Teachers, city reach an agreement after 9 months of bargaining in Quincy

QUINCY − The Quincy Education Association has reached a contract agreement with the city after a contentious public battle over family leave, wages and working conditions in the Quincy schools.

The district and teachers union issued a joint statement Friday afternoon announcing the "successful negotiation" of collective bargaining agreement through Aug. 31, 2025. The dealt will be retroactively applied from Sept. 1, 2022, the first day teachers started working without a contract.

"Both parties agree that this settlement represents a positive step forward for the district and our educational staff who work hard in the schools every day supporting students and families," the statement said. "This new contract contains a number of significant improvements for Quincy educators. We are grateful for the work of both parties in reaching this contract and look forward to a continued collaborative relationship."

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The union and the city had been negotiating since last June. The teachers' contract expired Aug. 31.

"I'm pleased that we've come to an agreement," Mayor Thomas Koch said Saturday. "I know both sides worked hard to get there, and I'm pleased for how the focus will continue to be on the kids."

Details of the settlement were not immediately available. Union members will still have to ratify the agreement before it goes into effect, which should happen in the coming weeks.

"We are overjoyed that the 900 members of the Quincy Educations Association are doing the work that they love and feel so much passion for," QEA President Gayle Carvalho said. "We were able to come to terms that reflect the community's respect of our educators."

Quincy public school teachers march to the school administration building before the school committee meeting during a rally seeking support for a fair contract Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022.
Quincy public school teachers march to the school administration building before the school committee meeting during a rally seeking support for a fair contract Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022.

Koch earlier this month said the teachers may have been headed for a strike. The two sides had not been able to reach a compromise as educators demanded more longevity pay, higher wages and more parental leave.

The fight reached beyond the closed-door bargaining sessions as teachers demonstrated outside school committee meetings, parents spoke up on their behalf and public officials responded to what were called "hearsay, unsubstantiated allegations and false allegations."

The Quincy deal marks the second South Shore community to settle with its teachers union in recent weeks.

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The Weymouth union settled earlier this month after nearly a year of negotiations. Michael Murphy, president of the Weymouth Educators Association, said the contract will provide a pay increase of about 13.5% over four years for teachers, as well as other benefits.

Teachers in Braintree are still working to settle their contract with the town, and supporters participated in a stand out Tuesday outside town hall. The union is seeking raises for educational support professionals and changes in working conditions, such as guaranteed daily preparation time for elementary school teachers.

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This article originally appeared on The Patriot Ledger: Strike off the table: Quincy, teachers settle in contract negotiations