BEU extends deadline for written agreement from BSC and postpones potential strike



The Brookline Educators Union (BEU) has taken several different measures to fight for a fair contract from the Brookline School Committee (BSC) and may be going on strike.

On Wednesday, May 11, Superintendent Dr. Linus Guillory wrote a Public Schools of Brookline (PSB) community message regarding a potential Brookline Educators Union (BEU) strike on Friday, May 13 amidst ongoing tension in contract negotiations.

Guillory’s message specifically follows conflicting statements from both the BEU and the Brookline School Committee (BSC) regarding a recent mediation session. The BEU’s statement asks the BSC to sign a written agreement by Thursday, May 12 at 5 p.m in response the BEU’s counteroffer, as agreements made during mediation are not binding. However, BEU president Jessica Wender-Shubow said the BEU now intends to give the BSC additional time to allow them to meet Saturday, May 14.

“We are allowing them the time they asked for to hold their meeting Saturday night, but we will not accept the manufacturing of further unnecessary delays,” Wender-Shubow said. “We expect a tentative agreement in writing.”

This follows a BSC statement from Wednesday, May 11, stating that the BSC needs to meet Thursday, May 12, to review an off-the-record proposal from the BEU.

On Thursday, May 12, the BEU voted to move to strike on Monday, May 16 if no agreement is reached this weekend.

“Educators are simply fed up with the Brookline School Committee’s approach to bargaining- or rather its active avoidance of serious bargaining,” the BEU wrote in a statement following Thursday’s vote. “The inexcusable delays in settling contracts and the complete unwillingness to even talk about issues that have such an impact on students and the quality of education that we provide them have brought us to a point where Brookline educators must take bold action. We will always fight for what our students need and deserve.”

According to BSC chair David Pearlman, the BSC is preparing to respond to the BEU’s offer this weekend.

“We are preparing a written counterproposal, which we will send to the BEU prior to the first of our two previously scheduled mediation sessions on the evenings of Saturday, May 14 and Monday, May 16,” Pearlman said.

Guillory wrote that it will be “difficult to safely operate our schools” if the BEU strikes, and he will continue communication with families regarding updates to the situation.

Pearlman said the BSC and Guillory are working on contingency plans in the event of a strike.

According to Guillory, in the event of a strike, measures will be taken to try to continue with the school day.

“If the BEU votes to proceed with actions that would impede our scheduled school day, the district will take all prudent actions to deliver education to our students,” Guillory wrote. “While our goal and priority is always to have schools open for students, I recognize your need for advance notice of potential interruptions.”

This article was updated at 8:15 a.m. on May 13 due to changing information.

This is a developing story. Please check back here for more information and updates.