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From the mayor’s office…

Newton, MA – The Newton School Committee and the Newton Teachers Association (NTA) have approved a new contract for teachers, administrators, aides and other NTA employees, school and union officials announced today. The School Committee approved the agreement in a public session earlier this morning.

The contract covers the four year period from September 2014 through August 2018.  The compensation changes continue the School Committee policy of agreeing to compensation that is financially sustainable.  Annual step increases and cost of living adjustments are provided in amounts that enable the Newton Public Schools to continue to offer very competitive compensation to all employees while allowing for continued investment to improve and move the system forward each year.

In addition to the overall compensation adjustments, the contract includes provisions that focus on key areas that needed to be addressed such as coaching stipends and overnight travel with students, quality of life issues for teachers and other members of staff, and creates study committees to deal with potential changes to early release days parent teacher conferences, and the Tuesday and Thursday afternoon programs.

“Excellence in our school system is one element which makes Newton one of the best places to live in the country,” Mayor Warren said.  “We have outstanding educators in our classrooms and this agreement will allow us to continue to foster and grow excellence throughout the public school system, as well as ensure sustainable finances for the City now and into the future.  I am thankful for all the hard work of Superintendent David Fleishman, School Committee Chair Matt Hills and other committee members, NTA President Mike Zilles and his team, Chief of Staff and CFO Maureen Lemieux, Deputy School Superintendent and CAO of the Newton Public Schools Sandy Guryan, and everyone who worked collaboratively to make this agreement possible.”

“These agreements reflect not only the hard work of our negotiations team and the School Committee, but also the remarkable support our members and the community provided us over the last year as we worked without a contract,” said NTA President Michael Zilles. “It was a stressful period for our members, but these agreements move Newton into a much more competitive position to continue to hire and retain the great educators the citizens of Newton rightly expect in their children’s classrooms.”

School Committee Chairman Hills added, “We have achieved this agreement because both parties remained at the table to negotiate a contract that works for the students, taxpayers, and educators of our community. We all can be very proud of the result.”

“We couldn’t ask for a better way to start the school year,” Superintendent Fleishman said.  “I am confident that this settlement will allow the Newton Public Schools to continue to recruit and retain skilled and dedicated educators.”