Sadly, the first specific statement from the Brookline School Committee about negotiations with the BEU is provably false. Their offer does not contain the percentage increases they report. We wish that it did; we would be closer to settling the contract. It is in fact $785.00, less than 1 percent average, in year one; $1600.00, about a 2 percent average increase in year two (given the average pay of the bargaining unit, $79,010), and in year 3, a 2 percent increase. They also proposed the possibility of an additional year of the contract, with a 2 percent increase in September and 1 percent that would start on the 92nd school day. Included is an additional step in the salary scale, at 1% above the current top step, and a mandatory additional 2.5 hours a week to the elementary teacher’s in-school time (30 minutes extra a day). The BEU rejected the notion of such an additional year, as the additional time would increase the elementary teacher’s mandatory day by roughly 7.5%, without a compensatory increase in pay.
There are many issues regarding student safety, class size, workload, paperwork, and preparation time that remain unresolved. The BEU is happy to review both our proposals and the School Committee’s proposals, word for word, with anyone who is interested. We and the School Committee have ground rules that we agreed on before negotiations began that prevent members of the public from attending our bargaining sessions. However, we are prepared to open up these negotiations to public scrutiny if the School Committee would also so agree.