Published On: February 10, 2022

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Boston Teachers Union membership votes in favor of memorandum of agreement on COVID-19 policies aimed at retaining frontline staff, promoting equity, advancing public health


Following impact bargaining negotiations, BTU and Boston Public Schools sign Memorandum of Agreement


BOSTON, MA – The membership of the Boston Teachers Union has voted in favor of an agreement reached Wednesday regarding several COVID-19 related policies within the Boston Public Schools. The memorandum of understanding signed by the Boston Teachers Union (BTU) and Boston Public Schools (BPS) provides for regular testing of non-vaccinated educators when COVID-19 transmission is lower and will allow employees to access accrued paid time off as an alternative to being placed on unpaid administrative leave when rates are higher.

When BTU was formally notified that the Mayor had changed City policy to remove the option for weekly testing for City employees, the union immediately sent a request to bargain over this change. This agreement comes after several weeks of impact bargaining between the union and the district to find a solution in order to retain the 367 educators who have chosen to remain unvaccinated as of February 9, 2022. 

BTU has always encouraged members, students, and all that are eligible to get the vaccine by actively promoting and increasing access to vaccination across every platform available, including by hosting free vaccine clinics regularly at the union hall and announcing those to members through a variety of channels. 

The signed MOA allows unvaccinated members to submit proof of two negative COVID-19 screening tests per week during periods of lower virus transmission, the specifics of which are outlined in the agreement. During periods of higher virus transmission, unvaccinated members will not be allowed in school buildings, but may use some accrued time as an alternative to being placed on unpaid administrative leave.

The union issued the following statement regarding the agreement:  

“We are glad to have reached an agreement with the district that will uplift the health and safety of our educators, students, and communities, while still being able to retain our educators who have chosen to remain unvaccinated. The agreement takes important steps to promote public health and to mitigate classroom staffing disruptions.”

The MOA was voted to pass by an 84% vote at an open union membership meeting Wednesday evening. It is also subject to the approval of the Boston School Committee. Approximately 99% of BPS teachers have verified that they have been vaccinated to the school system or have received an exemption.



About the Boston Teachers Union
The Boston Teachers Union proudly represents more than 10,000 teachers and other professionals including school nurses, psychologists, guidance counselors, paraprofessionals, and substitute teachers. Together, we advocate for the interests of students, parents and education professionals throughout Boston. We support investment in public education to ensure a stronger future for our students and our city. As a union of educators, we are part of a movement that seeks to improve the quality of life for all working people. We are united against all forms of prejudice and bigotry that would seek to devalue the lives or liberties of our students, families or colleagues.

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