Haverhill teacher strike over, school resumes with no bus service today – Boston News, Weather, Sports

HAVERHILL, MASS. (WHDH) – Schools are back open Friday morning with no bus service after Haverhill teachers and the city’s school committee reached a tentative agreement late last night following a week of striking, picketing and court actions.

The Haverhill teacher’s union and the school committee came out just before 11 p.m. Thursday night to sign the deal, reaching an agreement hours after it appeared the union and committee had hit another impasse earlier in the evening.

“We are extremely excited to get the teachers back in the classroom, get our students back where they belong in the classrooms and let them [the teachers] do what they do best; educate kids,” said Scott Wood, chairman of the negotiation committee.

“With this contract, we won a financial package that represents a substantial investment in our public schools, closing the damaging wage gap between Haverhill educators and educators in other districts,” said Tim Briggs, president of the Haverhill Education Association.

The agreement came after hundreds of teachers and parents rallied outside city hall, many shouting disapproval after officials initially said negotiations had stalled again and that classes would be canceled for Friday.

“Listen at the end of the day there’s a lot of back and forth, there’s a lot of emotions,” Wood said Thursday night. “I think at the end of the day we met face to face and found a way to get the deal done.”

The 11th-hour deal also comes after a judge got involved, fining the teacher’s union tens of thousands of dollars. Many teachers said it was worth it at the end of the day.

“We won language that addresses student safety, we won language to develop more diverse teaching force, all of these are a tremendous benefit to the 8,000 students of Haverhill Public Schools,” said Briggs.

Classes are slated to happen Friday with no bus service since the decision to resume school was made so late last night. The school district said if students miss school today it will be considered an excused absence.

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