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  • Writer's pictureMike Zilles

NTA EBulletin June 11, 2023



I apologize once again for the length of last week's update. If you have not yet had a chance to finish reading it, you can find it posted on our NTA webpage. There is one important correction we made in the blog post that was incorrect in the email: I understated the total COLA increase the School Committee is proposing for Unit C over three years. I said it was 4.8%, or an increase of .1% over their prior proposal; it was in fact a total of 5.1%, or an increase of .3% over their prior proposal. Of course two tenths of one percent could hardly sway our opinion on the overall acceptability of their proposal. Since last week's update, we met with our full Contract Action Team on Wednesday. CAT team members shared with us that the overwhelming sentiment in their buildings is exasperation with the school committee and a sense of urgency that we escalate our actions faster in response. When we closed the member action survey, 937 members had completed it. The results of that survey say the same: members are on board to move the campaign forward with greater urgency. Your NTA leadership team feels this urgency as well. This means: (1) For the remainder of this school year, we need as many members as possible to participate in the actions we already have planned. If we are to escalate our actions further, we need full participation in those actions that remain this school year.

  • Please attend our end of year June 15th RALLY on the lawn of City Hall from 4:00 to 5:15. All hands on deck--this is a final major action of the year. Sign up to let us know you will be attending.

  • We need full participation in our modified work to rule action for the next two weeks!

  • Please sign up to Line the Halls for our June 12 bargaining session. This is our last negotiations session of the school year. Click here to Line the Halls.

(2) For the summer

  • Be an MTA Summer Organizer. Work in Newton; build our campaign; get paid! Sign up here.

  • Volunteer for the NTA summer community outreach campaign. Sign up here.

(3) For the fall we will organize:

  • A Walk in on Opening Day. Assuming that the opening day celebration will once again be held in the Newton South Field House, we will boycott the brunch, gather outside to march around the building, and enter the building together just before the ceremony begins. This of course, assumes that opening day will be held in the same manner as it has been held in the past. I am sure there will be enormous pressure brought upon our new superintendent, Anna Nolin, not to continue this tradition this year.

  • Silent Meetings. Beginning with the first two days staff return to school before students, and continuing until we have a new contract, we are calling for silent meetings. This means all meetings: All school, department, and professional development meetings. We must remain one union, united in our efforts to win a fair contract, respectful of the roles we all play. We know this is particularly awkward for our Unit B members, who must run meetings and professional development as part of the regular professional responsibilities. Unit A, we ask that you not expect Unit B members to remain silent. Unit B members, we ask that you develop meeting plans that do not ask of Unit A members that they be presenters, and that your meetings be designed as presentational, and not interactive.

  • No participation in voluntary activities, including committees, school sponsored clubs and other activities, mentoring, school council, or any other voluntary activities that are not part of your regular job responsibilities. This includes voluntary activities for which you would be paid a stipend. This is even more difficult. It runs against the very grain of who we are and what we do. We go above and beyond, and we do not say no when it comes to meeting our students' needs, nor in making sure that our schools are well-functioning, exceptional educational spaces. Indeed, a well functioning school system depends upon our willingness to go above and beyond. No matter what, we make sure our student's needs are met. No matter how acute students' needs become, we meet them. No matter that school resources are inadequate and diminishing, we meet our students needs. No matter that that more work is piled on our plate from the central administration--initiatives begun, then abandoned for the next initiative--we meet our students' needs. No matter a growing sense that the district will not "have our back" if we make a mistake, we meet our students needs. The NTA will not ask you abandon this commendable ethic with regard to the students you work with every day in your classes. But with respect to the innumerable additional things we do to make the NPS excellent schools: We must say no! As long as this school committee sees fit to ask us to do more for less: We must do less.

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