Friday, January 20, 2017

MTA Update on GIC vote

More than 5,000 MTA members took the time to e-mail members of the Group Insurance Commission before its vote this morning on plan design changes affecting state and municipal employees, their dependents and retirees.

Thank you for your activism! In the end, plan design changes that take effect July 1 were provisionally approved by the commission. The changes are significant and include: increasing annual deductibles for employees and those who are not eligible for Medicare; raising office visit co-pays for Medicare members; and freezing the Tufts, Harvard and Fallon health plans so that no new subscribers could enroll in those plans starting July 1, 2017. Other important changes are described here on the GIC website.

Your e-mails caught the attention of the commissioners, however. Several of them referred directly to the important comments and questions they received from MTA members, and a proposal to hold off on voting until after an upcoming public hearing on February 1 came close to passing because of your advocacy.

This is where your continued activism comes in! Members who are available are encouraged to attend the GIC's February 1 public hearing.  It is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. on the sixth floor of the Charles F. Hurley Building, 19 Staniford St., Boston, but at the urging of the commissioners who represent the unions on the GIC, a larger room is being sought.  We'll let you know when the location is finalized.

This hearing presents an important opportunity for MTA members to speak out against these unfair cost-shifting changes because the commissioners will take a FINAL vote at their next meeting, scheduled for February 9.

We need to do all we can to defeat these unfair changes to health insurance for educators, other public employees and retirees.

Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Oppose unfair changes to GIC health insurance

Please take action right away to fight unfair changes to health insurance for educators, other public employees and retirees.

Click HERE to e-mail members of the Group Insurance Commission and urge them to oppose plan design changes that would affect state and municipal employees, their dependents and retirees.

Governor Charlie Baker’s GIC director is proposing significant cost-shifting in GIC plans starting July 1, 2017. Current law allows cities and towns to make plan design changes without collective bargaining when the GIC does so. As a result, the significant changes being proposed for adoption by the GIC would allow cities and towns to unilaterally implement additional cost-shifts in plan design.

To stop this increase in cost-shifting for ALL MTA members, both those insured by the GIC and members insured by their municipalities, we need to do all we can to defeat the proposal at the GIC – and, if not there, in the fiscal 2018 budget process now getting underway.

The MTA is strongly opposed to any attempt to further shift the cost of health care onto the backs of public employees and retirees.

The time for action is short. The next GIC meeting will occur THIS THURSDAY – January 19.

Please click HERE to send your e-mail message.

Members are also encouraged to attend the GIC meeting, which will begin at 8:30 a.m. on January 19 in the GIC offices on the fourth floor of the Charles F. Hurley Building, 19 Staniford St., Boston.

In addition, members are encouraged to attend the GIC’s annual public hearing at 12:30 p.m. on February 1, on the sixth floor at 19 Staniford St., Boston.

Thank you for taking immediate action on this urgent matter.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

New Bedford City Council OKs $8.3M project for Parker School

New Bedford City Council OKs $8.3M project for Parker School

Join the MTA at the Boston Women's March for America

Please march with us in Boston for justice, democracy and the rights of working people on Saturday, January 21. Come celebrate and pledge to protect the beautiful diversity of our students and our communities. Experience the energizing hope of thousands of people voicing their shared commitment to a better world.
 
If you would like to do so, park at MTA's Quincy Headquarters at 2 Heritage Drive and take the short walk to the MBTA Red Line to get into Boston. We will be open from 9 to 10 a.m. with coffee, treats and sign-making materials. You can also meet us in Boston near the Arlington Street T Station at the corner of Boylston and Arlington streets. Look for the MTA banner. Sign up here to let us know you'll be coming.
 
For those who cannot get to Boston, marches and related events are being held in Pittsfield and Greenfield - and of course in Washington, D.C. Please remember to post your photos on social media using the hashtag #WomensMarchMTA.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

City's Pacheco students redistricted to Keith Middle School

City's Pacheco students redistricted to Keith Middle School

New Bedford schools get favorable state report

New Bedford schools get favorable state report

Ask your senators: vote NO on Betsy DeVos

America is a country where all kids have the right to a quality public education that helps them reach their full potential. So you'd expect the next Secretary of Education - who shapes education policy and what happens in our nation's schools - to be an experienced educator, or someone who has served as an administrator or on school boards, or at the very least sent their own children to public schools.

But Betsy DeVos - President-elect Trump's nominee to serve as Secretary of Education - has zero experience serving in public schools and is not qualified for the job. In fact, her only experience with public education is the decades she's spent trying to dismantle it.

Tell your senators: We need a secretary of education who wants to improve public schools, not undermine them. Vote NO on DeVos.

As a lobbyist and political donor, Betsy DeVos has a decades-long track record of working to undermine public education and privatize our public schools, harming students in the process.
  • She favors schemes like vouchers to divert taxpayer dollars from public schools to private schools.
  • DeVos has pushed for-profit charter schools which allow corporations to profit off of taxpayers, with no real accountability.
  • In Michigan, she fought for a tax cut to benefit wealthy families, even though it would result in enormous budget cuts for public schools.
We need a secretary of education who will support and strengthen public schools, fulfilling the promise of a great public school for every student, regardless of their ZIP code. Someone who wakes up every morning dedicated to students and public education.

Betsy DeVos has said she wants to "retire public schools." Do you think she's the right person to entrust with making sure every student has access to a quality public education?

Email your senators now. Tell them to vote NO on Betsy DeVos.

Monday, January 9, 2017

2017 Bristol County Safe School Summit

MTA is partnering with the office of Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III to offer a day of continuing education, Saturday, February 11, at Bristol Community College.
This event is free and open to all. Target Audience: Teachers, education support professionals, principals, school adjustment counselors, school resource and law enforcement officers, school nurses, superintendents, deans and community partners.

Topics include:
·         Creating a Trauma-Sensitive Classroom Management Program (Elementary)
·         Recalibrating School Discipline and Student Support
·         Fostering Resilience
·         Providing Restorative and Accountable Behavior Supports and Interventions in Middle and High Schools
·         Building a Suicide Safer School District
The MTA supports and promotes Safe Schools Summits in Massachusetts with assistance from a three-year NEA Great Public Schools grant.

For more information and to register online: http://www.cvent.com/d/wvqt50

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

NBEA ANNUAL WINTER COAT DRIVE

NEW BEDFORD EDUCATORS ASSOCIATION PARTNERS
WITH FIRST CITIZENS' FEDERAL CREDIT UNION
FOR ANNUAL WINTER COAT DRIVE

The New Bedford Educators Association has partnered with sponsor First Citizens' Federal Credit Union for its annual Winter Coat Drive. The NBEA's School Nurse members organize the coat drive annually for students in need throughout New Bedford. Winter coats, hats, mittens, and gloves for students will be collected at each New Bedford public school through the main office.

First Citizens', who donated $1,000 in support of the Winter Coat Drive, will also have baskets available for drop-off at their three New Bedford branch locations through January 20.
 
"The New Bedford Educators Association is pleased to once again organize this coat drive and offer the warm items we collect to students in need across New Bedford," said NBEA President Lou St. John. "We are grateful to First Citizens', who generously agreed to sponsor our Winter Coat Drive, and to our School Nurses, who work each year to collect donations of warm winter clothes for our children."
 
Local First Citizens' branches with collection spaces include:
-        570 North Front Street
New Bedford, MA 02745
-        271 Union Street
New Bedford, MA 02740
-        1341 Cove Road
New Bedford, MA 02744

The Coat Drive runs through January 20, 2017.

Barnes & Noble Educator Appreciation Facebook Invite

https://www.facebook.com/events/1596602193690434/