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News from AFT Massachusetts and President Beth Kontos - December 2019

Message from AFT Massachusetts and President Beth Kontos

Dear AFT Massachusetts member,

It seems that everyone is in the holiday mood these days. Everywhere I turn there is a cookie to sample or a card to open. One way we, at AFT MA, have found to get in the holiday mood is to help our members create happiness in their schools. Some members give out coats, some make sure the backpacks contain food for vacation, while many others distribute books in their locals with help from our friends at First Book. The Chelsea Teachers Union distributed 45,000 books to their students last Saturday with face painting, holiday music, and a visit from Santa. Other locals are using First Book to create smiles are Lynn, Salem, Lawrence, Boston, Lowell, and Springfield. If you want to spread cheer with books, call us to find out how easy it is.

No matter what holiday you celebrate, I hope this season is full of fun for your family and friends. Remember to find time to recharge your batteries while on your winter break.

Beth Kontos - President AFT Massachusetts

Tele-Town Hall with President Beth Kontos to Discuss the 2020 Presidential Election

In an effort to ensure unprecedented member input and engagement, AFT Massachusetts and President Beth Kontos invite you to be on an important phone call to discuss the 2020 Presidential election with special guest, AFT National President Randi Weingarten.  Registered members will receive a call at approximately 7:00pm EST. This will be a discussion about policy, process and accessing resources in order to be an informed voter as we deliberate a potential endorsement.  Sign up today!

Amesbury Educators’ Political Engagement Leads to Contract Victory

“The people working in our school system have dedicated their lives to developing lifelong learners and it is time for city leadership to stand by them,” said AFT Amesbury Presidnet Cindy Yetman in the union’s endorsement announcement. “We need real leaders who will advocate for what’s best for children; fight for fair, equitable school funding and bold, innovative supports; and respect our profession and worker voice in schools and classrooms.”

Members of AFT Amesbury, along with parents and other community members, engaged in an all-out campaign to support the endorsed candidates, who campaigned together as an “Amesbury Schools Coalition Candidates” slate. READ MORE.

A Call for Nominations

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 2020 Distinguished Service Awards, which recognize 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.
Who will you nominate to be recognized at the AFT Massachusetts annual convention in May 2020?  Click here to read all about the 2019 award winners, and click here to review the 2020 Distinguished Service Award rules and procedures. The deadline to submit nominations is February 3, 2020.

Save the Date: Annual Conference for PSRPs

If you’re an AFT paraprofessional or school related personnel (PSRP), you’ll want to join hundreds of your colleagues from across Massachusetts for the AFT Massachusetts - Boston Teachers Union Annual Conference for Paraprofessionals & School-Related Personnel, on Saturday, April 4 in Boston.

From 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Boston Teachers Union (180 Mt. Vernon Street, Boston, MA 02125), we will celebrate our PSRPs, provide workshops to support you and your students, and provide opportunities to build connections and learn from PSRPs in other schools and districts across the Commonwealth.

With the success of our Fund the Future Campaign to win $1.5 billion in new annual state funding for local schools, we’ll organize to make sure that administrators and local officials spend new funds on real student needs, and to prevent state education officials from burdening school districts with mandates that take time away from teaching and learning.

The Annual PSRP Conference is a can’t-miss opportunity for professional development, education, and organizing. Stay tuned for registration details, and we look forward to seeing you there!

Member Benefits Spotlight

If you use Google for Education digital tools in the classroom and wish to demonstrate proficiency in those technologies, the company offers two levels of Google Educator certification. As an AFT member, you are eligible to receive discounts on Level 1 (60% discount) and Level 2 (75% discount) Google Educator certificates
The Level 1 status indicates that an educator is able to successfully implement G Suite for Education into their teaching practice in order to enhance teaching and learning. The Level 2 status indicates that an educator is able to successfully integrate a wider range of Google for Education tools and other technologies in order to transform their teaching practice.
Click here to learn more about Google Educator certification. You can register for the discounts though your AFT member benefits account, through February 2020.  

Upcoming Events

  • Tele-town Hall Regarding the 2020 Presidential Election Process - January 8,  2020
  • Member Benefits Workshop for AFT members in the Mansfield area - January 28, 2020
  • Annual Conference for Paraprofessionals and School-Related Personnel - April 4, 2020
  • AFT Massachusetts Convention 2020 – May 1 and 2, 2020
  • AFT Convention 2020 – July 27 to 30, 2020

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