CUMBERLAND – School officials and members of the Cumberland Teachers Association have officially announced terms of agreement on a new successor contract that will be effective for the 2021-2024 school years.

A copy of the new agreement is on the Cumberland School Department website, with changes highlighted.

“We want to thank the Cumberland Teachers Association members who worked hard during this process on issues that benefit students, staff and the community,” said school officials in a release. “During the course of negotiations, we were able to reach agreement on a number of proposals made by each side. We value and respect our students, staff and families in the Cumberland school community and will continue to work together to address the best interests of the students, staff and residents of Cumberland.”

As previously reported by The Breeze based on a source, the contract calls for a 1 percent lump sum pay increase this year, paid before Dec. 10, for those who were teaching and on the payroll as of June 30. There will also be a 2.5 percent increase next year and a 2.5 percent increase in 2023-2024.

All staff will now be on direct deposit pay, according to contract details reviewed by The Breeze this week.

Teachers who participate in professional development sessions outside the school day will now be paid $40 per hour, up from $35. Facilitators of those sessions will receive $55 per hour instead of $50.

Among other changes, the contract puts limits on hours counselors have to work between school years.

In a move that’s being hailed by teachers and administrators, the contract also institutes maternity and paternity time off.

“Upon the birth or adoption of a child/children, an educator shall be eligible for two weeks of paid maternity/paternity leave,” it states. “The leave must be taken on consecutive school days and the first day of said leave shall begin within 30 calendar days of the birth/adoption of the child.”

Sick days in the contract are increased from eight days to 10 days annually.

Removed is a portion of the contract allowing sabbatical leave for a year of advanced study.

Teachers will be called upon to provide class coverage when the classroom teacher is not present in their class and only when necessary. Coverage shall not be assigned as just a non-instructional duty, but a reasonable effort will be made to assign coverages in an equitable manner across the union membership within a school.

Under the pact, teachers shall only be compensated for class coverage when asked to do so during their preparation period.

Removed is a line that limits teacher compensation for class coverage during their preparation time only to coverage in their content area.

If the union identifies a staffing issue that a member believes creates a student safety issue in a program, the superintendent shall meet with the union to discuss and consider the concerns. The superintendent shall not be required to take any action as a result of the meeting.

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