Published On: September 21, 2010

Good morning. We hope your school year has started off well. Below are some standard beginning of the year reminders and a few issues unique to this year.


Class Size Maxima Limits

We have very good class size maxima language and enforcement language that protects both our students and us. Please make sure you understand the class size limits, and we encourage you to file a grievance when those limits are violated. The process to file is done online and is quite simple.

Save your pay stubs

While all paycheck information can be retrieved electronically, it is often easier to have a hard copy at your fingertips. Speaking of pay stubs…the first check of the 26-paycheck cycle was delivered last Friday, and all who receive health insurance saw a double deduction taken for that coverage. Normally there is a single deduction taken, twice per month. But even though there is only one ‘Friday’ in September, the contract between the city of Boston and the health vendors requires that a double deduction will be taken; therefore the deduction had to be doubled. In October there are three Fridays. Deductions will be taken out of the first two paychecks only; the third October paycheck will have NO health deduction.

At Turnaround Schools

Teachers who work the extended time ought to have been paid an additional 1/26 or 1/22 (depending on payroll frequency) of $4100 for their extended work. Paras who were asked to do extra work and who do the work will get paid at their hourly rate for work done. For substitute teachers, the added compensation is still being worked on. Expect an answer shortly.

BPS Eliminates Funding for TSTs

The school department has eliminated funding for TSTs, and Tech Support will now take care of all of your school’s technology needs, including computer repair and so on. Sure. And the Red Sox will win the pennant.

This is not meant as a shot against OIIT – they do the best they can with limited resources, and with aging computer hardware. Our staff do the best they can cobbling together a little bit of this and a little bit of that to make things run. But let’s face it: the system is under resourced. And regardless of who does the ‘fixing,’ it’s an uphill battle.

Back to TSTs: unless the building administrator specifically informs a TST that he/she will get paid for doing technology support, the person doing such work is volunteering.

BPS Cuts Funding for School Site Councils

The school department has apparently also cut funding for School Site Councils so that they can use their school facility only a few times per year for monthly meetings – moving them to alternative sites the rest of the time.

Memo to school department: this is penny wise and pound foolish. We need to encourage parent participation, not discourage it. What’s next? Parents should bring flashlights to cut down on the electric bill? Perhaps the Boston Foundation can step up to pay the rent. After all, the Boston Foundation is all for civic engagement, or so they tell us..

ETF Grievance: Loss of Clerks

ETFs: If you have lost a clerk either full time or part time. please notify Patrick Connolly at  in order to be included in the grievance. Please include name, ID#, school, and change in clerk’s schedule (e.g. from 1.0 to .4 fte). Please note if you are a Citywide ETF. Pilot schools ETFs ARE included in this grievance. Just let Patrick Connolly know.

Notes To Building Reps

Reservations for the annual Rep. conference weekend in Quincy are due by September 24. Turn in BTU Rep election forms ASAP to or fax to 617 288-0024. If your school has no Rep, please contact Caren or Michael.

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