With the beginning of a brand new college week edging nearer, Andover lecturers stay on strike and face “many unresolved” points as their battle with the School Committee for a brand new contract persists.
Sunday marks the third day that the Andover Education Association meets with the School Committee and a state-appointed mediator since 95% of the union voted to authorize an “open-ended strike.”
If an settlement will not be met by the tip of Sunday, college will proceed to be canceled, following an preliminary time off Friday as a result of strike.
Under state regulation, it’s unlawful for public workers like lecturers to go on strike.
As a consequence, the Commonwealth Employment Relations Board has ordered Andover educators to instantly return to highschool. It has additionally appointed a mediator to work with each side.
“While we can report that we are making progress, many significant issues remain unresolved,” the Andover Education Association acknowledged in a Saturday replace. The union stated one of many largest gaps with the School Committee is paid household and parental depart.
The School Committee, as of Saturday night time, raised their supply to 12 weeks of parental depart, 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 stated they accepted the AEA’s proposal Saturday night time, permitting for using as much as 60 paid sick days to take care of a critically in poor health member of the family.
“Adequate paid family and parental leave is central to our ability to attract and retain high-quality educators,” the union acknowledged Saturday, “and the AEA’s proposals align with up to date practices and insurance policies within the personal and public sectors.
Educators are additionally calling for higher pay for educational aides, honest raises for lecturers, protections for prep time, longer lunch and recess intervals for the youngest learners, and extra of a say in curriculum choices.
The School Committee stated they’ve up their wage affords — elevating pay for lecturers 14% over 4 years and elevating pay for educational assistants 23.4% over 4 years.
The strike comes after the union bargained with the School Committee almost 30 occasions, with out the 2 sides reaching an settlement.
In a Saturday assertion, the School Committee stated it “remains committed to negotiating in good faith and looks forward to the AEA’s response to its proposal. In the meantime, we once again call on the AEA to end this illegal strike so we can bring our students back to the classroom.”
Andover’s contract escalation adopted related trainer strikes in Woburn, Haverhill, Malden and Brookline in 2022 and earlier this 12 months, which accrued escalating fines for the unions.
The Woburn Teachers Association’s 5-day strike earlier this 12 months price the union $85,000 in fines to the state. The union agreed to pay $225,000 to the town in damages over 4 years, plus $20,000 to native charities.
Grace Zokovitch contributed to this story.