Published On: March 21, 2017

Good morning, all. This is a pivotal week for us. As I’m sure you’re aware, we have been negotiating for 15 months, and while we have made some progress, there remains an outstanding gap between the parties on many key issues. After 220 hours of prolonged negotiations over 32 sessions, we need to express the urgency of settling our remaining issues.

That’s why we need your presence at our Rally ‘Round Bolling tomorrow, Wednesday, March 22. The BTU and the school district are still far apart on many important issues:

  • Inclusion: How best to service our students who require the most attention and service.
  • Accessing Paid Family Leave: We want to insure that our early-career teachers obtain sufficient paid time to care for their families, whether on maternity or paternity leave.
  • Obtaining Pay Equity for those who work in autonomous schools: Our members in autonomous schools generally have to work 95 uncompensated hours (some work a great deal more) before their pay begins. We’re seeking to reduce the number of uncompensated hours for these members.

There are of course other outstanding issues, such as compensation, teacher and paraprofessional assignment rights, and more – all of which need to be resolved. We need your help.

We have been waiting since February 13 for counter-offers on each of the above proposals. For some of the proposals, we’ve been waiting even longer.

We need your presence at the Bolling Building tomorrow, Wednesday, March 22 from 4:30 to 6:30 PM to show our determination to obtain a contract settlement that is good for schools and students and fair to our members. AFT President Randi Weingarten will be present to show her support for our fight to win a just contract settlement for our 10,000 active members. Community leaders and others will be there as well to show their support. Here are a few helpful things to know:

  • Shuttle buses will be leaving the BTU every 15 minutes from 3 PM and returning from the Bolling Building until 7 PM. There’ll be snacks and water on board.
  • There is free parking available at the city lot across from the Bolling Building, as well as in the large lot across the street from the Twelfth Baptist Church. BTU members have permission to use the Warren Street Lot of Twelfth Baptist Church (that’s the large lot directly across the street from the church) on March 22 from 4:30-6:30 PM for the rally. The lot is about two blocks from the rally spot. Please park legally in spots, do not block cars, and use the handicapped spaces only if you have a handicap placard. Please do not use the little lot beside the church. The entrance to the large lot is at the set of lights on St James Street & Regent Street, not on Warren Street. We thank the Twelfth Baptist Church very much for this accommodation!)
  • There is inexpensive parking available at the lot across Taber Street from the laundromat at the corner of Harrison Avenue and Taber Street.

We suggest carpooling if possible.

The BTU office mailed a letter to all active and retired members. Please see a copy.

Please bring your signs and determination to this event. Sign up here to let us know you’ll attend the rally. And please upload your pictures!

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