Approval of Paraprofessional Contract
The Arlington School Committee held a special meeting on December 21st to vote on approving an amended contract for the district’s paraprofessional unit, Unit D. Unit D had voted unanimously earlier that day to approve an amended contract. The amended contract provides pay increases of up to 33% for some of the lowest paid paraprofessionals, as well as additional paid time that provides more schedule flexibility. The pay increases will take effect on February 1st.
The contract amendments were made possible by the successful override vote, which allowed the district to reopen negotiations with Unit D. The new contract was negotiated swiftly in just three meetings. Members of the negotiating team and school administration expressed satisfaction with the collaborative process and outcome. They felt the new contract properly values the paraprofessionals as important members of the school community.
Several paraprofessionals shared positive reactions to the contract changes, including relief at being able to continue working in the district with the pay increase instead of having to leave for a better paying job elsewhere.
The School Committee unanimously approved the amended Unit D contract.
Appreciation for Taxpayers
There was acknowledgment that while the override vote enabled the contract changes, it is the taxpayers who will be funding the changes. Appreciation was expressed for taxpayers making possible the start of important changes for the schools.
Collaboration Over Many Years
The superintendent noted that reaching this point was many years in the making, reflecting collaborative work over a long period of time without losing sight of the goal. She expressed pride in ending the year by fulfilling promises made to the community.