Educators Association contract finalized
After nearly a year of negotiations, a contract has been approved between the School Committee and the Dartmouth Educators Association.
“I’m really glad we could come to this agreement,’’ School Committee Chair Kathleen Amaral said at the conclusion of the June 5 School Committee meeting, when the news was announced after a brief executive session.
Agreements were reached with school nurse educators, education support professionals and school-year and full-year secretaries, Amaral said, which fall under the Dartmouth Educators Association umbrella but have separate contracts and bargaining units.
Dartmouth educators have been working without a contract since August 2022. Educators were frequent sights at meetings of the School Committee and Select Board, where they held signs saying, among other messages, that their pay and health insurance costs were not equivalent to other nearby communities.
Committee member Chris Oliver acknowledged the process was lengthy and added that “this is what compromise is all about.’’
He thanked the Dartmouth Educators Association for keeping their protests “respectful.’’
Teacher Maureen Sullivan-Boyle said the contract was “not even a break-even’’ when health care costs and inflation are factored in. “This is not really a win’’ she said in the public comment section of the meeting before the announcement was officially made.
In an interview after the meeting, Amaral said she was sympathetic. “I wish we could give our educators more money,’’ she said.
“We’ve fallen behind over the last 20 years,’’ she said, because of Proposition 2 ½ and “other important issues.’’
She praised educators, who she described as doing a great job, as can be seen in student achievement in town. “We’re stretched very thin,’’ she said.