Support our educators. Ask the School Committee to settle a fair contract NOW!

The Amherst-Pelham and Regional School Committees

Amherst-Pelham Education Association

Please sign our petition to the Amherst – Pelham and Regional School Committees to urge them to return to negotiations and settle a fair contract for our educators!

The Amherst – Pelham Education Association (APEA) entered into negotiations over a year ago to bargain fair contracts for our educators. Last June, the School Committees abruptly cancelled negotiations and walked away from the negotiating table. For the past six months they have refused to bargain face to face. Instead, they’ve chosen to hide behind their lawyer and conduct negotiations in the newspapers and on social media rather than actually meeting with us.

Please add your name to the petition below to ask the School Committees to return to the negotiating table and to start bargaining in good faith.

Our students need educators who don’t have to work two or three jobs and/or rely on food stamps and housing assistance to make ends meet.

To: The Amherst-Pelham and Regional School Committees
From: [Your Name]

I am urging the Amherst-Pelham and Regional School Committees to promptly settle a fair contract with the Amherst-Pelham Education Association (APEA). Our students deserve great schools and our educators deserve fair wages and working conditions.

APEA educators have been working without a contract since June. It is disappointing that the School Committees have chosen to stop meeting with our educators in face-to-face negotiations. We need the School Committee to stop playing games and start negotiating in good faith so our educators can focus on the business of maintaining high-quality schools.

Fast food restaurants in the area are paying higher starting wages than what the School Committee is offering. Despite working full time jobs caring for our most vulnerable children, too many paraeducators in our schools are eligible for, and indeed rely upon, assistance programs like food stamps and housing aid to make ends meet. Under the School Committee’s wage proposals even more would be eligible for these assistance programs in the coming years. Our educators shouldn’t need to rely on food stamps to feed their families. APEA educators deserve reasonable wages that keep up with inflation.

It is important to settle a fair and respectful contract as soon as possible. Morale among our schools' staff is incredibly LOW and falling. Staff turnover is rapidly increasing. Without sustained investment, we will continue to lose experienced educators and fail to recruit new quality staff, due to the low pay and heavy workload.

Educator working conditions are student learning conditions. It is past time to treat APEA educators with respect, and ensure that our students are properly supported. Settle this contract so educators can focus on providing a high-quality education for our students.