Teacher Strike Shuts Down Schools for Over 5,500 Massachusetts Students

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Hundreds of teachers went on strike in Andover, Massachusetts, on Friday morning, with contract negotiations set to resume in the afternoon.

After the Andover Education Association voted to strike on Thursday night, classes were canceled for approximately 5,500 district students from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade.

A session of negotiation between the union, the Andover School Committee, and a mediator appointed by the state was scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.

“Nobody wants to be out here, we want to be in the classrooms, we’re passionate about teaching and delivering services, but it has been made so difficult by the district to do that effectively,” Matt Bach, a high school history teacher and union president, told NBC10 Boston.

The district has said that it will offer 23% for teachers at the beginning of their careers and 11% for teachers at the top level over a period of three years. The union wants to see all teachers receive 16% increases over the next three years. The wages of instructional assistants have also been a point of contention.