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  • Writer's pictureMike Zilles

NTA EBulletin: January 16, 2024

Dear Colleagues:



You may have heard that Anna Nolin and Chris Brezski have been making the rounds at various community meetings giving updates on negotiations. Tonight they have scheduled a meeting with members of the PTO Council, SEPAC, and METCO and other members of the community, to which NPS educators are not invited.



And it's the same story: The NTA is asking for more than the schools can afford, the School Committee's offers are reasonable and in line with what other unions have settled for, and NTA members are already very well paid, even when compared with what educators earn in the wealthiest districts in Metro Boston. 



I won't go down the rabbit hole of explaining just how misleading Brezski's story is. Rather, I ask this question: Why are Brezski and Nolin trying to convince the public that the NTA is asking too much, rather than trying to convince the public that Mayor Fuller is offering too little--far too little?



Why aren't they confirming the points the NTA has been making from early on in these negotiations, working with us, instead of against us? Points like these:

  • In the spring of 2022, Mayor Fuller forced the NPS to agree to a budget with $3 million in cuts for the 2022-2023 school year. Shortly after this, Fuller revealed that the City had a $29 million budget surplus, NEARLY TEN TIMES THE AMOUNT OF THE NPS DEFICIT.

  • In the spring of 2023, Mayor Fuller once again forced the NPS to agree to a budget with $3 million in cuts, this time for the 2023-2024 school year. Shortly after this, Fuller once revealed that the City had a $29 million budget surplus, and that there were an additional $26 million available to the City from an "Overlay" account, totaling OVER EIGHTEEN TIMES THE AMOUNT OF THE NPS DEFICIT.

  • Mayor Fuller has chronically underfunded the Newton Public Schools, setting an arbitrarily low amount of 3.5% to increase the budget year over year when City of Newton revenues have grown 4.5% percent every year since 2010. Dr. Nolin has publicly stated that in order to properly run the NPS, she would need a 5% increase in the budget year over year, more in line with what other cities and towns are providing their public schools.

If there is any one question that this school committee needs to be asked, it is this question:



Why are you fighting with teachers, instead of with Mayor Fuller? 



My advice to the School Committee: Pick a fight you can win!

 

In solidarity,


Mike Zilles, President


Newton Teachers Association

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