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BTU Members Host Back To School Fair for Public School Families

Thousands of Boston-area public school families attended a fun-filled and educational Back To School Fair on Saturday, September 22, sponsored by members of the Boston Teachers Union (BTU).  Among the attractions were music and activities for students of all ages, free books and educational materials and resources for parents from community partners.

AFT Massachusetts members aid victims of Merrimack gas disaster

Massachusetts residents are back in their homes after a series of gas explosions and fires shook three communities—Lawrence, Andover and North Andover—in the Merrimack Valley on Sept. 13. The disaster killed one resident and forced 40,000 people to evacuate their homes.

A Call for Nominations

Deadline Extended Until January 25th!

Help the AFT Massachusetts celebrate the service of an educator, librarian, nurse, or school related-personnel whose leadership has made our union stronger. Nominations are now being accepted for our 2019 distinguished service awards. Who will you nominate to be recognized at the AFT Massachusetts annual convention in May 2019?

In Boston, ‘Tech Goes Home’ for Boston Paraprofessionals

The Boston Teachers Union has long recognized that the union’s responsibilities go beyond the “bread and butter” issues of salary and benefits. Supporting union members means being engaged in all parts of educators’ lives, from political activity in the community to professional expertise in the classroom. As a result, the BTU has a robust, high-quality professional learning program for its members.

AFT Massachusetts Stands with the Chelmsford Federation of Teachers

Recent events in the Chelmsford Public Schools prompt me to emphatically state that AFT Massachusetts (AFT MA) will never tolerate acts of intimidation against our union, any of our members, or members of our staff. Period.

That’s what undeniably occurred when then-president of the Chelmsford Federation of Teachers Jen Salmon and AFT MA field representative Eric Blanchet were removed from the Harrington Elementary School last November by the police. Their removal at the request of the Chelmsford School Department clearly violated the law.

New School and District Accountability System Approved Over Objections from AFT MA

The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, by a 7-2 vote on June 26, approved revisions to the state’s school and district accountability system over strenuous objections from the state’s two teachers unions, who argued that the new system is by and large a continuation of the failed and discredited status quo.

“It’s meet the new boss, same as the old boss,” said Dan Murphy, AFT MA’s director of educational policy. “The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education solicited stakeholder input over a two-year period. This input signaled a clear appetite to move in a fundamentally different direction. So, we’re disappointed that the Department and the Board opted for business as usual—replicating the same flaws as the old discredited system while introducing new problems and even more inscrutable metrics. We need a system that is fair and easy-to-understand, and that above all is about support, not punishment.”

Unite for North: How North Attleboro Teachers Helped Win Millions in School Funding

After years of tight budgets and multiple rounds of cuts, things were getting tough in North Attleboro’s Schools. In 2013 and again in 2015, voters rejected attempts to override the tax-limiting law Proposition 2 ½, leading to the closure of an elementary school, increased class sizes, and a cut of more than 70 paraprofessionals over the last few years. School technology upgrades weren’t being funded, and the potential for another elementary school closure was looming.

AFT Massachusetts Endorses Jay Gonzalez for Governor

The 25,000-member AFT Massachusetts, one of the state’s largest labor unions, announced their endorsement of Jay Gonzalez for Governor in this year’s election. The AFT Massachusetts is the first statewide labor union to make an endorsement in the race for Governor.

“Jay has an aspirational vision for an education system that gives every student the resources they need to succeed. Through his strong support for the Fair Share Amendment, he’s outlined a plan to fully fund our schools and libraries, fix the broken Foundation Budget, and make our public colleges affordable again,” said AFT Massachusetts President Beth Kontos

Lowell Teachers and Parents Win Guaranteed Recess for Elementary and Middle School Students

Growing Statewide Momentum for Recess Requirements As Teachers and Parents Push Back Against Overreliance on Testing

Elementary and middle school students in Lowell will be guaranteed recess after a successful campaign by teachers from the United Teachers of Lowell and parents, students, and community members from the Lowell Education Justice Alliance.

A citywide recess policy adopted by the Lowell School Committee in May will require elementary schools to have a minimum 20-minute daily recess and require middle schools to have a minimum 15-minute daily recess. Elementary and middle schools will also have 5-minute activity breaks in the morning and afternoon, with physical activities including yoga, stretching and dance.