I have worked for the Chicopee Public School System for almost twenty years, teaching history and theater arts, coaching boy’s tennis, and directing high school plays. I have always turned my grades in, raised the curtain on opening night, and paid my taxes on time.
I have been a building rep, am the current president of the association, and a member of three Unit-A collective bargaining teams, serving as the chair of the most recent. In that time, I have never known negotiations to successfully conclude before the expiration of the existing agreement. In Chicopee, retro checks are the norm. No one likes it but that’s the way business is conducted. As of today, members of Unit-D and Unit-E are awaiting money owed from September 2014.
You have to agree, in Chicopee, the collective bargaining process is broken.
The CEA’s number one priority for the next year-and-a-half is to fix the broken negotiation process and reach agreement on contracts for all four units before they expire in July 2017. To reach that goal, the CEA has developed a new Contract Negotiation Plan and I have invited the School Committee, the Mayor and Superintendent to join us in this reform effort. Take a look at the video clip form the 12/16/15 School Committee meeting to have a look at what I said.