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  • Writer's pictureMike Zilles

NTA EBulletin September 18, 2022

NTA Negotiations Team meets on September 15

In this issue

The school year can feel like a marathon--a long race over a long period of time. You have to pace yourself. But unlike when running a marathon, there are many times--like these first few weeks of school--when it feels like you have to sprint just to keep up. I hope in the next couple weeks you all will be able to settle into a pace that feels sustainable. While the three topic headings remain the same as those from last week, each section is updated.

Negotiations Update

Members share readings pertinent to our negotiations with me quite frequently. Here are a couple noteworthy articles that were sent my way, one from the from NEA on teacher salaries, and"Pay them More"--in which educators and parents weigh in on teacher shortages.

We will begin negotiating directly with the School Committee in October, starting with negotiating ground rules, and then, in November, we will exchange our first contract proposals.

Our full NTA Negotiations Team met last Thursday in our new office. We reviewed our recommendations for ground rules. Then we tried out our focus group questions with the team. We all learned a lot from this exercise--but for me, the biggest lesson was to see how a great team we have! I am going to continue publishing the full list of members of the team somewhat regularly. If you have questions, comments, feedback, or just a "thank you" to share--please contact one of the members.

NTA Negotiations Team

  • Michael Zilles, President, NTA

  • Elizabeth Ross del Porto, First Vice President, Angier Elementary

  • Liz Simpson, Second Vice President, Oak Hill Middle School

  • Christine Walsh, Second Release Officer and Treasurer, NTA

  • Michael Burtch, Unit A Member, Bigelow Middle School

  • Valerie Brunache Lewis, Unit C Member, Countryside Elementary School

  • Sue Cohen, Recording Secretary, Springboard Program

  • Brenna Green, Unit A Member, Cabot Elementary

  • Lynn Penczar, Unit A Member, Lincoln-Eliot Elementary

  • Elana Cutler, Unit A Member, Brown Middle

  • Derek Knapp, Unit A Member, Newton North High

  • Marcia Okun, Unit A Member, Newton South High

  • Jayme Ellis, Unit A Member, Burr Elementary

  • Ally Andrews, Unit B Member, Franklin, Horace Mann, and Lincoln-Eliot

  • Dan Rubin, Unit B Member, Newton South High

  • Sarah Wysocki, Unit C Member, Newton North High

  • Thuy Truong, Unit C Member, Newton Early Childhood Program

  • Janette Patel, Unit C Member, Oak Hill Middle School

  • Tony Sbordone, Unit E Member, Ed Center

  • Thomas Buchau, Unit E Member

  • Jason Leto, Field Representative, MTA

Fair Share Amendment

November 8th. That is the date when Massachusetts voters will decide whether those who earn more than one million dollars per year will pay their fair share of income taxes towards pre-k to 12 and higher education as well as transportation. To learn more about the Fair Share amendment and ways you can participate in your city or town, click here. If you would like to join your NTA colleagues to mobilize support here in Newton, we have organized the following events: Click here to sign up to phone bank for an hour from our NTA office between 4:00 and 7:00 on September 21, October 4, and October 19. Bring your laptops. Phone banking is not what you think it is. You will be using a dialer that immediately puts you on the phone with a real person--no ringing, no answering machines, no waiting. You will be calling likely yes voters who will actually be glad to speak with you! And MTA will provide you with an easy script to follow. Click here to sign up to canvas in Newton on Saturday, September 24, from 4:00 until 6:00. Thanks to Mike Schlegelmilch for organizing this canvass, and an earlier canvass this summer!

Loan Forgiveness

I'm sure you have been reading about Biden's most recent plans to reduce student debt. That's currently making the headlines. As public educators, you also likely qualify for complete loan forgiveness.

Please be aware that in order to take advantage of the recent changes to the educator loan forgiveness program, you must apply before October 31, 2022.



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