Amherst Pelham Education Association Says School Committee Offer Is A Pay Cut

Members of the AEPA held a "chalking" and "walk in" prior to the start of the school day on Thursday (5/11) to highlight their demand for a fair contract. Photo: Karin Baker & Raymond Paquette

Source: Amherst Pelham Education Association

Members of the Amherst Pelham Education Association (APEA) engaged in a “chalking” and “walk in” last Thursday morning (5/11) to highlight their displeasure with the cost of living adjustment offered by the School Committee. They stated that the offer was the equivalent of a pay cut.

Staff From Amherst Regional High School and Summit Academy did “chalk work” in front of the school before walking in together. Teachers at the High School “walked in” together at 8:15 a.m. and paraeducators at 8:45 a.m. to mark the officially contracted start time to their work day. By doing this, they hoped to show solidarity with each other and support for a contract that is fair and reasonable. The APEA continued bargaining with the School Committee on Thursday evening.

Members of the APEA left this message on the walk in front of the high school on Thursday as part of a “chalking” and “walk in” in support of their demand for a fair contract. Photo: Karin Baker & Raymond Paquette

APEA issued the following statement:

“The cost of living adjustment offered by the School Committee, first offered at 2.5% then decreased to 2%, is the equivalent to a pay cut for teachers, paraeducators and office staff. With inflation at historically high levels, a 2% increase does not meet the reality of their financial needs. In contrast, the Social Security Administration made a cost of living adjustment of 5.9% last October.

In the summer, teachers volunteered to accept a less than 1% cost of living increase for the current academic year so that paraeducators would receive a raise. The School Committee agreed to that compromise over the summer, but has not moved from their latest offer in weeks. Many paraeducators earn less than a living wage.”

Members of the APEA left this message on the walk in front of the high school on Thursday as part of a “chalking” and “walk in” in support of their demand for a fair contract. Photo: Karin Baker & Raymond Paquette

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