E Bulletin #7 2010-11


Good morning. Today is Primary Day. Please remember to vote and check out the BTU-endorsed candidates. And it's not too late to volunteer. See requests in "Election News," below.

Contract Reminders and Updates

First paycheck for all is this Friday. The salary schedule that was in effect last June is in effect this year, subject to our ongoing negotiations. Normal lane changes, salary step increases, career awards continue in full force pending negotiations. As part of our collective bargaining package, we are seeking a general salary adjustment effective 9/1/10.

Those teachers in Turnaround Schools will receive either 1/22 or 1/26 of $4100 for their extended hours in their first paycheck. 'Teachers' are defined as: Teachers (excluding ISP's, ETF's), Guidance Counselors, Nurses, Clinical Coordinators, and Student Support Coordinators. No other 'teacher' gets paid unless specifically told to work the overtime. Paras DO NOT have to work any extended time, but if asked, they must do the work and they will get paid for all time worked at their regular hourly rate.

The aforementioned rules (and 'short' teacher salary @ $21.50 per hour) resulted from the state-imposed Turnaround Process approved by our legislature. The BTU did not agree to the above.

ETF Grievance: Loss of Clerks
ETFs: If you have lost a clerk either full time or part time. please notify Patrick Connolly at pconnolly@btu.org  in order to be included in the grievance. Please include name, ID#, school, and change in clerk's schedule (e.g. from 1.0 to .4 fte). Please note if you are a Citywide ETF.

Coaches' Retirement Rate Change
Coaches: Recent legislation has mandated a change in Retirement Deductions. Teacher salary deductions will remain the same as now. The deduction for the coaching position could have a different rate (5%,7%,7+2%,etc) based on your membership date for the coaching position. Contact Patrick Connolly with questions.

Memo to all: Save your pay stubs and check your salary by scrolling to the salary in effect in the time period from 02/01/10 - 08/31/10.

Memo to beginning teachers: Make sure your salary is what you were promised. Check your salary rate against the proper salary.

Election News

Hassan Williams, Candidate for State Senator and BTU Member and Endorsed Candidate needs volunteers

The Hassan Williams campaign asks teachers to contact Arthur Williams directly it they are interested in working the polls on election day. Members should call or email Arthur with times they are available on election day.  The campaign needs as many retired teachers as possible for the earlier times. Arthur's cell phone is 857-492-6997.

Volunteers Needed for BTU Endorsed Candidate Mike McGee

Please sign up to volunteer for BTU-endorsed candidate Mike McGee on election day

    * 7am-10am: Visibility at designated polling location.
    * 5pm-7:30pm: Visibility at designated polling location.
    * 8pm: MEET FOR FINAL RALLY & VICTORY PARTY, Thos J. Fitzgerald Post

The Committee To Elect Mike McGee
343 West Broadway Boston, MA 02127

Education in the News

The Debate Over Evaluating Teacher Performance

The question of how to properly and effectively evaluate teaching performance is picking up steam. Here are a few good pieces on the 'value-added method':

"A Big Margin for Error" by Diane Ravitch: "...this methodology produces error rates of 25 percent based on three years of student scores; with fewer years, the error rate is even higher. Using it, many good teachers will wrongly be identified as "ineffective," and many less successful teachers will wrongly be labeled "effective." "

"More Harm Than Good" by Jesse Rothstein: "... teacher evaluation is not as simple as many reformers assume, and "value-added" assessments are, at most, a small part. Rushing ahead with an experimental approach is likely to do more harm than good."

And a summary piece on the same topic: "When Does Holding Teachers Accountable Go Too Far?"

Visit the new page on  the BTU website: "HOT ISSUE: Improving Teacher Effectiveness" to read more about this issue which will undoubtedly be an issue in our contract negotiations with BPS this year.

Debate on Pay for an Extended Work Day

On the subject of whether teachers ought to get paid for an extended day, Channel 5's Chronicle weighs in: "Underworked Boston teachers ought to forego extra pay for extra hour's work". After all, even with the added hour, we'll have a "work day that is still under 8 hours." Read the report for yourself, and let Chronicle know how you feel.

BTU School Gets Recognition in NY Times and Christian Science Monitor

The BTU school gets a mention in a NY Times article as well as in a Christian Science Monitor article:

"Meanwhile, Boston Teachers Union School, now in its second year, has a waiting list after word about the school spread. Such schools can be a counterpoint in a national discourse that includes a lot of "teacher bashing [and the idea that] there has to be a lot of money incentive for teachers to teach well," says co-lead teacher Berta Rosa Berriz.

"We're a union school," she says, "and it does not get in the way of having an excellent school."

Vote for Best Education Book of the Decade:

Most are Pro-Charter, Pro-Voucher, Pro-High Stakes Testing
Support Diane Ravitch & Debbie Meier

See here to vote for best education book of the decade. Diane Ravitch gave Diane Ravitch photoan inspiring speech to the BTU last year, and her book is a great read. Debbie Meier, too, has Boston roots, opening a pilot school here, Mission Elementary. And while we are rooting for those with home town roots ,Alfie Kohn also spoke to our membership a few years back. In any event, these folks have written  excellent books, and have each come to the BTU to speak. Let's give them a vote.

Snowden Filmmaker Readies Education Documentary

Snowden teacher Robert Lamothe is working on a documentary film detailing many of the important educational issues of today. He has released a trailer in anticipation of a fall release of his documentary.

The BTU Has A New Face Online

Please visit www.btu.org to explore our redesigned website. Our new site has a fresh look and we think you will find it easier to move around and locate the critical information you need. Check out our new Facebook page.

Our e-bulletins will now be released on Tuesday mornings instead of Mondays. You can sign up for our e-bulletin here. Those who sign up are joining a protected list, which will be used for the purpose of sending these e-bulletins only. The list will not be used for any other purpose.

Events and Activities

NU Seminar on Public Sector Unions

The Northeastern University School of Public Policy & Urban Affairs is offering a series of public policy seminars this fall, including one with BTU President Richard Stutman and City Council President Michael Ross on "The Role of Public Sector Unions." That seminar will be held on Wednesday, September 22, at 6 PM and is hosted by Governor Michael S. Dukakis. To attend, please sign up here. For directions, see here. For a full list of seminars, see here.

Welcome Back Party to Aid Cancer Drive, September 24

Save the Date: Welcome Back Party, September 24, 3-8 PM, BTU Hall. Proceeds to go to Cancer Drive. Also check out the following new web page for the Making Strides Walk. You can sign up for one of our teams or make a donation at this page. The date of the walk is October 3, 2010.

Looking for Candlepin Bowlers!

bowlingWant to have some fun and a little exercise? The School Employee's Bowling League starts on Monday, September 13, 2010 at Boston Bowl on Morrissey Blvd. in Dorchester at 3:45 PM. There are cash prizes and a bowlingbowling banquet in May. Please plan to join us! All levels of bowlers are welcome. Arrangements have been made for our league members and their adult friends and family to attend a free bowling party. Included in this free fun filled party are bowling, use of rental shoes, and pizza. Contact Sandy at scarle12@aol.com or Judy at 781-961-5450.

BTU Members to Witness Shaq Attack

The BTU has been able to obtain some tickets to the Celtics.  125 tickets for the January 21 game against Utah and 124 tickets against Charlotte on 3/25.  The tickets are $48.00 in section 310 and 311. The January 21 tickets must be sold or returned by 12/31. The March tickets must be sold by 3/4 2011. Send check or money order to the BTU, c/o Pat O'Donnell. Please make the checks or M.O. out to Boston Teachers Union. Go Celts.


Richard Stutman
Boston Teachers Union