Unit B MOA on Covid-19 School Closing

Dear Unit B Members

I want to update you as to the status of our talks with the District about the closing of schools in New Bedford due to Coronavirus.

The NBEA received word from the District on Sunday, March 15 that Governor Baker had ordered that all schools in the state be closed until April 7. Immediately, I sent a request to bargain any and all changes to working conditions, to the Superintendent. His office and myself began to work on this language at once.

The NBEA’s first goal was to ensure that all educators will continue to receive their full salary and benefits from the District. To this end, the the NBEA has now secured a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to the Contract to ensure this in writing.

The MOA was negotiated by the President of the NBEA with the assistance of First Vice-President Fred Pearson, Vice President of Unit A Chuck Lapre and Vice President of Unit B Jeff Longo. NBEA also consulted with MTA for direction and advisement.

The negotiated MOA was sent to the NBEA Executive Board for review and approval this morning. Do to the inability to hold an emergency meeting in person, the Board was given until 1PM to vote by e-mail. The Board voted unanimously to approve the MOA. A ratification vote was not possible, due to the unforeseen need for this measure, the lack of time, and most importantly, the inability to have a meeting of the membership both for logistical and health concerns. Because of this the NBEA Executive Board voted unanimously to approve the signing of the MOA without ratification.

The MOA states:

  1. Effective March 23, 2020 through April 6, 2020 all Unit B staff are expected to be available for remote work during their normally scheduled hours. Remote work may include, but is not limited to communication with District administration, planning and assisting with remote instruction plans, communication to families/students, data analysis, providing remote instruction/remote instruction assistance, scheduling, professional development, and other activities related to the Unit B job descriptions.
  2. All staff are expected to check their email frequently, throughout the workday, and respond to/acknowledge emails in a timely manner.
  3. All Unit B staff that work remotely will be entitled to their salary including ELT stipends. No Additional hours or stipend payments connected to clubs and/or spring athletics will be paid.
  4. Those serving as mentors will continue their mentoring activities and receive their mentoring stipends as scheduled.
  5. This agreement shall sunset at the close of business on April 6, 2020 unless an extended closure of schools is required. If an extended school closure is required, the District and the Association will meet to discuss the terms of that extended leave.

The full MOA is available on the NBEA website. Additionally you can find the FAQ that is attached here on the NBEA website as well, the FAQ was written for Unit A but applies to Unit B as well.

The NBEA office is closed during this time of school closures in New Bedford. However, I will still be working remotely to support any members concerns on this or any other matter.
Please address questions to nbeducators@yahoo.com and I will try to answer them in as timely a manner as possible.

In Solidarity,

Christopher Garcia


NBEA Summer Office Hours 2020

June 27, 2020 thru July 14, 2020 – Office Closed

         OFFICE OPEN WEDNESDAY’S ONLY   8:30 a.m. – 12:00 a.m.

         7/15, 7/22, 7/29, 8/5, 8/12 and 8/19

         The week of August 24th thru August 28th the OFFICE IS OPEN 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Starting Monday, August 31, 2020 the office will return to normal business hours: 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Message from Merrie Najimy and Max Page regarding Alma del Mar Charter School expansion


MTA members in New Bedford need your help as they fight a charter school expansion plan that will not only harm the city’s public school students, but also set a dangerous precedent statewide.

Please send a message to your legislators right away asking them to oppose HD. 4174, An Act Relative to the Operation of Charter Schools in the City of New Bedford. This bill is the result of a coercive deal brokered by state Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley.

The bill would force New Bedford to hand over a publicly owned school building and the land it sits on for $0 to a privately run charter school, Alma del Mar. The bill also allows Alma del Mar to automatically draw its students from a newly created neighborhood zone – forcing all students from that zone to attend unless they opt out – rather than using a lottery to enroll students who opt in. If this charter expansion model moves ahead, New Bedford must pay the charter school for the full allotment of seats, not just for the actual number of students enrolled. Secretary of Education Jim Peyser and other proponents of privatization schemes are eager to make this “neighborhood” charter school a model to be used in communities across the state.

If the charter school does not get what it wants, the state will grant Alma del Mar an even larger expansion. New Bedford already loses $14 million to charter schools, and any charter school expansion in the city is unacceptable.

The New Bedford Educators Association and the MTA are part of the New Bedford Coalition to Save Our Schools. The coalition has been leading the fight against Alma del Mar and Riley’s intention to defy the will of the voters who, in both New Bedford and across the state, overwhelmingly rejected a 2016 ballot initiative that sought to allow a drastic increase in charter schools.

Please support your colleagues, the coalition, the New Bedford Public Schools and all students by contacting your legislators today.

In solidarity,

Merrie and Max

New Bedford charter school plan on the ropes – CommonWealth Magazine

A PLAN TOUTED by state education leaders as a breakthrough compromise aimed at healing the rift between district and charter schools has instead inflamed passions on Beacon Hill where the proposal is faltering and has reignited one of the state’s most enduring education battles. The plan would put in place a novel structure for a(…)

Source: New Bedford charter school plan on the ropes – CommonWealth Magazine