Hello AEA Members,
Every year I come back to the classroom after our break, I look forward to getting to know new students and colleagues, seeing old friends, and improving my craft. This year is especially exciting as I take on a new role as your president. When we come together as a union, we come together as the strongest and most effective political instrument to protect and improve the public schools our students and communities deserve. I look forward to working with you as we revitalize the AEA as a space of democratic participation and collective action.
Here are four ways we can start this transformation:
- We will continue our activism to fix the foundation budget formula and push the electeds to pass the Promise and Cherish Acts with no new strings attached. Although they have yet to fully commit to this legislation, they took one step closer by increasing education funding in the budget this coming year; Andover Public Schools will receive an additional $1,072,629. Andover also will receive $49,884 in unrestricted government aid, which can be used at the town’s discretion. Make no mistake, this is a result of your rallying on May 16th, lobbying at the State House, and calling your representatives! So where should this additional educational funding go? We acquired it, shouldn’t we — the experts — determine where it can best be spent?
- We are troubled by the many inconsistencies around the implementation of additional instructional work time at the Elementary Schools. The Association has demanded that the School Committee bargain over this issue, but the committee rejected our demand. If necessary, we will file an unfair labor practice charge to bring them to the table, and a grievance to protect our members’ working conditions.
- This year, we will be sending out traditional surveys and also speaking with members face-to-face in order to develop our bargaining platform. It is my intention to fully include membership in bargaining at every step of the process.
- We are holding an AEA General Meeting on Monday, August 26. It is important that you attend and participate. We have important information to share.
As we begin the school year, let us together reflect upon how we can utilize our association’s power, and collectively act to protect and nurture the things we are passionate about in public education.
-Matthew J. Bach
Organize to Democratize
Above: AEA members and other MTA activists from across the Commonwealth demand that the governor fully fund our schools this summer on Red for Ed Thursdays.