Union members of the Malden Education Association and the Haverhill Education Association voted to strike after all-day negotiations with their schools failed to end in an agreement.
"We are looking to try and mitigate the impact of inflation," Malden teacher Douglas Dias told WCVB-TV. "With it being over 8% and with our teachers being underpaid, we can't accept a 2.5% increase. It is a pay cut."
Malden Public Schools department attorney Howard Greenspan told the news outlet that the school board requested the assistance of a mediator to continue the negotiations.
Both the Malden and Haverhill public school systems issued statements ahead of time to warn parents of the possible strikes. Since the negotiations were unsuccessful, classes and after-school activities were canceled for Monday.
Over 7,000 children are enrolled at Haverhill Public Schools, which includes 17 schools from pre-kindergarten through the 12th grade. Malden Public Schools includes six schools with over 6,000 students.
The Haverhill Education Association stated that teachers have worked for over 100 days without a contract. Even after multiple rounds of negotiations with the school board, the union reported, "We have reached not a single tentative agreement."
"Educators have put forward proposals on racial justice, health and safety and other working conditions that have a direct impact on the quality of education we can provide students attending Haverhill Public Schools," the Haverhill Education Association wrote in a statement. "Our students deserve and need a more diverse teaching force. They deserve and need to be in suitable learning environments. They deserve and need educators who have time to prepare, plan and collaborate with colleagues."
Malden Public School Superintendent Ligia Noriega-Murphy told the Daily Caller that the district had an "incredibly productive day" of negotiations with the union on Sunday.
Noriega-Murphy said the committee made "a significant number of agreements and a very competitive and unprecedented salary and benefits offer."
"Considering how much movement was made today, we would have hoped the bargaining could have continued at our next regularly scheduled meeting, and that no avoidable disruption to the education of our students and routine of our families would occur," stated Noriega-Murphy.
The Malden Education Association, the Haverhill Education Association, and Haverhill Public Schools did not reply to a request for comment, the Daily Caller reported.