Finance chief: Teacher pact 'not inexpensive'


The Boston teachers’ contract approved yesterday by the city and union will cost $42.6 million over two years.

“This is not an inexpensive contract,” said Boston Public Schools Finance Director Eleanor Laurans. “It does continue to add fiscal pressure to us. At this point, we’re reasonably confident as we can be that while it adds some pressure it doesn’t give us overly deep concerns on what FY19 will look like.”

The two-year agreement is retroactive to fiscal year 2017, which ended in June, and gives teachers a 5 percent raise.

It will cost $11.5 million for fiscal year 2017 and $31.1 million for fiscal year 2018.

Teachers — whose average salary is $90,467 — will get a retroactive back-pay salary increase of 2 percent for last year and another 3 percent raise for the coming year, on top of their annual step increases.

The agreement also provides parental leave and adds more nurses and support to special education classrooms. It requires the district provide clean and handicap-accessible bathrooms, soap and paper towels.

BTU President Jessica Tang praised the new deal and its focus on “restorative justice” discipline policies.

“By addressing root causes, building relationships and community in schools, and avoiding punitive punishments such as suspensions and expulsions, restorative justice practices can help students to spend more time on learning,” Tang said in a statement.

The city and union, however, still have to address the “excess pool” of teachers.

“It does not minimize that we do have serious differences still on the table,” said School Committee Chairman Michael O’Neill. “We’re focused on having the best teachers in front of students every day in every classroom.”

But BTU defended the unassigned teachers, saying there has been “misinformation” and “misperceptions” perpetuated by the media.

“For reasons unrelated to their classroom performance, these highly qualified and talented educators lost their previous post (due to budget cuts or returning from maternity leave, for example) and are now working in schools on temporary assignments everyday to help Boston students thrive while awaiting long-term assignments that best suit their skills and expertise,” said Anna Oman, BTU spokeswoman, in a statement.



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