Updated: Feb 11
In this issue: Negotiations NTA Elections Labor Relations Update Charles E. Brown Fellowship Fair Share Amendment MTA New Member Trainings
For the third week in a row, we met on Friday with the School Committee Negotiations Team, and, again, the session was cordial and productive. We have reached agreement on language that will protect members who must miss extensive days this year because of pandemic related absences, and will update you on this language either later this week or next Sunday. As you are all by now aware, Mayor Fuller reached an agreement with the municipal unions to award a $1,500 stipend to all municipal employees (except police) as an honorarium for service during the pandemic, to be paid upon proof of compliance with the vaccine mandate. The outstanding issue is these stipends for educators. It is clear that the schools cannot, within the confines of the Mayor's current allocation to schools, provide these stipends from their existing budget.
This week the NTA election committee sent out an email asking members who are interested in becoming delegates to the MTA and/or NEA Annual meeting to fill out nomination forms before March 4. This is an "off year" for NTA elections. Elections for all other elected NTA offices will be held next year. This year we are only taking nominations for delegates to MTA and NEA annual meetings, and we will only hold elections for delegates if there are more nominations than there are slots. Please, if you are interested in attending either the MTA Annual meeting, or both the MTA and NEA annual meeting, fill out a nomination form. For more information on our electoral process, click here. In my years as President of the NTA, we have never had to run an election for MTA or NEA annual meeting delegates, because we've never had more nominees than delegate slots. However, there have been some years when, after the deadline, enough people have then later requested to become delegates that we have filled all of Newton's slots, and I have had then to turn people away. This happened in years where MTA delegates were electing a President and Vice President, as they will be this year. If you are interested in attending MTA or MTA and NEA annual meeting(s) as a delegate, please turn in a nomination form before March 4. If there are more people who want to attend than there are delegate slots, it would be better if we elected candidates, rather than operate on a first come, first served basis.
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**