As we enter the final weeks of summer, let us call your attention to a few items.
(First, a bookkeeping issue... We have received from the school department email addresses for a group of new employees and a group of others who have changed locations. As we could not distinguish from the file who was in which group, we have added all email addresses to this list-serve. If you are getting this email and wish to unsubscribe, it is easy to do so at the bottom of this email. At the same location, you can also change or add new or preferred email addresses. The list and all email addresses are protected, secure, and used only for the purpose of sending out this weekly e-bulletin.
If you do have a home email address, we'd prefer you'd use it instead of your boston.k12 address. Again, you can make any changes below. Thank you.)
Negotiations continue on a successor collective bargaining agreement. All of the city's 40+ municipal unions are working under expired contracts. We have four full days of negotiations scheduled over the next two weeks. Meanwhile the current contract remains in effect. So, here are a few examples of salary benefits that continue.
Salary Items (Career Awards, Lane Changes, Steps) Remain in Effect
Paras receive career awards after 9 years, then every five years thereafter. through 29 years. Make sure your first paycheck accurately reflects what you are due. If not, make sure you apply for what you are due.
To apply for a career award, one must use a PSO-3 form and follow these directions. Any questions, please email either Michael, Caren, or Jenna.
Your base salary remains in effect as it was at the end of the 2010-2011 school year. For teachers, see here. For paras, see here. For substitutes, see here. All salaries posted were in effect throughout the 2010-2011 school year. We are seeking a salary increase retroactive to 9/1/2010.
Salary steps are automatic, but you have to apply for academic lane changes. See here.
Some members who drive to multiple schools on a given day may be entitled to mileage payments. See here, and also feel free to contact your field representative.
Opening of Year; Town Meetings Scheduled
School opens for staff on Tuesday, 9/6 . Please see section below for more detail.
The BTU has scheduled opening-of-year town meetings. One for BTU Building Reps will be held on Tuesday evening, 9/6, prior to the opening of school; and one for the entire membership on Wednesday, on 9/21, at 7:00 PM. See below for more detail.
|Opening of School Schedule|
School begins on Tuesday, 9/6, for staff only. Wednesday, 9/7, is another staff-only day. Students begin reporting on Thursday, 9/8.
On Tuesday, 9/6, school principals and headmasters get the first :30 for administrative announcements; BTU staff get the remaining 5:30 for room set-up and preparation. On Wednesday, 9/7, building representatives get :30 at the start of the day to discuss school, staff and union issues; administrators get the rest of the day to do what they wish. All of the above was collectively bargained by the BTU and the BPS.
|BTU Schedules Town Meetings|
All BTU reps are invited to participate in a town meeting that will take place on Tuesday evening, 9/6, the purpose of which is to provide an update of where we are in negotiations in anticipation of the Wednesday AM staff meeting. Specifics have been sent to B Reps.
A first-ever citywide town meeting for all BTU members will take place on Wednesday evening, 9/21, at 7 PM. This will be a great opportunity for all members to participate in a give and take discussion on the major issues of the day. Specific information will be forthcoming. Please make sure the BTU has your correct (and best) phone number for the call. Let us know here of any phone number changes.
Both town meetings are joint initiatives between the AFT and the BTU. We appreciate the AFT's support.
|Proposed HS Changes Creates Winners and Losers|
Hyde Park High Students Lost in Shuffle
The superintendent has proposed moving Boston Arts Academy (BAA) out of its current location, which it shares with the Fenway. BAA would move to the Boston Latin Academy (BLA) site, and BLA would move to the Hyde Park High site, which was closed this past June. Fenway could then expand in its current site. This is a convoluted solution that pits one school against another.
This much is true: BAA and the Fenway need larger, more accommodating sites. BLA needs a permanent, well-maintained site. And Hyde Park High students have gotten the short end of the stick. Two-thirds of Hyde Park got assigned to new schools, the other third is moving to a converted middle school building, the old, run-down wing of what was formerly the Grover Cleveland Middle School. While the school department and Hyde Park staff are working hard this summer to fix up the Cleveland and results are promising, it still is a middle school facility, with middle school trappings--it is not a legitimate high school. This is a 'solution' with a few winners and a few losers.
The Dorchester Reporter provided an update recently on the possible move of BLA to Hyde Park HS: "A group of Boston Latin Academy teachers and some community members are protesting a proposal that would relocate the Dorchester school on Townsend St. to the Hyde Park High School building..." Read more.
|Education in the News|
New Poll Shows Support of Teachers, But Not of Unions
From the Huffington Post
"During a year of turmoil, layoffs and wrangling over the hiring and firing of teachers, American appreciation for teachers reached an all-time high -- while opinions on their unions and the nation's schools hit an all-time low, according to a new survey released Wednesday..."
Sound Familiar? NYC Charters Avoid SPED and ELL Students
From the NY Daily News
"An umbrella group for the city's charter schools says its members outperformed district schools on state exams this year - but admits they serve fewer special-needs kids.
"A study by the New York City Charter School Center says charters "have lower enrollment rates for students with disabilities [and] much lower rates for English language learners.
"District schools serve more than twice as many English language learners than charters, the report said. And just 12.7% of charter school students have disabilities, compared with 15.1% at district schools, the report says..."Read more.
And from Texas: Support Mediocre Charters by Using Visa
Courtesy of Valerie Strauss, Washington Post blogger
"Some things just speak for themselves, and this is one of them.
"From the Texas Charter Schools Association comes the Texas Charter Schools Visa® Card, which allows you to "donate with every swipe of your card!"
"(Users of the card can, if they choose, ignore the latest results of the Texas Education Agency's accountability report on the state's charter schools. It says in its executive summary that "this evaluation provides little evidence that  new open-enrollment charter schools are improving students' academic outcomes." It also says: "In addition, analyses comparing the performance of new open-enrollment charter schools with their more established peers find that charter school student outcomes do not improve as schools gain more experience)..."
Film Screening of "The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman"
|Looking for Volunteers|
Fenway Park to host new 6th grade Middle School Students, BTU needs a few volunteers.
The city and the Boston School Department invite 6th grade students entering Middle School to visit Fenway Park on Tuesday, September 6th, from 5:30-8:00 P.M. This is a great welcome event to our students and the BTU is sponsoring a table to greet our new Middle School Students. The BTU is looking for a few volunteers to help out at this event. Please contact Patrick Connolly at the BTU Office if interested (617) 288-2000. Thank you.
Please note: This program is for 6th graders entering Middle School only, as they are transitioning to a new school and a new grade.
|BTU Members in Action|
|Volunteer for BTU-Endorsed Candidates, Steve Murphy, Felix Arroyo, and Tito Jackson! BTU endorsed candidates Steve Murphy, Boston City Council At-Large Candidate; Felix Arroyo, Boston City Council At-Large Candidate; and Tito Jackson, Boston City Council District 7 Candidate are looking for volunteers. BTU members interested in being involved are asked to contact Angela Cristiani.|
We are still looking for volunteers who wish to host a house party for a local representative, senator or city councilor. We will do most of the work. Email Angela if you are interested.
Boston Election Update:
Please note: The Boston Preliminary Municipal Election is scheduled for September 27, 2011. In District 7, the BTU has endorsed Tito Jackson. The BTU has not endorsed a candidate in Districts 2 and 3. Per motion of the COPE Committee, questionnaires will be sent out after the primary in the district races and the at-large race where no endorsement was made.
The next meeting for the BTU Making Strides Committee will be Monday August 29, 10-12 at the BTU office. All are welcome to help with the planning for the September 16 Fund-raiser at the BTU, as well as the October 2 Walk.
|Important Information from the BTU Health and Welfare Fund Office|
The Health and Welfare Fund Office sent out a Special Notice in July to all Teachers and Paraprofessionals concerning a recent change in dependent eligibility as required by the federal Affordable Care Act. This change allows for dependent children, in certain instances, to be eligible for Health and Welfare Fund benefits up to age 26. If you have children under age 26 who are not presently eligible for Health and Welfare benefits, and you have not reviewed the Special Notice, please do so as soon as possible or call the Fund Office (617-288-0500) with any questions as soon as possible to enroll those children, if eligible, by August 31st .
Retirement Party for Patricia ArmstrongVenezia Restaurant, Friday, September 23, 6-10
Cost of $50 includes buffet, gift, music; cash bar
Send check and make payable to Ed Doherty, c/o AFT-MA, Suite 402, 38 Chauncy St., Boston, Mass. 02111
Retirement Party for Loretta Bryant-Bogard
Phillips Old Colony House in Dorchester
September 24th, 7 pm to 12 am
Cost of $50 includes dinner, dancing, and gift
RSVP to Charlene Henry by 9/19/2011
or at PO Box 191099, Boston, MA 02119
|School Bowling League Continues|
COME BOWL WITH US--Lots of fun! Meet new and old friends! Good exercise! Time to unwind and relax!
|The Boston Teachers Union is saddened to announce the passing of Dr. Roger M. Beattie, formerly an art teacher and District Superintendent in the BPS. Mr. Beattie passed away in May and a memorial service will be held on October 1 at 10:00 AM at St. Johns the Evangelist Church at 35 Bowdoin St, Beacon Hill. Dr. Beattie was a gentle, kind man who rose to a leadership position in the BPS while showing that compassion and competence are not mutually exclusive.The BTU sends its most sincere condolences to family, friends, and former colleagues.|
The Boston Teachers Union also sends its most sincere condolences to Elaine Colarossi, retired teacher and long-time BTU Building Representative at Snow, whose mother, Concetta Colarossi, passed away last week. See full announcement here. The BTU sends its condolences to the Colarossi family.
|The BTU Online|
Boston Teachers Union