Tentative Agreement Reached Between NREA and North Reading School Committee






On Thursday, August 28, 2009, we reached a tentative agreement which will be presented to union members and agency fee payers for ratification on September 8, 2009 at 7:45 AM at NRHS.  An official ratification notice will be mailed.  Highlights of the agreement include the following:


  • Three year agreement
  • Reduced health insurance premium payment (savings of $148.56 for teachers on the individual plan and $399.84 on the family plan) and increased co-pays (office visit increased from $5 to $15, ER visit increased from $25 to $50, and mail order Rx increased from $10/$20/$35to $20/$40/$70)
  • Year one (2009-2010 school year) 0% pay increase and delay in step increases: teachers will receive half of the value of their step increase in their pay.
  • Year two (2010-2011 school year) 1% pay increase and no delay in steps.
  • Year three (2011-2012 school year) 1.75% pay increase and no delay in steps.
  • Elementary teachers will be relieved of the supervision of all recess-indoor and outdoor
  • Pre-K teacher schedule will be adjusted to relieve pre-K teachers of the extra 2.5 hours that they have been working (in accordance with the typical elementary schedule)
  • Agreement on a sub-committee to meet to determine job descriptions and teaching load for High School and Middle School department chairs, to be in place if/when the positions are restored.


Although the Bargaining Team had hoped for a more lucrative settlement to bring before you, we are convinced that this is the best possible settlement and we are recommending this agreement for ratification.

Contract Negotiations

Update 5/27/09


The bargaining team met with the School Committee on 5/27/09.  NREA members present at the Annual Meeting voted to refuse a freeze in step increases.  The School Committee is upset that the NREA will not agree to a step freeze and postponement of steps over the course of a 3-year contract.


The School Committee has notified the NREA bargaining team that some members will be laid off at the end of this school year.  State law requires school districts to notify non-professional status teachers of non-renewal by June 15.


The NREA’s counter proposal to the most recent one by the School Committee is as follows:


·        Year 1  2009-2010   0% wage increase

          Implement step increases   

Accept proposed health insurance plan (decreased premium, increased co-pays)

·        Year 2  2010-2011  

2% wage increase  

Implement step increases

·        Year 3  2011-2012  

2% wage increase   

          Implement step increases

This proposal only includes financial considerations on salary and health insurance.  Other proposals are still on the table and will be discussed.


There are no tentative agreements. That is to say that we are standing strong to hold onto the step increases!   Bargaining sessions are scheduled for June 16 and June 24. Updates will be posted on this website as necessary.


Update 5/15/09


The Bargaining Team members will hold 10-minute meetings this week. We strongly encourage all members to attend the Annual Meeting on 5/26 at Focaccia Restaurant.  Details of bargaining will be shared and discussed at this time.  As the budget views continue to get worse the School Committee proposals are trending downward.  There will be TOUGH DECISIONS TO MAKE AND WE NEED YOUR INPUT.


Please see your building representative for the Annual Meeting invitation. RSVP by 5/22. 

NREA Annual Meeting

NREA Social Gathering

Annual Meeting

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Focaccia Italian Restaurant

2 Lowell St.

Wilmington, MA



All NREA members are invited to attend this congenial evening with friends and colleagues.   Please come and celebrate the end of another school year and the beginning of new ventures for our retiring colleagues.  



            3:30- 4:15  Election of Officers

            3:30   Cocktails and appetizers

            4:15   Retiree acknowledgment

                      President’s report on contract negotiations

                      Treasurer’s report of the budget

            5:15   Dinner: $10.00 per person


Please complete this form and return the bottom portion to your building representative by May 22.  Please keep this top portion as your reminder.




Name ______________________________________________________



_______ I will only attend the business portion of the meeting. (free)


_______ I will attend the meeting and stay for dinner. ($10.00)


_______ I cannot attend the meeting.


See your building representative for the paper invitation. 



March 12th: Memo Regarding Health Insurance

In recent weeks the Town of North Reading has moved to change the current HMO Blue health insurance plan.  MIIA has already announced a rate hike of 6.4% effective August 1.  However, the town wishes to implement a change before then.  


With the failure to adopt the GIC and coalition bargaining (which would have joined all the town unions in a single bargaining unit for health insurance), the town has worked with MIIA to come up with several options involving difference choices in rate hikes and co-payments.  Town Administrator Greg Balukonis recently held a meeting at which union representatives had a chance to choose an option; as these reps form the Insurance Advisory Committee whose role is only advisory, the vote does not bind the town to a decision.

The NREA was not represented at this meeting.  As any change in the health insurance plan legally  requires bargaining, Jill Coleman, our MTA rep, has advised us not to vote for any option.  Instead, we are working to get the TA to the bargaining table.  Mr. Balukonis has been informed of our position and is expected to take part in health insurance bargaining soon.

NREA members can expect further information in the near future.  Thank you for your patience as we strive to bring this very important matter to a satisfactory conclusion.


                                                               Bob Ward/ NREA Executive Board

Setting Straight the Health Insurance Discussions (Fall 2008)

 To counter public suggestions that the MTA was a barrier to discussions about town health insurance options and the GIC, the following letter was printed in the North Reading Transcript  and signed by representatives of police, fire, retirees, paraprofessionals and the NREA.  Within you will find a clear timeline of meetings and actions taken over many months.  

Letter to Transcript ( gic-letter-to-transcript)


Welcome, North Reading Educators!


Welcome, all, to the official website for the North Reading Education Association. 


Through the hard work and the promotional efforts of several members of the NREA, this website is now up and running, ready to serve both as an informational resource and a forum for members’ contributions. 


We work in a profession that presents many opportunities for creativity, real service, worthy endeavors, and fun.  However, it also presents situations that bring uncertainty or simply add to the already considerable demands of our work day (and night). 



It is my hope, and the hope of our colleagues who have created and now maintain this site, that it will aid in both the expression of our pride in the former aspect of our profession and the enhancement of our effectiveness in dealing with the latter. 



With sincere thanks to all of you,


Robert J. Ward, President

North Reading Education Association