The Town Council approves a one-year rollover of the existing teachers' contract during a meeting in Town Hall.
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TEACHER CONTRACT EXTENDED
MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (AUGUST 16, 2021) – Middletown teachers have a new one-year contract.
To applause of a crowd tonight in Town Hall, the Town Council okayed the deal unanimously, saying it was good for the teachers, students and the Town.
Prior to the vote, council President Paul M. Rodrigues offered sincere appreciation to the National Education Association Middletown union, the School Committee and school administration.
“We thank the teachers for making this very easy,” Rodrigues said. “Given the times, we appreciate all you do and hopefully this kind of sets the tone for the next time we have to negotiate. We should always be of the mindset that we’re one no matter what facet of the community we represent.”
Afterward, teachers and administrators said they were happy with the vote. NEA Middletown President Lisa Wood said her prior comments supporting the decision spoke for themselves.
Superintendent Rosemarie K. Kraeger said she was pleased with the council’s backing and understanding, especially given the current COVID-19 environment.
“When you step back and look at it, it’s a fair contract,” Kraeger said. “It’s the responsible decision and we definitely appreciate everything the teachers do for our students, our schools and our community. This is a win for everyone.”
Addressing the matter from the council dais, Rodrigues said local leaders received a financial impact statement about the contract more than 10 days ago. Such a waiting period and review by the council is required under town regulations. Rodrigues also said “no new dollars” would be needed as a result of the contract.
Before tonight’s vote, the prior three-year teachers’ contract was okayed by the council in August 2018. That agreement would have expired on Aug. 31.
The 2021-2022 school year is slated to start on Wednesday, Sept. 8. The agreement means that opening will happen without question.
The vote is the latest good news for the Town, its labor unions and employees over the past year. Currently, all the Town labor unions have existing contracts, minus the Teamsters union that represents public works employees.
School officials said they’re speaking with unions representing the teachers’ assistants and maintenance staff. While no deals have been struck, school officials said the talks have been productive.
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.