I want to update you as to the status of our talks with the District about the closing of schools in New Bedford due to Coronavirus.
The NBEA received word from the District on Sunday, March 15 that Governor Baker had ordered that all schools in the state be closed until April 7. Immediately, I sent a request to bargain any and all changes to working conditions, to the Superintendent. His office and myself began to work on this language at once.
The NBEA’s first goal was to ensure that all educators will continue to receive their full salary and benefits from the District. To this end, the the NBEA has now secured a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to the Contract to ensure this in writing.
The MOA was negotiated by the President of the NBEA with the assistance of First Vice-President Fred Pearson, Vice President of Unit A Chuck Lapre and Vice President of Unit B Jeff Longo. NBEA also consulted with MTA for direction and advisement.
The negotiated MOA was sent to the NBEA Executive Board for review and approval this morning. Do to the inability to hold an emergency meeting in person, the Board was given until 1PM to vote by e-mail. The Board voted unanimously to approve the MOA. A ratification vote was not possible, due to the unforeseen need for this measure, the lack of time, and most importantly, the inability to have a meeting of the membership both for logistical and health concerns. Because of this the NBEA Executive Board voted unanimously to approve the signing of the MOA without ratification.
The MOA, as well as an FAQ, is available in the members section of the NBEA website.
The MOA states:
The NBEA office is closed during this time of school closures in New Bedford. However, I will still be working remotely to support any members concerns on this or any other matter. Please address questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will try to answer them in as timely a manner as possible.