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There are approximately 8,000 students in the Haverhill Public Schools system.

After almost a week without classes, teachers union and school committee reach an agreement in Haverhill

The teachers from the Massachusetts city have been on strike since Monday.

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Since the beginning of the week, on Oct. 17th, parents of Haverhill Public Schools students have been forced to turn to other sources, outside of schools, for child care. 

Teachers have been on strike since Monday, and negotiations were happening between Haverhill Education Association (HEA) and Haverhill School Committee (HSC).

Finally, late night on Thursday, Oct. 20th, an agreement was reached between the teachers union and school committee in Haverhill, Massachusetts. The almost weeklong strike ended and schools reopened this Friday. 

HEA President Tim Briggs said that the new contract has a financial package that represents a substantial investment in public schools, closing a damaging wage gap between Haverhill educators and educators in other districts. It also includes language that addresses student safety and is committed to developing a more diverse teaching force. 

In addition, a statement from HSC said the agreement includes increased pay for teachers, without placing an undue burden on taxpayers. It addresses union concerns about classroom safety, while maintaining management rights and protecting student rights to privacy. 

The union also agreed to reimburse the School Department for costs incurred during this strike, and it will fund a scholarship program for underprivileged students. 

According to CBS Boston, earlier on Wednesday, Essex County Superior Court Judge James Lang announced HEA would have to pay a fine of $50,000, and the Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA),  $250,000; if the work stoppage continued beyond 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. There would be an additional $10,000 per day if the strike continued. 

The union was violating a court order by continuing to do it.

On an important note, teachers strikes are illegal in Massachusetts as state law prohibits strikes by public employees, making them exceptionally rare. 

After the agreement and with classes back to normal, students will have to make up for the missed days at the end of the year or they could be taken from school vacations.

If you want to read more about the negotiations, click here


 

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