Haverhill, Malden teachers vote to go on strike Monday
Teachers in both Haverhill and Malden have voted to go on strike Monday if an agreement with the unions is not reached.
“We’ve been getting nowhere with bargaining,” said Tim Briggs of the Haverhill Education Association.
Haverhill Public Schools said the Massachusetts Labor Relations Commission mandated that both sides attend a mediation session Saturday.
The Malden Education Association, meanwhile, said they’re only asking for basic needs.
“One of our most simple proposals that we made, that was rejected multiple times by the School Committee, and that was to have first aid kits in every single classroom and workspace,” said Deb Gesualdo, the Malden Education Association President. “That’s a pretty, I think, simple ask, and it was rejected multiple times.”
The Haverhill Education Association said they’re asking for more pay.
“In Haverhill, right now we’re representing our teachers, our educators, our professional licensed teachers, and in Haverhill, our teachers have been grossly underpaid for two decades,” Briggs said.
Scott Wood, a member of the Haverhill School Committee, released a statement that reads:
“No only is a strike detrimental to the children and families of Haverhill, it is also illegal here in Massachusetts. Striking does nothing to bring us together to come to a mutual decision on a contract which is fair and equitable for our teachers, Haverhill families and taxpayers.”
Malden Mayor Gary Christenson released a statement saying, in part:
“We are deeply surprised and disheartened that the leadership of the Malden Education Association is willing to inconvenience families and disrupt the education of more than 6,000 students in order to advance its collective bargaining positions, especially as we are not currently at an impasse.”
Members of both unions, though, are asking for more communication.
“How we treat our educators is how we treat our students,” Briggs said.
Both unions said they’ll strike if there is no agreement reached by the weekend.