To Members of the WPS Community,
We wanted to share a further update on our negotiations with the Wellesley Educators Association (WEA).
We are looking forward to meeting with the WEA on Wednesday, February 8, to continue our negotiations and have plans to meet at least one additional time before February break.
The parties have met 41 times since negotiations began last February. By our count, we have reached tentative agreement on 34 proposals brought forward by the Wellesley Educators Association, nine items of mutual interest and only one proposal brought forward by the School Committee. There are a number of proposals still on the table from both sides, including compensation.
In December, the School Committee felt we were too far apart on many issues and were making no significant progress so we petitioned for mediation in an effort to seek help from the state. While we thought mediation would start quickly, it is clear from the news around the state that the Department of Labor Relations has been processing many such petitions.
Last week, after six weeks of waiting, the WEA and the School Committee were directed by the DLR to go back to the bargaining table to try to narrow or resolve our open items before mediation could begin. The School Committee reached out to the WEA immediately to schedule additional sessions. We suggested meeting this week, but the WEA wanted to wait until next week, so we will meet then. We want to get this done as soon as possible. We know that continuing without a contract is hard on our teachers, staff, administration, and the community as a whole.
We are hopeful that both sides will come together next week and begin to find some middle ground. We will update the community as soon as we are able to.
We deeply appreciate our teachers and staff and highly value the work they do to educate our students. The School Committee remains committed to reaching an agreement that is fair and equitable to Wellesley educators and that fulfills our responsibility of providing the best education to Wellesley students, while also working within the budget parameters set by the Town.
The Wellesley School Committee
Leda Eizenberg, Chair
Linda Chow, Vice Chair
Craig E. Mack, Ed.D., Secretary
Melissa Martin, Member
Catherine Mirick, Member