Monthly Communicator - September 2019

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A Message from President Beth Kontos

This past week the new education funding bill came out. It has bipartisan support at the State House and the best parts of it were obviously reflective of our advocacy in our communities, at our lobby days, and at our Central Labor Councils.

Of course there is more to do!  We have to continue our fight to get this over the finish line. We have to be sure that there are no negative amendments added to the bill over the next few weeks.  Review the campaign's talking points and send a letter to your State Senator today!
Once it passes, we must remain vigilant by attending and speaking at our school committee meetings. Take a minute at the podium and state how the additional education dollars should be directed in your district and what it would look like in your classroom. You have always been an advocate for your students. You know what their needs are. Stand up and speak up!
Picture - President Kontos joins AFT President Randi Weingarten, BTU President Jessica Tang and others on the first day of school in Boston to welcome members and students.
“The changes to the Foundation Budget in this bill are a major victory for educators, students, parents, and everyone in Massachusetts who believes that every student should have a high-quality, well-funded public school,” said AFT Massachusetts President Beth Kontos.
“We hope legislators will clarify language in the bill that would create local plans to end educational disparities, ensuring that local students, parents and educators are empowered to design their own local plans, and that those plans can’t be used to take money away from students whose schools are struggling. We also hope legislators will provide a durable, long-term fix for public school districts that currently lose significant state funding to charter schools. With those changes, the Student Opportunity Act will be a historic achievement in our ongoing fight for the education equity that our students deserve.”  Click here to read more.

AFT Massachusetts is excited to welcome two dynamic new Vice Presidents to our statewide Executive Board! Earlier this month, the AFT Massachusetts Executive Board voted to support President Beth Kontos’ recommendation to appoint Nicole Reminder and Mary Henry to fill vacancies on the board.
“I’m thrilled that these two great local union leaders will join the AFT Massachusetts Executive Board as we work to ensure that every student has a fully-funded school,” said AFT Massachusetts President Beth Kontos. “Their work to empower and engage members will be critical as we push historic school funding legislation over the finish line and then make sure the new money is spent on services our students need in the classroom.”  Click here to read more.

Union Member Candidate School

Support for union members running for elected office is a top priority of AFT Massachusetts and the Massachusetts AFL-CIO.  AFT Massachusetts members interested in running for office are encouraged to participate in Union Candidates School hosted by the Massachusetts AFL-CIO.
We know that when our members run on a platform of working people’s values and receive unified support from the labor movement, we will win. The Massachusetts AFL-CIO and its Executive Board are establishing a union candidate school to train our members to run for elected office from the local/municipal level all the way up to statewide/federal office.  Click here to read more.

AFT Massachusetts Receives $25,000 Grant to Support New Teachers in Urban Districts













AFT Massachusetts has received a $25,000 grant from First Book to provide funding directly to new educators in Boston, Chelsea, Lawrence, Lynn, Lowell, and Salem so they can purchase books for classrooms and spark their students’ interest in reading and learning

Through the grant, which is being matched by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), AFT Massachusetts, and local teachers unions in the six communities, approximately 1000 new teachers will be provided with a $50 gift card to the First Book Marketplace to purchase books for their classrooms. The First Book Marketplace stocks more than 6,000 high-quality, diverse book titles on a variety of topics that First Book offers for 50-90% off retail costs. Click here to read more.
Coming Events - click here to visit AFT MA's event's page for additional information
  • Debt Clinic - October 10, 2019 - Offices of the Salem Teachers Union
  • Debt Clinic - October 16, 2019 - Offices of the Lawrence Teachers Union
  • Debt Clinic - October 17, 2019 - Offices of the Lawrence Teachers Union
  • Union Blood Drive - October 23, 2019 - Offices of the Boston Teachers Union
  • Benefits Workshop for AFT Members - October 24, 2019 - Offices of the Lawrence Teachers Union
  • Member Organizer Institute - October 26, 2019 -Offices of AFT Massachusetts
  • Student Debt Clinic - November 6, 2019 - Offices of the Lynn Teachers Union
  • AFT Massachusetts Convention 2020 – May 1 and 2, 2020
  • AFT Convention 2020 – July 27 to 30, 2020