The Portland school district said Saturday it has now paid its ed techs correctly, with back pay.

“(Superintendent Xavier Botana) committed this week to implement the increase and retroactive pay on 12/2, which we did,” school board Chair Emily Figdor said in an email to the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on Saturday.

Before this week, district education technicians had not been receiving their correct pay and had not gotten the back pay they were guaranteed in the contract they agreed to in October.

Figdor did not respond to a series of questions from the Press Herald regarding the district’s payroll issues, including whether any district employees received incorrect paychecks Friday.

The Portland Education Association, which represents ed techs and teachers, and some of its members reported Friday that some employees were not paid accurately, contrary to what the district promised.

Botana has told the newspaper that the school district will not respond to any of its questions, citing displeasure with its coverage.


According to their contract, district ed techs should have been gotten their raises and back pay around six weeks ago.

The ed tech contract, which was signed Oct. 18, reads: “This Agreement shall govern the rights of the parties effective as of its execution date and remain in effect to August 31, 2024.”

The contract also says that “wage increases for the 2021-2022 school year shall be paid retroactively to September 1, 2021 to all eligible bargaining unit members employed as of the execution date of the Agreement.”

However, Figdor said in an email to the Press Herald on Saturday that the district did not commit in the contract to paying its ed techs their raises and back pay by a specific date.

“The contract did not include a specific commitment as to when the district would implement the pay increase or retroactive pay,” Figdor said. “There’s a recognition among both parties (PPS and the ed tech union) that it takes time to implement new contracts. Typically, in public education, it can take four to eight weeks to implement new labor contracts. Sometimes there is a verbal agreement as to the timeline made at the time the contract is signed. But that was not the case with this contract.”

Figdor did not respond to requests for documentation of an agreement that the contract would not be effective immediately.

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