Teachers in Haverhill and Malden, Massachusetts may be closer to striking on Monday after a meeting on Saturday yielded no agreement between the school committee and the teachers union.
School will be closed Monday in Malden and Haverhill if the districts and their unions can’t come to an agreement by the end of the day.
“Striking does nothing to bring us together to come to a mutual decision on a contract which is fair and equitable for our teachers.” said Haverhill officials
Some 6,000 students in Malden and 8,000 in Haverhill would be impacted. Teachers are prohibited from striking under Massachusetts law and could face legal action if they walk out. Still, several unions in nearby communities, including the Massachusetts Teachers Association, are supporting the strikes.
Teachers in both districts have been without a contract since the summer. School officials and teachers in Haverhill spent 7 hours negotiating with a state mediator on Saturday. Meanwhile hundreds of teachers, parents and students rallied in each city, calling for better pay and smaller class sizes.
“I can tell you that our members are scared. They’re scared for their students. They’re not sure what they’re doing is right… we think we’re doing the right thing.” said Tim Briggs, president of the Haverhill Education Association.
Talks are expected to start at 9 a.m. at Malden City Hall and 10 a.m. in Haverhill.