South Hadley teachers rally amid push for new contract

The South Hadley Educational Association is continuing to fight for a new contract as we head towards a new calendar year.
Published: Dec. 4, 2022 at 10:25 PM EST
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SOUTH HADLEY, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - The South Hadley Educational Association is continuing to fight for a new contract as we head towards a new calendar year.

The negotiations between them and the school committee has been going on for roughly a year and a half now.

On Sunday, teachers held a rally at the town common in South Hadley.

“This is our third rally and each time, we have more and more people showing up and that’s been our goal, is to reach out to the community and let the community know the needs of our students and our teachers are in schools, so it’s great to have everyone show up to them so we can have those conversations and get the communities support in helping us settle a fair contract,” said Amy Foley, president of the South Hadley Education Association.

The South Hadley School Committe said in a statement, in part:

“As we have stated many times throughout the current and protracted contract negotiation process, the South Hadley School Committee has largely remained silent on the status of negotiations beyond providing limited updates at committee meetings. We have resisted multiple media requests for comment even when the teacher’s union has engaged in increasingly public efforts to comment on and discredit the negotiation process. We have taken this position because it is improper to engage in public comment during the negotiation process. More recently, however, in the face of increasing public comments from SHEA on social media posting and in the news media, the School Committee has begun to respond to SHEA statements that are factually incorrect or incomplete. In doing so, we have never disparaged the union or its membership. We have not taken the position that very real disagreements on matters of fiscal management have to devolve into name calling or questioning the integrity of those holding different views. We remain committed to that principle. However, the South Hadley School Committee will no longer remain publicly silent in the face of increasingly hostile and flat-out inaccurate statements coming from the teacher’s union.”