Congratulations and Solidarity with all the new and veteran cultural workers of United Auto Workers Local 2110!
November 20, 2020
>Friday’s results come as part of a broader national push among cultural workers to organize. In August, employees at the Philadelphia Museum of Art voted overwhelming to join a union, and similar efforts are underway at the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, the Milwaukee Art Museum, and Maine’s Portland Museum of Art.
Of the votes counted, approximately 90% voted yes for our MFA Union. We are ecstatic and so incredibly grateful for all of the support we’ve received through this process. To our colleagues near and far - THANK YOU! ... See MoreSee Less
“While we absolutely want to see our students back in person as soon as possible, too, they’re just saying ‘open the schools,’” said BTU President Jessica Tang. “Where’s our testing for students? Where’s our testing for teachers? Where’s the funding to provide air purifiers and personal protective equipment?” ... See MoreSee Less
André François, President of USW Local 8751, speaking at emergency Standout and press conference in solidarity with Everett, MA City Councilor Gerly Adrian, the first Black person and top vote getter on the council who has been under attack by other racist councilors since her inauguration in January. ... See MoreSee Less
Brookline teachers to strike on Tuesday in dispute over classroom virus safety measures
By James Vaznis Globe Staff, Updated November 2, 2020, 1 hour ago
Image: An empty classroom at a Catholic elementary school in Brookline in August.ADAM GLANZMAN/BLOOMBERG
Brookline teachers have voted to go on strike on Tuesday, accusing school leaders of reneging on a promise to maintain six feet of social distancing in schools.
“We were shocked last week during bargaining when the committee said it would no longer agree to requiring six feet of social distancing in classrooms and other areas of our schools. Every other health and safety agreement we discussed was predicated on that six feet of social distancing,” said Jessica Wender-Shubow, president of the Brookline Educators Union, in a statement.
It is illegal under state law for public employees to strike — an action that can come with hefty fines and penalties — but Wender-Shubow said in an interview on Monday said that union members are willing to take the risk because they are worried more about their safety. About 90 percent of union members who attended a meeting Sunday night approved the strike, she said.
The action immediately raised concerns with Brookline school officials. The School Committee held an emergency meeting Monday morning and approved a motion to file a complaint with the state department of labor relations.
“It’s unfortunate there will be a strike,” said Suzanne Federspiel, the committee’s chair. “We have not reneged on six foot distancing. That is in effect now and will continue in the future. There seems to be some confusion over that.”
Related How is coronavirus affecting schools? A look at incidents in Mass. this school year Striking on Tuesday will not cause any disruption to student learning. According to the school system’s website, students have the day off because of the election, but teachers and other staffers are supposed to report to work for professional development. It’s unclear what would happen if the strike continues beyond Tuesday, said interim Superintendent James Marini.
The union and the School Committee have been engaged in negotiations for about three months over work conditions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week, the school officials sought flexibility around six feet of social distancing in the event that conditions around the pandemic improve, such as when a vaccine becomes available.
Wender-Shubow said, however, that many teachers have found that six feet of social distancing is often not occurring in schools right now. While desks may be six feet apart, it’s difficult to keep students from mingling with one another in classrooms or other areas, such as hallways.
Since the school year began on Sept. 16, Brookline has been phasing in the return of students to classrooms. Preschool and kindergarten students have been doing in person learning since the start of the academic year, while grades 1-9 returned at the end of last month in two waves. The remaining high school students are slated to come back next week.
To keep the number of students down in the schools to maintain social distancing, Brookline has split its 7,000 students into two groups. One group reports to classrooms on Mondays and Tuesdays and the other on Thursdays and Fridays. On days when students are not in classrooms, they learn remotely.
“The Brookline School Committee is taking a dangerously cavalier attitude toward health and safety of students, their families, the workers in our schools, and the community as a whole,” Wender-Shubow said. “We have an opportunity to reach an agreement that addresses the academic, social and emotional needs of students as well as the overall health and safety of this and surrounding communities. The School Committee just unwound all of the work that we have put into the process, and we urge the committee members to reach a binding agreement on health and safety based on local, national and state guidelines.” www.bostonglobe.com/2020/11/02/metro/brookline-teachers-strike-tuesday-dispute-over-classroom-vir...... See MoreSee Less
The Boston school bus drivers' union, USW Local 8751, is proud to continue our endorsement of and solidarity with Gerly Adrien, the first Everett City Councilor ever to speak our members' minds from their families' homes in Everett.
That old-guard members of the Everett City Council are insisting on meeting in-person without masks, in a city with one of the highest rates of COVID-19 in the state and in contradiction to all authoritative science and health guidelines, is as outrageously ignorant and dangerous as Donald J. Trump's super-spreader events.
Moreover, the old-guard, formerly all-white Everett City Council's actions toward Councilor Adrien have since day one of her electoral victory there - which on Jan. 6, 2020, also saw the inauguration of the first Latinx and first Asian councilors in that diverse city's history - treated Councilor Adrien to a constant, despicable, daily barrage of blatant racism, disrespect, aggression and microaggressions which the Globe and other media outlets have covered in some detail.
No wonder the recording of last week's council meeting has somehow mysteriously, illegally been deleted. Like the former President of the Boston School Committee, Zoom, in fact, has been a handy technology to record and expose the bare-faced racists who've mis-represented the people for far too long in this greater-Selma of the North. Those responsible should be charged and resign immediately.
Power to Gerly Adrien and the multi-national workers of Everett whom she so wonderfully and eloquently represents!
Gerly Adrien, who is attending city council meetings over Zoom due to concerns about the coronavirus, was told by fellow city councilors that if she is not willing to attend council meetings in person...