QPS and Quincy Federation set a tentative, 3 year agreement

Quincy Public School officials and Quincy Federation representatives met for 90 minutes on Tuesday to set a tentative three year agreement.

Quincy Public School officials and Quincy Federation representatives met for 90 minutes on Tuesday to set a tentative three-year agreement.

This was the fifth time both sides have met since negotiations began in May for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Quincy Federation co-president Jen Drew credits interest-based bargaining as a key to smooth negotiations this time around.

"Instead of going in and having a lawyer present at the table and going back and fourth about articles. we just focused on the issues," Drew said.

Drew added the issues discussed were "minor language items." She said the salary schedule for teachers under this contract will be different but did not specify how the structure would change.

While Drew and QPS Board President Sayeed Ali did not discuss financial details, they did announce this tentative agreement is for three years. That's an additional two years compared to the union members' current contract.

"We tossed around a couple different ideas," Ali explained. "We did look at a one year and two year but the way we were able to structure it to agree on a three year. I think that is beneficial for everyone."

Ali added communication was better from both parties.

"I think that there are a lot of areas we could approve on after the last negotiations," he explained. "We worked on that. We created the Financial Overwatch Committee and brought the union in prior to negotiations so we could look at balance sheets and our budgets. Going into this everybody was more on the same page."

Both sides speak positively about the compromise.

"While we are not necessarily thrilled with the amount of compensation we will be offering, we do understand the constraint the district is under with the state financial crisis," Drew said.

"I think when you take a look at compensation packages, I don't think we are where we need to be," Ali explained. "We probably aren't where they would like us to be but I think they understand the challenges we are facing. When it comes down to it, I know our employees from cooks, to bus drivers, to teachers and it does start and end with educating our children. I think that's where we are at right now."

Those who have followed this story may recall the union and the district met 19 times over the course of 9 months last year to agree on the staff's current contracts.

"I feel confident that I have something to offer to them," Drew shared. "Positive about the outcome and how things went and I think we have a pretty positive package to offer."

The Quincy Federation is comprised of more than 850 employees, which include teachers, bus drivers, para educators, security, and other staff.

Next, the Quincy Federation membership will vote on this tentative agreement on July 21st and 24th.

Drew added votes will be calculated on the 25th for final results to be presented July 26th to the QPS Board of Education.

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