Newton School Committee asks state to investigate NTA for planned strike

The School Committee on Tuesday announced that it was seeking a state investigation into strike activity involving the Newton Teachers Association.

The committee claims to have evidence that the NTA plans to hold a membership vote on whether to go on strike this Thursday,

If the union votes to strike, schools will close immediately.

“The outcome and impact of that vote is not known,” the committee wrote in a statement. “Teacher strikes are illegal in Massachusetts and would violate our contract. It is our statutory obligation to file a CERB petition if we become aware that an illegal strike action may occur. We believe it is also our responsibility to inform the NPS community of this possibility.”

NTA President Michael Zilles then issued a statement that didn’t call for a strike but also didn’t deny that a strike vote was coming this week.

“The NTA is committed to doing whatever it takes to settle a fair contract,” the statement reads in part. “We urge Mayor Fuller and her bargaining team to end the legal publicity stunts that come from the playbook of the high-priced law firm the school committee and Mayor Fuller hired. Scheming to achieve a cheap a contract, whatever their lawyer says, is not negotiating. Instead, Mayor Fuller and the school committee should meet with the NTA bargaining team, advance proposals that are worth considering, and truly bargain in good faith.”