City Councilors pen letter opposing teacher strike

EDITOR’S NOTE: After this story was originally posted, Councilors Pam Wright from Ward 3 and Vicki Danberg from Ward 6 signed on. Later, Councilor Martha Bixby from Ward 6 did as well, bringing the total to 22 councilors.

Members of the City Council have co-authored and co-signed an open letter to Newton’s public schools community Thursday morning, hours before an anticipated teacher union strike vote.

In the letter, 22 of the city’s 24 councilors ask the NTA to vote against a strike and focus on in-person negotiations, despite months of negotiations not working so far.

Absent from the list of names signing the letter are Councilor Bill Humphrey, who spoke at a rally in support of the Newton Teachers Association Wednesday, and Councilor Rena Getz from Ward 6.

Mayor Ruthanne Fuller wrote a similar email to the community Wednesday night, urging a “no” vote on any strike activity.

Below is the councilors’ letter, in its entirety:

Dear Newton Public Schools Community,

As tensions around the Newton teachers’ contract negotiations increase, we want to publicly recognize and appreciate the critical role our teachers play in educating our students and ask for two things.

1. We call for an immediate return to in-person negotiations with all the relevant parties. We owe it to our teachers and our students to give our new School Committee leadership a chance on contract negotiations. 

2. We ask the NTA to vote against going on strike – striking hurts those who we all aim to serve most: our students. Our students have suffered greatly through and since the pandemic. A strike will leave our students feeling once again shut out of the schools and hurt their academic, social and emotional progress. We must come together to give productive dialogue a new beginning. 

As City Councilors we will continue to advocate for strong support of the Newton Public Schools. 


Joshua Krintzman, Councilor-at-Large, Ward 4

Becky Grossman, Councilor-at-Large, Ward 7

Susan Albright, Councilor-at-Large, Ward 2

David Micley, Ward Councilor, Ward 2

Marc Laredo, President

David Kalis, Vice President

Stephen Farrell, Ward Councilor, Ward 8

Rick Lipof, Councilor-at-Large, Ward 8

Andreae Downs, Councilor-at-Large, Ward 5

John Oliver, Councilor-at-Large, Ward 1

Lenny Gentile, Councilor-at-Large, Ward 4

Tarik Lucas, Councilor-at-Large, Ward 2

Lisle Baker, Ward Councilor, Ward 7

Andrea Kelley, Councilor-at-Large, Ward 3

Alison Leary, Councilor-at-Large, Ward 1

Maria Greenberg, Ward Councilor, Ward 1

Julia Malakie, Ward Councilor, Ward 3

Randy Block, Ward Councilor, Ward 4

Alan Lobovits, Councilor-at-Large, Ward 6

Pam Wright, Ward Councilor, Ward 3

Vicki Danberg, Councilor-at-Large, Ward 6

Martha Bixby, Ward Councilor, Ward 6