On November 12/13 after hours of mediated negotiations that lasted until close to 1AM, the MEA’s and the Board of Education’s negotiations teams reached a tentative settlement on our next collective bargaining agreement. We will be holding a district-wide meeting next Tuesday, December 1 in the Brown Middle School auditorium at 4:00 to go over the details of the new contract and to vote on its ratification.
Some of our members have questioned why they can’t see any of the details of the new contract prior to the ratification meeting. It is in our best interest to have the BOE and the MEA share the information and vote on the same day. It is not meant to keep the information a secret, but rather as a means to protect the political integrity of our contract. Please note: the BOE negotiating team follows the same protocol for the same reasons.
The ratification vote is to either vote yes–the MEA negotiating team was able to secure a deal that best protects our interests, or to vote no–the union would be better off going to arbitration. It is important to be aware of the history of arbitration. BOE’s win 51% of the items brought to the table. We could win on salary (which doesn’t mean it would be more than the current agreement) but lose on insurance. Even if we won on salary, it does not mean we would win for all three years of our upcoming contract. Going to arbitration also means the BOE will likely bring back their proposals that we fought off during negotiations which negatively impact teacher working conditions. We will discuss these proposals in detail at the ratification meeting and share recent decisions made through arbitration so you can make an informed decision at the meeting.
We look forward to sharing the mediated agreement with you on December 1st at 4:00 in the Brown School auditorium. Please make every effort to attend. Your voice and vote are critical elements in this process.