Hampden County

Contract puts Springfield teachers' salaries ahead of suburban schools

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - The Springfield School Committee Tuesday night unanimously approved a new contract for its public school teachers.

22News discovered how Springfield's teachers' salaries will compare to other schools in the area.

More than 90 percent of Springfield's teachers agreed on this contract. For the most part, Springfield teachers will now get paid more than their suburban colleagues.

Springfield Public School teachers have a new contract. One that will make its teachers some of the highest paid in Hampden County.

Maureen Colgan Posner is the President-Elect of the Springfield Education Association. "It gets our teachers the pay that they deserve," said Colgan Posner.

The Union President-Elect believes this won't just help recruit teachers into Springfield, but will help keep them there.

"We need to attract and retain teachers, that first year of the three year contract really makes us competitive with surrounding communities," said Colgan Posner.

First year Springfield teachers will now make $48,716. That's more money than teachers in six school districts they compared contracts with. Longmeadow, East Longmeadow, West Springfield, Agawam, Southwick-Tolland-Granville and Ludlow all had 1st year salaries ranging from $44,504 to $48,566.

Springfield's contract is also retro-active to July of last year, giving teachers a 2 percent raise for the school year that ended on Wednesday.

"If I was a teacher in an inner city school I don't think I'd want to teach, I really don't," said Dale Hurd of Nashville.

That opinion is even more reason, Springfield needs to pay its educators a competitive salary.

In a statement sent to 22News, Springfield Superintendent Daniel Warwick said, "The competitive wages represented in this contract will allow us to better compete in a very, very competitive market. And went on to "thank the School Committee for their generous offer for our teachers."

This contract only covers Springfield public school teachers and runs through 2020. The contract for teachers in the cities "empowerment zone" is up after next school year.

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