Providence Teachers’ Union votes to ratify contract

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – The Providence Teachers’ Union voted 1,015 to 25 Friday night to ratify their new contract and finalize a collective bargaining agreement with the state.

The new collective bargaining agreement takes effect immediately, and expires August 31, 2023. Over a thousand union members were working without a contract since last August.

The contract includes a two percent raise for 2021 and 2022, and a point five percent raise in 2023.

PTU President Maribeth Calabro says some key asks were not included, like longer school days and smaller class sizes for multi-language learners in kindergarten through third grade.

“Nothing’s perfect…this contract isn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination,” Calabro said.

After the ratification, Gov. Dan McKee said:

“This contract is just the beginning of our work to produce better outcomes for Providence students. We need everyone on board to make it work. That means families, students, teachers, administrators, elected leaders and community members coming together to achieve a common goal – giving our students the very best opportunity to succeed. I appreciate the work and collaboration of all parties involved in getting an agreement across the finish line that prioritizes students and recognizes the hard work of our teachers, a task that some had written off as unachievable.”

The new contract requires mandatory teacher participation in two parent-teacher conferences during the schoolyear, as well as 10 monthly staff meetings with the principal.

It also requires, for the first time, the development of lesson plans to better support student learning, and making those lesson plans available for inspection by principals.

Additionally, teachers will receive a one-time $3 thousand COVID-19 bonus. In a release from Gov. Dan McKee’s office, the bonus was described as a way to boost teacher morale after the challenges of the past year brought on by the pandemic.

“I’m pleased we have worked in collaboration to reach an agreement that considers the best interests of our entire Providence Public Schools community,” said Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green. “The goal has always been to provide Providence students a high-quality education and with this agreement we are better positioned to support our educators and school leaders while meeting the needs of our students and families. I look forward to working with all members of the PPSD community to ensure students are supported to excel in the classroom and beyond.”

Categories: News, Providence