Sandwich Teachers Union Ratifies New One-Year Contract

The Sandwich Education Association, which is the union that represents teachers in the Sandwich Public Schools, voted Wednesday to ratify a new one-year contract. The union also ratified a document that spells out how each educator’s job performance will be evaluated.

C. Richard Canfield, superintendent of Sandwich Public Schools, said the Sandwich School Committee previously had voted informally in executive session to approve the contract and the evaluation document.

Andrea Killion, chairman of the Sandwich School Committee, said yesterday that the committee is scheduled to cast its official vote on the contract and the document at its October 16 meeting.

The committee and the union have been negotiating over the new contract, which covers the current school year, since February.

Paula Chambers, president of the Sandwich Education Association, said yesterday that the contract will increase teacher salaries in the district.

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Ms. Chambers said teachers working their way up the step system will receive an immediate 1 percent raise and another 1 percent raise at the mid-year point.

The union president said teachers on the top step will receive an immediate 2 percent increase. Another 1 percent increase will come at the very end of the year, serving to increase the base pay calculation for future years.

Ms. Chambers said the union wanted to secure a three-year contract, which she said would offer teachers more stability and the town a better sense of future costs, but eventually settled for a one-year deal.

Although the union president said “we always hope for more,” she also said she was pleased by the new contract.

“Our negotiations team did an excellent job,” Ms. Chambers said.

The team, which was chaired by Pamela Dallaire, included Pamela V. Tremarche, Laura R. Carlyle, Kevin J. Coakley, Martin Cosgrove and Suzanne Budzynkiewicz. Ms. Chambers sat as a non-voting member. Jeff Morrasi, a local representative of the Massachusetts Teachers Association, advised the team.

Ms. Chambers said the educator evaluation document ratified by the association included slight tweaking of a plan mandated by the state for all school districts in Massachusetts. Dr. Canfield said the district was required by the state to have a document in place by the start of this school year.

The union president said a number of association members were concerned about the increased number of appearances by administrators in their classrooms called for by the document, but said that the school district was open to working with the teachers in a reasonable way to implement the document.

Dr. Canfield said the document not only covers teachers, but school administrators and he himself as superintendent.

Ms. Killion, the chairman of the school committee, said that she and school committee members Marie Kangas and Robert Catalini negotiated the one-year contract. Ms. Killion, Ms. Kangas and school committee member Travis Andrade negotiated the evaluation document.

Joseph A. Emerson Jr., who is the school district’s attorney, and Dr. Canfield participated in the sessions.

Ms. Killion declined to comment for now on her reaction to the negotiated contract and evaluation document, or on why the contract covers one rather than multiple years.

The contract and document, she said, have yet to secure the school committee’s official approval.

“Nothing’s done till it’s done,” she said.

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