Aldermen approve two-year MEA contract

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MANCHESTER, N.H. – On Tuesday night, the Manchester Board of Mayor and Aldermen unanimously approved a contract between the Manchester School District and the Manchester Education Association (MEA).

The contract begins retroactively to July 1 and will last until June 30, 2024.

“This contract is a continuation of the strong collaborative work between the District and teachers on behalf of students,” said Manchester School District Superintendent Jenn Gillis. “Through several challenging years of the pandemic, our teachers have shown their dedication, tenacity and flexibility working in support of our students. That same spirit really carried over into contract negotiations, with a strong focus on how each decision would impact students. This agreement is a recognition of the impact our teachers have, as well as an investment in improved student outcomes. I want to thank everyone involved in negotiating this agreement, as well as the Board of School Committee and the Board of Mayor and Aldermen for voting to support it.”

Mayor Joyce Craig said the benefits of the new agreement will extend beyond students, staff and families to the entire community.

“Great communities need great schools, and great schools need great teachers,” Craig said. “This contract helps Manchester retain the dedicated educators already in our classrooms, recruit the next generation of teachers, and send a strong message to our students, families and staff that our community supports strong public schools.”

MEA President Sue Hannan said the union’s negotiating team is proud of the finished successor collective bargaining agreement.

“Keeping a mature document that still addresses up to date issues is always part of the goal, but both teams worked very hard to achieve other goals as well,” Hannan said. “Attracting and retaining quality educators is of main importance. The contract identifies that efficiently, while taking action for those educators who have lost steps due to past negotiations, and recognizing those who have veteran experience. This collaboration shows how working together toward common goals makes Manchester rise in public education.”

As part of the agreement, entry-level teachers may be eligible for up to $60,000 of loan repayment incentives if they commit to five years of service in Manchester, with starting pay beginning at $42,435 to compete with surrounding communities, with wage increases available in each year of the contract and additional wage increases for teachers that say in the district through ESSER funds.

The contact also adds ten minutes of instructional time each school day and allows the district to hold remote learning days instead of cancelling school due to inclement weather after the first three cancellations.

About this Author

Andrew Sylvia

Assistant EditorManchester Ink Link

Born and raised in the Granite State, Andrew Sylvia has written approximately 10,000 pieces over his career for outlets across Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. On top of that, he's a licensed notary and licensed to sell property, casualty and life insurance, he's been a USSF trained youth soccer and futsal referee for the past six years and he can name over 60 national flags in under 60 seconds according to that flag game app he has on his phone, which makes sense because he also has a bachelor's degree in geography (like Michael Jordan). He can also type over 100 words a minute on a good day.