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Schools closed Thursday in Newton, fines now $525,000 for teacher’s association, as strike continues

NEWTON, Mass. — Students who attend Newton Public Schools will miss classes again for a tenth day Thursday as contract negotiations between the city’s School Committee and the Newton Teachers Association drag on.

The union is still being fined $50,000 each day the strike continues and will be fined $525,000 because no deal is reached Wednesday night.

Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey responded Wednesday to the historic teachers strike going on in a suburb of Boston.

“I continue to just call for a resolution here our students need it parents need it,” Gov. Healey told reporters.

“Is the state at the negotiating table,” asked Boston 25 Reporter Daniel Coates.

“Well the state is involved separately through the process,” Gov. Healey responded.

A deal has yet to be struck between the school committee and teachers association after 12 days into their strike. The school committee and Newton Mayor Ruthanne Fuller are holding strong that the union’s demands would force cutbacks in staffing and programs.

But teachers saying they’ll wait as long as it takes. The sticking points include not only pay raises but also getting social workers into schools, reduced class sizes, and an updated parental leave policy.

A Newton mother, Lital Asher-Dotan, filed a lawsuit earlier this week, claiming the strike has had “severely detrimental effects” on her children’s education and overall well-being.

Now, Asher-Dotan the mother of three is seeking monetary damages from the teachers union, according to new court filings.

In the filing, she blasts the NTA’s argument as “misplaced and inapplicable,” and now is expecting financial damages from the union for her children. A judge has not yet made a ruling.

A second family is trying to stop the strike with legal action, and calling on larger fines for the teachers union.

Allison Goldberg and her husband said they filed a motion to intervene.

They asked the judge to order more severe economic sanctions against the teachers union and/or order the arrest of NTA President Mike Zilles for criminal contempt of court.

They called this a last resort.

“I don’t think there is one parent out here that doesn’t want the best for our schools and our students but our children are not pawns in this game of chess,” said Allison Goldberg.

The Goldbergs are part of a newly formed parents group, “Kids First Newton,” who want to see kids back in school

The Newton teachers’ strike is one of the longest teacher strikes in Massachusetts since the 90′s.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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