The Massachusetts Teachers Association congratulates the Andover Education Association for winning a transformative contract that dramatically raises pay for Instructional Assistants, includes fair cost-of-living adjustments for teachers, provides paid leave for members to care for family members and to welcome children into their families, and provides extra time for lunch and recess for elementary school students.
The members of the AEA did not waver in achieving their stated goals. And because educators were crystal clear about what they wanted, why they wanted it and how much their proposals would cost, they won incredible support from the community.
Andover educators won a transformative contract that includes:
Dramatic pay raises for Instructional Assistants
Fair cost-of-living adjustments for teachers
Paid leave for members to care for family members and to welcome children into their families
Extra time for lunch and recess for elementary school students
The residents of Andover understood what the School Committee did not fully grasp for nine months and nearly 30 bargaining sessions: Andover has excellent public schools because of the educators working in those school buildings.
The community understood that paid family leave, living wages for IAs, adequate prep time for teachers, fair raises for teachers, longer recess and lunch periods for elementary students and educators’ voice in curriculum decisions are not radical ideas or too expensive for Andover. In fact, they are necessary for building even better schools.
The 117,000 members of the MTA were the driving forces behind the Fair Share Amendment and the Student Opportunity Act, which are providing billions of new dollars so that public-school educators no longer need to work under exploitive conditions and students in every district have access to the best educators in the country.
The AEA’s Instructional Assistant and teacher units stood together in solidarity, supporting each other through a very difficult and trying round of negotiations. The AEA demonstrated courage, strength and intelligence through this contract campaign. From students who organized demonstrations to U.S. Senators and other elected leaders who took to social media, the community in Andover and advocates for labor and public education all righteously supported their educators when it was needed the most.
The victorious tentative agreement in Andover provides hope for all educators seeking dignity and the working conditions and professional compensation that they deserve.