We hope your first week went well. Of course, at the opening of school there are bound to be glitches, so what do you do when you have questions about your teaching conditions? You call your field representative, either Caren Carew or Michael McLaughlin. Wondering who your teacher field rep is? Find out here. Caren’s email email@example.com; Michael’s is firstname.lastname@example.org. All paraprofessional and substitute teacher issues go to Josefina Lascano.
What if you have another sort of question? What’s the deal on health insurance? Starting a 403b plan? How do I access the dental program?Am I entitled to my own desk? How about a locked file cabinet if I am an itinerant teacher? How do I get ahold of any BTU staff person? For any of these, see below or call the BTU office at 617-288-2000 and your call will be directed appropriately.
What do you do if there’s a heat wave? There is a state law, but — spoiler alert –you’ll not be pleased to find out that as long as the
Official temperature in a classroom at the Philbrick Elementary School on Wednesday, September 9.
classroom temperature is no higher than the outside temperature, then, well, that’s OK.
“Room temperatures in rooms occupied by students shall be maintained at not less than sixty-eight degrees Fahrenheit at zero Fahrenheit outside and at not more than the outside temperature when the outside temperature is above eighty degrees Fahrenheit (measured at two feet from the outside walls and twenty inches above floor level).” See here, paragraph 7-4.
The BTU contract does call for the following, page 93, C1:
“A classroom will be closed when the temperature falls below 60 F., or whenever the temperature or climate becomes too oppressive.”
It is obviously too late to do anything about this past week, and even if it weren’t, the only remedy that would have made sense would have been to close entire schools, as impractical as that might have been. However, we encourage a school to file the grievance, if it wishes, in order to prepare for a new occurrence of this situation. A member did file a negotiating item for our upcoming round of negotiations seeking that all schools be air-conditioned. If you have any negotiating item to add, please add it here.
Last week’s membership meeting resulted in a variety of important items being debated and passed:
- The membership voted to spend up to $50,000 to support the 150 teachers now assigned to a position in Suitable Professional Capacity. We are working with the school department now on a menu of items which will be helpful to our 150 members. Some of the items may take resources, and our endorsement of this $50,000 amount will go towards that endeavor.
- The membership unanimously voted to send $5,000 in a show of solidarity to striking Seattle teachers.
- The membership also voted to support legislation that would divest our pension funds from fossil fuel companies. (See above related article on high classroom temperatures.)
- We also heard from endorsed City Council candidate and East Boston teacher Annissa Essaibi George who is waging a strong campaign for an At-Large City Council seat.
- We also voted to defer, under the advice of counsel, President Stutman’s report on the BTU election until the election appeal is heard at the AFT.
- Two new members of the BTU Negotiating Team were approved and introduced: Nicole Mullen from BAA and Melanie Allen from the Hernandez Middle.
- Newly-designated co-editor of the Boston Union Teacher Colum Whyte was introduced. You can reach Colum at email@example.com. Colum, from the Lee Elementary, joinsMichael Maguire as co-editor. We thank Garret Virchick for his service as co-editor.
|City Council candidate Annissa Essaibi George addresses the BTU membership. Photo by Colum Whyte|
East Boston High School teacher and at-large candidate for Boston City Council Annissa Essaibi George addressed the membership at last week’s meeting. The BTU membership has endorsed George as well asother candidates for council.
Attention Building Reps:
January 4 City-Wide PD Votes
If your school or department has not yet reported the results of your vote on how to use the six hours of January 4 professional development, please do so as soon as possible. A building rep should complete this 30-second, four-question survey. This will help us prepare to make the January 4 experience the best it can be for all schools. Please contact Paul with questions.
The Boston Teachers Union invites our Building Representatives and interested members to join us at our 2015 Annual Building Representative’s Conference, as we learn and grow together as an organization. This year’s conference is focused on member to member communication and will have a variety of workshops and skill-building opportunities to help you build membership engagement at your school. The conference takes place October 23-25 at the Dedham Hilton. Attendance is free but does require a registration check deposit that will be destroyed upon successful completion of the conference. Please register today.