Amherst: Yes on 15
March 10. 2018 5:43PM
To the Editor: I am writing to ask Amherst voters to support Article 15, the collective bargaining agreement between the Amherst School Board and Amherst Education Association. Amherst's PreK-8 teachers have been working under an expired agreement for two years, and this four-year agreement provides stability for teachers, the Amherst School District and taxpayers, allowing stakeholders to better plan for the future.
The new agreement addresses board and AEA concerns about salary, experience, health insurance, and retirement. Health insurance concessions were made to shift more of the premiums toward teachers each year and a scaled approach to retirement will shift to a model that yields significant savings for the district over time.
Teachers who have not been paid according to experience for the past two years under an expired collective bargaining agreement will have their experience steps corrected over two years, while the agreement also addresses teachers at the top of the salary scale who did not receive cost of living adjustments in four of the previous five years.
Negotiations were productive, with the board and AEA able to reach mutual goals through a collaborative process. Both teachers and board members are deeply committed to providing Amherst PreK-8 students with a high-quality education and allowing every student to succeed. This new agreement will help achieve these goals while remaining fiscally responsible.
Amherst teachers are grateful for the ongoing support of parents and community members, and teachers ask for your continued support by voting yes on Article 15.
Amherst Education Association