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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.

AFT Massachusetts Statement on Education Committee School Funding Bill

The Legislature’s Joint Committee on Education released the “Student Opportunity Act,” their proposed legislation to implement the recommendations of the Foundation Budget Review Commission and increase state funding for local schools.
 
“While it will take time to fully analyze the education funding bill announced on September 19th, the funding provisions appear to be a major victory for our students and our schools!” said AFT Massachusetts President Beth Kontos. “Thanks to everyone who rallied, wrote letters, or called your legislators.”

Two Important AFT Massachusetts Leadership Development Opportunities This Fall

At AFT Massachusetts, our strength comes from our collective organizing power, which depends on our members and local leaders continually developing their skills as union organizers and leaders.
 
AFT Massachusetts is offering two important leadership development trainings this fall: our Annual Fall Leadership Conference, and our Member Organizing Institute. Both are important opportunities to develop your leadership and organizing skills.

Back to School and Labor Day Message from AFT Massachusetts President Beth Kontos

Welcome back to a new school year! As you return to your schools and welcome new students this fall, I want to share several updates on ongoing campaigns, activities, and opportunities for AFT Massachusetts members.

This school year, I’m committed to winning a historic reinvestment of state funding in our public schools, continuing to train and empower organizers in locals all across the state, and building our collective power as educators and union members. I look forward to working with all of you in the coming year.

AFT Massachusetts Statement on Final FY20 Budget

Today’s budget is a significant down payment towards the equitable preK-12 school funding that students across Massachusetts so desperately need. We’re glad to see the House and Senate agree on increased state education aid that prioritizes funding for low-income communities whose students have the greatest unmet needs, especially students of color in low-income urban schools and students in rural communities.
 
Legislators must now build on this progress by passing a comprehensive education funding bill that commits the state to school funding equity over the long term. Specifically, our students need legislators to fully implement the recommendations of the bipartisan Foundation Budget Review Commission (FBRC), including setting the “low-income increment” at the maximum rate recommended by the FBRC, as the Promise Act does: 100% of the base rate in the poorest communities.

“A Nurse In Every School” – New Union Contract in Boston Wins Increased Resources for Students

The new contract guarantees a full-time nurse in every Boston Public School, 23 new student-facing licensed mental health providers, additional ESL and special education teachers for inclusion classrooms, and a full-time paraprofessional for all K2 classes city-wide, among other provisions. The contract was ratified by each of the BTU’s four bargaining units – teachers, paraprofessionals, substitutes, and applied behavioral analysts – in a vote on June 12.

“The overwhelming approval of this contract demonstrates deep support from members of the Boston Teachers Union for the new resources we have won for students,” said BTU President Jessica Tang. “It is symbolic of our continued commitment to fight for the schools our students deserve.”

Funding Our Future Through Literacy

Earlier this month, AFT Massachusetts, the Chelsea Teachers Union, the Chelsea Public Schools, and JN Phillips Auto Glass held a book giveaway as part of an ongoing project to bring supplemental books and school supplies to the students of the Chelsea Public Schools. On June 4, the partnership distributed 600 copies of the book Alma, by author-illustrator Juana Martinez-Neal, to the second grade students at the Mary Burke Elementary Complex.

“I loved seeing the smiles on the faces of kids in Chelsea as they read Alma, and talked about their own names and where they came from,” said AFT Massachusetts President Beth Kontos. “Thank you to JN Phillips and our partners in the Chelsea Public Schools and Chelsea Teachers Union for putting on a great event!”

Job Posting: Labor Attorney

AFT Massachusetts is a statewide federation of more than 50 autonomous locals that represent more than 23,000 members—including teachers, school support workers, librarians, higher education faculty and staff, healthcare professionals, and public employees. We have a long, proud tradition of empowering our locals and members to fight for improved teaching and learning conditions, as well as better salaries and benefits through collective bargaining.

Position opening:  Labor Attorney at the American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts.

Celebrate Our Teachers and School Nurses

"This week is both Teacher Appreciation Week and National Nurses Week, and AFT Massachusetts is thrilled to recognize the amazing work that teachers and school nurses do every day. At our annual convention last weekend, I talked to so many great educators and nurses who work incredibly hard to care for our students, often in challenging conditions created by the underfunding of our public schools. Teachers are putting in extra time to help struggling students, paying for classroom supplies out of their own pocket, and making a difference in the lives of their students.