Massachusetts Schools Close Down As Teachers Go On Strike

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Reagan Reese Contributor
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Schools in two school districts in Massachusetts are closed on Monday after teachers went on strike, according to statements by the schools.

After negotiating over the weekend, Malden Education Association and Haverhill Education Association could not reach an agreement with their schools and voted to strike, forcing the schools to suspend classes Monday, according to statements by Malden Public Schools and Haverhill Public Schools. The educators are asking for higher pay, smaller classroom sizes and improved school conditions. (RELATED: Major Teachers Union Goes On Strike, Delaying The First Day Of School For Thousands)

“Educators have put forward proposals on racial justice, health and safety and other working conditions that have a direct impact on the quality of education we can provide students attending Haverhill Public Schools,” Haverhill Education Association said in a statement. “Our students deserve and need a more diverse teaching force. They deserve and need to be in suitable learning environments. They deserve and need educators who have time to prepare, plan and collaborate with colleagues.”

Malden Public Schools covers seven different schools with more than 6,000 students, according to Niche, while Haverhill Public Schools is made up of 16 schools with nearly 8,000 students, according to U.S. News Education.

Haverhill Public Schools made Monday a professional development day and staff are expected to attend, a statement by the school said. School is set to resume Tuesday and the missed day of class will be made up at the end of the school year.

Malden Public Schools canceled all classes including after-school activities but are requiring staff to show up for work, according to a statement by the school.

Haverhill School Committee member Scott Wood said the school made an offer on Sunday , according to Boston 25 News.

“The city has offered a financial package of over $20 million in raises,” Wood told the outlet. “This is an unprecedented amount. We think this is more than fair and in line with what teachers in other districts are being paid.”

Malden Public Schools made progress in negotiations with the teachers union on Sunday, the school told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“The School Committee’s negotiating team and the MEA had an incredibly productive day of bargaining that ended in the committee making a significant number of agreements and a very competitive and unprecedented salary and benefits offer,” Malden Public School Superintendent Noriega-Murphy said in a statement to the DCNF. “Considering how much movement was made today, we would have hoped the bargaining could have continued at our next regularly scheduled meeting, and that no avoidable disruption to the education of our students and routine of our families would occur.”

Malden Education Association, Haverhill Education Association and Haverhill Public Schools did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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