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  • Writer's pictureMike Zilles

Newton Nurses to Begin Second Year Without a Contract

Nurses' Association Contract Negotiations on Hold; Rally at City Hall!

Twenty-eight school nurses will rally this Wednesday at 4:00 pm at Newton City Hall to protest the city's failure to negotiate in good faith. Let's join them. They had our backs during our negotiations; they need our support now.

Even though the nurses work in the schools, they bargain with the Mayor, not the School Committee. Last fall, the teachers, the custodians, and the secretaries, who all bargain with the School Committee, agreed to fair and reasonable contracts.

The nurses received their first proposal from the Mayor around the same time we were near finishing our negotiations! Under any circumstances, the proposal would have been insulting; in the context of our settlements, it was outrageous.

Now, during a pandemic in which these same nurses will be putting themselves at high risk to protect Newton's children, the Mayor, on the last day of school, abruptly pulled out of negotiations altogether. Could she possibly be more tone deaf?

And to see how much money is at stake in perspective, in her most recent update the Mayor wrote that she would be opening the city's libraries on Sundays at a cost of $100,000.Yet offering school nurses the same raises that the School Committee awarded educators, custodians, and secretaries would only cost the city an additional $48,000 per year!

Could Mayor Fuller possibly be more tone deaf? No, she could not!  

In fact, the Mayor's actions puts everyone, students and staff, at more risk, as you can see below.

Sue Riley, President of their Association, asked me to share the following statement with you:

"Due to the Mayor's unwillingness to negotiate, the Nurses informed the city that we do not work in the summer and, other than contract issues, we will not be available. Our work year starts the day before school begins and ends the day school is completed. Usually we would do whatever it takes to help support the schools and our students during the summer months, on our own time. It is very unfortunate that we were forced to take this unprecedented step, especially amid a global pandemic. School Nurses will be a crucial part of school reopening and this point should be recognized and valued by our Mayor, but clearly it is not. 

I am reaching out to you, the members of the NTA, to ask for the teachers' support. I hope we can depend on the NTA to help get our message across that the Nurses deserve a fair, professional salary."

Let's join the 28 nurses as they rally this Wednesday at 4:00 pm at Newton City Hall to protest the city's failure to negotiate in good faith!



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