Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor: ‘Let’s Do “All That We Can’ To Prevent Teacher Strikes

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2024/02/06/massachusetts-lieutenant-governor-lets-do-all-that-we-can-to-prevent-teacher-strikes/

By Chris Lisinski
State House News Service

Massachusetts teachers have chosen illegal strikes on multiple occasions in recent years to secure the contracts they want, leaving Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll wondering if state government can do more to prevent conditions from getting to that point in the first place.

During Driscoll’s appearance on WCVB’s On the Record that aired Sunday, February 4, co-host Sharman Sacchetti pointed out that educators have often hit the picket lines — including the most recent strike in Newton that lasted more than two weeks before the parties tentatively agreed to a new contract boosting educator pay — and produced results despite the action breaking the law.

“It really does beg the question to us:  how do we work collaboratively with our community leaders, with our union officials to try and understand what can we do to prevent that from happening?” Driscoll replied. “It is against the law. That’s first and foremost. We’re providing more resources as a state to communities for education through Chapter 70 and other dollars than we ever have, and yet this is still continuing to happen.”

“We’ve got to put ourselves in a position to try and do all that we can to prevent strikes from happening and keep kids in classroom,” she added.

Asked if teachers should gain the right to strike, an idea that some lawmakers have proposed, Driscoll replied, “We don’t support a change in that law, I’ll tell you that.”

“The best place for kids is in the classroom. We believe that, and when teachers are not there, that mean kids aren’t there, and we’re certainly seeing that play out in Newton with parents and families who are really struggling, especially our special needs students,” she said. “For them, it’s a real setback when you’re not in school.”

 

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