Published On: July 25, 2018

We hope you are enjoying your summer break! While we normally suspend weekly bulletins during the summer, we will send occasional bulletins to share important developments and timely information:

Contract negotiations update: We continue to meet over the summer to negotiate a new contract for all of our bargaining units: teachers, paraprofessionals, substitutes and ABA’s as well as our new charter school units. We have dates scheduled for all, including weekly dates beginning in September for the master contract, and we will continue to share updates as they become available.

Funding advocacy: Our efforts and advocacy to fully fund our schools continue both at the State House and locally. Please make a call and take two minutes to email your legislators to advocate for full funding of the charter reimbursements through a supplemental budget AND for a Foundation Budget bill which includes EL and low-income students as well as a concrete timeline for implementations. The House and Senate versions are in conference committee and must be voted on by the end of the month. We know we are underfunding our schools statewide. The time for action is NOW. See this Boston Globe article for more: State shortchanges public schools by $1 billion a year, report from research group say

Locally, we are ramping up our campaign to get wealthy “nonprofits” like Northeastern and Harvard to pay their full Payments In Lieu of Taxes (PILOT). Learn more about the program and missing payments at the City Hall Hearing on Thursday, August 2 at 3 PM. See you there!

Interim Superintendent: As we welcome Laura Perille, we remain focused on the selection process for a long term Boston Public Schools Superintendent. See the Interim Superintendent’s July 16 letter to the BPS community, and learn more about Ms.Perille and BTU perspectives.

The BTU will be advocating for the selection of a superintendent who is above all transparent and who will maximize the input that educators and families have into their public education agenda. We will advocate for the selection of a leader who can engage community stakeholders in a thoughtful and democratic way and who will stand with us in our efforts to bring more resources to the schools – whether those efforts are at city hall, the state house, or in Washington DC. The next superintendent should actively listen to and learn from educators about what is working well – while also working with us to solve problems collaboratively. We are looking for a true partner who understands that top-down policies will never work as effectively as transparent engagement and inclusive decision-making in which educators and families have a strong voice.

AFT-MA and BTU delegates take a photo with AFT President Randi Weingarten (first row center, fifth from left), between BTU President Jessica Tang (L) and AFT-MA President Beth Kontos (R).

AFT Convention: Last week 60 elected delegates from the Boston Teachers Union attended the bi-annual AFT Convention, where delegates elected officers and the Executive Council, discussed and debated resolutions, and heard from a number of inspiring speakers including our own Senator Elizabeth Warren. Our resolution, a call to action on “Opposing Racism and Bigotry” passed unanimously, and BTU President Jessica Tang was elected onto the national AFT Executive Council as a Vice President, becoming the first Asian American to serve on the Council! Congratulations to all VP’s as well as our re-elected officers: President Randi Weingarten, Executive Vice President Marty Cathryn Ricker, and Secretary-Treasurer Loretta Johnson. Read more about the convention. Thank you to all of our delegates, volunteers, and sergeant-at-arms for making the convention a great success.

Congratulations to the recipients of the AFT Women’s Rights Committee Living Legacy Awards at last week’s convention. We are proud of all of our union leaders recognized for their service of over 30, 40, and 50 years!

Janus Update: Although right-wing corporate interests, including the DeVos-funded Mackinac Center, wasted no time in continuing their assault on working people — and Mark Janus wasted no time taking a new position at a right-wing think tank — following the court decision, we are proud to share that our membership is sticking with our union! We are close to our goal of 100% recommitments. Along with two other union leaders,President Tang was invited to share our story at the AFT convention on why our members are #BTUAllIn and #BTUproud.

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We will continue to post bulletins periodically as needed over the next few weeks. Enjoy your well-deserved summer break!

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