In full transparency, the following is a press release
NATICK – The Natick School Committee and the Education Association of Natick jointly announced today, June 16, a three-year collective bargaining agreement.
The two groups participated in interest-based bargaining to reach the new deal. Through the process, concerns were resolved using a problem-solving method rather than exchanging proposals and counter-proposals.
This approach resulted in a collaborative path to the new three-year contract agreement, which runs through the 2024-25 school year.
The new agreement includes restructures of current pay scales, policies, and clarification of professional responsibilities for some staff. The deal also adds classroom resources to address student needs, expands professional development opportunities, and creates sub-committees to evaluate future areas of interest.
“We thank the Education Association of Natick for their collaboration and cooperation in reaching this new deal,” said School Committee Chair Cathi Collins. “This agreement reflects the School Committee’s commitment to our teachers and staff, the majority of whom have more than 10 years of teaching experience. NPS would not have weathered the last two years of instruction without their commitment. They have already helped remediate the effects of the pandemic and will continue to do so for years to come. This agreement makes Natick a more competitive district by restructuring our pay scales and offering additional benefits. Offering parent-teacher conferences at the middle and high schools afford families an additional opportunity to engage and partner with their child’s teachers for ongoing student success. I firmly believe this is a good deal for our employees, families, and taxpayers.”
Highlights of the agreement include a competitive pay schedule for staff and Unit B administration:
- Consolidation and restructuring of the district’s pay steps from 15 to 14 for Unit A, restructuring of pay scales for Unit B, and pay increases for summer school nurses.
- Two additional steps added to Unit A (Step 20 in 2023-24 and Step 25 in 2024-25) to acknowledge and reward teachers who spend their careers at NPS.
- Cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) of three percent for the 2022-23 school year and two percent each of the following two years for a seven percent total increase for Unit A.
- Unit B’s COLA is 2.3 percent for FY23, 1.5 percent for FY24, and one percent for FY25.
- Occupational therapists, physical therapists, and board-certified behavioral analysts added to Unit A.
- Adjusting the district’s family and medical leave/parental leave policy to add time off for non-birthing and adoptive parents.
- Birth mothers now have 12 weeks of parental leave, adoptive parents have eight weeks, and non-birthing parents receive four weeks and all may use their available sick days for pay during these periods.
- Adding special education coordinator positions and Unit B positions to address staffing needs.
- Revised language on the district’s leave policies.
- A revision to the sick bank policy allows for the caring of a sick family member.
- Allows qualifying personnel to exchange 12.5 banked sick days per year for one personal plus day.
- Addition of a half-day of parent-teacher conferences at the middle schools and high school.
- Adds clarification of the professional responsibilities of part-time staff members and staff that are members of multiple professional learning communities (PLC).
- Reorganization and added leadership opportunities for teachers to ensure every PLC has a leader.
- Creates exploratory sub-committees to evaluate start/end times for schools, elementary school schedules, and the district’s annual in-service learning day.
- Increases the tuition reimbursement amount and creates additional professional development opportunities.
- Tuition reimbursements increase from $36,000/year to $45,000/year.
- The district provides professional development coursework to offer Master’s-level teachers and vice-principals a way to gain training and content knowledge in the area of Natick’s Profile of an Educator core competencies.
- Sets more consistent standards on graduate courses accepted for lane movement.
- Restructures middle school intramural pay as follows:
- Current intramural pay raised to $35.72 (same as middle school coverage) with a three percent COLA ($36.79 for 2022-2023).
- Middle school athletic coordinator pay raised to freshmen pay with a three percent COLA (Step 1 – $2,961, Step 2 – $3,175, Step 3 – $3,595.73 for 2022-2023).
- Adds middle school Unified basketball stipend with a three percent COLA (Step 1 – $1,422.02, Step 2 – $the 1,525.22, Step 3 – $1,726.07 for 2022-2023).
“We have appreciated the support of our School Committee and our school administrators in this collaborative effort,” said the Education Association of Natick. “Our partnership has brought about a new contract that benefits all stakeholders and is highly responsive to the wishes and needs of educators, administrators, and the community. Over the life of this contract, we are also mutually committed to exploring additional goals to further the success of our district in response to its students, always essential to our decision-making process.”
“I’m grateful to the Education Association of Natick for working in concert with our team to reach this new agreement. Our collective approach to this process was a reflection of our shared desire to recognize our commitment to our tenured teachers and staff. We want Natick to be a district of choice for educators of all levels, and I believe this deal reflects necessary changes to ensure our teachers and staff are generously compensated and rewarded for their work. We also share an eagerness for our families to have additional opportunities to engage with teachers and partner with them for ongoing student success. I look forward to our next years together, powered by this contract that cares for our staff and inspires us all to continue to do our best for Natick’s children,” said Natick Superintendent Anna Nolin.