ANDOVER – Andover teachers union faces hefty fines for every day. In Massachusetts, the law prohibits educators from striking.
Salem Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Karp on Monday fined the Andover Education Association $50,000 for violating a court order ending the strike. This fine increases by an additional $10,000 for each additional day.
Andover schools will be closed again on Tuesday, November 14. This will be the third day that approximately 5,600 students in the district will miss classes.
“The law is the law,” Karp said. “The state legislature wrote a law, and if there is a problem the union has with the law, it should discuss it with the state legislature, not just thumb its nose at an ordinance of the court, right?”
Students missed classes Monday as teachers gathered downtown with signs and bullhorns. At the same time, in an empty classroom, members of the school committee they are negotiating with said they could not afford the amount teachers were asking for.
“Then we’re looking at larger class sizes, we’re going to look at reinstating fees that we’ve worked very hard to reduce for families, like bus fees and after-school fees,” the board president said. administration, Tracey Spruce.
“It’s something we just don’t accept,” Andover High School teacher Brian Shea said. “We know they pay a lot of money to law firms. We know they pay a lot of money to PR agencies. We can see the city’s finances and we know there are money.”
Pay for teaching assistants is a sticking point. Haley Abernathy says she doesn’t make a living wage. “Absolutely not. I work three jobs and I still struggle to pay my rent, make sure I can eat and put gas in my car,” she said.