Despite the overweight master`s degrees of Boston teaching staff, additional compensation for this service was not used as an instrument under the contract to incentivize teachers to travel to underserved fields such as science, technology, and math, which the Boston area urgently needs. In addition, additional responsibilities, such as coaching a sport, monitoring the production of a high school yearbook, or running a drama club, can increase a teacher`s base salaries. In addition, health insurance is offered to all teachers. “We know the extra help will be useful for students, but BPS` ability to serve students would achieve better results if the agreement contained other provisions,” she said, such as compensation for work performance and a significant increase in learning time. The NAACP said it wanted the union not to have to compromise in its drive to guarantee full-time mental health providers for every school and wondered if the 2 percent annual wage increases were high enough to keep up with the rising cost of living in the Boston area. The preliminary agreement provides for 23 additional licensed mental health care providers, a step that would ensure that more than half of the system`s 125 schools would have these positions. The agreement also implies an obligation for the city to support the funding of programs for homeless students and to create an urban coordinator to identify external partners to help students living in poverty. This venture could involve bringing mobile optometry and dental services to school. Pam Kocher, president of the Boston Municipal Research Bureau, a watchdog funded by businesses and nonprofits, said the focus on the preliminary agreement on student well-being was a good step.
Each of the BTU`s four bargaining units – teachers, paraprofessionals, assistants and therapists who work with autistic students – voted in favour of ratification. And she said she was pleased that the preliminary agreement would create a working group to identify best practices for schools that integrate students with disabilities into general educational curricula, but stressed that any collective agreement should not restrict the rights acquired by students under federal and national legislation. . . .