In all transparency, here is a press release
NATICK – The Natick School Committee and the Natick Education Association jointly announced today, June 16, a three-year collective agreement.
Both groups participated in interest-based negotiations to reach the new agreement. Throughout the process, concerns were resolved using a problem-solving method rather than exchanging proposals and counter-proposals.
This approach resulted in a collaborative path to the new three-year contractual agreement, which spans the 2024-2025 school year.
The new agreement includes restructuring of current pay scales, policies and clarification of job responsibilities for certain staff. The agreement also adds classroom resources to meet student needs, expands professional development opportunities and creates subcommittees to assess future areas of focus.
“We thank the Natick Education Association for their collaboration and cooperation in reaching this new agreement,” said school committee chair Cathi Collins. “This agreement reflects the school committee’s commitment to our teachers and staff, the majority of whom have over 10 years of teaching experience. NPS would not have survived the last two years of teaching without their commitment. They have already helped to remedy the effects of the pandemic and will continue to do so in the years to come. This agreement makes Natick a more competitive neighborhood by restructuring our salary grids and offering additional benefits. Offering parent-teacher conferences in middle and high schools provides an additional opportunity for families to engage and partner with their child’s teachers for continued student success. I firmly believe this is good business for our employees, our families and our taxpayers.
Highlights of the agreement include a competitive pay scale for Unit B staff and administration:
- Consolidation and restructuring of district pay grades from 15 to 14 for Unit A, restructuring of pay grades for Unit B, and salary increases for summer school nurses.
- Two additional stages added to Unit A (Stage 20 in 2023-24 and Stage 25 in 2024-25) to recognize and reward teachers who spend their careers at NPS.
- Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) of three percent for the 2022-23 school year and two percent each of the following two years for a total increase of seven percent for Unit A.
- Unit B’s COLA is 2.3% for FY23, 1.5% for FY24, and 1% for FY25.
- Board-certified occupational therapists, physiotherapists and behavior analysts have been added to Unit A.
- Adjusted the District’s Family and Medical/Parental Leave policy to add time off for unborn and adoptive parents.
- Birth mothers now have 12 weeks of parental leave, adoptive parents have eight weeks and parents who do not give birth receive four weeks and all can use their available sick days for pay during these periods.
- Add Special Education Coordinator positions and Unit B positions to meet staffing needs.
- Revised text on district leave policies.
- A revision of the sickness bank policy makes it possible to take care of a sick family member.
- Allows qualified personnel to exchange 12.5 accumulated sick days per year for one personal day plus.
- Added half-day parent-teacher conferences to middle and high schools.
- Adds clarification on job responsibilities for part-time staff and staff who are members of multiple Professional Learning Communities (PLCs).
- Revamped and added teacher leadership opportunities to ensure every PLC has a leader.
- Creates exploratory subcommittees to evaluate school start and end times, elementary school schedules, and the district’s annual on-the-job learning day.
- Increases the amount of tuition reimbursement and creates additional professional development opportunities.
- Tuition reimbursements increase from $36,000/year to $45,000/year.
- The district offers professional development courses to provide master’s-level teachers and vice-principals with a means to gain training and content knowledge in the core competency area of a Natick Educator Profile.
- Sets more consistent standards on accepted graduate courses for track movement.
- Restructures college intramural compensation as follows:
- Current intramural salary increased to $35.72 (same as college coverage) with a 3% COLA ($36.79 for 2022-23).
- College athletic coordinator salary increased for freshmen with 3% COLA (Step 1 – $2,961, Step 2 – $3,175, Step 3 – $3,595.73 for 2022-23) .
- Adds unified college basketball stipend with a 3% COLA (Stage 1 – $1,422.02, Stage 2 – $1,525.22, Stage 3 – $1,726.07 for 2022-23).
“We appreciated the support of our school committee and school administrators in this collaborative effort,” said the Natick Education Association. “Our partnership has resulted in a new contract that benefits all stakeholders and is very responsive to the wants and needs of educators, administrators and the community. During the term of this contract, we also commit to each other to explore additional goals to support the success of our district in response to its students, always central to our decision-making process.
“I am grateful to the Natick Education Association for working with our team to conclude this new agreement. Our collective approach to this process reflected our shared desire to recognize our commitment to our homeroom teachers and staff. We want Natick to be a district of choice for educators at all levels, and I believe this agreement reflects the changes needed to ensure that our teachers and staff are generously compensated and rewarded for their work. We also share a desire for our families to have additional opportunities to engage with teachers and partner with them for continued student success. I look forward to our next few years together, propelled by this contract which nurtures our staff and inspires us all to continue doing our best for the children of Natick,” said Natick Superintendent Anna Nolin.