Heading into 10 college days on strike, the National Education Association President and Massachusetts-native punk band the Dropkick Murphys joined the ever-growing refrain chatting with the Newton group.
“Sending our love, support and solidarity to all you teachers on the picket line. Thank you for all you do,” Dropkick Murphys lead singer Ken Casey mentioned in video posted to the NTA Facebook web page, earlier than the Quincy-born band launched into an acoustic model of “Worker’s Song.”
The NTA voted to strike on Friday, Jan. 19, after 16 months of negotiations. Newton Public Schools posted courses could be cancelled on Thursday, round 7:30 p.m. Wednesday night time.
Over the 13 days of deadlocked negotiations tensions within the Newton group have risen, with some mother and father staunchly behind the union and others turning on the lecturers as the varsity shutdown drags on.
The NEA President Rebecca Pringle spoke at a NTA rally Wednesday afternoon, encouraging the educators to maintain “standing up for fair contract.”
“They can’t afford to not listen to your voice because you have dedicated your lives to ensuring that our students, every one of them has what they need and what they deserve,” mentioned Pringle. “So I need you to know something, you have the 3 million members of the largest labor union in this country behind you.”
The union is now dealing with $575,000 in fines and is constant to accrue $50,000 fines for on daily basis they continue to be on strike. It is prohibited for public staff to go on strike underneath Massachusetts state regulation.
Both sides reportedly returned to negotiations after 8 p.m. Wednesday night time.
Of priorities said by the NTA, the perimeters have solely acknowledged consensus on together with 12 weeks of paid parental go away. The union has indicated their remains to be disagreement over priorities together with including a social employee in each elementary and center college, broad price of dwelling changes, and a dwelling wage for unit C skilled like conduct therapists and aides.
Ryan Normandin, a Newton South High School instructor and member of the NTA bargaining workforce, mentioned Wednesday night time the perimeters’ proposals at the moment are solely $15 million aside — down from $25 million on Sunday — however the “takeaway” is the mayor wants to offer extra funding.
The metropolis representatives and NTA have lengthy disputed how a lot funding the town can supply the colleges and whether or not different metropolis companies could be sacrificed to fulfill sure calls for.
In an e-mail Tuesday night time, Mayor Ruthanne Fuller mentioned she may decide to funding the most recent School Committee proposal and known as the supply a “sustainable agreement.”
“The union should put kids first,” Fuller wrote. “Open the schools. End the illegal strike. The rest of us will finish up the contract.”
Under the present contract, Newton lecturers make a median wage of about $93,000 a yr, akin to districts in Canton, Framingham and Worcester. Current beginning wage for unit C professionals is round $28,000 a yr.
Normandin mentioned Fuller confirmed as much as negotiations for the primary time on Wednesday and mentioned he would “love for her to come back.”
“The mayor has underfunded the schools for years,” mentioned Normandin. “This is laid out plainly in the city budget and the community needs her to do what is right by our kids and educators, and she is the mayor of the city, she needs to make make that happen.”