By Nina Campanello
Teachers rallied outside Galvin Middle School on Saturday with support from students and their parents. The teachers’ union rallied to continue the fight for an updated parental leave policy and a fair cost-of-living adjustment for all educators.
The Wakefield Education Association and Wakefield School Committee continued their negotiations on a new contract for teachers on Saturday morning. The two parties have been negotiating for 13 months. There were several meetings over the summer, but the talks were ultimately unsuccessful in producing a new contract.
The WEA’s contract expired Sept. 1, 2023, and teachers have been working without a contract since.
“The town does pretty consistently boast about having money in reserves, so we are really hopeful and everybody is here to encourage the School Committee and the administration to finalize this contract today,” said Jessica Cummings, president of the Wakefield Education Association to WVCB.
Wakefield Town Administrator Stephen Maio is expected to join negotiations for the first time on Saturday, and will speak on the town’s finances, according to the union.
“The frustration is definitely there. No teacher wants to strike, that is never the goal. We want to find a way to have productive conversation,” said Kim Margolis, an English teacher at Wakefield Memorial High School.