Dedham teachers reach ‘tentative’ deal to end strike

DEDHAM, MASS. (WHDH) - Classes will be back in session in Dedham on Monday after striking teachers reached a tentative deal to end their strike, a Dedham School Committee spokesman said.

There is a “tentative” deal in place that will open schools on Monday, according to the spokesman. Officials would not give details about the specifics of the contract but said it would cover four years — one retroactive and three going forward.

The teachers began their strike Friday, leading to classes being put on hold. Teachers said they want better health benefits, more money, better language for addressing sexual harassment concerns and new policies for students using cellphones in class.

They will meet to vote on the contract at 4 p.m. tomorrow.

Dedham Education Association President Tim Dwyer said the strike was successful because of the solidarity between teachers, community members, and other unions.

“The day when unions have to make concessions and work for less and do more work is over,” Dwyer said. “We have a fair and decent contract, and we’re moving forward to get to a new day.”

In a statement, Dedham Superintendent Michael Welch said, “The school department and the union have been working through the process laid out through collective bargaining and that sometimes is very very lengthy and challenging and frustrating. It’s unfortunate the way it’s unfolded the way it has, we’re just happy to be here today knowing that it’s in the rearview mirror.”

The Massachusetts Teachers Association said, “We congratulate the members of the Dedham Education Association for reaching a tentative agreement on a new contract. They stood up for their students, their schools and their community.”

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