Brookline schools to close Monday after contract negotiations break down

The Brookline Educators Union and the town's school committee negotiated until almost 4 a.m.

Brookline teachers and their supporters gathered Saturday to rally after voting to strike. John Tlumacki/Boston Globe Staff

Brookline Public Schools will be closed Monday, with educators planning to go on strike after contract negotiations broke down Sunday. The closure is the latest development in ongoing talks between the Brookline School Committee and the Brookline Educators Union (BEU).

In a letter Sunday, Superintendent Linus Guillory wrote that the two parties did not reach an agreement on the teachers’ contract during a third mediation session. The BEU then accepted an offer to continue negotiating with a mediator this afternoon, according to Guillory. But a tentative agreement was not reached, and the BEU notified school officials of their intention to strike Monday.


Without the BEU members, Brookline schools will not have enough staff to operate adequately.

“There will simply not be the staffing capacity to operate all schools safely, nor can PSB provide the structured education required by the state for the day to legally count as a school day,” Guillory wrote.

The mediator will continue to facilitate discussions Monday when another session is planned. Since mediation may run late into Monday evening, any official announcement about additional school closures will occur no later than 6 a.m. on Tuesday, according to Guillory.

Monday’s strike was initially approved by BEU members last Thursday, should the two groups not be able to reach an agreement in time. The union overwhelmingly voted in favor of the strike, with BEU member Justin Brown writing on Twitter that 95 percent of voting members favored the strike.

The BEU and the school committee negotiated for about nine hours late Saturday and Sunday. A mediator declared an impasse at 3:50 a.m. on Sunday, according to a release from the Brookline School Committee. The three main issues discussed were wages, educator diversity, and teacher prep and common planning time, according to the release.

On Twitter, the BEU wrote that the school committee “refused educators’ need for guaranteed daily duty free prep time, guaranteed time for colleagues to collaborate weekly, and substantive action on attracting and retaining educators of color.”


“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 BEU said in the statement.

Brookline educators have been working without a contract for three years, the union said.

The school committee wrote in a statement that its latest proposal included a six percent across-the-board increase in all wages, stipends, and longevity pay until August 2023, followed by eight percent until August 2026, with an additional one percent on Aug. 31, 2026.

The school committee also proposed “a forum in which educators designated by the BEU could meet with the Superintendent to address issues of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.”

Almost a hundred people gathered outside Brookline Town Hall Saturday to rally in favor of the BEU.

“This is what democracy looks like. Democracy does not stop at the workplace door and a thousand BEU members said that this week, when they said they’re done with disrespect,” BEU President Jessica Wender-Shubow told the crowd.


This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on