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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

City Council Subcommittee Studies Providence Teachers Union Contract

On February 22, the Providence City Council Education Finance Subcommittee conducted its second hearing on the Providence Teachers Union contract. The hearing was the second in a series that will provide information to the City Council to prepare a report containing a “wish list” of proposed changes to the contract.

At the February 22 hearing, Amit Jain, a Brown University student who is volunteering as an intern, presented a report that compared the Providence Teachers Union contract with other Rhode Island teacher contracts. A copy of his report is attached, along with a copy of the PowerPoint presentation he made and comments about the hearings from Sam Zurier of the Providence City Council, who is the Chair of the subcommittee.

As summarized at p. 13 of his report, Mr. Jain found, among other things, that the Providence contract:

  • Is 27th out of 32 districts in both top step and 1-9 step average salaries
  • Has the shortest school year in the state, 2 days shorter than the mean
  • Is 31st and 23rd out of 35 districts in elementary and secondary work day length, respectively
  • Has the shortest school day permitted under State regulations
  • Is 21st out of 29 districts in faculty/staff/department meetings, 6.18 hours below the mean
  • Requires no professional development hours on baseline salary, compared to 19 districts that require some professional development without additional compensation (and another 13 that also require zero hours)
  • Neither allocates specific days/meetings for parent conferences nor obligates teachers to meet with parents when necessary/upon request, compared to 32 districts that take one or both approaches (and another 3 that also require zero hours)

The Subcommittee will hold its next hearing on Wednesday, March 2nd at 4:30 p.m. at which time Matthew Clarkin, the City’s Internal Auditor, will present information about possible financial savings that could be realized in the next contract.

Hearing Reports (pdfs):

Council Hearing Summary

Final Report with Appendices

PowerPoint Presentation