New Medford Teachers Contract Approved
Contract includes raises and a new teacher evaluation system.
The Medford School Committee approved a new teachers union contract for Medford Public Schools this week, one that will run through the end of the 2014-2015 school year.
Medford Superintendent Roy Belson said negotiations between the district and the teachers union lasted nearly a year.
While the contract includes pay raises for teachers, it also includes provisions for more stringent teacher evaluations in following new state guidelines. Belson said the contract still must be approved by the state.
According to Belson, the contract includes a 2 percent raise for teachers in September 2013, another 2 percent raise in September 2014 and a 1.25 percent raise midway through the 2014-2015 school year.
Additionally, the new contract adds an 11th step for teacher raises. Previously, the gap between the ninth and 10th steps was about $10,000. Belson said the additional step cuts that gap in half, saving money for the district in the long run.
Belson said that as a "Race to the Top" community, Medford needed to get an agreement with teachers including the new evaluations this year.
"We've adapted the state model in a way that is reasonable," Belson said. "I'm thrilled we got it done."
Belson said the new teacher evaluations will include more interactivity with teachers, more classroom observation, more formal feeback and more remedial plans to address issues that may arise.
"It's also going to recognize the good work that's being done by our teachers," Belson said.
He added the process is going to be more "time-consuming" for everyone involved.
Belson said around 30 Massachusetts communities in "Race to the Top" still do not have a contract in place that includes the evaluation process.