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The Gillnetter

The Gillnetter

Contract negotiations begin for GTA and School Committee

Contract+negotiations+begin+for+GTA+and+School+Committee

On March 11, the Gloucester Teachers Association began their contract negotiations with the School Committee, and educators from across the district and North Shore rallied to show their support.

This marks the beginning of the Successor Bargaining period, as the current Collective Bargaining agreement is due to expire on August 31 of this year. During yesterday’s negotiations, the GTA and School Committee began to set ground rules for the next bargaining period.

The GTA plans to continue with the method of Open Bargaining, as they have used the method in previous years and it has proven successful in multiple areas. Educators across the district are also eager to see how this round of bargaining will turn out, as the Gloucester Association of Educational Paraprofessionals (GAEP) continues their mediation with the School Committee.

At the rally preceding the negotiations, GTA President Rachel Rex and GTA Vice President Matthew Lewis addressed the crowd of supporters. 

“We are on the precipice of an absolutely transformational and historical fight for fair and just contracts and a fight for an appropriate wage adjustment that reflects the cost of living,” said Rex. 

Lewis expressed pride at the large turnout, and emphasized the importance of unity for educators.

“We do not fight for ourselves, we fight for one another. The question is not what will happen to me if I stand up for others, but what will happen to others if I don’t stand up for them,” said Lewis. 

“I am so proud of our members and our membership for showing up to support us. It is high time that educators get the respect that they deserve, whether it is in compensation or academic freedom,” said Lewis. “We hope that the school committee sees this and recognizes it and we are prepared to stand up for what we deserve.”

Bargaining committee member Beth Parkhurst also commented on the upcoming bargaining process. 

“We are asked to do more and more every year and compensation is needed, and the time to prepare is needed,” said Parkhurst. 

The next negotiation meeting will be held on March 26th, and the GTA encourages community members to come out and support their educators.

 

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About the Contributor
Sofia Orlando, Editor in Chief
Sofia Orlando is a senior at GHS and is Editor in Chief for The Gillnetter. She is a member of the National Honors Society (NHS) and has won awards for her accomplishments regarding world history and journalism. In her free time, Sofia can be found baking, hanging out with friends and family, walking around town, or watching any of her favorite movies. She also has a fraternal twin sister! You can contact her with any questions or story ideas at: [email protected]

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