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Lynn teachers step up on May Day

FILE PHOTO BY OWEN O’ROURKE
Brant Duncan, president of the Lynn Teacher’s Union, says that this year at the May Day March there will be a focus with regards to their contract.

By GAYLA CAWLEY

 

LYNN — Lynn teachers will participate in today’s May Day March in support of their students and for a fair contract.

The “May Day March for Immigrant and Worker Rights” is scheduled for 4 p.m. at City Hall. Activists are inviting people from all backgrounds to celebrate Lynn’s history as a home for immigrants and as a leader in the fight for dignity, respect and a living wage for workers. The annual event takes place in cities nationwide.

Brant Duncan, president of the Lynn Teachers Union, said Lynn teachers have marched annually in the event, but this year, there’s some focus with regards to their contract. The union has been in contract negotiations with the School Committee since September. He said their contract expired in Aug. 2016.

“It’s been a difficult time for kids and we want to reaffirm our love for teaching all of our students, from across the world,” said Duncan. “Diversity is one of our many assets here in Lynn, so it’s two-fold. We march in support of our students and for a fair contract.”

The Lynn Teachers Union, in their notice for the event, said “our students and their families deserve safe, welcoming schools, and educators deserve a fair contract to support the work we do with our students.”

“Our teachers and support staff are proud to work with students from all over the world,” reads the notice. “We believe our schools should be safe havens for children and their families, and we deserve a fair contract to support our work with all children.”

Duncan said contract negotiations will be conducted with the School Committee in executive session, and would not share the terms publicly, but reiterated that the union was looking to reach an agreement that is fair.

Coinciding with the march is the “Build Schools, Not Walls,” Campaign, as part of The Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools, which describes itself as fighting to reclaim the promise of public education as the nation’s gateway to a strong democracy and racial and economic justice. “Every community deserves quality public schools where immigrants are welcome and kids and families are safe, respected and loved,” reads a description of the campaign.


Gayla Cawley can be reached at gcawley@itemlive.com. Follow her on Twitter @GaylaCawley.

 

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