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News from AFT Massachusetts and President Beth Kontos - May 2022

#EndGunViolenceNow Days of Action

Our nation once again witnessed the senseless murder of children and teachers in their school by an individual armed with a deadly weapon. Our hearts are with the families, students, educators, and staff of the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. As we mourn their loss, we feel the anguish of knowing that our nation's laws have repeatedly enabled attacks like this, and without change, they will continue.

We need to show the world that we are standing together, supporting each other, and that we are fed up with gun violence. Please join the members of AFT Massachusetts and the MTA on Wednesday June 1st in actions at our schools. Here are some suggested actions:
  • Walk In together before school
  • Walk Out at the end of the day together
  • Gather at a central location for 22 minutes
  • Read the 22 names of the murdered
  • Wear black or your union shirts

Additionally, we will be gathering on June 11th at noon on Boston Common, 139 Tremont St, to join the March For Our Lives Boston, MA rally.  Or find a march near you: The March For Our Lives 2022 - Washington DC + Nationwide.  

2022 Convention

As we ever-so-slowly emerge from the crisis phase of the pandemic and into a changed world, the AFT delegates reaffirmed their continued commitment to delivering the schools, healthcare, and libraries our communities deserve, the services and staffing our students need, and the workplace protections AFT members rely on. “I am inspired by the dedication and perseverance of our members,” said AFT Massachusetts President Beth Kontos upon her reelection by acclamation, “You have spent the past two-plus years working through difficult, ever-changing conditions, and never stopped doing your best to serve students and communities. I am honored to represent you and I look forward to our work together over the coming year.”

Kontos highlighted the creation of the new AFT organizing department and the success it has had working across the state to win better contracts and living wage campaigns, allying with community partners on ballot questions and anti-receivership campaigns, running trainings to support local union activists, and doing whatever is needed to activate our membership. READ MORE.

2022 Distinguished Service Awards

AFT Massachusetts President Beth Kontos and Secretary-Treasurer Brant Duncan are thrilled to announce the winners of the union’s 2022 Distinguished Service Awards.

The 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 awards recognize the substantial contributions made to the development of the union at the state and local levels, from membership building and leadership training to the advancement of political and professional issues important to the union. READ MORE.

2022 Scholarships

Every year AFT Massachusetts awards thousands of dollars in scholarships to eligible high school seniors who are dependents of AFT Massachusetts members. AFT Massachusetts President Beth Kontos and Secretary-Treasurer Brant Duncan are thrilled to announce the recipients of the union’s 2022 Scholarship Awards.
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. The exam includes questions covering the history and structure of the labor movement in America, legislation affecting American workers, child labor laws, minimum wages, civil rights, safety and more, as well as a 500-word essay based on a current labor issue. READ MORE.

Suspend Broken Accountability System

Kontos applauds DESE for its recent efforts to re-examine policies through a racial equity lens. But she asks: “Why has the accountability system—with its demonstrated racial and socioeconomic bias and clear mismeasurement of school quality—escaped this reckoning? Why does DESE continue to label and punish schools serving students of color based on biased, inaccurate, and discredited measures?”
“It’s time to pause, reflect and reimagine school-accountability policy,” Kontos concludes. “We urge you to make that a top priority, and we look forward to being part of that work.” READ MORE.

Educator's Appreciation Night

Join the Revs on Sunday, July 3rd as the team takes on FC Cincinnati! Come on out to Gillette with your family and friends to celebrate our local educator's and enjoy some post-game fireworks! Click here to purchase your discounted ticket today!

Retirement Planning Workshop


AFT Massachusetts is hosting a retirement planning workshop on June 7 via Zoom and all members are welcome!

The financial professionals of Teacher Retirement Solutions (TRS) have partnered with AFT Massachusetts and specialize in providing independent financial guidance, strategies and solutions to educators, school employees, librarians and their families throughout New England. Join TRS’ John Gregorio, a Certified Financial Planner, on June 7, 2022 via Zoom for a comprehensive workshop for prospective retirees. The Massachusetts' public employee retirement formula, Social Security and living in retirement will be among the topics discussed. An automated email with the details of the Zoom meeting will be sent to members that complete the form linked below.
What:   Retirement Planning Workshop for AFT Members
Who:    Members of AFT Massachusetts
Where: Online via Zoom
When:  June 7, 2022 from 6 to 8 pm

Click here to register! Click here to view and share our flyer!

DESE Flex Information

DESE recently introduced a new MTEL testing policy called MTEL Flex. MTEL Flex allows licensure candidates who took certain subject-area MTELs on or after October 20, 2020 and did not earn a passing score to submit a written assessment instead of re-taking the test. Please review eligibility requirements for MTEL Flex for more information.


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