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Teachers Union, School Committee Come to Contract Agreement

Teachers to get raise.

The Norton School Committee announced Monday night that they came to a contract agreement with the teachers union after a lengthy wait.

The three-year contracts will be retroactive from Sept. 1, 2011. It will include raises, the elimination of sick leave buy back and a teacher evaluation agreement.

“It was prolonged, but all is well that ends well,” said Committee chairman Andrew Mackie.

Last year, teachers did not receive a raise. This year they will receive a 1 percent raise with 2 percent the following year. The sick time buy back reimbursed staff for unused sick time. This was excluded to save money.

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“This is something we’ve been looking to do some time,” Mackie said.

Finally, the union worked closely with the school committee on the rubrics for the new teacher evaluation system. There were no major modifications from the state suggested outline.

“It was very productive. I think we have as a result a very rigorous and beneficial teacher evaluation process that’s going to help the teachers in professional development,” Mackie said. “It’s going to help us to support them and it’s going to help education improve even further.

School Committee member Deniz Savas thanked the teachers negotiation team for their part in the agreement.

“It never less than amicable,” he said. “I think it’s a great example of two sides working together for a mutually beneficial outcome.”

Mackie in turn thanked Savas and member Beth McManus for also working on the agreement.

“The staff here is our greatest asset. It’s difficult because we are here to support them,” McManus said. “It’s the one thing that’s a little difficult for us to do because we don’t want to be adversarial with the staff.

“I think people in town will walk away and see that this was a good move all around.”

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