Haverhill Teachers Ratify New Contract with 99% in Favor; Union to Reimburse City Costs

Educators asked for public support during demonstrations in 2022 at Haverhill City Hall. (WHAV News photograph.)

Members of the Haverhill Education Association Friday approved the new contract negotiated with the School Committee with 99% of teachers in favor.

Union President Tim Briggs told WHAV full contract details will be public posted following an expected Thursday vote by the full School Committee. He noted, however, the union entered into a $200,000 settlement agreement with the city to conclude the nearly week-long strike.

School Committee member Scott W. Wood Jr., chairman of the city’s negotiating committee, acknowledged the settlement in his own statement.

“Importantly, the union has agreed to reimburse the School Department for costs incurred during this strike. In addition, the union has agreed to fund a scholarship program for underprivileged students,” he said.

Briggs said the $50,000 scholarship is to be awarded to underrepresented Haverhill High School seniors who plan to study education at a state college or university.

Massachusetts Teachers Association President Max Page and Vice President Deb McCarthy said the contract “addresses decades of underfunding for the Haverhill Public Schools and their educators—and makes important advances in building safer and more racially just public schools.”

“The HEA has been drawing attention for years to the damaging effects of austerity budgeting forced upon the students and educators of Haverhill. After bringing commonsense proposals forward months ago and receiving no meaningful engagement, the HEA had no choice but to further organize its members and the community to demand a fair contract,” the statement added.

Mayor James J. Fiorentini, who said he was prohibited from involvement in negotiations because his son is a teacher, said he could not comment on details. He did say, however, he is “absolutely thrilled” children are back in school.

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