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Wayland Student Press

The student news site of Wayland High School

Wayland Student Press

The student news site of Wayland High School

Wayland Student Press

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News Brief: Upcoming town meeting to discuss Wayland teachers’ contracts

On+Friday%2C+Jan.+19%2C+WHS+girls+basketball+will+be+playing+Cambridge+Rindge+and+Latin+in+the+annual+Coaches+vs+Cancer+game.
Credit: Alyssa Ao
On Friday, Jan. 19, WHS girls basketball will be playing Cambridge Rindge and Latin in the annual “Coaches vs Cancer” game.

On Wednesday, Dec. 6, a town meeting will occur in Wayland High School’s auditorium at 6:45 p.m. to discuss contracts for Wayland Public Schools (WPS) teachers and teaching assistants.

There will only be one Article: “To see if the town will appropriate from available funds the money necessary to satisfy the contract obligations for [Wayland teachers] for the 2023-2025 contract. Or take any other action relative thereto.” If voted “yes,” money from the town’s available funds of unused money will be transferred to WPS teachers’ and teacher assistants’ payroll.

Every three years, the teachers’ contract is renegotiated. Due to a dramatic rise in inflation over the last three years, Wayland teachers negotiated their contract to align with their new costs of living. According to the Wayland Teachers’ Association’s (WTA) president Sarah Sontag, the cost of living increased by 8% last year and the teachers will get a 3.25% salary increase this year.

WHS math teacher Charlene Bishop has been leading the teachers in their contract negotiations through demonstrations.

“We believe that schools in Wayland are a big part of why people choose to live here,” Bishop said. “We’re really proud to work here. The town [has] always been very supportive of the school here, so we were hoping that would continue.”

The original town meeting on this subject did not include the Wayland Educational Secretaries Association (WESA) because the wording on the warrant was not explicit enough. However, during the week of Nov. 21, Sontag, along with other WTA and WESA staff, went out to the initial petitioners to amend the WESA contract in the town meeting. The group got a over 100 signatures after spending five hours on the first day and three hours the next day collecting signatures.

“We have a really strong WESA community,” Sontag said. “They work really hard while they’re here, and they also take work home with them and do lots of other things.”

It is common for teacher assistants in Wayland to work two or three other jobs in addition to their teaching job. On average, they are paid $22 an hour.

“People move to Wayland for our schools,” WESA Vice President and Loker Elementary School teaching assistant Lyssa McGrath said. “Our schools wouldn’t be our schools without the teachers and the teacher assistants and all the staff that help run these buildings.”

Despite the teachers’ and teacher assistants’ payroll increasing in the new contract, the town will not spend more on their salaries. The funds will be taken from an unnamed category of available money for the teachers’ and teacher assistants’ salary.

“The last time [we did] salary tables, what we were working off of [were] our salaries [that] were created in 2019,” Bishop said. “Inflation changed [our lives] quite a bit. The cost of everyday [living] has changed quite a bit. The cost of everyday items is a lot different than it was three years ago. So it is really important that we get paid to deal with inflation.”

Sontag hopes to gain Wayland’s support as their new contracts are renegotiated.

“We know that we’re lucky as educators to work in Wayland, we love it here,” Sontag said. “We know that we have the support of so many of our families and so we’re really just looking for families to come out on Dec. 6 and vote yes.”

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About the Contributors
Ainsley Jay, Staff Reporter
Ainsley Jay, Class of 2027, is a first year reporter for WSPN. She runs for the school’s cross country team. Outside of school she enjoys reading, watching TV, listening to music and spending time with friends and family. Contact: [email protected]
Alyssa Ao, Co-Graphics Editor
Alyssa Ao, Class of 2025, is a co-graphics editor for WSPN. She is also one of the Math Team captains and co-president of the Art Club. Outside of school, she enjoys art, playing piano and watching TV. Contact: [email protected]
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