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Brookline school teachers end one-day strike with new deal

Brookline school teachers end one-day strike with new deal
Brookline school teachers end one-day strike with new deal 02:32

BROOKLINE - Brookline schools re-opened Tuesday after the teachers' union and school committee reached a deal overnight to end the teachers' strike.

The two sides confirmed they signed a tentative agreement at 4 a.m., after an 11-hour negotiating session, ending the strike that started early Monday morning.

Teachers were happy to be back in classes with their students.

"I feel invigorated and empowered and thrilled," teacher Ania Bigda told WBZ-TV.

"I was relieved coming back to the classroom with students. That's where we always want to be," said third grade teacher Emily Leonard.

"Just really glad it all worked out and get back to business now," Rick Stone, an instrumental teacher, told WBZ.

The president of the Brookline Educators Union told WBZ-TV "the strike brought about wins on every BEU priority."

The union had said there were three demands going into the strike - livable wages, classroom prep time and a more diverse staff.

The new deal covers contracts from 2020 to 2026. There will be a 6-percent pay raise through 2023 and an 8-percent raise covering the last three years.

According to the school committee, the agreement defines a "Working Group on Workforce Diversity and Underrepresented Staff" and gives teachers "adequate daily prep time."

Teachers in grades 6 through 8 will get at least 40 minutes of prep time per full school day while high school teachers will get one unassigned block.

"Any time we have an interruption to student learning, we're all very concerned about that aspect of it," Superintendent Dr. Linus Guillory told WBZ. "It's been a long process but it's a good process now because we have our kids back in school and we have a collectively bargained agreement, so I think we're in a good place right now."

The new contract still needs to be officially ratified by the union and approved by the school committee with a formal vote expected as early as next week.


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