Schools reopen in Brookline as district, teachers union reach agreement

The agreement reached early Tuesday morning sets out wage increases, longevity pay, diversity measures, and prep time allotments.

Fifth grade teacher Laura Karalis embraces her daughter as she stands with fellow educators at Brookline Public Schools to rally in front of Town Hall after their first day walking the picket line May 16. Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

Teachers and students in Brookline are back in their classrooms Tuesday after a one-day strike ended with an agreement for a new teacher contract.

“We are open and ready to welcome our students back!” a message on the district’s homepage Tuesday read. “Thank you for your patience and support as we worked through the contract negotiations.”

The agreement was reached early Tuesday morning after 12 hours of negotiations and is in effect through 2026, according to a statement from the Brookline School Committee.

The key terms of the agreement include a wage increase, longevity pay, a working group on staff diversity, and considerations about staff prep time.


According to the school committee, teachers will see a 6% increase in wages and stipend by the end of August 2023 under the agreement, followed by an 8% increase between September 2023 and Aug. 30, 2026, and a 1% increase on Aug. 31, 2026.

In addition, for the first time since 2013, long-term Brookline teachers who have reached the highest salary step will receive an increased amount of “longevity pay.”

The terms of the agreement also set out a strategy for maintaining a “welcoming environment that supports the retention of educators in underrepresented groups.” It acknowledges that the superintendent can grant Professional Teacher Status to educators under the law and defines a “Working Group on Workforce Diversity and Underrepresented Staff.”

The agreement also addresses prep time for teachers. It allots 40 minutes a day for teachers in kindergarten through fifth grade, 40 minutes per full school day for teachers in sixth through eighth grade, and “one unassigned block” per full school day for teachers in ninth through twelfth grade.

Schools were closed to start the week, due to unsuccessful negotiations between the Brookline School Committed and the Brookline Educators Union (BEU) over the weekend, according to Superintendent Linus Guillory.

“We recognize that the process of arriving at these agreements has been a strain,” reads a Tuesday statement from the school committee. “We thank students, caregivers, and the community for their patience and understanding, as we finalized these agreements that will further advance Brookline’s mission of an excellent education for every child.”


Members of BEU, which represents more than 1,000 people, expressed relief Tuesday that the negotiations were over.

Without the striking educators, Brookline Schools did not have adequate staffing to open safely Monday, according to Guillory.

A large crowd of Brookline educators and their supporters gathered outside town hall Monday, clad in red shirts and holding signs declaring that they were on strike.

Senator Elizabeth Warren took to Twitter to voice her support for the BEU. “They’re pushing for policies to recruit and retain educators of color, and I’m with them all the way,” she wrote.


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