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Bridgeport Public Schools reach contract with teacher's union

The Bridgeport Public School teacher’s union, the Bridgeport Education Association, have reached an agreement for a new four-year contract with the Bridgeport Board of Education. The new contract agreement would provide stronger insurance packages, increases in salary, and class size limitations.
Dave Wurtzel
/
Connecticut Public
The Bridgeport Public School teacher’s union, the Bridgeport Education Association, have reached an agreement for a new four-year contract with the Bridgeport Board of Education. The new contract agreement would provide stronger insurance packages, increases in salary, and class size limitations.

The Bridgeport Education Association, the union representing teachers within Bridgeport Public Schools, has reached an agreement for a new four-year contract with the Bridgeport Board of Education.

The union, which represents 1,500 educators, agreed on a contract that would run until mid-2028.

According to Jeff Morrissey, president of the union, the contract includes a 17.49% increase in compensation for teachers over the next four years. The agreement also includes a clause that would prohibit the school district from freezing teacher salaries.

All educators would be eligible for a pay raise each year, Morrissey said.

Currently, Bridgeport teacher salaries range between $45,591 for new teachers to $100,497 for veteran teachers.

When the existing contract was approved in 2020, teachers were awarded with a 12.51% raise over four years. The then superintendent Michael Testani said the contract salary negotiations would cost the district up to $8 million. The Bridgeport union is the largest within the state.

The current superintendent, Carmela Levy-David, who joined the district in August, previously pledged to support higher pay for teachers and other staff members as a way to retain employees within the Bridgeport system.

“We’re trying to be competitive with surrounding areas and we’re hoping to attract more teachers to Bridgeport and teach and be here for the long haul and hopefully it’ll stop teachers from leaving the district and in some cases, the profession,” Morrissey said.

Morrissey hopes the new contract, which takes effect July 1, 2024, will attract new teachers to the district instead of being just a stop in the beginning stages of their career.

The new contract agreement would also provide stronger medical and dental insurance packages. Those who run after school programs in the district would receive salary increases. And under the agreement class sizes would be limited to 24-29 students in a classroom.

Lesley Cosme Torres is an Education Reporter at Connecticut Public. She reports on education inequities across the state and also focuses on Connecticut's Hispanic and Latino residents, with a particular focus on the Puerto Rican community. Her coverage spans from LGBTQ+ discrimination in K-12 schools, book ban attempts across CT, student mental health concerns, and more. She reports out of Fairfield county and Hartford.

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