The Keene Education Association and the Keene Board of Education are pleased to announce they have come to a tentative collective bargaining agreement on Tuesday, November 20, 2018. The tentative agreement was approved by the members of the Keene Education Association on Friday, November 30, 2018 and subsequently by the members of the Keene Board of Education on Wednesday, December 5, 2018 and will be placed on the warrant for Keene voters to consider in the Keene School District elections in March of 2019.
The agreement, if approved by voters, would become effective on July 1, 2019 and run through June 30, 2023, thus bringing an end to the current status of operating without a contract for Keene teachers. Both the KEA and the KBE were committed to coming to an agreement that would be fair for teachers, fair for students and fair for the residents of the city of Keene.
“I am grateful to the teachers, board members, and administrators that worked so hard to negotiate this agreement. This contract recognizes that the strength of our schools is based on the wonderful teachers we have here in Keene. It remains true to our goal of strengthening a sustainable local education by fairly compensating our teachers for their hard work and time while keeping the needs of students and fairness to taxpayers in mind,” said Keene Board of Education Chairperson, George Downing. “The Board is pleased to have this agreement ratified and looks forward to continuing to work with our teachers for the benefit of our students.”
Keene Education Association President, Bill Gillard, added, “These negotiations, which have been ongoing for over a year now, were difficult for the teachers, nurses, counselors, and other educational professionals in the Keene schools. The KEA really appreciates the Board members that stepped forward in September and worked with us to come to an agreement. This agreement was the result of the hard work and collaboration between the KEA, the SAU 29 Administration, and the Board, finding solutions to problems, which address the needs of the teachers, the students, and consider the Keene taxpayers. The four year agreement will provide stability in the schools and help allow the Keene School District retain and continue to hire the best teachers, nurses, counselors, and other educational professionals in the area to serve the Keene students. The KEA is delighted to have this agreement ratified by both groups and be able to continue teaching each day knowing that we are supported by the KBE."