Published On: September 24, 2021
In an effort to share as much information as possible in a timely way, we are sending a special bulletin at the end the week. Despite our excitement to be with our students, we know it in many ways continues to be a challenging start to the year between the continued concerns with the pool surveillance testing, buses, hot weather and other issues.  We have been working with BPS to get answers and get resolutions:
  • While BPS has hired over 40 new bus drivers, they are still being trained and the 20 uncovered routes still need a permanent driver assigned.  As a short term solution, BPS has authorized stipends for educators who have stepped up to stay after school to wait with students. There will also be other short term solutions specific to providing transportation, and we are pushing the district to share them ASAP. We continue to monitor the situation and advocate for support and solutions, including central office staff at schools with repeated issues.
  • We are aware of the many challenges with pool testing and are trouble shooting with the district on a daily basis. Reps: If your schools did NOT have pool testers come to your school OR did not allow BTU members to participate even if they had signed a consent OR not everyone was able to be tested (students or staff), please fill out this form
  • Clarification for employees who have tested positive for Covid: Employees who recover from Covid will receive a written notice from BPHC. Non-city residents will need to get one from their health provider or local health commission, stating that they’re able to end their isolation. The employee will need to upload that letter to the portal. Once the letter is uploaded to the portal, their due date for the system will adjust so that their next negative test will be due 90 days out from when they tested positive – this includes unvaccinated individuals who otherwise would have to upload a test each week.  
Please remember that all city employees must update their proof of vaccination or negative test ASAP. If you need help uploading your vaccination or test result, you can go to the Bolling Building OHC department, 4th floor (9am to 4:45pm) to get assistance or call OHC (617-635-9600) or request help via an email. Please contact your Field Rep if you have additional questions. After Monday, actions by the city may be taken, including unpaid leave. Please comply with the city mandate ASAP – we are advocating for an extension to the city mandate compliance. 

Last night, a decision by the Chief of the C.D.C. made frontline workers who received their initial dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine 6+ months ago eligible for a booster of the vaccine. You can come to the BTU tomorrow between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to get your booster! Educators who were fully vaccinated 6+ months ago are now able to get a booster shot, effective today. As luck may have it, we already have public vaccine clinics set up at the BTU for our Back to School Fair available to families and educators, and we learned this morning they have the Pfizer booster shots ready to go already! From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. tomorrow, BTU members and eligible community members can stop by to get your booster shot (and books)! Bring your vaccine card—again, you must have gotten the Pfizer double shots and it has to be at least 6 months since your second shot.

We encourage all of our community members to come to the last day of the Book Fair tomorrow! We are giving away 40,000 free books and other school supplies thanks to Boston Partners in Education to BPS families. For more information, please visit We have a large number of middle school and high school books – there will be no limit to how many of those books can be taken, and from 2 to 3 p.m., there will be no limit for all books as well.  BTU members must have registered at to pick up books, though!

Last, but not least, while we continue to address start of year issues, we also continue to negotiate both continuity of learning and will resume our master contract negotiatons soon, too. Yesterday, we held a press conference at the Union Hall to discuss our priorities for the ongoing negotiations with BPS regarding our master contract. We were joined by members, parents, and students who gave compelling testimony to the importance of our 19 proposals. You can watch the full video of the conference here, and read more in our press release and in coverage from the Boston Herald. Thank you to our speakers and to all who came out for the conference!

We hope you have a restful and restorative weekend.

In solidarity,
BTU Officers and Staff

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