The School Committee approved an agreement for a new three-year contract with the 675-member Revere Teachers Association (RTA) at its meeting last Tuesday. The new contract will see modest cost of living raises for union members over the next three years, as well as additional personal time and increases in longevity pay.
School Committee Member Carol Tye, who has been involved in some manner in every teacher contract negotiation since 1967, officially announced the agreement at the meeting. “The first contract came in 1967 and since then, every single one of them has had a huge problem with funding because the city, being not a very rich one, is never able to pay our employees as much money as they deserve and that we would like to give them,” said Tye. “But we have come up with a compromise, and the essence of negotiation is compromise.”
The Cost-Of-Living Adjustment (COLA) is 2.5 percent for the first year of the contract, 2.5 percent for the second year and two percent for the third year.
“The school department and the teachers association worked on professional development language and stipends for various professional development,” said Tye.
There was also work on grievance language that Tye said could create a speedier and less complicated procedure for grievances. She said the agreement also addresses new grading language and online courses.
“We also gave them additional personal leave,” said Tye. “As you know, our school system is open much longer than the bare minimum required by the state of 180 days. Our kids go to school for 182 days, and there are other days on which our teachers report.”
The contract also has incentives to reward those teachers who have been in the system for 10 years or more. “Recognizing that many of our staff have devoted their lives to teaching in Revere, and many more plan to spend their professional lives in Revere, we made adjustments to the existing longevity schedule, ranging from 10 years at $2,000 to 35 years at $6,000,” said Tye, adding that the sick leave buyback was also increased.
The agreement also increased the number of days people can take for bereavement and other leave as necessary, and it gives the superintendent the discretion in extraordinary cases to allow more leave than is prescribed in the agreement.
“It was very difficult, and it should be, because there should be an exchange of ideas,” said Tye. “I’ve been in on the first contract that came out in 1967, and I’ve been in on every one ever since, and none of them have ever been easy.”
Barbara Wallace, the acting RTA president, said the union was pleased with the vote. “The Revere Teachers Association is pleased that the School Committee voted [Tuesday night] to ratify our MOA [Memorandum of Agreement],” said Wallace. “Our teachers of this city have been working without a contract since June of this year. We are glad this is settled, so that we can focus on caring for and educating the students of Revere Public Schools.”