City and Union Officials are Optimistic about Passage of Contract that Provides Raises for Teachers, Further Clarification about Parity Clause, Outlines Layoff Practices
Mayor Jorge Elorza and Providence Teachers Union President Maribeth Calabro today announced several changes to the proposal to create a three-year contract for Providence teachers.
“Our teachers are invaluable to this city and its communities,” said Mayor Elorza. “They are on the front lines doing the essential work of educating our children and preparing them to succeed. I thank the Providence Teachers Union and their leadership. Today, we are even closer to ensuring that our teachers have the resources and the stability that will move the Providence Public Schools forward.”
“It has been a long three months, and I am grateful for the opportunity to bring this negotiated amendment to my membership for a vote,” said PTU President Maribeth Calabro. “Having defined language regarding the manner in which layoffs are conducted and a ratified contract is important to all teachers so that we may dedicate our time and energy as professional educators towards making Providence students recipients of the world class education they deserve.”
Today’s amendments outline the process surrounding teacher layoffs, in the event they were to occur, and factors that are to be taken into consideration, including seniority. The amendment also clarifies a clause that will grant teachers parity with other municipal unions receiving regular contractually agreed upon raises. While never the intent of the clause, the language raised questions surrounding additional pay received by some members of Providence Firefighters Union Local 799 for additional work performed as a result of restructuring the department.
The framework for the contract was laid out in a tentative agreement signed between the administration and union leadership in early May. The contract increases decision-making at the school level by providing greater autonomy; establishes a structure for additional planning time for high school teachers; codifies a mutual agreement on teacher evaluations reflective of state law; and creates a district-wide peer assistance and review program to provide support for teachers.
Financial terms in the agreement include a 1 percent raise at the beginning the 2015-2016 school year; a 1.75 percent raise at the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year; and 1.5 percent raise upon the conclusion of the 2016-2017 school year.