Published On: October 20, 2020

As always, we hope you were able to take some time to enjoy the fall weather and find time for refueling activities this past weekend. As the week continues, our #SafetyFirstBPS Week of Action is in full swing and there are exactly two weeks until Election Day!  

Our ability to take collective action is what makes us powerful as a union. You can find the schedule for our collective Week of Action here. The action item for Tuesday is to EXPOSE: send images or data exposing unsafe conditions in BPS schools, such as freezing classrooms, inadequate HVAC systems/filters, lack of PPE, lack of windows, high numbers of adults or students in school buildings, or other concerns to (include the school name, date and a caption) and on social media with #SafetyFirstBPS. Share the truth! Please be sure that pictures don’t include any students’ faces.

Sign the petition to Superintendent Cassellius, the School Committee and Mayor Marty Walsh to demand that they honor the MOA language by transitioning to full remote learning and work with the BTU to immediately create a plan that ensures high-quality and safe instruction for HIPP students. We do not want to see an interruption to services either, but we need a better, safer plan!  Please share the petition with families, educators, staff, and community members at your school and let them know why you are fighting for #SafetyFirstBPS.

On Wednesday, we will be holding a BTU Teach-In followed by a Safety First rally and car caravan. If you have registered to Teach-In at the Bolling Building on Wednesday, please attend the orientation on today at 5:00 p.m. via this Zoom link. If you have NOT registered to join in the teach-in and are interested in participating, please reach out to Heron Russell. If you do not receive confirmation, please DO NOT come to teach at Bolling. There is limited space for social distancing, and we are prioritizing safety. The car caravan will meet at the O’Bryant parking lot at 3:45 p.m. The rally will begin at 4 p.m. at the Bolling Building.

Please do continue to share your stories, talk to your neigbhors, raise your voices and create space with your colleagues to prepare to mobilize together. A safer plan includes air purifiers with HEPA filters for special ed classrooms, warm classrooms, rapid and accessible testing, fewer people in buildings, better protocols for positive cases and guardrails that are adhered to. We hope parents will join us in advocating for these solutions. Contrary to the judge’s comments and BPHC justification, we do not have just 9-10 students per school. In fact, many schools will have over 50 – some even 100 – students in buildings when HIPP starts 4 days a week Thursday. Please be sure that all students in-person have been marked as IP-P in Aspen. 

Our virtual BTU Fall Conference for building reps & members, “Now More Than Ever,”will take place this Saturday, October 24, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Now, more than ever, we need to come together as union members to build community and prepare for the struggles of this school year. Please register here today!

We are happy to confirm that teacher activists and union leaders from the United Teachers of Los Angeles, Mark Ramos, Marie Germaine, and Arlene Inouye, will join us for the opening session. UTLA’s organizing model is one example of how a union has recently become strike ready. How have they achieved this level of readiness? What lessons have they learned that can help us achieve our goals? Hear directly from these leaders and rank-and-file members to get inspired. The BTU has also had a long history of successful work actions. We will hear from long-time BTU members who were part of those actions as well to hear about lessons learned for our fight today.  

The BTU will also be joining the Greater Boston Labor Council’s Get Out the Vote Event on Sunday, October 25. In the meantime, please see below for all of the ways to get involved in this November’s election. Don’t forget to vote!

We have now made over 2,500 calls to other AFT members through BTU phone banks, plus many more on other AFT phone banks. Our number of volunteers continues to grow, so here are some ways you can support our efforts for the next 14 days:
If you have any questions on how to get involved, please reach out to Roberto Jimenez, BTU Political Organizer via email or at 617-466-9149 or Johnny McInnis, BTU Political Director via email.

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