Teachers, librarians protesting outside Central High School Friday

Paraprofessionals joined in support of teachers and librarians

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Teachers and librarians are gathered outside Central High School in Springfield Friday morning to protest their lack of a contract with Springfield Public Schools.

One picketer told 22News that their contracts expired in August, and they’ve been trying to get them back ever since.

“We just want to work for a living wage. We want our kids to have the schools they deserve, so we’re out here trying to get people’s attention. We just want a contract,” Central High School librarian Rebecca Rowland said.

Springfield Public Schools spokesperson Azell Cavaan confirmed for 22News that the teachers’ contract expired in August, and they have been working without a contract since then.

Cavaan also said the union and administration have been negotiating for a new contract since last year, prior to the previous contract expiring.  “The Springfield Public School administration and the Springfield Education Association, which is a teachers’ union, have a long history of collaboration. Contract negotiations are never easy, but as long as both parties keep a focus on what is best for students, we believe a contract that is fair for teachers, and in the best interest of students, will be realized,” she said.