Andover Public Schools and the Andover Education Association remain far apart in negotiations for a new teachers contract, but have made some progress in closing a gap for a new pact for instructional assistants.
In her third note to the APS community since the start of the academic year Friday, Andover School Committee Chair Tracey Spruce said AEA, the union that represents Andover teachers, proposed a $2,500 bonus and 16 percent raises for teachers over three years at the most recent, two-hour bargaining session on Sept. 18, down from its previous proposal of 16 percent in raises and two $2,500 bonuses.
Spruce said the school committee will present its counterproposal at the next bargaining session on Oct. 11. In its most recent offer, APS offered a 7 percent raise and no bonuses over three years.
Teachers and instructional assistants have been working without a contract since the start of the school year. The union organized “walk-ins” at all schools on Friday to call attention to the stalled negotiations.
“The School Committee is exploiting our negotiations for their own political agenda while damaging morale and impacting students in the process,” AEA President Matt Bach said in a statement. “The elected leaders of this town must take our bargaining proposals seriously and act swiftly to end this crisis.”
Spruce said the sides had made progress in contract negotiations for instructional assistants. A bargaining session that had been scheduled for Monday is being rescheduled in observance of Yom Kippur.
“To date, we are pleased to say we have made progress on several issues raised by the AEA, and we remain committed to working with the Unit B bargaining team to reach a fair and equitable agreement, including on wages,” Spruce said.
File photo: Andover School Committee Chair Tracey Spruce