Feb 1, 2024 - Education

Newton Schools' teacher strike reaches day 10

Striking teachers outside Newton City Hall

Picketing teachers rally outside Newton City Hall on Tuesday. Photo: Lane Turner/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The Newton City Council is calling on the city's public school teachers to accept a new salary contract and return to classrooms after ten days of illegal strikes.

Why it matters: Newton students haven't been in school for nearly two weeks, causing strife and frustration for parents no matter their position on the labor dispute.

What they're saying: "This strike has to end. We need to get our kids back in the classroom, and we need to do it now," City Council President Marc Laredo announced Tuesday at a briefing on the issue.

  • The council has no direct power over its independently-elected school committee, but the body wants union and district leaders to negotiate until a deal is final.

The latest: The school committee is meeting Thursday evening to discuss when make-up days should be held for the missed learning hours.

  • State law requires districts have 180 student days by June 30, as school leadership noted Wednesday.

Be smart: It's illegal for educators to strike in Massachusetts, but some lawmakers are pushing legislation to allow more work stoppages as GBH reports.

  • The Newton teachers have already collectively been fined $525,000.

Catch up quick: Teachers are asking for pay increases, reduced class size, more social workers in schools and a 12-week parental leave policy for staff.

What's new: Newton Mayor Ruthanne Fuller joined the negotiations for the first time Tuesday night.

  • The district's offer at that time included pay increases for some teachers from $62,000 a year to over $81,000 by 2027.
  • It also proposed raising paraprofessional pay from $22.81-$45.15 to $32.20-$51.20 per hour.

But, but, but: Union reps told CBS Boston Wednesday the offer is not enough and the two parties are still too far apart.

The bottom line: The lengthy strike has kept students from their studies and split the community as some parents have chosen sides and even filed court motions to try to end the strike.


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Boston.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Boston stories


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Boston.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more