I hope you’re all well as you receive this message. It has been a crazy week and there continue to be issues all over the district. Please know that I am doing everything I can to help as many as possible. My mission is to fight for every single one of you and make sure that all of your rights are being respected.
Members of the HTA,
We have a lot going on in our district. Recently, many of you have taken me up on my offer to email me with concerns/issues. I am pleased with the response so far. I, along with the Executive Board, have been looking to resolve any issues we come across.
Recently, I began implementation of a new initiative that I hope will help to put us all on the same page. The goal is to meet with one school per week. This is meant to be an informal discussion about any pressing matters that YOU, the members, wish to discuss.
I met with Morgan teachers last week and I met with Dean teachers this week. Between the emails and the issues raised at these meetings, it is clear that much work is needed. Feel free to continue emailing and reaching out.
We are in the early stages of planning a New Members’ social and it’d be great to have some of our veteran teachers assist in putting this together. Also, if you have ideas you’d like to share about things you’d like to see, do not hesitate. This is OUR union. None of us stand alone.
Some important upcoming dates:
Tuesday, Sep. 23 – Meeting with Kelly teachers @ 3:15 (please pass this along)
Thursday, Oct. 2 – Forum at Westfield State University featuring Pasi Sahlberg @ 6:30
- Tuesday, Oct. 7 – Board Meeting @ 3:30
Members of the HTA,
As stated in previous messages, my aim is to send out the President’s Message once a week and my preference would be Thursday of every week. Please email if you have thoughts or suggestions on the matter.
I want to take a moment to welcome the new teachers to our city and for those of you who’ve been around, thank you for your continued service. Sometimes, we feel beaten down and unappreciated, yet we endure.
How do I know that you’re all amazing teachers? You wake up every single day, come to work and bring every ounce of energy you can muster to teach our children. That is amazing! Please remember that we are all one team and we need to not only be able to talk to one another, but we need to stand together.
Now, on to more pressing matters specific to the HTA.
1. Part of the plan for this Executive Board is to start visiting schools every week. The first will be Morgan School on Wednesday, September 10 at 3:45 p.m.. I will post the schedule for the coming months in next week’s President’s Message.
2. Several bylaw change proposals:
· Retirees can retain membership, while limited, if they pay a nominal fee/dues.
· Members who resign retain no membership rights effective on their resignation date.
· Teachers/members involved in fighting dismissal/unjust termination will retain membership in good standing.
3. Some dates to keep in mind:
· Board Meeting, September 9th
· MTA Forum: September 15th @ HCC Kittredge Center (more details to follow)
4. We are in the middle of contract negotiations. We will be updating you very soon on everything that has transpired thus far. The “Bottom Line”, a message from the negotiations team will be published very soon. There is lots to discuss, so please be on the lookout for this message, as well as your monthly “Common Purpose” newsletter.
I’d like to conclude with what would have been the closing to my convocation address:
No matter what anyone says, OUR students are awesome. No matter what anyone says, OUR city is awesome. No matter what anyone says, OUR teachers are awesome. Hold your heads up high. Walk with confidence. You’re a Holyoke Teacher. Be proud.
As always, feel free to contact me with any union-related concerns. Also, for the most recent updates see:
Members of the HTA,
As your new President, I wish my first message to address some issues that have been at the forefront of everyone’s minds lately. First and foremost, let me say that it is my distinct pleasure to serve as your president. Each and every one of the Executive Board members and myself made a promise to you that we would do our best to serve you and to make OUR union strong again.
We have many issues to tackle and it is a long road ahead of us, but I promise to tackle these issues to the best of my ability with your best interests at heart. I know there are a lot of members with issues surrounding their union in the last few years. I know there are a lot of you who remain disheartened about being a teacher in Holyoke. I know there are a lot of you who face friends and family that have sympathetic looks on their face when you say that you’re a teacher. I promise to work toward better days and to make all efforts that we might bring reverence to our profession. We all want the same thing. We want to do what’s best for the students of Holyoke. We want to do what’s best for the teachers of Holyoke. We want to work together with administration to make Holyoke schools the pride of Holyoke as they once were.
I endeavor to do everything in my power so that TOGETHER WE CAN make being a teacher a great source of pride in our great city. I promise that I, along with Executive Board members, will work tirelessly to make sure that teachers’ assignments are all equitable and that the word equity is a forethought in the decision-making process. I will WORK WITH YOU so that TOGETHER we can create better working conditions and see that our lives are not consumed by grievances and legal battles. TOGETHER WE WILL seek a new direction where administration and teachers work hard together for our students in an open and public discourse where everyone can weigh in on what matters most. It is my strong belief that we, the teachers that spend day in and day out with the students of Holyoke, be directly involved in shaping any policy that affects ALL of us.
I desire a future for Holyoke in which students receive a well-rounded education rivaling any other and for teachers to be able to walk in the community with their heads held high. I am confident that YOU want the same. I am YOUR President. YOUR votes put me here. This is YOUR Presidency. I thank all of you for YOUR support and ask that WE STAND TOGETHER as we travel this road.