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MTA Bargaining Summit

The clear message from MTA's Feb. 7 Collective Bargaining Summit was, "Organizing, bargaining and working to build stronger unions are the pathways to better public schools for students, their families and educators."
Attending the daylong Saturday session was AEA Vice-president Kiera Chetlen (Coelho Middle School), AEA Building Rep and Asst. Treasurer Marie Bagarella, AEA Building Rep and BCEA representative Kyra Knox (Wamsutta Middle School), retired AEA member and LPAT Coordinator Jim Hawkins, and AEA President Adeline Bee (Attleboro High School).
"Educators in Massachusetts need to do a better job of making alliances and sharing the wonderful stories of our students' achievements. I strongly believe that most people in any community have faith in their local teachers. There are just too many successful students at all levels to suggest otherwise," said Bee.
One of the focus points of this workshop asked educators to consider specific questions: " What kind of schools do children deserve? What kind of teachers do children deserve? and What kind of profession do teachers deserve?"  
Bee continued, "We need to ask these questions of each other, of parents, and of community members, and then listen."
Featured speakers and activists from educator unions in Chicago, St. Paul, Minn., and Portland, Oregon discussed internal organizing, strategies to bargain the "big issues," (class sizes and standardized testing - two items both educators and parents are concerned about) and how to garner a coalition of support from community members, parents and students.
"What I took away after hearing the stories of the keynote speakers and other professionals attending was that we are not alone in our struggle. And, that with a little work and initiative we can build a stronger Union to represent not only our members, but also our students, " added Kyra Knox. "Furthermore, I heard how important it is to involve the parents and the community. By opening our ears, and not our mouths, to hear what is important to them and their families, we can build the relationships needed to get them to want to be invested in their schools, as well. With their support, we can work together to give our children the teachers and the education they deserve."

MTA President Barbara Madeloni told those gathered, "We are taking our first steps in reclaiming public education here in Massachusetts and nationally.”




PLEASE consider attending School Committee meetings. You do not have to say or do anything - bring a book, bring your grading. We just need to make our presence known.


If you have a new phone number (preferably cell), new home address, new email, or new position, would you please send Pat Izzi and Adeline Bee this information so they can also update their files? We only send out AEA information to home emails and since we are beginning the new year without a contract, it is imperative that the AEA can contact you with the latest information.
Thank you and have a great school year.

Everyone who remembers his own education remembers teachers, not methods and techniques.
The teacher is the heart of the educational system.

                                                                                                                         - Sidney Hook, American philosopher and writer

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