UPDATED- Election Committee Updates
Next week, March 8, will be the final day to submit signatures. The portal will close and all paper forms must be received by 6 p.m. Please remember the signature count needed in order to qualify your candidacy: 100 signatures for officers, field representatives, and political director; 50 signatures for e-board candidate; 25 signatures for delegates. It is best practice to collect extra signatures in case any are invalidated. Please take a picture or photocopy any paper signatures in the unlikely case they are lost. Additionally, if you are running for a position other than delegate, please know that your statement will be due to the BTU newspaper shortly after validation. Members of the election committee will be available throughout the membership meeting next week and we are always available at electioncommittee@btu.org for any questions or concerns. Thank you to everyone who pulled papers and signed nomination forms for ensuring our union’s democracy continues on.

Haitian Educators Committee (HEC) Meeting: February 28, 5:00-6:30PM
Due to the February vacation, the next HEC meeting will be on the fourth Tuesday instead of the regular third Tuesdays this month. Join us for our monthly meeting to discuss the needs and concerns of our community. We will also be discussing the next Reading With Joy workshop. We’re looking forward to see you! Please contact Bianca Pierre for the Zoom link.

Job Postings
AFT MA is hiring a field representative. Please see the job description and details for applying here.

Teaching for Climate Justice Workshop for Educators: March 11, 10:00AM-1:30PM
What does it mean to teach for climate justice? How can educators help combat climate despair in their curricula and classrooms? In this participatory workshop hosted by the BTU Climate Justice Committee and facilitated by the Zinn Education Project, all participants will leave with free, classroom friendly materials and pedagogical strategies to experiment with in their own settings and classrooms. More information here. Register now! Contact Betsy Drinan for more information.

NEW- BTU Legislative Mini-Conference: Saturday, March 11, 9:00AM-12:30PM
Members are invited to attend this morning program to learn more about our legislative priorities and help determine how we will advocate for these in the current legislative session. Particularly, we will have an in depth discussion about how we are supporting the Thrive Act, which would eliminate the state’s power to unilaterally take over school districts, and into a number of retirement issues affecting current and future retirees. We will be joined by some of the legislators who have filed these bills, including Senator Liz Miranda and Representative Rob Consalvo. Join us as we come up with strategies to protect our members and our schools!

NEW- Duet Coaching Information Session: March 13, 6:30-7:00PM
Duet is a coaching nonprofit in Boston that partners closely with Southern New Hampshire University (SHNU) to provide a faster, more flexible, and more affordable way to get a college degree. Please register for the information session if you’d like to learn more.

NEW- How Negotiations Work: March 15, 5:00-6:30PM
You asked, we listened: join your field reps and organizers for a session on how negotiations work. We’ll be at Dorchester Brewing Company sharing our insights, our experiences, and our appetizers. Register to join!

NEW- College Access Workshop: March 15, 5:30-6:30PM
“Yes, You Can Go To College” is a workshop hosted by Unafraid Educators to provide information to undocumented students and the adults who work with them about their options for applying to and financing college. Please invite your students and join us to learn more about how to support undocumented students who want to go to college. Please register here to attend.

Share My Lesson Virtual Conference: March 21-23
Submit your webinar proposals for this event here, or learn more about other upcoming AFT events at aftpd.org/conferences.

NEW- Professional Development Series for Paraprofessionals
All sessions are offered as part of a joint BTU/BPS collaboration to provide professional development and professaional growth opportunities for all BPS paraprofessionals, CFCs and Family Liaisons. Please join us!

Paraprofessional Mentors
Paraprofessionals, we want to make sure you are aware of the wonderful Para Mentors that we have to assist you. If you are struggling with your evaluation, or needing assistance with your role as a paraprofessional, the mentors can help. Please reach out to Colleen Hart at chart@btu.org if you are in need of a mentor or have any questions.

Green New Deal for Boston Public Schools: Join a Listening Session
The Green New Deal for BPS is an opportunity to harness our collective expertise to design the future of BPS facilities. Please join for an upcoming Green New Deal for BPS listening session to share your experiences in BPS with the design team. Your feedback will directly inform the educational foundation for new and renovated facilities as well as the criteria we use for prioritizing capital projects.

Para Pro Assessment Prep Classes
BPS is offering support in preparing candidates to take the ParaPro Assessment and start their journey to becoming paraprofessionals in our classrooms. Join to learn more about the test and how best to prepare! Five separate sessions of online test prep courses will be offered. Register now!

Rollins Griffith Memorial Classroom Library: Mini Grant Application
The goal is to keep the legacy of Rollins Griffith present in BPS and to promote black authors that share the vision of antiracism, the culture of black people through art and music. Thirty-one $250 mini grants are being offered to provisional teachers in the BPS.  All Provisional teachers are encouraged to apply.

Unafraid Educators Meetings
Unafraid Educators, BTU’s immigrants’ rights committee, is meeting the second Monday of each month from 4:30 – 6 p.m. on Zoom. Please join us!

Important Dates for Paras
Please see here for important dates for excessing, pools and assignments.

NEW- Paraprofessional Housing Survey
The Housing Justice Committee has put together a survey for paraprofessionals to help understand some of the housing challenges they are facing. Please fill out this quick survey so that the HJC can know better how to advocate for our members and build policy that will help paraprofessionals.

BTU/AFT Para/PSRP Conference: April 1, 8:30AM-2:30PM
Please join us for a day of collaboration and learning with fellow paraprofessionals from around the state. The deadline for registration is March 30. Register now!

2023 BTU Scholarships: Deadline April 14
This year, there will be 16 scholarships in the amount of $2,000 awarded to high school seniors who are dependents of BTU members. Learn more here.

AFT Massachusetts Convention Awards Dinner: April 28
Help the AFT Massachusetts celebrate the service of an educator, librarian, nurse, or school employee whose leadership has made our union stronger. The deadline to submit nominations is March 1. Forward all nominations to President Tang. The 2023 Scholarship Winners and the 2023 Distinguished Service Award Winners will be honored at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate located at 210 Morrissey Boulevard in Boston. Interested members and guests are asked to complete the registration form linked to attend the dinner.

SAVE THE DATE- AFT Massachusetts Convention: April 29
AFT Massachusetts convention delegates from across the state will celebrate our victories, discuss the battles we face, and be inspired to act. We’ll hear about important initiatives and further develop our collective strength as educators and organizers. It will be in-person at the IBEW Local 103 Union Hall located at 256 Freeport Street in Boston. We will email a registration link, etc. to all eligible delegates. 

BTU Housing Justice Committee Meetings
The BTU Housing Justice Committee has begun meeting every other Monday at 5 p.m. If you have any questions or would like to be added to the mailing list, please reach out to Emma or Shakeeda. You can access the Zoom via this link.

Building Rep Stipends
Building Reps receive a $1,000 stipend for attending (and signing in) to 75% of the monthly membership meetings. The stipend can be earned in other ways too. The BTU BRep app is going through redevelopment along with our website, so reps can complete the BTU BRep Tally Sheet and submit it at the end of the school year if 75% attendance (and sign in) is not possible. All BReps must submit a W-9 and will receive a 1099 at the end of the tax year.

REMINDER- Union Dues
We’ve received a few inquiries into union dues. In 2022, teachers paid $1,451.06; paraprofessionals paid $760.10; substitutes paid $760.10; and ABAs paid $943.02 in union dues. Remember – union dues are no longer tax deductible. Please direct any questions about dues to Secretary-Treasurer Michael McLaughlin.