We hope you all are having a wonderful summer! For those who are working in our school building this summer, we hope you are staying cool now that we finally have AC in all of the buildings being used. Thank you to all of our educators, famililes and allies who advocated for this needed change, and thank you to BPS and the City for following through on the commitment to make it happen.
While we do not have a weekly bulletin in the summer, we are sending a July edition to share a number of important events and updates with everyone. We plan to have at least one in August as well.
2023 NAACP Convention
The 2023 NAACP Convention is coming to Boston next week! It will take place from Wednesday, July 26 to Tuesday, August 1. Events will be taking place at the Park Plaza, Boston Convention Center and at the BTU! Please fill out the NAACP Volunteer Interest Form if you are interested in volunteering. More information will follow and training will take place for all volunteers.
WILD’s Women’s Labor School Returns July 28th-30th!
If you haven’t heard, WILD’s Summer Institute is BACK and IN PERSON this summer! Spaces are limited to 75 people this year. WILD will be having training on conflict resolution, fighting racism, reproductive justice and the labor movement, the gig economy, and the ABCs of Labor. You can learn more about the workshops on their website.
New Educator Reception: Call for Volunteers
BPS educators – new and seasoned – are invited to join colleagues and union siblings for food, drink, and celebration to kick off the school year at BTU Hall. New Educators will receive BTU swag and school supplies, and everyone can join in some lawn games and fun with fellow educators. There’ll be a chance to meet BTU leadership, learn about existing committees, and connect with fellow union members. Use this link to let us know you can join, and this one if you’d like to volunteer to turn out and welcome incoming BPS educators!
BTU Staff Updates
After three years with us, we are sad to announce that Roberto Jimenez-Rivera, our Political Organizer, will be leaving the BTU at the end of July to join the staff at the Massachusetts Budget & Policy Center as their new Director of Development. He wanted to share a short message with the BTU community:
Although it’s been three years, it feels like both no time has passed and that it’s been far longer than that. In my time here I grew as an organizer and also became a dad, which has given me a far different perspective on the work that we do. From my first event, being the virtual host of the car caravan action alongside Melanie Allen, to most recently our Thrive Act lobby day, my time at BTU has been filled with some amazing moments. Last fall we ran an amazing phone banking program where we made 10,000 calls in just 8 weeks to win the Fair Share Amendment and driver’s licenses for all. I’ve loved getting to know so many BTU members and community partners through this work, and I can’t wait to see what’s next for you all. If anyone wants to stay in touch you can always reach me at email@example.com. Thank you for everything!
We are looking to add a researcher to further strengthen our Organizing Team by helping us develop more strategic campaigns. The Strategic Researcher-Campaigner will work directly with staff, members and allies to engage them in gathering data and completing research. If you are interested in this position, please submit a cover letter and resume to Natasha Moore via email.
The BTU is also seeking a Political Organizer
to support the expansion of our electoral program. Do you or someone you know have experience supporting electoral campaigns? Please apply or encourage others to do so. We need City Councilors, state legislators, and officials at every level of government who will support our educators, students, and communities. Check out the job description
. If you have any questions, reach out to Political Director Johnny McInnis
It may be summer vacation, but the BTU staff and attorneys are hard at work to enforce our contract in arbitration and at the MA Department of Labor Relations. The Boston Public Schools has recently changed longstanding practice and refused to provide the union with the conclusions of investigations into alleged misconduct. This violates the law and prevents the BTU from fairly representing our members, and we have filed three unfair labor practices regarding it. The good news is that the state labor board agreed with us and has issued a complaint on this issue, and an arbitrator directed the district to provide that information in another case.
In another case, we have had four days of hearings before an arbitrator all because the district is refusing to provide school psychologists clear written information about their hours of work and pay, especially at autonomous schools.
In a final case, we are in a third day of arbitration on a case where the district is inexplicably insisting on paying members who miss their special education administrative periods a mere $12, rather than the same amount as for a missed P&D ($36), which they have done for decades. We believe that this type of disrespectful and devaluing treatment is part of the reason that it is difficult to retain talented educators.
Fall Conference: Save the dates!
This year the BTU Fall Conference will take place Friday, October 20 through Sunday, October 22 at the Omni Providence Hotel. If you are a building rep or other member leader, please make sure to save the dates. Registration link coming soon.
Educators Thriving: Make Your Well-being a Priority This Year
In this free course for BTU members, earn Academic Ladder Credits toward lane advancement while learning and practicing concrete strategies to prevent burnout and support your own well-being so you can be your best for yourself and your students. Join our free preview session
on Monday, September 18 at 4:30 p.m., check out our flyer
to learn more or register now
! Application due September 25.BTU Members Across the Globe with Fund For Teachers
Through the BTU’s Partnership with Fund for Teachers 20 members are travelling to four continents this summer in pursuit of inspiration and learning to bring back to their students and school communities. From Ghana to Napa, from France to Costa Rica and Mexico, BTU members are everywhere this summer! It’s never too early to start thinking about your application for next summer. If you’d like support in developing a plan, check out the Fund for Teachers website
and contact Paul
to be connected with an application mentor.
Telescope Needs Assessment Report: What do BTU Members Want to Learn?
We are pleased to share our Spring 2023 Needs Assessment Report
. This reflects the responses from almost 450 educators across 71 different schools and Central Office departments and describes the current learning needs and interests of educators across BPS. The Telescope Network is a collaboration between the BPS and BTU to elevate educator voice and agency in professional learning. The Telescope team
will use this information to help develop our professional learning and other events in SY23-24. Bookmark our events menu
which is updated throughout the year as new learning opportunities are added.
Welcome Summer Organizing Union Leaders (SOULs)!
We’re excited to welcome the following SOULs working over the summer to support our organizing campaigns: Kadian Morrison, Yvonne Cordero, Joshua DeJesus, Bianca Pierre, Ted Chambers, Anne Saint Juste, and Danielle West. The building block of all our organizing work is the one-on-one conversation, so you may receive a phone call this summer from a BTU staff person or member leader reaching out about one of our campaigns.D8 Political Update
Reminder: The BTU has endorsed Sharon Durkan
for City Council in District 8. There is no other opponent listed on your ballot. This is a Special Election due to the recently vacated seat. We are encouraging our members to Vote in this election to promote a high voter turnout. Whether you Vote by mail or in person, make a plan for the Special Election Tuesday, July 25. Get Out To VOTE!
Back to School Fair
Finally, we’re excited to share that our annual Back to School Fair is back this September for its 10th annual event! Check out the flyer below and make sure to sign up to volunteer to sort books.