The Newton teachers’ strike extends into its second weekend as teachers and the city fail to reach an agreement
An ongoing Newton teachers strike will continue into its second weekend after teachers and the city were unable to reach an agreement Friday.
Representatives from the city and the Newton School Committee announced that the strike would continue for the eighth straight day at a news conference on Friday evening.
The two sides intend to return to the negotiating table on Saturday morning.
Schools were closed for a sixth day Friday as teachers and Newton School Committee members spent hours negotiating inside the city’s education center.
Tensions appeared to have reached a boiling point on Friday morning.
A union member said: “The School Committee showed us again today that they are not interested in actually negotiating… They have no interest in returning our students to school… The School Committee is not here to bargain.” Boston 25.
The union is demanding better wages, working conditions and benefits in bars with similar surrounding areas.
Because teacher strikes are illegal in the Bay State, the NTA has imposed fines totaling $375,000 so far.
With another round of fines looming, the teachers asked a Middlesex County Superior Court judge for more time.
“Let’s take a break, let’s get the parties really focused over this weekend,” Massachusetts Teachers Association representative Lori Holley asked the judge.
The judge said the fines would resume at $50,000 if the two sides could not reach an agreement by 8:00 p.m. on Sunday.
In the Newton teachers’ strike, fines will resume at $50,000 if a teacher does not end the strike by Sunday at 8 p.m. Fines now total $375,000. The strike will be reconsidered if the strike continues. “Right now I’m slowing down,” Judge says. @boston25 pic.twitter.com/m7j8R5xgkZ
– Bob Ward Boston 25 (@Bward3) January 26, 2024
“We are asking the NTA to compromise and cooperate,” Julie McDonough, a Newton Public Schools representative, said in a statement. “The School Committee has undertaken multiple revisions and restructured its proposals in response to NTA’s requests. By contrast, NTA has not moved from its original positions on major issues.
For some, the strike meant finding child care for more than a week, with uncertainty about whether they would need it the next.
The school system also provided grab-and-go breakfasts and lunches to children in need.
One mother said her family was lucky because her daughters did not return home alone, and this was difficult for her children.
“It’s been really hard to see my kids’ lives disrupted and to see them face uncertainty about when they’ll be back in school again,” Deena Snyder said.
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