New Agreement, Membership Meeting TOMORROW, and more
Published On: January 12, 2021
In case you missed our Special Bulletin yesterday, we are happy to share that we were able to reach a new agreement with BPS and the City this weekend. This important agreement will extend key health, safety, and staffing protocols to the future reopening of all school buildings for the remainder of the school year. Please see our joint press release with BPS here.
We will be going into greater detail on the changes tomorrow at our membership meeting, but wanted to clarify a few important points:
the Feb. 1 tentative date for the return of all HIPP hybrid students is still dependent on the community COVID rates – it does not mean any group can return above 5%. The goal, as previously stated, is still 5% community positive rates for two weeks for the full return of HIPP. If rates are not low enough and on a downward decline, the date may need to be pushed back, per the BPHC. The timeline for the rest of the groups would be pushed back, too, then.
Second, we are still advocating for the quickest possible access to vaccinations for educators. School nurses are being prioritized, as well as educators that are already in-person at the 32 schools. We do not have more details to share at the moment, but have had an initial conversation with the district and will continue to work with them to get a plan in place.
Third, we just learned that practices for winter athletics have been cleared to resume in-person. Please note that it is totally voluntary for athletic coaches to be in-person.We are still working with the superintendent to see if that decision will stand as rates continue to increase, and were concerned to hear this as well.
Please remember that you must register at least one hour in advance, or you will not receive a link.
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The BTU congratulates Mayor Marty Walsh on his appointment to the office of the U.S. Secretary of Labor. He will be an asset to the nation and to the Biden-Harris administration as they advance a pro-worker and pro-union agenda to build back better for the benefit of all working people. He will assuredly help to lead the U.S. Department of Labor toward a revitalized focus on lifting up the rights and needs of workers,rather than tearing down the rights of workers, as was unfortunately done through the Trump administration’s cynical abuses and misapplications of the powers vested in the Department of Labor. While, naturally, we have at times had disagreements, Incoming U.S. Secretary Walsh has always committed to working through them and finding a solution, as evidenced by our new agreement just yesterday. Congratulations, Mayor Walsh, and we wish you the very best in your new role!
Finally, we are still reeling from the horrific events that took place in our nation’s Capitol last week, and recognize that this has not been an easy week to be an educator. ShareMyLesson has provided materials from their Foundations of Democracy and Government collection that can help prepare lessons for your students. We continue to hold each of in our thoughts during these tumultuous times and thank all of our educators for continuing to support our students navigate the assault on our democracy and so much more.
Betsy DeVos has resigned her post as Secretary of Education as a result of the events. If you missed it, please see AFT President’s concise response on the DeVos’ resignation. We are looking forward to the appointment of Dr. Miguel Cardona, a proven public school advocate, to this post in the coming weeks.
IMPORTANT UPDATE REMINDER:
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act Extension leave options were extended through 3/31/21 by the City of Boston. We are very grateful to Mayor Marty Walsh and his administration for extending these important policies for working famliies. Please note that this is an extension of the act, and if an employee has already exhausted the entitlement under the FFCRA, they will not be able to reapply for it. Please refer to this FFCRA FAQ for more information.
We are proud to recognize the seven BTU members who achieved or renewed their National Board Certification this year! Congratulations to: