Mayor Menino, BPS and Boston Teachers Union reach tentative agreement on teachers’ contract
Mayor Thomas M. Menino, in a joint press conference with Boston Public Schools Superintendent Carol R. Johnson and leaders of the Boston Teachers Union announced a tentative agreement was reached early Wednesday morning on a labor contract that reflects the city’s student-focused plan to improve academic quality, increase graduation rates, and close achievement gaps.
“This contract is a big step forward in taking our school system to the next level – it’s what’s best for our students, it works for our teachers, and is fair to our taxpayers,” Mayor Menino said. “Teachers will now have the support they need to perform, schools will have the flexibility they need to succeed, and most importantly, students will be closer to having the district they need to grow and compete.”
The six-year contract, retroactive to August 1, 2010, includes:
- A streamlined evaluation system that uses student growth and parent feedback as a measure of progress to help good teachers become great and make sure students are learning. For the first time, new teachers who receive an unsatisfactory evaluation will not be eligible for step (salary) increases.
Staffing and hiring flexibility so school leaders can select the right teacher for every classroom, replacing an outdated seniority-driven system
- A 12 percent salary increase over six years to lift the current average salary well above today’s $81,633
Scheduling flexibility to give BPS greater control over the professional development teachers receive
- Lower class size limits and more support staff for lower-performing schools in targeted grades to drive performance
Strengthened student and parent input with increased student presence on high school school-site councils. Parent presence on the councils will more closely reflect the diversity of the student population in the school – both in terms of demographics and also student needs.
“This contract gives us the tools and the flexibilities to put the right teacher in every classroom,” Johnson said. “Now, our school leaders can finally place the right teacher with the students who need them the most. Our teachers, too, will have an educator evaluation system that helps them maximize their potential and do their best work every single day."
The agreement reflects the priorities of the Boston Public Schools’ Acceleration Agenda. The proposed teacher evaluation system aligns with state requirements, which BPS has already launched this year in all schools. New state regulations require the use of student growth data as a significant portion of teacher evaluations -- and within that, a blend of students in a teacher's classroom and whole-school growth will be considered.
“The Boston Teachers Union entered these negotiations seeking a contract that is good for students, affordable to the city, and fair to our members. We accomplished all we set out to do,” said BTU President Richard Stutman. “We seek a school system that offers the best education it can for our students. We have accomplished that as well.”
The new contract achieves the goal of offering all BPS schools access to similar flexibilities that the city’s successful Pilot, Turnaround, In-District Charter and Innovation Schools already enjoy.
The agreement is now subject to ratification by the union and approval by the Boston School Committee.