Monday, August 8, 2016

Labor and Community Cookout

REMINDER: Please RSVP by August 20thfor the Labor and Community Cookout

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters,


We look forward to socializing with you while eating hamburgers and hotdogs (courtesy of UFCW Local 328) as we enjoy a DJ at our Labor and Community Cookout the week before Labor Day! 

Bring your own alcoholic beverages and your family, including your children and grandchildren. Soda and other drinks will be provided.

We will have a bouncy house, face painting, and potato sack races for kids, as well outdoor activities such as horseshoes and beanbag toss game for adults.

Please post the attach flier at your union hall, community space or office and announce them at your upcoming meetings. 

Go here to spread the word via the facebook event page.

Please RSVP by August 20th by sending an email to kwilson@umassd.edu or calling 508-910-7106 
with the number of people coming from your union or community group so we will know how much food to bring. 

Let us know if you are available to come an hour early to help us set up and/or help us clean up at the end of the event.

Labor and Community Cookout, Saturday, August 27, 11am-4pm 
Holy Ghost Club, 104 Allens Neck Rd., South Dartmouth, MA 02748

We hope to see you at the Cookout!

Sincerely, 
Cindy Rodrigues                                                   Kimberly Wilson
President,                                                              Director,
Greater Southeastern Mass. Labor Council

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Budget Veto Overrides

Effective advocacy by MTA members was crucial to successfully overriding vetoes made by Governor Charlie Baker to key portions of the fiscal 2017 state budget.

 

Baker’s $412 million in vetoes sought deep cuts to funding in all sectors of public education and placed unfair burdens on public employees. These changes would have had serious repercussions for MTA members.

 

Instead, after members sent thousands of e-mails advocating for such action, legislators overrode numerous vetoes. The overrides:

 

·         Protected state employees from increases in Group Insurance Commission premium contributions. Baker cut funding by $30 million and allowed for employee premium contribution increases that would have placed an unfair burden on public employees.

 

·         Preserved a moratorium on premium split increases for certain municipal retirees and ensured that cities and towns would not be able to balance their budgets on the backs of retirees.

 

·         Restored $3.7 million in funding for the Special Education Circuit Breaker.

 

·         Restored $2.4 million in state university incentive grants.

 

·         Restored $750,000 in community college workforce grants.

 

·         Blocked a deferred compensation proposal by Baker that would have eroded collective bargaining and unfairly punished all employees for the highly publicized payouts received by some high-level managers. 

 

Let’s continue to do our part in protecting the quality of public education and the rights of public employees. Please urge your legislators to ask for swift passage of language and funding included in House 4517, which will finalize the collective bargaining process for the Massachusetts Community College Council Day Unit. Click here to contact your legislators now.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

You are more than a score: Ditch DDMs!

Our students are more than their test scores, and so are you! We can ditch DDMs - but we need your action now.

Go HERE to ask your legislators to get rid of the burdensome and harmful "student impact rating" mandate to judge educators based on MCAS scores and "District-Determined Measures."

Our goal is to get 5,000 e-mails sent to Beacon Hill in the next 10 days. That's a lot. But we can do it if everyone reading this message sends a message now and then forwards the e-mail to five friends, asking them to do the same. Also, please post messages on social media using the hashtag #DitchDDMs - and talk up the effort at end-of-year meetings and events.

Don't wait. We have two short weeks to persuade the House-Senate budget conference committee to back the Senate plan to get rid of the DDM mandate, hated by evaluators and those being evaluated alike.

In addition, be sure to check out The Boston Globe on Thursday for our ad on this issue. And if you live anywhere near Malden, please mark your calendar for a Board of Elementary and Secondary Education meeting on DDMs. The meeting will be held at 75 Pleasant Street, Malden, beginning at 5 p.m. on June 27.  Details will follow next week.

SEI Endorsement and RETELL Advisory No. 15



No-Cost SEI Endorsement Courses

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is planning to provide a limited number of no-cost courses during the 2016-2017 school year to accommodate approximately 3,000 educators who, during the 2015-2016 school year, were eligible to enroll in a no-cost SEI Endorsement course and:
·         Enrolled in a course that was subsequently canceled by the department.
·         Added themselves to a wait-list but did not take a course because no seats became available, or
·         Applied for and were granted a hardship extension by the department, or
·         Received an ELL student for the first time during the 2015-2016 school year but did not have adequate time to enroll in a course.


DESE Notification to Eligible Educators Based on EPIMS and SIMS DATA 

The DESE is currently communicating with educators who, based on EPIMS and SIMS data, are eligible for a no-cost course because they registered for a course that was canceled or wait-listed and didn’t get a seat. These eligible educators are being notified that they will receive a link to the registration system on July 15.  

If you receive a notification and believe the information is incorrect because you did not work as a core academic teacher of an ELL student, please follow the instructions contained in the notification.

·         Registration for fall and spring 2016-2017 opens on Monday, July 18, at 9 a.m.  
·         Fall registration closes on Friday, Sept. 9, at 5 p.m.
·         Spring registration will remain open until mid-January.


What If You Were NOT Included in the EPIMS and SIMS Data? 

Because EPIMS and SIMS data are not updated frequently, there are educators who registered for a course that was canceled or wait-listed and didn’t get a seat. The DESE is notifying these educators that they are eligible for a no-cost course, but the DESE does not have the data indicating they are eligible.

If you receive notification that you are eligible for a no-cost course but the DESE does not have the supporting data, you need to contact your school and district administration to request that it update the DESE roster in Dropbox so you will receive an invitation to register for a no-cost course.

If you did not register for a course but received an English language learner after September 2015, contact your school and district administration to request that it update the DESE roster in Dropbox so you will receive an invitation to register for 2016-2017.  

The deadline for districts to update the DESE roster is June 24 at 4 p.m.  


Who Is Not Eligible for a No-Cost Course?

You will not be granted an opportunity to participate in a 2016-2017 no-cost course if you:
·         Previously registered for a no-cost course and either did not attend the course or did not complete the course successfully with a score of 70% or higher.
·         Were previously assigned an ELL student during the first year(s) of the training window for your district (for Cohort 2 districts, this includes the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 school years; for Cohort 3 districts, this includes the 2014-2015 school year only) and you did not register or wait-list for a no-cost course during the training window.
·         Are not a core academic teacher or administrator who supervises or evaluates core academic teachers of ELL students.


Registration Instructions

The department will be e-mailing those in the categories above with registration instructions for 2016-2017 school year courses, including those who received an ELL student after the close of spring 2016 registration.  Read thoroughly and follow the instructions explicitly.  You will need your MEPID, a valid personal e-mail address and use your full legal name to register for a course.

If your e-mail address will change prior to July, 2016, you should immediately update your ELAR profile with a valid permanent e-mail address. The department will use the e-mail address that is listed in your ELAR as of July 11, 2016, to contact you. Update your e-mail address in ELAR prior to this date.

If you anticipate that your last name will change, enter the last name that will be accurate as of the final course date.

Enter your first name exactly as it appears on your legal identification; do not enter a nickname. As long as you have entered your MEPID and legal first name correctly during registration, you will receive the SEI Endorsement upon successful completion of an SEI Endorsement course, regardless of whether the last name you entered upon registration matches the name listed for you in ELAR or EPIMs at the time that the course ends.


Will There Be Waitlists?           

There will be no waitlists for 2016-2017. If a course is full, you will need to find another course.


Will There Be Summer Courses?

Summer courses will not be offered because the courses require educators to have access to a classroom.


Where Will the Courses Be Offered?           

The DESE is making sure that it places enough courses to accommodate everyone within a reasonable distance. The department is starting courses a little later in the day in case participants have to drive a little farther to get to class.


Will There Be Bridge Courses?

There will be no bridge courses next year. The DESE is only offering the full teacher course or the administrator course. In fact, there will be no bridge courses anywhere, including the Collaboratives, going forward.


Licensure Restrictions

No restrictions will be placed the core academic license of anyone wait-listed for a spring 2016 course who could not take the course because seats were not made available or the course was canceled by the department.

No restrictions will be placed on a Cohort 1 educator who received an ELL for the first time during the 2015-2016 school year.

If you teach in a Cohort 1 district and are assigned an ELL in September 2016, you will have one year from the date of the assignment to earn the endorsement at your own expense.

According to the DESE, no restrictions will be placed on any educator license after Sept. 1, 2016.


Other Routes to the Endorsement

Other routes include taking the SEI MTEL test or by requesting a transcript review.


For more information visit www.massteacher.org/ell
Massachusetts Teachers Association|617.878.8362|ggilardi@massteacher.org|2 Heritage Drive, Quincy, MA 02171

Friday, May 27, 2016

MTA Summer Conference being held July 31 - August 4 at University of Massachusetts Amherst

View a PDF Conference Guide

Senate Votes to Kill DDMs!

Big news!

You did it. The much-hated District-Determined Measures mandate took it on the chin in the Senate yesterday. Chalk one up for union power!!!

Thursday, the Senate approved a budget amendment saying that the DESE "shall not mandate any school district to include as part of an educator evaluation system or as a teacher performance standard the use of student performance data that is intended to measure an individual educator's impact on student learning, growth, or achievement."

Translation: If this measure becomes law, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will have to eliminate the DDM and student impact rating requirements that are currently part of the educator evaluation system.

This stupendous vote came after a wild day of hundreds of member phone calls and e-mails, persuasive lobbying by our side and a big push by local leaders and MTA staff to enlist the support of individual superintendents as well as educators in fighting this invalid, time-consuming and misleading mandate.

DDMs are down, but they are not out. Since the House did not approve a similar measure, the legislative fate of DDMs will rest with a joint House and Senate conference committee. We will be calling on you to raise your voices when we get to that step. But for now, know this: We are making headway in our pushback against the testing madness. The narrative has changed and the reality will, too.

Go here for a position paper on DDMs written jointly by staff at the MTA and AFT Massachusetts.
In other good news, the Senate passed an amendment that maintains the moratorium on increases to municipal health insurance premium splits for retirees in those communities that entered the Group Insurance Commission or implemented plan design modifications as part of 2011 municipal health insurance changes. Members taking action in coalition with other labor unions gave us this success.

Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful in stopping the Senate from passing a shortsighted amendment for a study commission on higher education costs focused primarily on employee benefits. This measure, similar to one already approved by the House, appears to blame union members for concerns about deferred compensation that stemmed from highly publicized benefits accruing to a couple of high-level administrators - administrators who were not party to any collective bargaining agreement. The commission would not be looking at the general inadequacy of state funding for public higher education, which is what its focus should be. We'll be keeping a close eye on this issue and ensuring that the union voice is heard.

Let's keep the pressure on. But first, savor the wins - and the weekend.
In solidarity, and in anticipation of many great things ahead,

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Your Voice Matters: District Determined Measures

 

mta

Dear MTA Member:

I think this much is safe to say: there is no MTA member that looks forward to implementing District Determined Measures (DDMs). Well, now is your chance to help do something about that.

Our Government Relations Division has been working hard on advocating for great investment in public education in the state budget and to get rid of DDMs.

Unfortunately, the House did not eliminate DDMs in their budget. So, the action now moves to the Senate. 

We're telling senators that the recent passage of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provides Massachusetts the opportunity to remove high-stakes testing and arbitrary scoring from teacher evaluations. We're proposing the elimination of the impact rating mandate on educator evaluations while keeping indicators of student learning as a source of evidence in the educator development and evaluation process.

Your voice matters: call your senator and the Senate President (617-722-1500) right now to advocate for education funding and let them know it's time to say good bye to DDMs. Ask all of your friends and colleagues to do the same.

Contact your Senate District Coordinator and see if you can schedule a meeting with your senator.

As time draws closer to a vote, we may be asking for more from you.

A list of the senator's phone numbers is found below. If you don't know who you senator is you can find them by clicking here.

 

Title

First Name

Last Name

Phone Number

Senator

Mike

Barrett

617-722-1572

Senator

Mike

Brady

617-722-1200

Senator

William

Brownsberger

617-722-1280

Senator

Harriette

Chandler

617-722-1544

Senator

Sonia

Chang-Diaz

617-722-1673

Senator

Cynthia 

Creem

617-722-1639

Senator

Vinny

deMacedo

617-722-1330

Senator

Sal N.

DiDomenico

617-722-1650

Senator

Kenneth J.

Donnelly

617-722-1432

Senator

Eileen

Donoghue

617-722-1630

Senator

Linda

Dorcena Forry

617-722-1150

Senator

Benjamin 

Downing

617-722-1625

Senator

James B.

Eldridge

617-722-1120

Senator

Ryan

Fattman

617-722-1420

Senator

Jennifer L.

Flanagan

617-722-1230

Senator

Anne

Gobi

617-722-1540

Senator

Donald

Humason

617-722-1415

Senator

Patricia D.

Jehlen

617-722-1578

Senator

Brian A.

Joyce

617-722-1643

Senator

John

Keenan

617-722-1494

Senator

Eric

Lesser

617-722-1291

Senator

Jason

Lewis

617-722-1206

Senator

Barbara

L'Italien

617-722-1612

Senator

Joan

Lovely

617-722-1410

Senator

Thomas M.

McGee

617-722-1350

Senator

Mark C.

Montigny

617-722-1440

Senator

Michael O.

Moore

617-722-1485

Senator

Kathleen

O'Connor Ives

617-722-1604

Senator

Marc R.

Pacheco

617-722-1551

Senator

Michael

Rodrigues

617-722-1114

Senator

Stanley

Rosenberg

617-722-1500

Senator

Richard J.

Ross

617-722-1555

Senator

Mike

Rush

617-722-1348

Senator

Karen E.

Spilka

617-722-1640

Senator

Bruce E.

Tarr

617-722-1600

Senator

James E.

Timilty

617 722-1222

Senator

James

Welch

617-722-1660

Senator

Daniel

Wolf

617-722-1570

  

Thank you!