School district, teachers union reach one-year contract extension in Amherst

  • Amherst Regional High School GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Monday, September 13, 2021

AMHERST — An existing contract for Amherst and Pelham teachers, in place since July 1, 2018, is expected to be extended by a year.

The executive board for the Amherst-Pelham Education Association, representing teachers, paraprofessionals and clerical staff in the district, and the Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committee, a panel made up of representatives from Amherst, Leverett, Shutesbury and Pelham, announced Wednesday that they have come to a tentative agreement on a one-year extension of the contract.

In the joint statement, the two sides note that implementation of the tentative agreement requires ratification by the union membership and a vote by the Regional School Committee.

“We are pleased that the bargaining process has moved forward ahead of the coming school year,” the joint statement reads.

In early July, following the June 30 expiration of the previous contract, the school committee announced that it would be pursuing mediation after a failure to make progress toward an agreement on wages and salary increases with the teachers union.

A sticking point had been whether paraprofessionals would be receiving fair compensation and a so-called living wage.

The school budgets for fiscal year 2022 include a 1% cost of living increase for all staff, and step increases for staff in their early years of service.