Brookline educators and school board reach contractual agreement

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BROOKLINE, MA — Brookline Public Schools reopened on Tuesday after the Brookline Educators Union (BEU) and the School Committee reached an agreement on contracts covering the period of 2020 through 2026.

The two sides have been negotiating since Saturday and BEU members have authorized a strike for Monday if a new contract is not signed by Sunday evening. As a result, all schools were closed on Monday and educators gathered outside Brookline Town Hall.

As of Tuesday morning, the BEU and the school committee agreed on terms relating to salaries, diversity of educators, preparation of teachers and joint planning time.

“We recognize that the process of reaching these agreements has been a strain,” the school board said in a statement. “We thank students, caregivers and the community for their patience and understanding as we finalize these agreements that will advance Brookline’s mission of a great education for every child.”

Here are the main agreements of the new contract:

  • A general increase of 6% in all salaries, allowances and longevity payments from September 1, 2020 to August 31, 2021, followed by an increase of 8% over the period from September 1, 2023 to August 30, 2026 and another 1 percent on August 31, 2026. These increases are in addition to contractual “steps” that provide automatic annual salary increases for most teachers based on years of experience. Sixty-three percent of Brookline teachers currently receive these increments, which increase the salaries of these teachers by an average of 3.7 percent each year in addition to the increases cited above.
  • Beginning in the fall of 2023 and for the first time since 2013, the “longevity bonus” (additional compensation for long-term Brookline teachers who have reached the highest salary step) will be increased as follows:
    • For educators with 11 to 14 years of service: $1,008 to $1,252 in additional compensation (previously $964)
    • For educators with 15 to 19 years of service: $2,016 to $2,504 in additional compensation (previously $1,233)
    • For educators with 20 to 24 years of service: $3,024 to $3,756 in additional compensation (previously $2,036)
    • For educators with more than 25 years of service: $4,032 to $5,008 in additional compensation (previously $2,305)
  • The contract recognizes that the superintendent has the authority to grant professional teacher status to educators, including educators from underrepresented groups, as soon as permitted by law and defines a “workforce diversity task force and Underrepresented Staff” to “identify specific strategies and actions to take to improve the district’s ability to attract and retain a diverse workforce.”
  • The contract also updates the teachers’ daily preparation time as follows:
    • K-5 teachers will continue to receive 40 minutes of preparation per day under the guarantees of the previous contract;
    • Teachers in grades 6-8 will receive at least 40 minutes of preparation per full school day;
    • Grades 9-12 teachers will have one unassigned block per full school day; and
    • From 2025, most specialist teachers (e.g. art, world languages, physical education) will have one free period per day.

Patch will update this article when we receive a statement from the BEU.

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