Public Schools of Brookline
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Teachers go on strike in Brookline (Mass.) district

May 16, 2022
Teachers are seeking pay increases, policy changes to attract educators of color, and other improvements.
Public Schools of Brookline
Public Schools Of Brookline Logo 6282a265bd061

Classes have been canceled in the Brookline (Mass.) district after teachers went on strike.

Weekend negotiation sessions with the district’s School Committee failed to yield an agreement on a new contract, reports The Boston Globe.

Teachers are seeking wage increases in line with rising inflation rates, policy changes to benefit and attract educators of color, and an established 40-minute period of “duty-free time” for every teacher.

Superintendent Linus Guillory announced Monday’s closures.

“There will simply not be the staffing capacity to operate all schools safely, nor can PSB [Public Schools of Brookline] provide the structured education required by the state for the day to legally count as a school day,” Guillory said. “I also understand that this juncture in negotiations is challenging and frustrating for all, and that closing schools on Monday will be extremely difficult for students, caregivers, staff, and our community.”

In a statement posted early Sunday morning, the union said “it has greatly pared down its list of original proposals to bare essentials,” but little progress was made during negotiations.

“Brookline educators can no longer tolerate the School Committee’s dismissive attitude toward educators or its willingness to dismantle the quality of our schools,” the union said.

The Brookline Educators Union (BEU), represents more than 1,000 Brookline educators;  the district has roughly 7,000 students.

The teachers want a "duty-free prep time," a 40-minute period that would give teachers time to conduct preparative work outside class without any meeting obligations.

In a statement Sunday morning, the committee said that allocating such a period to each teacher would have “substantial logistical and financial implications,” and countered by offering teachers who don’t have a prep period “the opportunity to address their concerns with their direct supervisor, and if need be, to appeal to the Superintendent.”

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