We hope you are staying healthy and safe this past week as cooler temperatures brought welcome relief. Thank you to the many educators who sent in photos of classroom temperatures in recent weeks as we advocated for better learning conditions amidst the heatwave. Bringing attention to the problem helps us to get to solutions and we are hopeful that, particularly with ESSER funds, real solutions are on the horizon.
We wanted to make everyone aware of a very unfortunate situation regarding the Baldwin Early Learning Pilot Academy. Several veteran educators have been removed from their positions in the last few months, and although there are now enough staff vacancies to rehire them, they have not yet been rehired to long-term positions. More than one hundred current and former Baldwin parents signed a petition calling for the long-term reinstatement of these staff members; read our full update here. It is particularly disheartening to see such a disrespectful course of action happen to proficient and exemplary educators after such a challenging year under a new principal that has only been in-person at the school for a few months. We are calling on the superintendent to intervene and correct the transgressions.
Important Notice: Members who had Harvard Pilgrim insurance and thus are transitioning to Blue Cross Blue Shield effective July 1 can disregard any message they received about missing primary care information. You will have received the following email from Blue Cross Blue Shield regarding a mishap that occurred during the transition:
“Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts is sending you this email at the request of the City of Boston. You may have received a letter recently that said we were missing your primary care provider information. Please disregard that letter. It was a mistake and we’re sorry. You do not need to take any action unless you wish to change your primary care provider. Please note that if there is any issue with your primary care provider designation, a Member Service representative will reach out to you directly.
Please call Member Service at 1-888-714-0189 if you have any questions or concerns about your health plan.”
Thank you to those who participated in our ESSER forum last night with BPS. BPS plans to release 50% of the $100 million of the $400+ million funds directly to schools to determine their use for the first year. School leaders must get input from educators/school stakeholders including ILT, SSC and school equity roundtables. Please let us know if this is NOT happening at your school. There are two more public commission meetings coming up on June 24 and July 1 and you can see some initial ideas about how to spend the funds from the Reimagining BPS (WikiWisom Report).
The Election Committee would like to thank all candidates and members who participated in the BTU election. Approximately 28% of eligible members voted, with a total of nearly 3,000 ballots cast – a 15% increase from the previous election. If you would like to give feedback on your experience or suggestions to the next Election Committee you can use this form.
The application deadline to become a BTU Summer Organizing Union Leader (SOUL) is this Wednesday, June 16th. We hope you will consider this fantastic opportunity to learn more about organizing and get further involved in our union activities. Our Summer Organizing Institute (SOI) is June 28 – 29 as well, where over four sessions we will Freedom Dream about the future of our school communities. See the Events and Announcements Section for more information on both of these opportunities, which are open to all BTU members, both retired and in-service.
Don’t forget: Do we have your correct mailing address on file? It is important to us that we are able to reach all of our members by phone, mail or email. Please check here to make sure we have your correct information.