Saturday, March 27, 2010

Melrose teachers agree to wage freeze

Melrose teachers agree to wage freeze

Posted March 26, 2010 10:04 AM
The Melrose Education Association voted to accept a wage freeze among its 275 members at a union meeting on Thursday, union president Naomi Baline confirmed.

The MEA – which is made up of teachers, counselors, librarians, therapists and a nurse - was the final union to agree to the wage freeze requested by Mayor Robert Dolan.

By agreeing to a one-year wage freeze, MEA members will forgo a 2 percent wage increase for fiscal year 2011, which begins July 1. Raises of 2 percent in 2009 and 2010 negotiated in a 2008 contract were received by union members.

In his 2010 inaugural address, Mayor Robert Dolan said unions that agreed to a wage freeze would receive job security for two years. Taxpayers would be guaranteed access to level city services for a year, he said.

On Thursday, Dolan credited all 13 of the city's unions as well as non-union workers with making unselfish decisions for the good of the community.

“By working together, we have accomplished what we believe no other city in Massachusetts has accomplished: the negotiation of 13 individual agreements that save jobs and address the concerns of your membership,” he wrote in a letter to union presidents. “It has been an absolute pleasure to work with each and every one of you in this historic endeavor.”

By agreeing to the wage freeze, the MEA also allows the School Committee to move forward with a proposed $27.2 million school budget for fiscal year 2011, which begins July 1. The draft document takes into account the wage freeze among teacher salaries, which constitute 77 percent of the overall budget. The committee is set to vote on the budget Tuesday.

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