- Schools that are FULLY FUNDED
- Schools that are FULLY STAFFED
- Educators who are FULLY RESPECTED
- A district that is FULLY EQUITABLE
These are the non-negotiable values our union will fight for every single day.
Brookline educators are springing into action on three key issues
Settle a Fair Contract for Paraeducators
- End the exploitation of paraeducators and pay them a living wage; one job should be enough for these skilled and valuable educators.
- Provide fair access to benefits, supplemental pay for substituting duties and better professional training.
- Create a Building Support Professional role to foster a positive culture and climate in schools.
Fair Working Conditions for All K-8 World Language Teachers
- The School committee must bargain fair scheduling and workload conditions for all educators, including all of the world language teachers who currently have unfair demands imposed on them.
- The district must stop targeting our most racially and ethnically diverse cohort of educators with demoralizing working conditions, undermining our efforts to make Brookline schools more diverse.
- The School Committee and school administration must respect the terms and spirit of the contracts it settles with union educators – our working conditions are the students’ learning conditions.
Transparent and fair use of federal ARPA funds for educators
- Brookline received more than $8 million from the federal government to address the impact of the pandemic on our community.
- The town is using some of those funds to pay bonuses to public employees who worked during the pandemic, and while all educators are eligible for such payments, they are not receiving them.
- The town is sending an insulting and demoralizing message to educators by not providing a bonus to every Brookline educator who quickly adapted to support students throughout the height of the pandemic.
Last year, the BEU, with the support of the community, won a major contract battle to move our district forward. We cannot allow old, bad habits to sink in again.
- Brookline residents want high-quality public schools.
- The planning and budgeting necessary to maintain the schools require LEADERSHIP by those entrusted to provide students with the quality of education our community wants.
- The educators who continually prove their ability to support, nurture and guide students through their academic and extracurricular endeavors deserve to be treated as PROFESSIONALS and with RESPECT.
What the BEU wants for Brookline:
- Fully staffed schools that make safety a priority.
- The district to stop the practice of issuing lay-off notices at the end of every school year. We keep losing good, young educators to this cruel and unnecessary budget tactic.
- A school budget that is regarded as a values statement and not as a political lever.
Following over eight and a half hours of bargaining through the night, the Brookline School Committee failed to address the issues necessary to reach a contract agreement with the Brookline Educators Union, forcing educators to strike beginning Monday.
Throughout bargaining Saturday night into early Sunday morning, the Brookline School Committee refused educators’ need for:
- Guaranteed daily duty free prep time
- Guaranteed time for colleagues to collaborate weekly
- Substantive action on attracting and retaining educators of color
The School Committee also would not present any proposals on the record. In addition, the BEU has agreed to a financial package that acknowledges the town’s fiscal mismanagement while standing firm that educators will not allow their wages to further erode.
The BEU has greatly pared down its list of original proposals to bare essentials. The BEU has made financial proposals that give the town tremendous flexibility to plan and prepare. The BEU has asked the superintendent to go beyond existing practices and consider using existing laws and policies to attract and retain educators of color and to commit to creating a report on the district’s workforce in regards to racial diversity and inclusion.
The School Committee is hiding behind a questionable interpretation of the Open Meeting Law to avoid bargaining that could prevent a strike.
Brookline educators can no longer tolerate the School Committee’s dismissive attitude toward educators or its willingness to dismantle the quality of our schools.
We remain open to negotiating with the School Committee throughout Sunday and beyond, to resolve a fair contract that preserves the working and learning conditions that our students and educators deserve.
Brookline has long been known for its progressive values, quality of life, and engaged citizenry. Today, an increasing number of Brookline residents are calling on the town’s governance bodies and departments to identify and eliminate the structural barriers to participation in Brookline civic life that keep our community from becoming more racially and economically diverse. Such barriers limit access to resources, leave bias unaddressed, and allow the growing wealth gap within our school communities to widen. The Brookline Educators Union is trying to eliminate some of these barriers through the collective bargaining process. We are attempting to stabilize and increase the racial and ethnic diversity of the school staff at every school and all job categories to better and more sustainably meet the needs of all of our students, paying particular attention to the needs of our students of color.
In order to reach this goal, the BEU is calling for a contract between the BEU and the School Committee with provisions that will:
- Attract and retain teachers from under-represented groups by endeavoring to award Professional Teacher Status (PTS), as early as allowed by law: when first hired or after their first year. PTS confers due process rights and such protections make it easier to speak out and exercise leadership. In addition, require that the central office administrators meet with these new teachers regularly to ensure that they are welcomed and supported. Brookline regularly recruits highly effective educators from other districts, who give up PTS in order to join our district. This proposal does not force the Superintendent to award PTS early and would not add additional money to the budget.
- Hire individuals from the Brookline and Boston neighborhoods of our under-represented students into much needed job categories of paraprofessionals — building, lunch and recess monitors and building aides with a dignified, living wage. This will help address the problem of over-scheduling and under-staffing, opening up needed time for teachers and specialists to prep and meet with students and one another, and limit the pulling of paras from their assigned students to cover these duties.
- Pay all educators enough to give a more diverse staff the capacity to gain and maintain a foothold in the middle class if they make a career in the Public Schools of Brookline. The BEU is asking for a 9% cost of living increase over 3 years.
Hiring and retaining the diverse staff our schools depend on requires funding staffing and scheduling that demonstrates respect for the dignity of teaching. Unfortunately the school district has moved in the opposite direction; rejecting our proposals and threatening to impose a contract on educators that would increase the length of the K8 school day for no pay, weaken the right to uphold the contract through grievances, and limit exercise of autonomy by teachers. That stance is damaging morale and making the district less attractive to talented educators.
This community has always stood with its educators and we hope you will join us now in our call for a contract that will attract and retain a more racially and ethnically diverse staff to meet the needs of all our students.
COMMUNITY MEMBERS–PLEASE SUPPORT EDUCATORS BY SIGNING THIS PETITION: