The teachers' union and School Committee okay a new one-year-rollover of the existing contract. The Town Council is expected to vote on whether to ratify the agreement on Aug. 16.
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NEW TEACHER CONTRACT AWAITS TOWN COUNCIL RATIFICATION
MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (AUGUST 5, 2021) – A new one-year extension to the Middletown teachers’ contract is now before the Town Council.
Tonight, the School Committee approved the deal after the National Education Association teachers’ union gave the proposed agreement an overwhelming approval Wednesday morning during a Zoom-based meeting.
Under the contract approval process outlined in the Town Charter, the council receives a financial impact statement about the proposed extension at a special meeting Friday, Aug. 6 at 6 p.m. from Town Hall.
From there, the council has a week plus to mull the agreement before it’s expected to vote on the extension at its next regular meeting on Monday, Aug. 16 at 6 p.m. in Town Hall.
“We’re excited about what this means for the district,” Superintendent Rosemarie K. Kraeger said. “We have a great group of teachers and I don’t think there’s any question this agreement is in the best interest of our teachers, our students and the community alike.”
“Our teachers are among the best in the state,” School Committee Chairwoman Theresa Spengler said. “It’s no secret that it’s been very difficult to be a teacher with COVID-19, but they’ve done an outstanding job making school safe, fun and educational. We owe them so much and I know I speak for all of us when I say ‘Thank you for everything you do, Middletown teachers.’”
NEA Middletown President Lisa Wood said the move made sense for teachers – and the community.
“Given the current uncertainty due to COVID, we believe it is in the best interest of our members to extend the current contract for a year,” Wood said. “We hope to have a better understanding of educational impacts on students and a clearer financial picture when we negotiate a longer-term contract next year.”
The council last ratified a three-year pact with teachers in August 2018. The existing deal is set to expire on Aug. 31. The first day of school in Middletown is slated for Sept. 8.
The word is the latest good news between the Town, the schools and its labor unions.
Aside from the teachers’ union contract, the schools are negotiating with the unions representing the teachers’ assistants and maintenance staff. School officials said no deals with those groups have been struck yet.
On the Town side, there’s only one outstanding labor contract that needs to be settled – the Teamsters Local Union No. 251. That contract for the Public Works department laborers expired on June 30, but talks are ongoing for a new agreement.
The contracts for the unions representing the Town Hall and Middletown Public Library are scheduled to expire on June 30, 2022, a year after that for Middletown Fire and June 30, 2024 for Middletown Police.