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A Call for Nominations

Help 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 2024 Distinguished Service Awards!
The AFT Massachusetts Distinguished Service Awards are presented annually to AFT Massachusetts members who have demonstrated an outstanding level of service and dedication to their local union. The 2024 Distinguished Service Award Winners will be honored at the AFT Massachusetts Convention Awards Dinner on Friday, May 3, 2024 at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate.

Freedom in our libraries

In recent years, Massachusetts libraries have been increasingly affected by a coordinated, nationwide effort to bar or restrict access to books and programming that extremist groups find objectionable. According to the American Library Association, Massachusetts saw 45 documented attempts to censor books and other library resources in 2022 — the fourth highest number of any state. 90% of reported book challenges were demands to censor multiple titles - and of those demands to censor library books, 40% sought to remove or restrict more than 100 books all at once.

“The members of the Massachusetts Library Staff Association fully support the concept of intellectual freedom: the right of library users to read, seek information, and speak freely as guaranteed by the First Amendment,” said Patricia Kelly, Head of Reference at the Lynnfield Public Library and President of the Massachusetts Library Staff Association. “We are so proud and grateful that our union siblings in the NSLC, AFT Massachusetts, and MA AFL-CIO have joined us in support of libraries, library programs, and access to information for all.”

2024 Scholarship Program

Every year AFT Massachusetts awards thousands of dollars in scholarships to eligible high school seniors who are dependents of AFT Massachusetts members. The awards, named in honor of former AFT leaders Kathy Kelley, Albert Shanker and Sandra Feldman, and for long-time AFT Massachusetts field representative Jay Porter, are awarded on the basis of a labor history exam administered by the Massachusetts AFL-CIO. 

For students taking the labor history exam, you are not just learning about the history of unions and about groups of people who wanted better wages. You are learning about the history of working people, just like you and your families, who fight for justice and equality. As you engage with these resources, remember that you will inevitably be part of this story, too, and it's up to you what role you will play.
“At a time of active union organizing across the country, it’s important for young people to understand the role labor unions have played in our state and country’s history,” said AFT Massachusetts President Beth Kontos. “AFT Massachusetts is proud to offer these college scholarships to students who are part of our union family.”


More than a hundred students, parents, educators, community activists, union leaders, researchers, and concerned citizens – many wearing blue Thrive Act t-shirts in solidarity – descended on the State House on Oct. 4 in a passionate display of support for the Thrive Act, a landmark education bill that was given a hearing that day before the Joint Committee on Education..

“Passing the Thrive Act is the equivalent of proclaiming to the nation from the dome of this beautiful State House: The painful, destructive era of test-blame-shame-and-punish is over,” said AFT Massachusetts President Beth Kontos in her written testimony. “There is a better way to do things, and Massachusetts will once again show the way.”

Photo of AFT President Randi Weingarten addressing TEACH 2023

The AFT has always been a solutions-driven union, and our new campaign, launched during TEACH on July 21, proves it once again with a fresh, practical approach to strengthening public education. As AFT President Randi Weingarten pointed out during her keynote speech, the $5 million, yearlong campaign, “Real Solutions for Kids and Communities,” stands up against attacks on public schools and offers real-world solutions to build up, rather than break down, our communities.