Friday, March 10, 2017

Boston Teachers demand a contract they can call it fair

Boston Teachers “Walk-In” at 100+ Local Schools To Demand a Fair Contract That Helps Students

BOSTON — This morning, Boston teachers and school staff rallied outside Boston schools and walked in before classes began to demand a fair contract that is good for students, good for schools, and fair to educators.

“On behalf of our 76% female teaching force, we’re asking for a contract that protects our most vulnerable students, reduces class sizes in kindergarten classes as well as in schools with the highest needs, and provides paid parental leave for all early-career teachers, but we’ve been treated poorly and disrespectfully,” said Richard Stutman, President of the Boston Teachers Union. “We’ve been bargaining in good faith for months, and it’s time to settle.”

The Boston Teachers Union contract expired in August 2016.

“Under the current contract, I won’t be able to take any paid maternity leave time,” said Leila Parks, a third year teacher and expectant mother. “I hope that the city will apply its new maternity leave policy to include early career teachers as well.”

“Special education inclusion, done well, is a priority for us,” explained Nicole Mullen, a Boston Public Schools teacher and BTU negotiating team member. “We believe in inclusion, but know that for it to be successful, we need to have to full staffing and the right supports in place. That’s what we’re fighting for.” 

The current Boston Public Schools contract proposal would harm our most vulnerable students in Inclusion classes, would maintain high class size maxima in kindergarten and schools that have the highest needs, and would fail to provide paid parental leave (currently provided to all non-unionized city employees) for our early-career teachers.

“We’ve been negotiating for 14 months, and we’ve met 32 times in negotiations, for over 200 hours, but we have had no success,” said Melanie Allen, a Boston Public Schools parent, teacher, and BTU negotiating team member. “We have little doubt that, were the BTU a workforce that was 76% male, we’d have settled the contract by now.”

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