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March 8 Update from Negotiations Co-Chairs on Contract Negotations


March 8, 2019


Statement and Background Facts and Figures from School Committee Negotiations Subcommittee Co-Chairs Michael Glover and Julie Schreiner-Oldham



The Negotiations Subcommittee met with the Brookline Educators Union’s negotiations team on February 25, March 4 and March 7 to begin contract negotiations. Unfortunately, the BEU continues to demand to have more than 1,000 employees named as members of their negotiating team and allow any or all of them to act as silent observers. The BEU’s approach is unprecedented in Brookline and will only serve to slow down negotiations.


We are ready and willing to start negotiating as soon as the BEU names a reasonably sized and consistent negotiating team that the School Committee can meet with regularly. The BEU leadership’s tactics are preventing us from working together to make needed changes, such as increasing paraprofessional compensation.  


It is imperative that the environment in which negotiations occur be fair to both sides. Negotiating a contract in a room packed with scores of representatives from one side and a small group on the other undermines any sense of neutrality and fairness in the process.


In addition, if the makeup of the BEU bargaining team is inconsistent from one negotiating session to another, it will be difficult for the parties to make progress towards finalizing a contract.  As members of the group come and go, priorities will shift based on the interests of the particular individuals who are present in any given session and, ultimately, progress will suffer. 


Brookline is a great community in which to teach:

  • Our teachers have tremendous academic freedom
  • Brookline’s teachers have the second highest average annual salary of all teachers in the state
  • Brookline continues to have small class sizes
  • Our health benefits are some of the most generous in the state
  • We are one of the only communities in the state which allow non-resident school employees to enroll their children in its public schools


As co-chairs of the Negotiations Subcommittee, we intend to maintain these excellent working conditions.


The community needs the BEU leadership to do as they have done for decades - name a stable and consistent negotiations team that we can meet with on a regular basis, bargain in good faith, and address the priorities of both sides. 


Background Facts & Figures

(Click here for a .pdf of the Background Facts & Figures)


To help keep the community informed during the process of negotiations, the School Committee Negotiations Subcommittee will provide relevant publicly available facts and background information from time to time.


Proposed FY20 School Department Budget


% of Budget allocated to Personnel






UNIT A - All teachers, guidance counselors, nurses, occupational and physical therapists

Salary Range (as of March 1, 2019)

$53,348 - $113,367

Average Salary (as reported by DESE in 2017)


Work Day (as defined in Unit A contract)

6.33 hours

Work Year (as defined in Unit A contract)

183 days (180 school days)

Total # of Unit A positions

1,003 employees filling 877.25 full time positions

# of Unit A members expected to earn more. than $100,000 in 2019-2020

(based on the 2% COLA held for planning purposes in the FY2020 budget)
















UNIT B - Vice principals, deans, associate deans, curriculum coordinators, and some directors

Salary Range (as of March 1, 2019)

$77,394 - $137,009

Average Salary


Work Year  (as defined in Unit B contract)

Varies from 190 - 210 days depending on position







Paraprofessionals Unit  - Classroom Paraprofessionals, Special Education Paraprofessionals, Performing Arts Production Aide, ELE Aide) 

Salary Range

$25,907 - $89,965 (staff with Bachelor’s Degree)

Salary Range - classroom and special education paraprofessionals

(Schedule 2)

$25,907 - $31,335 (staff with Bachelor’s Degree)

Work Day  (as defined in Paraprofessionals contract)

7.0 hour day plus an unpaid 30 minute break

Work Year  (as defined in Paraprofessionals contract)

189 days (including six paid holidays - starting in 2nd year)











Terms and Definitions

Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA)

The agreement made between the School Committee and the Brookline Teachers Union for a specific bargaining unit that defines salaries, working conditions, and ensures that staff follow procedures and meet standards of professional conduct, and ensures the right of BEU members to negotiate with the School Committee matters of importance to staff. Commonly referred to as “The Contract” or the CBA.

Bargaining Unit

Each bargaining unit is made up of specific types of employees based on their position. Each bargaining unit has a separate contract that is negotiated between the School Committee and that specific unit.

Unit A

The category of employees that includes teachers, specialists, learning center and special education teachers, guidance counselors, nurses, occupational therapists, and physical therapists. Represented by the Brookline Educators Union (BEU).

Unit B

The category of employees that includes vice principals, deans, associate deans, some coordinators, and some directors. Represented by the Brookline Educators Union (BEU).

Paraprofessionals Unit

In Brookline this category includes a very wide range of employees. In addition to classroom paraprofessionals and special education paraprofessionals this unit has 12 more classes of employees including Aides, Attendance Officer, Performing Arts Production Aide, Early Childhood Extended Day Instructor, Food Service Assistants, Ed Tech Support Specialist, Senior Application Support Specialist, and the Steps to Success Project Advisor among others. Some employees work the school year while others work a 12-month schedule. All employees in the Paraprofessionals Unit are paid on an hourly basis. Represented by the Brookline Educators Union (BEU).


Brookline Education Secretaries Association - made up of all school and administrative secretaries. Represented by American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees.

Food Service and Custodial Workers

Includes all food service and custodial workers. Represented by American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees.

Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA)

Cost of living adjustment

Step or Salary Step

A salary step is an incremental increase in salary based on previous qualifying professional experience. In Brookline, one step equals one year of service. For each step there is a corresponding increase in annual salary or hourly wage. Typically, but not in all cases, a school employee’s annual salary increase includes a COLA and a Step increase.


Salary lanes correspond the education level attained by an employee (e.g. Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate). There are also lanes for staff who have earned additional credit towards beyond a degree (e.g. Masters +15, Masters +30).




































To read the February 26th update on contract negotiations, please click here