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Letter: Teachers pay

To the Citizens of Leverett:

Did you know?

Leverett teachers are working without a contract.

The Leverett teachers and staff continue to create and provide high quality programs and an excellent education for the children of Leverett.

For the 2013-2014 contract year, teachers in Amherst, Erving and Swift River received at least a 2 percent increase, as did other Leverett town employees. Leverett teachers were offered less than 2 percent.

Over the past four years, six veteran teachers have retired at the top of the salary scale and have been replaced by staff at a lower step. The savings to the town of Leverett from these retirements was more than enough to create parity between Leverett and Amherst teachers, all who educate Leverett children, without increasing town spending on teacher salaries.

The town Selectboard has released an abbreviated salary scale for Union 28 that is very misleading.

Last year, teachers volunteered to work with students for 25 additional minutes per week. This was equivalent to two extra school days of instructional time without additional pay, effectively erasing last year’s 1.5 percent salary increase.

The school budget has been level-funded for the past five years.

Leverett Elementary Staff successfully worked during the 2012-2013 school year to elevate Leverett from a Level 2 to a Level 1 school, the highest level possible, according to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

What’s our hope?

In planning the 2014-2015 budget, the School Committee will support the teachers of Leverett in our efforts to receive a fair and equitable salary.

How can you help?

Contact and attend the meetings of the Leverett Selectboard and the Leverett School Committee.

Let your voices be heard in the support of Leverett teachers.

KARIN GRAVINA,

VIVIAN KUCINSKI,

WILLIAM STEWART,

TRACEY SUPPLE

On behalf of the Leverett Education Association

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