Boston Teachers Make an Average of Nearly $100K, and Could Get a Raise

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Boston Public School teachers—already among the highest paid in the nation—could be welcomed back to school with a hefty 5 percent raise in September after the city and union reached a tentative two-year deal.

The contract still must be ratified by both sides, and the city and Boston Teachers Union will head back to the negotiating table soon to nail down more “complex” issues that remain unresolved—such as what to do about the expensive pool of 100 or so teachers without classroom assignments that will cost $34 million this school year.

The two-year agreement is retroactive to fiscal 2017, which ended June 30. Boston teachers, whose average salary is nearly $100,000, will get a retroactive raise of 2 percent for last year and another 3 percent raise for the coming year, on top of their annual step increases.

The deal also extends parental leave to second- and third-year teachers and paraprofessionals and adds more nurses and staff for special education classes and a citywide coaching position to bolster discipline in the classroom.

The contract also gives principals more flexibility in hiring new teachers, a win for the city.

The Boston School Committee and the Boston Teachers Union are both due to vote on the contract Sept. 13.

The deal follows 18 months of talks and after the union claimed an impasse amid stalled talks. And it is the first big achievement for teachers under the new leadership of BTU President Jessica Tang, who replaced retired president Richard Stutman this summer. The contract expired last August.

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Facing a second school year without a contract, both sides pushed to reach a deal before kids returned. But city and school officials said they will hit the restart button with new bargaining teams on much thornier issues before the new deal expires in September 2018.

“Overall it is good for our students, good for our teachers and good for our district and continues to allow us to continue to be the best urban school district in the country,” Mayor Martin J. Walsh said. “What we did here with this contract is get to an agreement where we can move forward and then start the clock over again.”

Tang said, “We need more time to work out some of the more complicated issues but there is so much agreement on so many issues that we can just get started on this school year.”

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