Press Release – Holyoke Public Schools Paraprofessionals, Secretaries, Assistant Principals and Deans Ratify New Contracts

Press Release – Holyoke Public Schools Paraprofessionals, Secretaries, Assistant Principals and Deans Ratify New Contracts

July 26, 2018




HOLYOKE, Massachusetts – The Holyoke Public Schools (HPS) is pleased to announce the ratification of three collective bargaining agreements that are aligned with the district’s turnaround plan.  These contracts with district paraprofessionals, secretaries, assistant principals, and deans represent the first collective bargaining agreements since June 2014.  “We are excited that these valuable members of our organization will have new contracts aligned to the turnaround plan.  The contracts allow for more flexibility at the school level to meet the needs of our students and provide additional career and leadership opportunities for our staff,” shared Holyoke Public Schools Receiver/Superintendent Dr. Stephen Zrike, Jr.  “We are thankful for the commitment of the unions and their leaders throughout this process, which speaks to their dedication to the students and families of Holyoke.”

District leaders collaborated with the Holyoke Association of Paraprofessionals, Holyoke Public Schools Secretaries Association, and the Holyoke Educators Association (HEA – which represents assistant principals and deans).  These groups have their first union contract since the district’s turnaround work was initiated.  Contracts are effective from July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2020.

“The HEA is pleased to have reached agreement on a new contract with the HPS. We feel the new contract presents a fair offer to the members and recognizes the good work the HEA members bring to their schools every day,” stated President of the HEA John Cavanaugh.  Key components of these agreements include merit-based increases that allow effective staff members to accelerate at a more rapid pace, and flexible working conditions so that schools can make decisions based on student needs.

“On behalf of the Holyoke Secretaries Association, we thank Dr. Zrike and his team on finalizing our contract,” stated President of the HPS Secretaries Association Denise Ortiz.  “We are excited to work together as a team to prepare our students for their future.”

“The members of the Holyoke Association of Paraprofessionals are happy to have a new contract,” stated President of the Holyoke Association of Paraprofessionals Karen Robidoux.  “We are eager to continue working with our school district to provide our members with even more competitive compensation and support in the coming years.”

The Holyoke Public Schools serves approximately 5,500 students and employees approximately 192 paraprofessionals, 32 secretaries, and 21 assistant principals and deans.

Contracts are posted to the district website at


Judy Taylor, Communications Director
(413) 493-1605,