The more than 23,000 members of the American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts, including the 10,000 members of the progressive and influential Boston Teachers Union, announced on Monday that both organizations have endorsed U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren in the Massachusetts Democratic Presidential Primary.
The endorsement adds two of the most politically active and progressive labor organizations in the state to the growing list of endorsements received by Senator Warren.
“I’m deeply grateful to have the support of AFT Massachusetts and the Boston Teachers Union,” said Senator Elizabeth Warren. “They are on the frontlines of making sure every kid can build a future and our educators have dignity on the job. I look forward to standing shoulder to shoulder with them in this fight.”
“Senator Warren has always been a champion for students and educators in our fight for the nurturing and supportive schools we deserve. She stood with educators on the strike line and in our work to protect our public schools and win new funding for our students. We know we can count on her as President,” said Beth Kontos, President of the American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts (AFT Massachusetts). “As a former educator, Senator Warren knows firsthand that we need bold action to support public education, and that the best way to help the students with the greatest needs is to give them the additional help they need in the classroom. She’s building a movement that can win in November and replace the failed Trump-DeVos education agenda with the pro-student, pro-public education plan our students need.”
“Senator Warren’s values are aligned with ours, and we strongly support her plans for public education, immigration justice, and to build an economy that works for all by making it easier for workers in all sectors to join a union and by tackling our nation’s student debt crisis,” said Jessica Tang, President of the Boston Teachers Union (BTU). “Senator Warren has stood with us every step of the way in our ongoing efforts to win the necessary funding and policies to strengthen public education for all, particularly for the students and communities with the greatest needs. And now, we’re proud to stand behind her during the Massachusetts Democratic Presidential Primary.”
AFT Massachusetts is the statewide affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, and represents educators in many of the state’s major cities, including Boston, Lawrence, Lowell, and Lynn. The Executive Board of AFT Massachusetts, which voted on the statewide union’s endorsement, is made up of elected representatives of the 23,000 AFT members statewide.
The overwhelming AFT Massachusetts endorsement vote followed months of member engagement including a member survey and a series of ‘tele-town hall’ phone call events, which revealed great enthusiasm among AFT Massachusetts members for an endorsement of Senator Warren.
Meanwhile, it is the first time in its 75-year history that the BTU has ever endorsed a candidate in a Massachusetts Democratic Presidential Primary. BTU conducted a democratic process over several months that included multiple surveys, polling, and an open membership vote that showed overwhelming support for an endorsement of Senator Warren.
During the process, Warren drew praise from union members and leaders for her stalwart support of workers’ rights, funding for public education, tackling the student debt crisis, combating wage inequality, and ensuring immigration justice, among other key social and economic justice issues. U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders received the second highest level of support from BTU members for similar reasons.
The Massachusetts Democratic Presidential Primary Election is scheduled for March 3, 2020, or what is known as “Super Tuesday.” The unions are calling on members to get engaged in the presidential elections and make their voices heard on March 3 and beyond.