We know that this last week has been particularly busy and chaotic for many of you due to the reopenings yesterday, but we hope you were able to take some time to relax this weekend. For those that are celebrating Hanukkah this week, we wish you a very happy holiday!
Thank you to the over 1,500 members who attended our emergency membership meeting on Sunday evening. At the meeting, members overwhelmingly passed a vote of no confidence in BPS superintendent Brenda Cassellius through a motionbrought from the floor. The floor vote was affirmed by a 97.5% margin.
This vote is reflective of not just the superintendent’s refusal to formally extend the same equal and uniform safety provisions to the 28 additional schools that reopened on Monday morning, but also the culmination of misteps and lack of safety, equity and transparency demonstrated over several months and even just yesterday. For example, without any warning, the Covid testing taking place at 3 of the schools previously reopened have been removed and/or changed.
Despite the lack of a formalized agreement and lack of transparency, our BTU educators warmly welcomed students back to school, and, as always, are doing their part to ensure our students have what they need for safety and for quality instruction, whether learning in-person or remotely. We are simply asking that the superintendent do her part, as well. You can read the full press release here.
The school district should not be arbitrarily picking and choosing higher standards for some schools over others – it is not just and it is not equitable – and the hesitancy to confirm these standards in an agreement with educators sends the wrong signals and further erodes trust, even if unintentionally, to the entire community. We remain ready and willing to meet and quickly resolve the issue that could easily have been resolved over the last week before schools reopened.
AFT Massachusetts is eager to hear your stories of teaching and learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. To guide that effort, AFT-MA has created a questionnaire for you to complete, which should take about 15 minutes. Your replies will be confidential unless you indicate on the form that you’re open to sharing your story publicly through the AFT Massachusetts website and other venues.
If you are a per diem sub who has been unable to obtain work, we suggest you file for unemployment retroactive to June. If denied, you should file an appeal with the unemployment office. Despite hitting many roadblocks, we are continuing to advocate and negotiate for all of our substitutes and hope to have updates soon.
Finally, the fight for the Senate continues! Make calls to voters in Georgia to help labor’s endorsed candidates, Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock, win the Georgia runoffs so the Democrats can take back the Senate! Email MA AFL-CIO Senior Organizer Brian Dunn to volunteer & receive instructions. You can make calls from home on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. There are several more opportunties to volunteer on the AFT Mobilize homepage. Contact Political Director Johnny McInnis or Political Organizer Roberto Jimenez for any questions!