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Temporary settlement between Woburn teachers and city ends week-long strike

Temporary settlement between Woburn teachers and city ends week-long strike

A week after the Woburn Teachers Association went on strike after working without a contract for more than a year, the union’s negotiating team reached a tentative agreement Sunday with Woburn Mayor Scott Galvin and the Woburn School Committee.

Classes resumed on Monday after being canceled last week. The tentative settlement came two days after WTA President Barbara Locke described MassLive as “significant progress”.

“The WTA is proud to announce a contract that significantly increases pay for our essential education support professionals,” Locke said in a statement. statement, “We are also pleased to announce a contract for our teachers that creates more competitive pay and slightly reduces class sizes for Grades 4 and 5. However, more work remains to be done.”

The union said it was proud of the students speaking up for teachers and that the parents’ encouragement “kept us strong and confirmed that we were doing the right thing.”

“Members of the WTA are grateful to have returned to our classes and to be with our students on Monday,” the union continued in its statement.

Along with working without a contract, teachers’ salaries and paraprofessional salaries were the main focus of the strike. Woburn teachers earn $85,000 a year, while paraprofessionals earn $22,621 a year, MassLive previously reported. The WTA pushed for a new contract and to raise the paraprofessional’s annual salary from $22,621 to $27,000 a year.

On Sunday, teachers agreed to a 4-year deal with a 13.75% pay raise, and an extra 10 minutes added to their workday, according to NBC 10 Boston.

The teachers’ union also faced threats of heavy fines for striking. Public employees are legally prohibited from going on strike in Massachusetts, and a preliminary injunction against the WTA was issued by a judge on January 31. The Commonwealth Employment Relations Board then filed a contempt complaint, requesting the teachers be paid $50,000 with a $10,000 increase. Every day they will continue the strike after 5 pm on 31st January

“This whole injunction thing, it’s a legal issue, we let the lawyers deal with it,” WTA secretary Eric Scarborough told MassLive on February 1. Do we want to invest in our education system? And we can’t do that.

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But Galvin told NBC 10 that the teachers will have to pay $225,000 in damages to the city over the next four years and another $20,000 to a local charity. This would include the cost of police detailing and administrative costs associated with the strike, he added.

“Good deal. Unfortunately it was very similar – it was very similar – to what we offered before we started in January, so not much else,” Galvin told reporters on Sunday. “As we said, the strike was illegal; It should never have happened. But we are happy with the deal we have made.”

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