BOSTON – The City of Boston and the Boston Teachers Union have struck a deal for a new teachers contract that will give educators a 5 percent raise, including those district officials would rather fire.
The new contract will give the BTU’s roughly 6,500 members a retroactive 2 percent raise for last school year, and another 3 percent raise for the current year, regardless of whether they deserve it or not, the Boston Globe reports.
“More critical is what the contract doesn’t address. Unquestionably, the one issue screaming for reform is that the tenured teachers who land I the ‘excessed pool’ and are unable to find a lead teaching position but still get a paycheck,” a recent Globe editorial read. “The city was seeking the ability to discharge these teachers after a reasonable period of time, while the union wanted to protect their jobs.”
Union officials got their way, meaning 87 teachers who are not wanted in the classroom will continue to collect their salary, which averages $90,467, the Boston Herald reports.
Those teachers lost their jobs for poor performance, and they’ve been given make-work with co-teaching and other positions, but will still receive about $7.3 million in salary with the raises because city and union negotiators neglected to address the issue.
The pro-charter school group Democrats For Education Reform contend that the majority of local taxpayers aren’t too happy about the inaction.
DEFR released a poll of local residents conducted in May – amid the contract negotiations – that shows most think the unwanted educators should not receive a full salary, according to the news site.
“Almost half of those surveyed said unwanted teachers should not get full salaries, and that number jumped to 57 percent when respondents were told the average teacher salary was more than $90,000,” the Herald reports. “Twenty-four percent said unwanted teachers should get full salaries while 19 percent were unsure.”
“When presented with the facts, voters agree with the district that we should invest in programs that directly affect kids,” DEFR’s Liam Kerr told the Herald.
Others, like those at the Boston Municipal Research Bureau, seem to agree. The Bureau’s Sam Tyler chastised the Boston school committee last week for inking a new contract that lacks “bold reform.”
“Parents are basically in sync with what the administration position has been but there is no resolution, and there should be,” Tyler told the Herald after a meeting last week.
Union officials, meanwhile, continue to defend the multi-million expense of paying union teachers that schools don’t want to hire.
BTU President Jessica Tang claimed the DEFR poll “flawed and invalid” and described those banished from lead teaching positions as “experienced and committed BPS teachers.”
“It is dated, it’s based on inaccurate numbers, it misrepresents the situation and tries to pit the public against experienced and committed BPS teachers,” Tang said of the DEFR poll.