Updated: Feb 14
In this issue: Email Mayor Fuller (New) Negotiations (New) Community Relations NTA Elections Labor Relations Update Charles E. Brown Fellowship Applications Fair Share Amendment Support Trainings for New Members
Hope you were all able to enjoy the beautiful weather yesterday. I'm sending out this this week's Ebulletin a little early today. I hope this gives you a little extra time today to take a brief moment to send an email to Mayor Fuller urging her to fund stipends for school employees (see below, "Negotiations")! Below find the response to last week's question: How important do you think it is to staff morale that Mayor Fuller provide funding to offer $1,500 stipends to school employees?
We did not meet with the School Committee for negotiations this past Friday, as the clear obstacle to reaching an agreement is funding: Mayor Ruthanne Fuller must allocate additional ARPA funding for the School Committee to provide school employees a $1,500 stipend. For that to happen, we must put pressure on the mayor, who provided a $1,500 COVID payment to Newton city employees using the City's ARPA funds, but neglected to include Newton's school employees: the educators, secretaries, custodians, and other school employee who kept the schools running in extraordinary times. Click here to urge the mayor to use a small part of the remaining $40 million in ARPA funds to provide the same $1500 COVID stipend to school employees. Even as I ask you to participate in our advocacy for this honorarium, I am aware of the irony in doing so--that the $1,500 stipend loses some its value as an honorarium as it becomes something we win through advocacy. It truly was a lamentable mistake on her part to use ARPA funding for stipends for City of Newton municipal employees, but to fail to provide the same stipends for City of Newton school employees. Hopefully, the mayor will come around to this insight quickly, and respond straight away to our emails. Click here to urge the mayor to use a small part of the remaining $40 million in ARPA funds to provide the same $1500 COVID stipend to school employees!
(New) Community Relations
The NTA Parent/Educator Collaborative will be hosting a community meeting this Tuesday, Feb 15th at 7:00pm via Zoom. The agenda will include a discussion of current bargaining status, city ARPA funds, and stipends for municipal employees and school staff. Our December and January meetings were safe and constructive spaces for honest conversation. Parents and community allies who attend these meetings are eager to hear from and support educators. Please join us to be part of the conversation. Sign up here to be added to the mailing list for this meeting: https://bit.ly/newtonpec
If you are interested in attending either the MTA Annual meeting, or both the MTA and NEA annual meeting as a delegate, please turn in a nomination form before March 4. For more information on our electoral process, click here.
Labor Relations Update
The NTA has settled two charges that were filed with the Department of Labor Relations against the district in connection with production of information. One related to the information produced around ventilation in the summer of 2020, and the other was with regard to the production of the Therapeutic Program Report. This settlement results in a posting by the School Committee. A copy of the posting can be found on the NTA Website’s Home page.
Charles E. Brown Fellowship Applications Announcement
The Charles E. Brown Fellowship is an annual award sponsored by the Newton Teachers Association. NTA members who receive this award are released from regular duties for one to five days to pursue a particular educational project (without loss of pay).
Types of Projects Considered for Funding: Development of professional tools, equipment, and materials
Professional study and research
Advancement of professional association work and leadership
Criteria for Selection: The review board will consider the project’s future benefits to the students, teachers and professional staff of the City of Newton. The contribution that the project will make to the unified teaching profession will also be considered. Applications: If you are interested in applying for a fellowship, please fill out an application form on line using this link: https://bit.ly/cebfellowshipapp If you prefer a paper application, one can be found on the NTA Website Charles E. Brown Fellowship page under Member Resources. Deadline: Completed applications for the fellowships for the 2022-2023 school year must be received by 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 31, 2022. Announcement of Awards: The winners of the 2022-2023 Charles E. Brown Fellowships will be announced the week of May 2, 2022. Completion Dates: All fellowships granted for the 2022-2023 school year must be completed between September 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023.
Fair Share Amendment Support
Next year we will be entering into negotiations. Inflation is higher than it has been in decades, yet it is likely that the City will once again bargain hard to keep our wages and benefits as low as possible.
That said, schools do indeed need more funding, and there is a ballot question coming up this November that would help. Called the Fair Share Amendment, it raises state tax on income OVER $1,000,000. If you make less than a million, you won't see an increase. Please sign the pledge to vote YES in November. This money will directly help our salaries and support our classrooms.
Trainings for New Members
The MTA is proud to offer virtual trainings for our new members on the topic of loan forgiveness, Professional Teacher Status (tenure), Paraprofessional rights, and licensure. They are aimed at those in their first five years of working, but anyone who wants to learn can attend. See links to register on this document. **NOTE: These may be particularly useful if you want to forgive student loans, or if you are working under an emergency license**