Classes canceled in 2 Massachusetts cities amid teachers strike

MALDEN, Mass. — Teachers opted to go on strike in two Massachusetts cities after contract negotiations failed over the weekend, prompting the cancellation of classes on Monday.

Educators have walked out of the classroom in Malden and Haverhill, leaving thousands of students at home as teachers demand better pay and improved working conditions.

Scott Wood, of the Haverhill School Committee, said Monday morning that teachers left the bargaining table Sunday night after the district made a “very generous” offer.

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

Late Monday afternoon, a judge responded to an injunction request from the Haverhill School Committee, ruling that the teachers must return to the classroom.

The Haverhill YMCA and Boys and Girls Club of Greater Haverhill will be open on Monday for children presently enrolled in their programs.

Teachers in Malden began picketing at all seven of the city’s public schools starting around 8 a.m. Teachers and the school system could not reach a deal on a new contract Sunday night.

The Malden teachers, like their Haverhill counterparts, are trying to negotiate a new contract with added benefits such as more reasonable schedules, smaller class sizes and better compensation

Malden’s Superintendent says while this may be intended to send a message to school district leaders, in her opinion, it’s the students and families who are suffering the consequences.

Boston 25 has learned that teachers in both cities are scheduled to renew their separate negotiations with various officials from Haverhill and Malden at 4:00 p.m. on Monday.

Wood called the strikes a “coordinated effort” by the Massachusetts Teachers Association.

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