HARVARD –How sweet it is.
School Committee member Piali De announced that a Valentine’s Day pact has been reached with the Harvard Teachers Association. News of the three-year deal was announced at Monday night’s School Committee meeting
The School Committee voted 4-0 in executive session Monday night to accept the tentative terms. School Committee Chairman Keith Cheveralls abstained from the vote on the teachers contract, as he has done during his tenure on the committee. Cheveralls’ wife Maryann is a third-grade teacher at Hildreth Elementary School.
De called the talks “an incredible process…everybody around the negotiation table had great conversations, very focused on learning and teaching. We came to an understanding.”
Cheveralls congratulated the negotiation team. “At the risk of stating the obvious, it’s the first three-year contract the School Committee has had in place in a number of years.”
One-year contracts were ratified for both the 2009-2010, and again last spring for 2010-2011, school years. If ratified, the new contract will cover the period from September 1, 2011 through August 31, 2014.
Cheveralls said it was a “fabulous team effort. I’m sure it wasn’t easily done. This allows us to focus on a lot of other important work.”
The terms of the contract were not revealed. The Harvard Teachers Association was expected to put the terms to its membership during a Wednesday meeting.
Harvard Teacher Association President Kathleen Doherty said a formal announcement would be forthcoming after the ratification vote, which was scheduled for Feb. 16 at 3:30 p.m.
The financial impacts of the contract have not been publicly announced and so were not yet factored into the proposed fiscal 2012 School Department budget which totals $13 million.
There will be a budget hearing at the School Committee’s March 14 meeting. The meeting will begin early at 6 p.m., but the budget hearing will start at 7 p.m. in deference to a prime time audience.
The present teacherscontract was ratified on April 12, 2010 and included a 1 percent pay increase in exchange for a 15-minute longer school day for teachers. It also incorporated a townwide pact reached in March with the unions.