Education Support Professionals Negotiations

Gloucester School Committee Proposes further Increases to ESP Salaries - January 24, 2024

The School Committee’s January 24 proposal raises salaries for every current Gloucester ESP higher than the Committee’s previous proposal. The Committee has now proposed to raise salaries of current ESP’s from between 27% and 42%.  This proposal raises the top salary for the final year of the contract to $33,305 (from $31,655 in the previous proposal). And it increases annual salaries of existing employees by between $7,150 to $9,850. This increase was achieved through salary design that adjusts salaries for future hires in their first two years in the district.  

During Public Comment at the January 24 School Committee meeting, it became clear that there was some confusion on the part of the GAEP negotiating team about the Committee's proposal  The School Committee did not, in fact, lower our proposal. In fact, we increased salaries for all existing employees.

Other highlights of the updated wage proposal include:

To review the School Committee's updated salary proposal, click here

To review the GAEP package proposal from January 24, click here


Gloucester School Committee Statement on ESP Negotiations - September 15, 2023

At the September 14th negotiation session, the Gloucester School Committee offered a historic wage increase for the Gloucester Public School Educational Support Paraprofessionals (ESPs). This wage  proposal far exceeds any increase that has ever been negotiated by Gloucester Association of Educational Paraprofessionals (GAEP) and prior School Committees. 

The School Committee’s final proposal: 

The proposed wages are commensurate with job responsibilities and required qualifications. Further, this proposal is in line both with neighboring and comparable districts. In comparison, other city employees whose contracts have been negotiated over the past year have received average raises of 3% each year. 

Thursday evening’s proposal was made possible by working with the Verga administration. In August, after extensive executive session discussions and based on additional funding that Mayor Verga guaranteed for this purpose, the School Committee’s September 14 wage proposal increased $120,000. 

During these contract negotiations, there has been much talk about a “living wage” as defined by the MIT Living Wage calculator. The School Committee’s proposal ensures that all paraprofessionals will be earning at or above a living hourly wage in the next year. Paraprofessionals work 6.5 hours per day and have a 183 day work year. If paraprofessionals had a 40-hour work week and a 12-month work year, annual salaries would be between $48,700 and $55,000. Simply put, the School Committee’s proposal achieves the goal of a living hourly wage.

This historic wage proposal was rejected by GAEP,  and countered with another fiscally unrealistic proposal.  After nearly six months of negotiations and due to the significant difference between the group’s current financial proposals, the School Committee indicated its belief that the parties are at an impasse and that mediation is necessary. When two parties remain far apart after productive long-term negotiations, mediation can help resolve the last outstanding issues and come to an agreement. The School Committee believes that mediation by a neutral party is the most productive way forward from here. 

The School Committee is disappointed that discussions have not resulted in a settlement. The School Committee’s salary proposal combined with the improvements to support paraprofessionals’ education and training put forth are unprecedented. The wage proposal is more than competitive with other districts, it provides a living hourly wage, and it is fiscally prudent given the fiscal uncertainties the Commonwealth and the city are likely to face in the coming years. 

To view the School Committee’s full salary proposal from September 14 please access the links below:

Upcoming Mediation Sessions - The next scheduled mediation sessions are on February 15, March 6, March 21, and April 4, 11 and 25.  The School Committee is disappointed that GAEP was unable to offer a date sooner than February 15.  We are eager to reach a timely resolution.

Proposals Presented by Each Negotiating Team

Update from the Aug. 23 Negotiations Session

The Aug. 23 negotiation session focused on wages. The School Committee proposed a revised wage proposal that would increase paraprofessional salaries by 19% to 33% and included wage comparisons with local school districts and districts that are economically comparable. The ESP team responded by revising their wage proposal. Both of these wage proposals and the district comparisons are linked below. 

Update from the June 28 Negotiations Session

Proposals Exchanged on June 28

Update from June 6 Negotiations Session

Proposals Exchanged on June 6

Update from May 22 Negotiations Session

Proposals Exchanged on May 22

Update from May 5th Negotiation Session

Proposals Exchanged on April 27

Statement of Values and Intentions from the Gloucester School Committee Negotiating Team

The School Committee is committed to working toward a mutually satisfactory successor agreement. While contract negotiations can often be challenging for both parties, our School Committee Negotiating team will listen closely and work respectfully with our Gloucester Association of Education Paraprofessionals partners. It is our hope that together we will work productively and amicably toward solutions.



During these successor negotiations we intend to offer and come to agreement on proposals that will: