- Complete Your Building Representative Election Results Form
If you haven’t already done so, please complete a copy of the 2019-20 Report of Building Representative Election Results Form. Download the PDF for printing, or complete the online form below.
Please complete this form after electing Building Reps. Each Building Rep will receive a $500 stipend in return for completion of necessary building activities and attendance and sign-in of at least 70% of Membership/Building Rep. Meetings.
- Boston Education Justice Alliance (BEJA) Resources
- How to Be a Great Building Rep
View and download the full 2018-19 Building Rep Handbook.
- Be knowledgeable: How do you do that? Regular attendance at membership and Building Rep meetings is crucial. In addition, study the contract, read the Boston Union Teacher newspaper, the weekly e-Bulletin, as well as all emails and mailings you receive. As the school year progresses, the Field Representatives will send reminders of organizational task that arise seasonally. If you have questions, do not hesitate to follow up with the elected leadership and/or BTU staff.
- Be an Educator/Communicator: It’s not enough to be knowledgeable. Try different ways to communicate what you know to the members. When you hear interesting ideas from a member, or you hear many members are concerned about a particular issue, communicate that knowledge back to the BTU leadership and staff so we can act on it. Communication is a two way street and you are a crucial link.
- Lead by positive example: If you tell the members to go to the monthly membership meeting — but you don’t go yourself — the message you send is that membership meetings may not be that important after all.
- Be an organizer: Know the people in your building you can count on to get out the word on important issues to create an active union network. Don’t just go through the motions of distributing and posting materials. Enlist the help of others whenever possible.
- Make signing up new members a priority: Remember, membership is still important, even with the agency fee. The BTU must depend on membership —and not just the agency fee—which is a political creation subject to withdrawal following another political decision. Should that happen, the BTU must be able to maintain itself without a loss of members, income, or strength. And that takes organization! In addition to your own outreach efforts, find people in your building with a close personal or working relationship to new staff to talk with them about the relevance and importance of union membership.
- Learn to Be a Problem Solver: You will find yourself involved in monitoring day-to-day school activities, keeping members informed about how union policy impacts their working lives, participating on the Faculty Senate, meeting with the building administration to iron out school problems, and, of course, handling Step One grievances. You will gain skills in all these areas through practice and experience. But know that you can always seek out assistance from the Union staff and leadership to help you improve your effectiveness.
- Be a Friend: Although this may sound a bit trite, it is important. The BTU is nothing more or less than a collection of all of us sharing our common hopes and aspirations. Alone and isolated we are just employees. Together, we are the Boston Teachers Union.
- How to File a Grievance
One of the most important duties of the Building Representative is the handling of grievances at Step One. Therefore, it is imperative that all Building Representatives become thoroughly familiar with the “Dispute Resolution” sections of the contract, and especially with the paragraphs which deal with the filing of a grievance at the school level. This is found in Article X of the teacher contract and Article V of the paraprofessional, substitute, and ABA contracts.
Put in general terms, a “grievance” is a statement which says that a teacher’s rights have been violated due to a misinterpretation or misapplication of the contract. It is not a general complaint or claim of unfair treatment.
The importance of filing a grievance when applicable is obvious. A grievance must be filed every time an individual teacher’s rights are violated in order to protect the rights of the entire membership.
Here is a list of guidelines which the Building Rep should follow in filing a grievance.