Hello AEA Members,
The General Meeting this week on Thursday, October 10th– 3:50-5:00 PM at West Middle School Auditorium will be a terrific opportunity to see and hear from each other, across all levels and all units, and as one democratic body. When we come together as an assembly to act democratically and collectively, we behold with our senses the professionalism, high quality, and shared vision for the common good in all our colleagues. We can see first-hand there is power in a union. Here is a link for building reps- or any active member- to sign up folks in your building. We will be conducting essential financial business and kicking off our contract platform and campaign.
Speaking of coming together with collective agency, the Elementary School level three grievance on the additional 30 minutes of instructional work time was standing room only. Despite the administration scheduling grievances on Fridays at 4:00 PM, educators from West Elementary, Bancroft, Sanborn, South School, and the High School offered powerful testimony to the School Committee regarding the Elementary dismissal process, the burden of the additional time on students, families, and educators, and the original intent of the negotiating team when the agreement was signed. No matter what happens next, I was proud to be among these members who confronted a working condition injustice, and showed that we are on the way to building a different union based on a foundation of member vitality.
Likewise, we presented a Special Education Case Management grievance last Friday and the administration would like to settle the issue. When our members are in the driver’s seat, the union ceases to be a top down-gatekeeping mechanism, and starts to provide a space for democratic engagement.
As we enter a bargaining year, we must remind ourselves that the activism of educators across the Commonwealth has resulted in Andover Public Schools receiving over $1 million in additional State funding this year, and more great things are coming. The Senate unanimously voted to enact the Student Opportunity Act (minus the most dangerous amendment) last Thursday and sent it to the House for deliberation. We will be having a phone bank after school on Friday at AHS. You can drop in and spend 5 minutes calling your representative; details (room # and times) will be announced soon.
Organize to Democratize,