School officials in Chicopee had put union negotiations behind them before this new school year began. Pay pacts were set with members of Chicopee Education Association. But something was brewing.
Administrators felt the city risked losing some of its most experienced educators to other districts because it wasn’t offering competitive pay. Rather than take chances, the School Committee reopened those contracts and awarded a 2% pay increase for teachers, vice principals, administrators who are in the union, clerks and teaching assistants. That increase is retroactive to July 1 and comes on top of a 2% increase already negotiated.
Taxpayers may wonder about the cost, but this is savvy management of public resources.