Teacher Contract Negotiations: Joint Letter from Mayor Siddiqui and Superintendent Greer

Teacher Contract Negotiations: Joint Letter from Mayor Siddiqui and Superintendent Greer
Posted on 06/02/2023

Dear CPS Community:

The School Committee and the Cambridge Education Association (CEA) have been engaged in negotiations over the past seven months in order to reach agreement on a new three-year (2023-2026) teachers’ contract to succeed the existing contract that is in effect until August 31, 2023.

Since October 17, 2022, the bargaining teams have met 21 times and spent nearly 73 hours negotiating, most recently yesterday, and exchanged proposals. The parties have reached tentative agreement on more than 25 proposals.

Unfortunately, the negotiating teams have been unable to reach agreement on the following key aspects of the contract:

  1. Compensation: The CEA has rejected the School Committee’s latest offer for annual salary increases.
    • The proposal would provide salary increases of 2.5%, 3%, and 3% in each of the three years of the contract for all teachers.
    • Over the course of the contract, the average CPS teacher salary is projected to increase from $99,834 to $108,562.
    • The proposal represents a total investment of more than $9.6 million in salary increases.
    • More than 60% of CPS teachers earn over $100,000 annually.
  2. Student Learning Time: In Kindergarten through grade 8, CPS has one of the shortest school days in Massachusetts, providing an inadequate amount of time for classroom teaching and learning.
    • In order to align the school day in Cambridge with most other districts across the Commonwealth, the School Committee has proposed adding 30 minutes of instructional time per day in the elementary and upper schools beginning in 2024.
    • K-8 educators would receive a pay increase of 7.5% for the additional instructional time
    • The average salary for teachers working the longer day is estimated to be $116,728 by year three of the contract.
  3. Educator Evaluation:
    • The School Committee has proposed that Cambridge adopt the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education recommended Classroom Teacher Evaluation Rubric. The rubric has been adopted by many districts across the Commonwealth, particularly to include student outcomes as an indicator in the evaluation of teacher effectiveness.

At this point, we believe we have reached an impasse and need the assistance of a neutral mediator to resolve these remaining items. The School Committee requested that the CEA join in the filing of a joint petition for mediation but the CEA declined the request. Accordingly, the School Committee has unilaterally filed a request with the state’s Department of Labor Relations (DLR) to appoint a neutral mediator to help resolve the impasse and help the parties reach agreement on a successor contract. We believe that the negotiating teams will benefit from expert and neutral mediation of this process. Requesting a state mediator demonstrates our commitment to continue the collective bargaining process to come to an agreement that is in the best interest of our students and educators.

We truly value our employees and their commitment and devotion to our students and their success. We also believe a contract that aligns expectations, working conditions, compensation, and professional learning pathways with our district plan is an important tool for continuous improvement. The School Committee looks forward to continued negotiations with the CEA.

Thank you for your continued support.


Sumbul Siddiqui, Esq.

Mayor, City of Cambridge

Chair, Cambridge School Committee

Dr. Victoria L. Greer


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