Auchincloss: Teacher strike is ‘disruptive’ to families

U.S. Rep. Jake Auchincloss. D-Newton, is calling for the Newton teachers’ strike, which has lasted 11 days so far, to end and for all parties to compromise to open up Newton’s classrooms.

“Students should be in school,” the second-term congressman wrote in a Facebook post Monday morning. “Missing seven days of school—and counting—is disruptive and unfair to our children, and their parents.”

Newton teachers declared a strike on Jan. 18, after month of intense negotiations and state mediation. The Newton Teachers Association is demanding Mayor Fuller allocate more money for the schools, to pay for social workers, higher wages for support staff, higher cost-of-living raises for teachers and more. Fuller has said the money isn’t available for those demands without city and school staff cuts.

“The messages I’m receiving from families facing another uncertain week are distressing,” Auchincloss’s Facebook post continues. “I’m hearing as well the concerns of our teachers, who gave me a superb education and who deserve to feel valued in a city that prides itself on its schools.”

Auchincloss added that while he’s not involved in the contract negotiations, he’s been watching developments closely and is available to the mayor or the teachers if they need him.

“For the good of our city—for our families, our educators, and most of all, for our students, I am imploring both parties to ensure that schools are open tomorrow,” his message ends.

Last week, the Newton Teachers Association called Auchincloss out on the union’s Facebook page because he had joined the picket line in Mansfield for the United Auto Workers strike but had remained silent on the Newton teachers’ contract fight.

“You claim to support public education, paid family leave, and working people getting a fair shake. This moment calls for leadership,” the NTA posted. “Congressman Auchincloss, DO THE RIGHT THING.”

On Monday, Shawn Fain, president of the United Auto Workers, posted on X (formerly Twitter) in support of the Newton Teachers Association.

“It doesn’t matter what the law says: it is ALWAYS right to stand up for what’s right,” Fain’s post reads in part.