FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 23, 2018
Medfield Teachers Association and Medfield School Committee Reach Agreement for Two Successor Contracts
The Medfield School Committee and the Medfield Teachers Association (MTA) have finalized a new four-year agreement. Both sides say the new agreement will bring stability to the district.
After about eight weeks of negotiations, a tentative agreement between the two parties was reached on April 5. On May 4, the MTA voted overwhelmingly in favor of approving the agreement. The School Committee unanimously approved the agreement on Monday, May 14. The 2018-2019 deal limits teachers to a 1.75% increase and defers step increases to day 91 of the contract. The 2019-2022 deal provides a 2% increase each year with an additional .25% midyear in 2021-2022 school year.
“Successfully negotiating two contracts in an eight week time span only happens with there is a high level of trust and respect between the parties. These agreements highlight the strong collaborative culture in our schools. We worked hard to address compensation issues and to continue to modernize contract language that will ultimately benefit our students,” said Superintendent Jeff Marsden.
The deal with reached through a style of collective bargaining known as interest-based bargaining. This style of bargaining calls for open communication and a thorough discussion of the issues. The process fostered open dialogue, honest communication, and a better understanding of where each side is coming from.
“The negotiations process was a great example of collaboration between all the stakeholders,” said Gregory Keohan, a Social Studies teacher at Blake Middle School and Chair of the MTA Negotiations Team. “We know the town is facing some financial challenges, but we worked together to find solutions.”
“The teachers negotiated in good faith,” Medfield High School English Teacher and MTA President Bonnie Wren-Burgess said on the teachers' behalf. “We took the district's financial constraints into consideration, and were able to structure a four year agreement that is fiscally responsible for the district and works for teachers.”
“There was a spirit of collaboration, compromise and empathy from all parties sitting at the table from beginning to end; a true willingness from all to understand the limitations and needs of each group. The teacher contract negotiations using interest based bargaining was a very positive experience and every voice was heard and respected,” said Anna Mae O’Shea Brooke, Acting Chair of the Medfield School Committee.
Both parties ratified the new agreement well before the current contract is set to expire on August 31, 2018. The new agreement runs through the 2021-22 school year.
Jeffrey J. Marsden, Ed.D
Medfield Public Schools
Anna Mae O’Shea Brooke
Acting Chair, Medfield School Committee
MTA Negotiations Chair