HAVERHILL — Public schools in Malden and Haverhill will be closed to students Monday as teachers in both districts are planning to strike.
The teachers’ unions had been negotiating contracts but neither came to an agreement with its respective school department Sunday night.
The school departments have said employees are expected to come to work since strikes are illegal for public employees in Massachusetts.
Negotiations in Haverhill will begin again at 8 a.m. on Monday as teachers head to the picket line though.
“The safety and integrity of education in Haverhill is at peril,” said Haverhill teacher Ted Kempinski.
“I’ve been in this district a long time and it’s been a long time of frustration,” said Tom Jordan, another Haverhill teacher.
The Haverhill School Department released a statement saying: “After hours at the negotiating table over the weekend, we were not able to reach an agreement with the Haverhill Education Association (HEA) – the union representing our teachers. While some progress was made over the last few days, we are extremely disappointed that union leadership and the Massachusetts Teachers Association has encouraged our teachers to take this illegal action.”
The Haverhill YMCA and Boys and Girls Club of Greater Haverhill will be open for children during the day. Parents of kids who are registered for before-school or after-school programs at the YMCA, will receive an email directly from the YMCA about childcare options.
Parents of kids who are enrolled in Haverhill Public Schools grades K – 4, but not registered for before-school or after-school programs at the YMCA, can sign up for a drop-in program at the Plaistow Community YMCA. Pre-registration is required in advance.
Students who are members of the Haverhill Boys and Girls Club can go to the club anytime during the day.
Those with access to a free lunch for Monday and breakfast for Tuesday can pick that up from a variety of locations:
- The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Haverhill, 55 Emerson Street
- Swasey Field Park, 59 Blaisdell Street
- Haverhill Stadium, Lincoln and Nettleton
- Haverhill Public Works Department – Parking Lot, 500 Primrose Street
- Winnekenni Castle – Tennis courts – 347 Kenoza Avenue
- Bradford Commons
- Cashman’s Park on Hilldale Avenue
- The Haverhill YMCA, 81 Winter Street
In Malden, parents need to find other arrangements for their children during the day. There will also be no before or after-school programs or practice.
“The School Committee’s bargaining team chose to get up and refuse to continue bargaining,” the Malden Education Association wrote on Facebook.
Malden Superintendent Noriega-Murphy said in a statement, “The School Committee’s negotiating team and the MEA had an incredibly productive day of bargaining that ended in the committee making a significant number of agreements and a very competitive and unprecedented salary and benefits offer. Considering how much movement was made today, we would have hoped the bargaining could have continued at our next regularly scheduled meeting, and that no avoidable disruption to the education of our students and routine of our families would occur.”