement.

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