Good day.

How important is your health insurance?

Pretty important. So please spend 5 minutes or so getting the word out to your state senator that you value your health insurance and want to keep it within the realm of collective bargaining. You can send an email here or you can call your state senator. If you don’t know who your state senator is, see here. Please do one or both activities.

Even though our proposed agreement on health insurance will last through June 2015, whatever law comes out of this legislative session will trump our Union’s recent agreement with the city. Therefore it’s important that whatever new law comes out of this legislative session protect our collective bargaining interests.

We thank the members of the Boston City Council for their unanimous vote supporting the new health care agreement all city unions have struck with the city of Boston. The members of the Boston city Council were all on board, and we appreciate their support.

Reasonable Assurance letters and Provisional Non-Renewal Letters Sent Out

This week the BPS human resource office is expected to send out approximately 1050 letters to our provisional teachers. Around 700 of those letters will offer reasonable assurance to our members;  approximately 350 of those letters will be non-renewal letters.

The non-renewal letters are not final. Many, if not a majority, will be rescinded over the next month or two – before unemployment payments kick in. It is important to note that that the hiring and rehiring of provisional teachers continues through December 1. This same pattern will occur this upcoming school year. Much more information will be coming out over the next few months.

Provisional teachers who receive this week’s non-renewal letter are encouraged to apply for any and all vacancies that come out over the next few months, whether those vacancies are open posted positions or new traditional vacancies.

Any questions, please e-mail or call Caren or Michael.

BTU Union News and Events

BTU Membership Meeting: Wednesday, 5/11

At the last BTU membership meeting the membership voted to ask AFL-CIO President Bob Haynes to resign from his seat from the board of Blue Cross/Blue Shield. The membership motion also called on Mr. George Alcott III to resign from the other labor seat on the BCBS Board. Mr. Haynes will come to the BTU membership this Wednesday, 5/11, to address the membership at 4:30 and give his reasons for not resigning.

Teacher Excess Pools

The pools were slated to be held on 5/13, 5/16, and 5/17. The pools have been postponed to 5/24, 25, and 26.

Rally for a Better Commonwealth: sponsored by the MTA & others

WHEN: 4 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 14
WHERE: Copley Square, Boston

Para Pool June 3; Para transfer list out 4/25

The Para pool is slated to be held on June 3, and the Para Transfer list is slated to be released on April 25. Any questions, please call the BTU office.

Candidates for BTU Elective Office

Anyone running for BTU office is able to purchase address labels for BTU members if he/she wants to contact members by mail.  He/she can also purchase building representative labels.



Education in the News

Public School Teachers and Their Unions Are Under Attack: Here’s How We Can Save Them

From Pedro Noguera and Michelle Fine in The Nation

“Public school teachers and their unions are under a sustained assault that is still unfolding. In 2010 Michelle Rhee, former Washington, DC, schools chancellor, announced the creation of a multimillion-dollar lobbying organization for the explicit purpose of undermining teachers unions. She has charged that “bad teachers” are the primary cause of the problems that beset America’s schools.”

“New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has asserted that effective teachers need no experience. Romanticizing the young, energetic, passionate (read: cheap) teacher, he has made eliminating seniority preferences in layoffs (aka, last in, first out — or LIFO) his pet cause (it has been stymied for the time being by the state legislature).”

Read more.

Chicago Study Finds Mixed Results for AVID Program

Education Week reports:

“Individual interventions intended to improve academic skills, such as the popular Advancement Via Individual Determination, or AVID, program, may not secure a student’s path to graduation and college without a schoolwide structure to support it, according to a study from the Consortium on Chicago School Research.”

“In a report set for release in the fall and previewed at the American Educational Research Association convention in New Orleans in April, researchers analyzed how AVID, a study-skills intervention for middle-achieving students, played out in 14 Chicago high schools. They found AVID participants in 9th grade gained little advantage that year over peers not taking part in the program, and remained off track for graduation and college.”

Read more.


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Richard Stutman
Boston Teachers Union