APEA Says School Committee Offer is a Pay Cut
THE Amherst-Pelham Educators Association said on Thursday that 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 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.
Also on Thursday, APEA teachers at the High School “walked-in” together at 8:15 AM, and paraeducators at 8:45 AM, to mark the officially contracted start time to their work day. By doing this, they hope to show solidarity with each other and support for a contract that is fair and reasonable. The APEA will continue bargaining with the School Committee on Thursday evening.