Andover public colleges might be closed Monday as a result of ongoing academics strike after sides failed to achieve a deal regardless of a marathon spherical of talks over the weekend and stretching into Sunday night time.
“They came back with the same exact offer, and they said we’re closing the schools at eight o’clock,” mentioned Andover Education Association (AEA) President Matthew Bach at a 6 p.m. press convention Sunday. “They have decided to close the schools.”
The final resolution to shut colleges Monday got here simply after 9 p.m. Sunday.
Box breakfasts and lunches will proceed to be offered for college kids and may be picked up on the city’s Bancroft Elementary School. Breakfast may be picked up from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. and lunch might be out there from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Andover educators voted to authorize a strike Thursday following 9 months of failed contract negotiations. Teachers took to the picket strains Friday, and courses have been canceled for five,500 public college college students.
The union introduced negotiations had stalled at 6 p.m. Sunday.
Through negotiations, Andover educators have cited priorities of instructor and tutorial assistant pay, paid parental and household go away, protections for prep time and longer lunch and recess intervals for the youngest learners.
The continued sticking level in negotiations, the union mentioned, is now pay for academics and tutorial aides.
Saturday night time, the School Committee supplied a 14% elevate for academics over 4 years. In their proposal Sunday, the union mentioned, the School Committee solely upped that supply to 14.25% over 4 years.
Offered raises for aides have been additionally inadequate, Bach mentioned, calling the supply “a bridge too far.”
As of Saturday, the School Committee proposed a 23.4% enhance over 4 years for all tutorial assistants.
The School Committee launched an announcement Sunday night saying the union’s asks would make the district’s price range “unsustainable and would result in layoffs.” The union requested for an 18% elevate for academics and a 34% elevate for tutorial assistants, they famous.
According to state information, the present common instructor wage is about $94,000. The beginning wage for tutorial assistants is $25,000, the AEA said.
“We should say that they have paid their lawyer half a million dollars over the period of negotiations,” mentioned Bach. … “This was a tremendous waste of everybody’s time today.”
“Although we would prefer to be in a position to offer more, we cannot ignore the reality of the severe budget implications of any additional increases,” the School Committee mentioned within the launch Sunday, noting they “recognize the current situation creates uncertainty and stress for our community.”
Massachusetts state regulation makes it unlawful for educators or any public staff to go on strike, leading to hefty fines. The Commonwealth Employment Relations Board ordered Andover educators to instantly return to high school final week and appointed a mediator to work with either side.
The events discovered extra consensus over paid household and parental go away.
After negotiations Saturday, the School Committee raised their supply to 12 weeks of parental go away, eight paid by the district and 4 from accrued sick time. The union has fought for 12 weeks, eight absolutely paid by the district however together with 4 extra 50% paid by the district, along with sick time to complement.
The School Committee additionally mentioned they accepted the AEA’s household go away proposal Saturday night time, permitting for using as much as 60 paid sick days to look after a critically ailing member of the family.
The AEA joins educator unions in Woburn, Haverhill, Malden and Brookline, which have all voted to strike since 2022 within the midst of contentious contract negotiations.
After a five-day strike in February, the Woburn union was ordered to pay a $85,000 superb to the state, $225,000 in damages to town in damages, and a further $20,000 to native charities.
Lance Reynolds contributed to this story.