Boston-area teachers reach tentative contract agreement after 11-day strike

An 11-day strike by teachers in a Boston suburb ended Friday night after their union and the school district tentatively agreed on a new contract.

“We have great news for the students, families, caregivers, residents and educators of Newton. We expect schools to be open Monday,” the Newton Teachers Association said in a late-night social media post announcing the deal.

The walkout beginning Jan. 19 affected 2,000 Newton Public Schools instructors in about two dozen schools with some 12,000 students. It was the sixth teachers strike in the state since 2022 and the longest, closing schools for 11 days.

The union said it sought living wages for all employees and struck after more than a year of talks with the Newton School Committee, which negotiated on behalf of the district.

Union bargainer Ryan Normandin proclaimed victory at a nighttime news conference before cheering teachers who were bundled against the chilly weather.

“We taught our students not to be afraid that when those in power try to take away your rights, that they should stand up for themselves, that they should not do it alone, but together,” Normandin said. “We taught every other district in this state what will happen if they try to balance their budgets on the backs of our students and educators.”

The agreement still must be approved by the school committee and the union members. Both sides were expected to ratify the deal. The school committee was meeting in executive session Saturday and planned a public vote Wednesday. Michael Zilles, president of the Newton Teachers Association, said that union members were expected to vote Sunday evening.