CHATHAM — Monomoy teachers, nurses, specialists and other instructional faculty members will soon be working under a new contract.
The three-year pact, which takes effect Sept. 1, was recently ratified by the school committee and the Monomoy Regional Education Association. It provides for salary increases and special stipends for certain instructional assistants who work with youngsters with special needs.
The collective bargaining agreement includes a 1 percent salary increase in the first year, a 2.5 percent hike in year two, and a 2.75 percent increase in the third year.
“The cost of living increases were kept low in the first year to allow our towns to rebound from this pandemic and are higher in the later two years to keep our salaries regionally competitive,” Superintendent of Schools Scott Carpenter wrote in a news release.
“Thanks to cooperative and productive discussions with the teams, we were able to arrive at agreements that work to compensate our educators and staff at competitive rates, while also being good stewards of taxpayer funds,” he wrote. “Each year of the contract funds an overall increase as supported by our approved fiscal year 2022 budget,” he added.
Carpenter said the negotiations were fruitful, if somewhat unconventional.
“Although the COVID pandemic meant that all negotiations had to be held fully via videoconference, all parties collaborated in good faith and reached agreement on a new contract that covers our teachers, nurses, specialists, and instructional personnel,” he said.
In addition to the salary increases, the new contract provides a stipend to instructional assistants who work closely with students with intensive special needs. Some of those students require special support for activities of daily living or behavioral interventions, and the stipend acknowledges that some support roles can be more challenging than others.
The contract includes no changes to health insurance benefits or copayments. The district pays 70 percent of health insurance premiums.
At its meeting June 24, Monomoy Regional School Committee Chair Nancy Scott said the contract talks went well.
“The negotiation process was truly delightful and the school committee is proud of these agreements, which honor our educators and support them in the good work they do for the youth of our community,” she said. “The MRSC unanimously supported these agreements and is grateful for the good work done by all of those involved in the negotiation process.”
A spokesperson for the teachers’ union could not be reached in time to comment for this story.
The new contract expires on Aug. 31, 2024.