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  • Writer's pictureMike Zilles

NTA EBulletin: April 28, 2024

Dear Colleagues,

This weekend, a number of members of the NTA and I attended the MTA annual meeting in Springfield. Due to time constraints, I'm going to keep this EBulletin relatively short, and leave some things until later. 

Most importantly, Mayor Fuller presented her budget for next year during our April break. It contains within it many misrepresentations. And it is setting up the Newton Public Schools and the Newton Teachers Association for another clash when we negotiate our next contract, and indeed, puts serious financial constraints on the district over the next three years. More on this later. 

Right now, I want to share with you a huge victory: We were SUCCESSFUL in our arbitration regarding the Kindergarten Teaching Assistants. 

The arbitrator determined that the district violated the Unit A Collective Bargaining Agreement by not placing kindergarten teaching assistants in all K classrooms with 14 or more students. He ordered the district to cease and desist in violating the contract beginning next year. He found that it would be "too disruptive this late in the school year to require Newton to hire sufficient aides to fulfill its teacher aide-ratio obligation for the current school year."

I'm linking to a copy of the decision for those of you who want to read it. The district does have 30 days to appeal this decision, so we have to wait to see what they will do.

Chris and I were hopeful we would be successful, as I knew we were in the right. But, as we said to each other at the bargaining table during the strike, "it's the hope that kills you."  This time our hope and confidence were well placed. 

Our MTA legal team, lead by Laurie Houle, is stellar. A huge thank you to this team!

In solidarity,

Mike Zilles, President

Newton Teachers Association


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