School canceled again in Haverhill as teachers strike continues amid negotiations, court orders for district staff to return to work
Jul 30, 2013 at 7:00 AMJul 30, 2013 at 7:19 AM
Haverhill School District teachers have been on strike for three weeks, holding out the longest in state history. The district has sent layoff notices and canceled classes to its teachers for the past month and a half.
The Republican and Democratic parties have remained in control of four state legislative chambers, and both the House and the Senate have passed bills to give public employees a greater share of collective bargaining, allowing them to negotiate terms and conditions of their employment.
The bills, which would give public employees a greater share of collective bargaining, would enable any public union, including the state’s teachers union, to bargain on behalf of its members.
It also would give public employees the right to strike, which has been traditionally unavailable to them.
State officials have argued that the proposals could put the state’s finances on the verge of disaster. There is also concern that under those statutes, unionized, non-profit institutions could be forced to hire only unionized, or at least unionized majority, members.
Despite the lack of an agreement by state negotiators, the House and Senate continue to negotiate the bills. The bills are still in the Senate for an up-or-down vote.
If the state Senate passes the bills, they would then have to go to the Democratic-controlled House for a vote. The House still needs to vote on the bills before they can be sent back to the Senate for a vote.
The strike by the Haverhill Teachers represents the first time in state history that a public employee union has walked out of work in protest against the state Legislature for the first time.
The strike started July 15 when Haverhill teachers decided to stay out of the school year through July 27.
State officials were attempting to negotiate a new two-year contract with Haverhill Teachers that would have raised