Haverhill, Malden schools closed Monday due to teacher strikes

Teachers in both communities voted to strike if agreements were not reached with school officials.

A group of children gathered to demonstrate for new teacher contracts and equitable pay for educators outside of Malden City Hall on Oct. 15, 2022. Carlin Stiehl /The Boston Globe

Schools in Haverhill and Malden will be closed to students on Monday, as teachers prepare to go on strike amid unresolved contract negotiations. Educators in both communities voted Friday to strike if tentative agreements were not reached with officials from the public school districts over the weekend. 

The cancellation of classes in Haverhill was announced online by Superintendent Margaret Marotta Sunday evening. Both sides have compromised, Marotta wrote, but the Haverhill Education Association and the School Committee did not reach an agreement by a 5 p.m. deadline. Talks between the two sides began around 10 a.m. Sunday, The Boston Globe reported, and Marotta wrote that negotiations will begin again at 8 a.m. Monday. 


In Malden, negotiations continued at 9 a.m. Sunday, according to the Globe. Just after 8 p.m., The Malden Education Association said on Twitter that The Malden School Committee’s bargaining team “chose to get up and refuse[ed] to continue bargaining.” Malden Public Schools announced Monday’s closure online.

Malden Education Association President Deb Gesualdo said that the union felt like it was coming close to reaching a deal before the School Committee’s negotiating party requested a mediator and left for the night, according to WCVB.

Although Massachusetts state law prohibits strikes by public employees, this move is not without precedent. In May, Brookline teachers went on a one-day strike to fight for wage increases, longevity pay, and the creation of a working group examining staff diversity. 

“Not only is a strike detrimental to the children and families of Haverhill, it is also illegal here in Massachusetts. Striking does nothing to bring us together to come to a mutual decision on a contract which is fair and equitable for our teachers, the families of the city of Haverhill, and its taxpayers,” Scott Wood, Chairman of the Haverhill Teacher Negotiating Committee, said in a statement Friday. 


Teachers in both Haverhill and Malden are looking to secure pay increases, smaller class sizes, and safer school environments, according to WCVB

On Saturday, hundreds gathered in the two communities to voice their support for the teachers. Chants of “When we strike, we win!” could be heard outside Haverhill City Hall as demonstrators hoisted red signs and wore t-shirts with more messages in favor of the striking teachers, the Globe reported. 

A similar scene unfolded outside Malden City Hall. Gesualdo said that the decision to strike was not an easy one to make. 

“We thought about it very carefully, because no one wants to do this,” she told the Globe, “but we know what we deserve, and our students know what they deserve, too.”


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