BROOKLINE, MASS. (WHDH) - After a one-day strike to earn a new contract with benefits including higher pay and designated classroom prep time, Brookline teachers were back in the classroom Tuesday.

Brookline schools were closed Monday due to staffing shortages as teachers rallied throughout the day.

The agreement came after 11 hours of negotiations, which ended at 4 a.m.

“We feel invigorated and empowered and thrilled,” one teacher said.

Although the agreement the Teachers Union reached with the Brookline School Committee is tentative, the teachers plan to celebrate the agreement, which came after three years without a contract, with a rally at Town Hall Tuesday afternoon.

Terms of the contracts covering 2020 to 2026 include a 6% increase in all wages and stipends between Sept. 1, 2020 and Aug. 31, 2023, followed by 8% between Sept. 1, 2023 and Aug. 30, 2026. These wage increase are on top of the contractual “steps” which provide automatic annual pay increases. The town will also create a group dedicated to attracting and retaining more diverse talent in the school system.

“A racial justice statement was really important to me,” one teacher said. “(The staff) needs to represent the diversity of our students and that’s long overdue.”

The agreements partially met each of the teachers’ demands.

Starting in fall 2023, teachers will also be offered “longevity pay” for those with at least 11 years of experience, with increases in the pay bump for every additional five years of experience.

Teachers also received the designated prep time they requested.

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