Good morning, we hope you survived Earl! We welcome you to the start of another school year.
Today’s what we call a 50-50 day: the administration gets 3 hours for PD activities, and BTU members get three hours for room set up and class organization. As part of our first day activities, BTU Building Reps will run a 30 minute workshop in all buildings detailing the rights and benefits of being a BTU member. You’ll receive the opening-day newspaper that provides a comprehensive view of the ins and outs of being a BTU member. You can also see the edition on-line.
The first paycheck for all staff for this year will be on Friday, September 17. Hint: save all of your pay stubs and check that you are being paid appropriately. If you have a Master’s Degree, for example, make sure your pay stub reflects it. Any questions on this, please email Caren, Michael, or Jenna if you are a secondary teacher, elementary teacher, or paraprofessional/substitute teacher respectively.
Tomorrow afternoon, Wednesday, at 4, is our first regularly-scheduled membership meeting of the year. We are sensitive to the fact that it falls on the first evening of Rosh Hashanah. A few have asked why we did not postpone the meeting. The answer is, we represent many different staff who celebrate a variety of holidays and religious observances. To go down the path of postponing a union event for one group would be to postpone for all – and that would make scheduling throughout the year quite problematic. We hope all understand.
The BTU Has A New Face Online
Please visit www.btu.org to explore our redesigned website. Our new site has a fresh look and we think you will find it easier to move around and locate the critical information you need.
It also has some new content. After a year of intense “teacher-bashing,” we will be spotlighting positive, successful things happening in our schools and the exciting teaching our members are doing in the classroom every day. Please forward your ideas. As we gear up our contract negotiations, we will also use the website to publicize the BTU’s views and perspectives on education and education reform, union members’ rights and on the teaching profession, along with links to important research and news articles in our “MediaWatch” feature.
The new site will also be a livelier, more interactive site. We are kicking this off with a poll. Our first poll is on a timely topic for the opening of school: how much you typically spend on school supplies for your classroom? For now, this is not a scientific poll: since the e-bulletin is open to non-BTU members others conceivably could vote. We are working on a system that will allow BTU members only to vote in the near future.
You will also see a link at the bottom of the web site to our beginning Facebook page. Facebook is an experiment for us and for unions in general. We hope that our members will become “fans.” We want to encourage constructive, positive discussion about issues facing teachers and public education in Boston. In these times of a controversy a week about education reform, it is going to take a; lot of volunteer efforts to ensure our point of view comes across.
New Delivery Date for E-Bulletin
Our e-bulletins will now be released on Tuesday mornings instead of Mondays. Many people are flooded with emails Monday mornings and we hope this change will ensure that more of you get to read our weekly bulletin. You can sign up for our e-bulletin here.
Please remember that those who sign up are joining a protected list, which will be used for the purpose of sending these e-bulletins only. The list will not be used for any other purpose.