School canceled for third day in Andover after judge orders $50,000 in fines amidst teachers strike

A Salem Superior Court Judge ordered the Andover Education Association to pay a $50,000 fee Monday as the teacher’s union strike went late into the night for the fourth day.

On top of the hefty fine, the union will pay an extra $10,000 at 3 p.m. for each school day missed from here on out. The committee says they have canceled school Tuesday for a third day after no deal was reached Monday night.

“They got their pound of flesh. We’ll see if what they want is schools open tomorrow or another pound,” said Vice President of the Andover Education Association and 8th-grade history teacher Julian DiGloria.

Monday afternoon’s court hearing came on day four of negotiations between Andover Teacher’s Union and the school committee.

The town has offered teachers a 14.25% increase over the span of four years. They also offered a 23% increase for assistants.

The union reportedly has not responded to the offer – demanding an 18% wage increase for teachers and 34% for assistants over a four-year span.

“We look forward to the union’s response so we can continue negotiations, reach an agreement, and get kids back to school where they belong,” said Tracey Spruce, chair of the Andover School Committee.

On top of the fees ordered by the judge, the school committee says the wage increases are not sustainable.

“We’re going to be looking at larger class sizes,” said Spruce. “We’re going to be looking at restoring fees that we work hard to cut for families like bus fees after school, activities fees.”

Inside High Plain Elementary School, dozens of Andover educators continued the call for higher wages.

“Do your job,” dozens chanted with signs and posters.

The school committee remained behind closed doors during the gathering in the school.

The judge ordered the $50,000 to be paid to the state by 6 p.m.

Parents tell Boston 25 News they stand with teachers.

“I want people to stand up for themselves and get what’s right.”/ “I think a lot of leaders in this town have to think about what is right and do the right thing<” said Kevin Leahy, whose daughter is in second grade.

The union will bring their calls for a new contract to the State House on Wednesday.

They are planning a press conference at 12 p.m. as this strike heads into yet another day.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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