Published On: October 25, 2022

We hope you all had a nice weekend, and we wish all who celebrate a warm and heartfelt Diwali, which started yesterday! Per our new contract, for the first time our members were able to celebrate the holiday without having to take a personal day. Use the drop down menu when you put in your time for the two days now allowed and remember to make the request 10 days in advance of the religious holiday.  

Thank you to all who joined us for our Fall Leadership Conference in Falmouth this weekend! Close to 150 BTU members attended to organize and build the leadership skills needed to continue winning our campaigns for our students, families, educators, and for the public good. We live-tweeted over the course of the weekend – head over to Twitter to get a glimpse of the seminars and activities BTU rank-and-file leaders took part in.

There is ONE WEEK LEFT before the November midterm elections! In Massachusetts, there are several important races and ballot questions. There are many ways to get involved, to make your vote count and to help get out the vote. Check out the special election bulletin to learn more and please remember to vote Yes on 1 and Yes on 4! We are hosting paid phone banks on Tuesday nights by Zoom. Contact Roberto Jimenez to join. 

A key aspect of our new contract is the creation of an Inclusion Planning Team at each school. Through the planning process, each school will develop their knowledge and capacity to understand inclusive practices, and be supported to create a plan for the staffing and resources necessary to serve all students. We shared the newly released guidance this weekend at the Leadership Conference.  All “Cohort 1” schools (listed in the document) and all High Schools should begin forming their inclusion planning teams as soon as possible.  We will be hosting information sessions at 5 p.m. on 10/2510/2711/3, & 11/7.

Another provision of the new contract includes access to facilities work order statuses. Please help us to identify which Building Representative or BTU member will be the point person for your school to be able to view facilities updates. We will be in touch once we get more details on the next steps. 

Last week, President Biden announced the launch of the student-debt relief portal.All borrowers can apply for student debt relief now. We’re joining Sen. Warren and Rep. Pressley today when they stop in Boston on their student debt cancellation tour. Register now! AFT is also offering resources for those who need to learn the landscape of free and underused federal programs that help many student loan borrowers lower their monthly payments and, in some cases, even have their debt forgiven. Remember: the waiver on PSLF requirements expires Oct. 31.

If you are a newly elected Building Rep or you missed the September orientation, you are invited to attend a make-up Building Rep Orientation on November 2 on Zoom.In this orientation, we will review the Building Rep job description, supports offered, and new contract highlights. Please register here for the Zoom link. Please also make sure to fill out the inclusion survey ASAP!

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