Wentworth Faculty Take Vote of No Confidence in President Thompson and Wentworth Administration

“As COVID-19 rages out of control, Wentworth faculty and librarians are working tirelessly to continue to teach and support our students, delivering content in ways many of us haven’t done before,” said Greg Sirokman, Professor and the President of the Wentworth Faculty Federation. “But many members of our campus community are at increased risk of severe illness if they are exposed to COVID-19, and many are fulfilling their professional duties while also managing childcare responsibilities or caring for an aging parent.
 
“Along with the Women’s Caucus, the Faculty Federation has been negotiating so that faculty members’ and librarians’ jobs would not be at risk if they declined to put their health and lives at risk in the middle of a pandemic. We particularly emphasized the necessity of accommodations for members in CDC high-risk categories for COVID-19. We also requested scheduling accommodations for faculty and librarians who are primary childcare deliverers,” he said. “Unfortunately, the administration has refused to even negotiate our requests. After months of trying to work with President Thompson and his administration, we have no confidence in their ability to lead our academic community in the midst of this pandemic.”

Report a COVID-19 Case or Unsafe Working Conditions in Your School or Library

School employees and public librarians are doing what they always do: taking care of their students and communities. But no matter where you are in Massachusetts or what your district's reopening plan looks like, everyone deserves to feel safe at work.
 
This tracker is brought to you by the American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts (AFT Massachusetts) & Massachusetts Teachers Association.
 
Help us hold local and state leaders accountable. Report a COVID-19 case or unsafe working conditions in your school or district with our easy-to-use tool.

UMass Dartmouth Unions Are Organizing Together to Avoid Cuts, Protect Health and Safety on Campus

“Working together is our strength,” says Dr. Grant O'Rielly, President of the UMass Dartmouth Faculty Federation. “The UMass Dartmouth unions have accomplished so much by working together on health & safety issues, the salary giveback to protect jobs across the campus, and outreach to local legislators asking that the UMASS President's Office use the system contingency funds to support the faculty, staff and students working and learning together.”

Union members continue to advocate for the UMass system to tap into the system’s stabilization fund, which contains more than $114 million designated to “provide budgetary stabilization for operations due to unforeseen and/or uncontrollable circumstances to ensure responsible long-term financial stability.” Members say the COVID-19 emergency is exactly the situation the stabilization fund was meant to address.

“Privatization of maintenance services, attrition of staff, and the UMass trustees’ unwillingness to use the 100 plus million dollars in reserve; these things underscore the lack of appreciation many members feel,” says Saul Friedman, Vice President of the UMass Maintainers. “UMass President Marty Meehan is out of touch and needs to release some of the reserves to save jobs.”

AFT Massachusetts Launches COVID-19 Bill of Rights Campaign -- Statewide Drive Outlines Ten Principles for Safe and Effective Schools

AFT Massachusetts, with the unanimous backing of its executive board, has launched a campaign to promote safe and effective schools during the COVID-19 pandemic. The cornerstone of the campaign is a “Bill of Rights” for students, families, educators, and school staff, outlining 10 key principles for school safety and success. 
 
“Students, families, educators, and school staff are all doing amazing work this school year under exceptionally challenging circumstances, facing hard choices at every turn,” said Beth Kontos, president of AFT Massachusetts. “This bill of rights is designed to unite stakeholders around shared values and principles, bringing us together in a spirit of collaboration at a time when it is easy to become divided. Our hope is that local communities use the bill of rights as a launching pad for the deeper conversations and joint problem solving that must occur locally.”
 

Congratulations, Mr. President and Madam Vice President #AFTvotes

“AFT Massachusetts congratulates President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris on their decisive victory, and we look forward to a peaceful transition to the Biden-Harris administration in the coming months,” said AFT Massachusetts President Beth Kontos.
 
“We’re relieved that we will have an administration that will listen to scientists and focus on getting COVID-19 under control so we can get back to school safely. We’re glad to have new leadership in Washington that will prioritize investments in our economic recovery, not seek to starve the public services that are needed to rebuild America. And we’re thrilled to have a First Lady in the White House, Jill Biden, who understands the needs of educators because she is an educator herself. The results of this election belong to everyone who voted, volunteered, and marched in the streets to demand a government that prioritizes working people over wealth and power.”