Dear Members of the WPS Community:
We wanted to provide you with an update on the status of contract negotiations between the School Committee and the Wellesley Educators Association (WEA).
The School Committee (SC) and the WEA held our third mediation session on Thursday, April 6th. Unfortunately, we were unable to reach an agreement during that session. The SC’s bargaining team had been previously informed that the WEA would bring with them a counterproposal to the SC’s March 22 package; however, the WEA did not. The WEA team worked on a package while at the session and, more than two hours later, presented the School Committee with a document that included minimal movement and little sign of compromise.
The School Committee deeply values and appreciates our dedicated and capable teachers and staff, and believes that is reflected in our proposed compensation package, which collectively would provide unprecedented pay increases for our support staff and educators. For example, Teaching Assistants and Paraprofessionals on steps, which are the majority of Unit C members, would receive between a 30% and 35% wage increase over 4 years. We are also pleased that our current proposal would keep Wellesley teachers among the highest paid in the state. The magnitude of this proposal further demonstrates the seriousness with which the Committee has sought to settle the contract.
Following mediation on Thursday night, the WEA announced on social media that on Monday, April 10, its members would begin taking part in a job action known as work to rule, which essentially means working strictly to the terms outlined in their contract. While the district has not been formally notified of this decision, we wanted to assure WPS families that the school days will continue as usual, as well as sports and other contracted extracurricular activities. The school administration will closely monitor any impact that the WEA’s decision to work to rule may have on children’s education.
Our next mediation session is scheduled for April 25. We will continue to keep the community informed to the extent that we are able. We encourage all members of the community to read the FAQ, which has been updated with more detailed information on the status of negotiations.
Linda Chow and Catherine Mirick
Members of the Wellesley School Committee Bargaining Team