Published On: December 4, 2019
Dear member,
Happy snow day! We hope everyone stays safe and warm today. The BTU office is closed today and activities are cancelled unless otherwise communicated.
Last week, the Student Opportunity Act was signed into law. Educators, parents, community partners and legislators joined students at English High, where the Governor signed a bill that we have spent years advocating for. Victories like this one happen when communities come together to fight for equity, and your contributions as unionized educators were a crucial part of this fight. Our stakeholders know best what our students and schools need, and we will continue to fight for the funding to go where it is most needed.
Now that the bill has been signed into law, it is crucial that we stay engaged and keep the momentum from this victory going. We know that one of the greatest needs is full staffing and support for both general education students and special education students in inclusion classrooms. To get the inclusion services our students deserve, funding needs to be prioritized and we need to hear from you about what you’re seeing in your schools. Do you think your inclusion classroom is falling short of needed supports? Please report your specific concerns. We want to hear from you.
Last week, BTU members at the three City on a Hill schools got some alarming news via email at noon on a school day. First, City on a Hill New Bedford would be closing at the end of this school year, and all staff will lose their jobs. Second, the two Boston schools were informed that they would be essentially merging effective January 1, with half of the students and many staff from each school moved to the other campus mid-year. And finally, 19 union members were to be laid off effective January 1.
Our contract negotiations immediately transformed into negotiations about the layoffs, and an effort to keep the two Boston schools intact, at least through June. We did agree on a procedure for layoffs, and negotiations are ongoing to maintain the two Boston schools without further disruption this school year. Teachers and parents are united in this effort, and we are asking the Board of Trustees to:
1) hold a meeting in Boston;
2) allow the school communities to address the Board; and
3) reverse their vote to merge the campuses, and keep the schools intact for this school year.

We hope that this week’s negotiations lead to a resolution that provides City on a Hill’s students the stable educational environment they deserve and we’ll keep you posted.

Lastly, please join us for our BTU Holiday Party this Friday, December 6. Free tickets are still available for the upcoming BTU Children’s Holiday party on December 15. Join us in celebrating the winter holiday season.

Have a great week!

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