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Jessica Tang Elected President of AFT Massachusetts

Boston Teachers Union President Jessica Tang was unanimously elected President of the AFT Massachusetts at the statewide union’s annual convention this weekend. She began her career in Boston Public Schools as a middle school social studies teacher, and is the first person of color to serve as President of AFT Massachusetts.

JT 2024 AFT Massachusetts Elections

“It’s an honor to represent the 25,000 educators, librarians, health and public service workers from across the commonwealth who make up AFT Massachusetts,” said Tang. “Our union shares a vision of a state with public schools and colleges that all of our students can thrive in, and libraries and public services that all of our communities can be proud of. Massachusetts should continue to be a model for what’s possible, and I know we can achieve tremendous things when we as union members organize together with our communities.”
“I look forward to working together with the members of AFT Massachusetts to build our power, not just as AFT Massachusetts members, but as a labor movement and in partnership with community allies,” she said. “Together, we will amplify the voices of workers, students, families, and our neighbors, and continue to build the great schools and communities we deserve.”
Jessica Tang has served as the President of the Boston Teachers Union since 2017, representing over 10,000 active and retired educators. She was the first person of color, first openly queer and first woman in over thirty years to serve in this role. She is a co-founder of the Teacher Activist Group-Boston, Boston Education Justice Alliance and MA Education Justice Alliance, and serves as a board member for several civic and labor groups including Citizens for Public Schools, Private Industry Council, Boston Partners in Education, Parent Teacher Home Visit Project and the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance. She is also the first and only Asian American member to serve on the American Federation of Teachers Executive Council.
Jessica serves as a Vice President of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, served several terms as an AFTMA Vice President, and is a former co-chair of the Massachusetts Asian-American Educators Association. She is also currently serving on the United States Commission on Civil Rights Massachusetts State Advisory Council and served a three-year term on the New England Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve. As a teacher-activist, she has been involved in many different community organizations that are working to advance racial, social, economic and climate justice. She earned her Bachelor’s degree at Harvard University and holds an Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Tang succeeds outgoing AFT Massachusetts President Beth Kontos, who served in the role for the past six years.
“Over the past six years, we’ve overcome enormous challenges and won incredible victories by organizing together as one union family,” said Kontos. “We won passage of the Student Opportunity Act and the Fair Share Amendment to deliver the state funding our schools and students deserve. Throughout the pandemic, we fought for and delivered workplace protections and safety measures to protect our members, our students, and our communities. And by committing to organizing, our locals across the state won strong contracts that are delivering better pay and benefits and improving our schools, libraries, and public colleges.
“I’m immensely proud of the victories we’ve won together, and I’m confident that we will continue to succeed under Jessica Tang’s leadership,” she continued. “Jessica has been a strong partner to me over the past six years, and her deep commitment to organizing and member voice will help move our growing union forward.”
The more than 200 delegates to the AFT Massachusetts annual convention also unanimously re-elected Brant Duncan as the union’s Secretary-Treasurer.
“I look forward to working together with President Jessica Tang and the members of AFT Massachusetts to advance our goals of high-quality education and public service across Massachusetts,” said Duncan. “The members of AFT Massachusetts are committed to building our collective union power and winning victories for our members, students, and working families throughout Massachusetts.”

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