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Brookline teachers could disobey court order and walk off the job tomorrow

Update: Brookline public schools are closed on Monday.

After last-minute contract talks failed around 3:50 this morning, the Brookline Educations Union says it's ready to have members form picket lines tomorrow morning, despite a judge's injunction Friday ordering them to stay on the job.

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

At issue, the union says: Guaranteed daily duty free prep time; guaranteed time for colleagues to collaborate weekly; substantive action on attracting and retaining educators of color.

Still, the union says it's ready to go back to the bargaining table, despite the lack of progress over the 8 1/2-hour session that ended early this morning, if, it say, the town begins to negotiate seriously:

We remain open to negotiating with the School Committee throughout Sunday and beyond, to resolve a fair contract that preserves the working and learning conditions that our students and educators deserve.

Acting on a request from the Commonwealth Employment Relations Board, Norfolk Superior Court Judge Sharon Donatelle on Friday issued a preliminary injunction that prohibits teachers not just from striking but from even talking about striking.

Serious and irreparable harm will result to the Town, the students and their caretakers, and public welfare if the conduct of defendants is not enjoined.

State law prohibits strikes by public-school teachers.

School Committee Chair David Pearlman says school negotiators remain willing to sit down with their union counterparts again to get a deal done.

In the meantime, though, he says parents and caretakers of the roughly 7,000 children in the Brookline system should watch for further announcements today.

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Comments

Most teachers work very hard these days, the demands on them have increased, and they have been under considerable stress.

It's worth noting, though, that Brookline teachers average over $100k/year. https://profiles.doe.mass.edu/statereport/teachersalaries.aspx

And they teach in a district where housing costs exclude most of the highest-needs students in the area.

That doesn't mean they don't deserve a new contract, but it makes the decision to strike extremely dubious. Withholding education from students is an extreme step and should only be taken under extreme duress, like what faced teachers in W. Virginia a few years ago.

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Voting closed 34

"Most teachers make over $100K per year"

"They have the summers off"

"Those who can't do, teach"

Blah blah blah.

It is not just the cost of living. It's dealing with rich town parents who each think their Mopsy or Jonah is a straight A student when she or he is C student and that the teacher "isn't doing enough for their kid".

My best friend is a teacher. In at 7:20. Leaves work at 6 and then corrects for two hours at night. She kills it with her kids and they love her for it.

Nearly all teachers in Massachusetts have master degrees from real schools but somehow that gets lost in the discussion when it comes time to pay them on the same level as a cop who has a degree from some diploma mill.

Let's not all jump on the how great the Starbucks workers are for forming a union and then think teachers don't deserve every dime they get because it is "not right" to strike.

Soak 'em educators.

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Really? Comparing Brookline school teachers running a quasi-private school to BPD? Tell me without telling me that you don’t know a single cop, tradesman, or anyone actually from Boston.

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Part of what the town offered.

The committee said its latest contract offer had included a 6% across-the-board retroactive raise for Sept. 1, 2020 to Aug. 31, 2023; an 8% raise for Sept. 1, 2023 to Aug. 30, 2026, with an additional 1% raise on Aug. 31, 2026.

That more than fair. Sucks for the kids who will suffer the most.

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Voting closed 15

The committee said its latest contract offer had included a 6% across-the-board retroactive raise for Sept. 1, 2020 to Aug. 31, 2023; an 8% raise for Sept. 1, 2023 to Aug. 30, 2026, with an additional 1% raise on Aug. 31, 2026.

How do you know whether a 6% increase is generous, fair, or stingy, without knowing the base compensation before the increase?

Also, by the way, isn't inflation running at somewhere north of 8% at the moment?

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2.5% a year would be much more fair. They deserve it

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It's not 1995 any more, $100k is peanuts for a working professional, especially teachers. Our society deserves better and so do they.

They're risking their jobs and potential state charges for this, you're questioning their motives?

I hope they get double whatever they ask for.

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Voting closed 64

$100k is peanuts for a working professional

It is?

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Voting closed 35

so the amount they make is not relevant.

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Or at least that is part of the dispute….

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I missed the "says" link. :-) But... it looks like they're just trying to ensure there will be basic annual raises, which is something I'd expect from any employer. (Unless they want me to leave.)

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Brookline teachers have been working for 3 years without a contract. This is not a spur-of-the-moment decision.

Note that the main points of contention are not about money. As the above says:

At issue, the union says: Guaranteed daily duty free prep time; guaranteed time for colleagues to collaborate weekly; substantive action on attracting and retaining educators of color.

Those are all things that benefit students by affecting the quality of teaching.

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Voting closed 70