Chelmsford Teacher Contract Talks Get Heated

CHELMSFORD (CBS) -Contract talks between the Chelmsford teachers’ union and the School Committee are getting a little heated.

After going without a contract for more than a year and a half, it was disclosed that the union wanted a 15 percent pay  raise on top of the regular step increases.

That angered the president of the Chelmsford Federation of Teachers.  Kathryn Chamberlain said there had been a signed agreement not to speak publicly about the negotiations, and blamed school committee chairwoman Kathy Duffett for the leak. She also said the 15 percent figure is inaccurate.

 Chelmsford Federation of Teachers President Kathryn Chamberlain
Kathy Duffett, Chairwoman  of the School Committee

Duffett said she was speaking for the school committee when she disclosed details of the negotiations, and she stands by the 15 percent. 

“The offer that the teachers’ union has put forth, that they are standing firm, does total 15 percent salary increase,” Duffett said. “That is an accurate assessement.” And, she says, it’s a figure the town can not afford.

The next negotiation session is scheduled for November 22.

  • Parent

    One of these ladies sounds like she is telling the truth and not talking like a politician…Ms. Duffett, it’s not you!

    • MassMom

      No, You are incorrect. Ms. Chamberlain misrepresented the “ask”. She is also incorrect about the disclosure. Legally speaking, Ms. Duffet acted appropriately, but I guess being exposed for greed is never a good thing when in negotiations, is it?

      The teachers have already lost in this battle. The have failed the children and the community. THe best thing that can come from this is if the SC decides to follow Tewksbury’s lead and fires them all in the summer. Then we can rehire motivated teachers who understand their responsibility, and don’t suffer from an inflated sense of entitlement.

  • Peter Galvin

    15% are you kidding me? I haven’t got a raise in this 3 years. Didnt you sign up for this job for the kids. Rememebr that! 15 % is absured!

  • Lovely Rita

    Hey, Pete! You’d have them work for free then?
    Hey, Pete! With the Masters Degree (and higher) they have earned, and licensure they must maintain in order to continue in their profession, and the great importance of their job, and delving in one of the highest stress occupations in the US, don’t you think they deserve a raise?
    Hey, Pete! Do you believe everything that is fed to you? That’s what the SC is banking on.

    • MassMom

      Rita, yours is a ridiculous argument. There are lots of people with advanced degrees who are unemployed. Please don’t try to assume an advanced degree warrants a 15% + increase, let alone a job. If you’re going to do that then why not use sports as a metaphor? Major league baseball players make a 50% more than NFL football players. Why would a football player agree to play football when they could make so much more as a baseball player? It’s called skillsets. An advanced degree alone only means you are well educated. You want to make more money, play another game because the education game is not as profitable. We’ll miss the teachers who leave but there are plenty of educators out there who want to work with our kids and don’t expect to get rich doing it.

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