Haverhill Public Schools to stay closed on Wednesday, 19 October 2022

(HAVERHILL)

There will be no school for a third day in a row in Haverhill Wednesday, after negotiations between the teachers union and the school committee stalled Tuesday evening.

An Essex Court judge issued a preliminary injunction ordering striking teachers to cease and desist. The judge said if they continue, they will have to be held in contempt of court.

“We will be on the picket lines tomorrow,” Haverhill Education Association President Tim Briggs said Tuesday night.

Earlier in the day, at a rally in front of Haverhill City Hall, teachers vowed not to stop until they get a contract they can work with. “We will never stop marching, we will never stop fighting until the battle is done,” they shouted.

“I don’t believe that’s setting a good example to thumb your nose at the law,” said Haverhill School Committee negotiator Paul Magliocchetti. “It’s a big package, so that’s something that needs to be understood, and put out there.”

Teachers say it’s not enough, that they’re asking for not only higher pay, but also a more diverse staff and safety protections.

“We feel the rug was pulled out from under us and they seemingly walked back the offer we were talking about,” Briggs said.

It appeared Monday that teachers’ salaries were a sticking point: the average Haverhill teacher makes $74,300, about $10,000 less than the state average. But on Tuesday, both sides said finances were not the focal point.

The school committee said the union has been “bending the truth” when they claimed members were blocking progress towards a resolution.

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