Yesterday, sources on both sides of the Teacher’s Union / Lowell School Committee contract talks reached out to state that the numbers the SUN published yesterday that said the Union wanted 12% over 3 years and the City had offered 2.5% over two years were NOT accurate. Others indicated there may be some truth there. Again it just shows the tension in this contract negotiations when both sides leak numbers. You don’t see this happening with other Unions but other Unions don’t have Paul Georges.
We often hear from the people who I think are intimidated by Teacher’s Union president Paul Georges, that Lowell has such a GREAT Contract that the Union doesn’t want fact finding because they are afraid. You also hear negotiations should be done in public for the teacher’s union but never hear that about other City unions.
Paul George’s is the bogey man of Lowell Unions and judging by the length and acrimony in past contract talks with many members who are still on the Committee and have been for any length of time, I get the impression that many are in fact intimidated by Paul.
So I tried to find information on the State and other Website that show some FACTS about the Lowell School Department Teacher’s contract and how it is in comparison to other cities or towns with similar student bodies and median incomes.
I wonder if present members or any challengers do this type of homework? They should!
According to the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, there are 312 towns and 39 cities spread across 14 counties within the state of Massachusetts.
Looking at something called the local school directory we can see how Lowell stacks up by numbers of Total Schools (which includes public and private) . The average Public Teacher salary and the number of total of students enrolled in PUBLIC Schools and the median Income of that city.
Lowell Schools (Public and Private)
Total Schools: 24
Traditional Schools: 24
Number of Title I Schools: 23
Number of Students: 14,398
Full-Time Teachers: 1,058
Total Schools: 12
Traditional Schools: 9
Special Education Schools: 1
Child Care Schools: 2
Number of Students: 3,892
Full-Time Teachers: 164
Brockton MA 33 Schools / 15,501 students Median Income $39,507
Fall River 31 Schools / 11,971 students Median Income $29,014
Lowell 36 Schools / 14,398 students Median Income $39,192
Lynn 30 schools /13,725 students Median Income $37,364
New Bedford 37 schools / 15,178 students Median Income $27,569
In this next link, we see what the “average” salary is for a teacher in that community.
If You look on the Mass State Division of Elementary and Secondary Website you will find these “average” teacher salaries for 2012-2013.
For the purpose of establishing these numbers , Total teaching salaries, divided by the number of full-time equivalent teachers, equals the average teacher salary.
FYI Lowell ranks at #55 in average salary
District Average Teacher Salary
Fall River $66,138
New Bedford $70,207
The same site has some contracts posted that allows us to view them and compare Lowell to other similar communities. href=”http://educatorcontracts.doemass.org/” target=”_blank”>Contracts
I’ll be honest and say I’ve downloaded them and took a quick look that didn’t show me anything in the Lowell contract that was strikingly different from the others but I didn’t have the time to look at the step increases against the other communities, I’m hoping others take the time to look and inform me what they see.
I will also note that this site doesn’t keep things up to date and that most of these contracts are not current but are basically structured to see most of the same information.