We hope that you all had a restful February break. It was certainly a tough week as many of us are still reeling both from the tragedy that took place on February 14 and also the highly problematic call to arm teachers as a response.
Our national affiliate, the American Federation of Teachers Executive Council, passed a resolution to demand that lawmakers address gun violence. You can find resources and upcoming actions on the AFT website. Here in Boston, we are co-sponsoring the#MarchForOurLives on Saturday, March 24 at noon. Students are also planning actions for March 14 and April 20 — we will be sharing more information about those two events in the coming days.
At our February 14 membership meeting, we passed a motion to formally become the first teachers union to join the Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence. The fact that the Parkland shooting took place the same day was a painful affirmation of our need to join. We also know that gun violence is not limited to mass shootings but tragically impacts our communities and homes far too frequently. We will continue to advocate for both common sense gun laws as well as supports for our students to address social-emotional learning and behavioral health.
Our aspirations and hopes for our students’ wellbeing and education are captured in our newly approved contract proposal: Creating the Schools Our Students Deserve. Through our contract negotiations, we are prioritizing getting special education inclusion right in our schools, increasing social emotional supports, and addressing the physical, material and instructional needs all of our students deserve to be successful.
Lastly, the Janus court case was heard yesterday, and over 1,000 people rallied in Boston to support the Working People’s Day of Action. This is a call to action, and we are proud to share that we now have two charter schools that have organized to join our union. See our press release for more information. Leaders of of their organizing committee were welcomed with a standing ovation at our membership meeting.
While anti-labor corporate groups seek to undermine our freedom to ensure working people have a voice, our answer is to remain unified and grow. We know that our unions are critical as voices for all working people and our communities. That is why we must remain strong and need all of our members to participate in the BTU ALL-IN campaign by signing a new card!
We are #BTUProud and #WeAreUnion because we care about our students, schools and community.
Have a great week.