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Support from Educators and Community Members 

Community members and educators are demonstrating their support for the NTA through letters and emails.

You can add your voice by emailing any or all of the following:

Share Your Message of Support With Us

I just wanted to reach out with a quick note to let you know that you have the full support of the Hanover Teachers Association. We wish you luck in your endeavours to secure what you deserve! In Solidarity, Steve January 21, 2024
To The Newton School Committee and Mayor Fuller: As a Newton resident, parent, and educator at Newton South, I was surprised and disheartened by your latest update on contract negotiations with the NTA. Specifically, you shared with the entire Newton community that the NTA intends to engage in illegal activity such as work stoppages and strikes in order to put pressure on the our union to reach an agreement for a fair contract. I find this deeply upsetting for a number of reasons: 1. It is a clear misrepresentation of the NTA's completely legal intention to work-to-rule in the event that we cannot reach a fair and reasonable agreement by the time our current contract ends. 2. Because of this misrepresentation of facts, it's difficult to read this message as anything other than a bad faith effort to gain community and parental support by throwing educators (once again) under the proverbial bus. 3. In your message to the community, you chose to "alert" rather than "inform" us. You stressed that "the students of Newton are our first priority" but followed that up with the ways in which students may be harmed and parents extremely inconvenienced if teachers engage in the actions that you mischaracterized. 4. As a Newton resident and parent, it troubles me how prepared you seem to scapegoat our educators if contract negotiations fail. As an educator, I'm honestly shocked by what feels like a total disregard for our work and our profession. A 1.5% COLA increase is laughable given the rate of inflation. Add that to a 13% increase in out-of-pocket insurance costs, and we make even less than we do now. I understand that you want to frame the narrative in order to avoid spending, but attempting to pit parents against educators, the interests of our students against educators, and the community against educators is a tactic that I believe is beneath all of us. Sincerely, Jenny Robertson
Dear Honorable Mayor, City Councilors, School Committee members, Please pay the city's educators whatever they want to be paid--or more. Please approve any requested pay increases. Our city's educational staff are already far underpaid for the work they are doing--particularly post-pandemic. These days, so many students have complex needs--more than before the pandemic. Please agree to whatever the teachers are requesting from a salary standpoint, and add to it. The below email states, "The students of Newton are our first priority." If that is the case, please pay NPS educational experts the salary they deserve. Yes, the city budget is constrained. In particular, state law prevents the enactment of needed revenue increases via legislative action. Our state legislators should seek change on this issue. In the meantime, Newton should seek a general operating override every single year from now until we achieve the needed revenue to pay our teachers. For too long, due to Prop 2.5, city services have been grossly underfunded, particularly during inflationary periods such as the present time. This statewide issue leads us and other municipalities to face difficult choices as outlined in this email from the Mayor and School Committee. It is shocking to see the possibility of a strike and an extended school year. This does not serve our students in any way, shape or form. Lastly, as a Ward 6 resident, I will register my strong objection to School Committee Member Paul Levy's absence from so many School Committee meetings during his first term. I also object to his singular opposition to the recent override campaign which was essential to the funding of our schools. I have two children in our school system, including one with an IEP. I find SC Member Levy's actions truly unconscionable as an elected representative for our city's public education system. Again, please fund our educational professionals' salaries at the level they request. They deserve it and we can afford it. Sincerely, Shawn Fitzgibbons
Superintendent Nolin and Mayor Fuller, This email seemed genuine and appropriate until the penultimate paragraph. Efforts to secure a multi-year contract that will substantively improve NPS educator retention, bring them parity with other districts, and shore up working and learning conditions in NPS classrooms do not in any form hinder literacy. To the contrary, the advocacy by educators for improved working/learning conditions will ultimately lend support to literacy and other academic priorities both in the short term and long term. The inflammatory rhetoric from the school committee in the penultimate paragraph reverts from a fair and factual tone in the beginning of the email to a tone that is unhelpful and intellectually dishonest. “Should the NTA take action to hinder that progress.. ” These rhetorical attempts to misrepresent the intent of the NTA and to pit the interest of educators against their students are increasingly crass and signal a deeply concerning anti-educator or anti-union bias among whichever committee members are leading these communications. As a NPS parent, I ask the superintendent and mayor not to be drawn into what appear to be the political machinations of select school committee members — and specifically to publicly call upon the school committee to tone down their inflammatory rhetoric that once again has aimed to position educators as somehow less than concerned with the well-being or in this case the literacy of students. Such an implication is deeply offensive especially to those of us whose children in NPS do struggle with literacy. To exploit our children who struggle with literacy in a political attempt to influence negotiations or to score PR points against educators is wrong. Will you both publicly call on the committee members to tone down the rhetoric of these emails and to refrain from exploiting the literacy challenges of our students with the greatest needs? Once again, elected committee members also should not be sending political editorial communications through school list serves or to families who may have signed up for NPS school updates but not for biased editorials from elected officials. Communications sent through taxpayer funded methods and school list serves should be informational and not partisan or hyperbolic. Committee members have their own election funds for that activity. They also can avail themselves of any numbers of media outlets to broadcast their political and opinion based messages. Communications to families on taxpayer funded list serves should stick to the facts and should be fulsome in their representation of the facts. If you want to let committee members use city resources to send political editorials, perhaps in a spirit of fairness and democracy, the NTA should be permitted to do the same? Or just tell the committee to stick to the facts and specifics of proposals — rather than editorializing or playing rhetorical games. I am thankful in advance for any action you can take publicly to tell the committee that the focus must remain on the bargaining process, and that inflammatory communications that imply educators want to hinder literacy are crossing a line. - Newton Parent
To the School Committee and Mayor Fuller: Supporting teachers comes down to if you believe our job is worthwhile and worth paying for. As with most teachers, I have multiple degrees in my field of expertise. I paid extra to take a test that qualified me to have a license to teach. I continue to pay for courses to keep up my professional development so I can continue to teach and teach the newest technology in my classes. I cannot afford on the current pay scales to live in the town I work for. I, like many teachers, have taken multiple jobs to afford to live. I do not speak for all teachers in this union, I am only speaking for myself when I say these things, but this school committee doesn't seem to be even trying to negotiate in good faith. The committee says it can't afford a COLA commensurate with other cities of similar size and means because of XY or Z, but they can hire a lawyer to fight the union. They want to thank us for doing our jobs during teacher appreciation week with cupcakes and cookies, but I would rather have a payscale that would allow me to consider living near where I work. What is important to Newton? I saw a whole meeting about our level of teaching and striving for honors and AP students last year, meetings about equity and inclusion practices, meetings about oversite, and on, and on. Are teachers teaching at a high level of proficiency important? I have to re-license and continue educating myself so I can keep teaching. Was being able to adapt to the changing pandemic important? Because I was part of that adaptation from in-person, to online, to hybrid, to back to in-person teaching. We continue to see the fallout from that and a major new part of the job is making sure my students are socially and emotionally cared for. Is it your assertion that we as teachers aren't worth the cost? If so, close the schools and let all parents teach for themselves. If public school is an important part of the city of Newton, then respect for the teachers and the job we do needs to be shown. Negotiate in good faith for a contract that makes sense. Sincerely yours, -Michael Barrington-Haber, teacher
Hi Mike, My name is Sue Schy. I am the nurse at Bigelow and am also the president of the Newton School Nurses Union. I read the mayor's letter to the city and, clearly knowing that there was much that wasn't said, reached out to your union reps at Bigelow. Mike Burtch sent me your response to all the teachers, which filled in many of the gaps. I still have such a bad taste from the 7 weeks of picketing the nurses underwent last negotiation session during the sweltering heat that summer, but have such warm memories of so many teachers (and residents of Newton) coming out in support of us. What can we do to help you? Sue
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