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School days in jeopardy as contract negotiations continue, NTA “compromise” package awaits approval

Orlando Christian
Union members and supporters listen to speakers at the NTA rally Saturday, Jan. 27.

Members of the Newton School Committee and the Newton Teachers Association (NTA) are currently immersed in extensive weekend negotiations, Sunday, Jan. 28, amid a week-long union strike. 

The NTA and committee have yet to agree on several issues, according to an email released earlier this afternoon by Superintendent Anna Nolin. These issues include cost of living adjustments to educator salaries, restructuring the elementary day to provide more planning time for educators, and cost of insurance benefits for educators.

According to a statement released by the NTA, they have offered a new “compromise” package to the Newton School Committee as of 1 p.m., which needs to get signed by 3:30 p.m. for there to be school tomorrow. No further details on the package have been provided.

In response to the ongoing strike, the Middlesex Superior Court issued an additional daily fine of $50,000 on the Newton Teachers Association (NTA), effective tonight at 8 p.m. if the strike continues, according to a Superior Court Order from Friday, Jan. 26. 

This new fine is a reduction compared to the cumulative exponential fines on the union imposed throughout the past week, amounting to a total of $375,000, as per Judge Chris Barry-Smith’s earlier directive.

According to Barry-Smith, “My concern is that if I keep escalating the coercive fines, it will undermine the collective bargaining that’s supposed to be the solution.”

Mediation efforts are set to continue as both parties negotiate amid the ongoing dispute.

UPDATE – The school committee did not accept the “compromise package” presented by the NTA. No school will be held on Monday, Jan. 29 as negotiations continue.

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Kerri Huang
Kerri Huang, News Managing Editor
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