Barbara Locke Woburn Teachers Association President (Image Source: WCVB-TV video screenshot)
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A Massachusetts teachers' union started a fundraising campaign asking the community to pay for strike fines incurred due to an illegal, week-long walkout staged by some of the nation's highest-paid educators in February, the Daily Caller reported.
The Woburn Teachers' Association was fined $250,000 after educators illegally walked off the job last week, canceling classes for five days and impacting 4,200 students. Public employees in Massachusetts are not permitted to strike.
The teachers' union attempted to cover the fine by hosting a bake sale and starting a GoFundMe campaign.
The Woburn Teachers' Association shared information about its funding efforts on Twitter, stating, "Woburn families have made yummy baked goods in an effort to support getting the students back to school. The WTA continues to be overwhelmed with appreciation for our amazing community supporters!"
After falling short on bake sale donations, the teachers' union launched a fundraising campaign to cover the remainder of the fines.
"Any help would be immensely appreciated!! We have some fines to pay and unfortunately the back [sic] sale couldn't cover it all!!" the association wrote on social media.
As of Thursday afternoon, the union raised over $47,000 in contributions from the community.
Members of the union voted to strike on January 30 after failing to settle contract negotiations with Mayor Scott Galvin and the school committee. The teachers said they presented "common sense proposals for a living wage" and requested smaller class sizes.
Woburn educators asked for a 14.75% raise, despite already being the second-highest-paid teachers in the nation. The average salary for teachers in Woburn Public School District is $85,000.
According to the Boston Herald, the mayor and the teachers union reached an agreement to provide educators a 13.75% raise over the next four years and a 40% raise for paraprofessionals.
Classes resumed on Monday. Galvin told WCVB-TV that the teachers who participated in the illegal strike would not face any disciplinary action.
"The strike is illegal," Galvin stated. "It should've never happened, but we're happy with the deal, and we're ready to move on."
Barbara Locke, president of the Woburn Teachers' Association, told WCVB, "There was no hurdle to jump. We want to go to school. So we conceded. We decided that the more important thing was to go to school."
Classes resume as teachers strike comes to end in Woburnyoutu.be
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Candace Hathaway is a staff writer for Blaze News.