Local News, President's Message

ARTA news

Congratulations to all the elected candidates and thank you to all who ran for this year’s elections. 

Your new Co-Presidents, Christina Smith and Nikki Ruffo, will take the position as of Monday, May 11th. We look forward to hearing from them.

The following positions have been appointed by the executive board due to the absence of candidates in the election per our by-laws:
Unit A Negotiations Team- Steve Godbout, Gina Johnston, and Aimee Selby will round out the team ( Sherry Nolan Hess and Mary Rose Steele were voted in)

Unit C negotiations Team-  Sue Baburins, Ken Macdonald, Charlotte Brillhart and Beth Mazzolla ( Diane Egizi was voted in)Unit

C- Co-chairpersons  Diane Egizi and Sue Baburins

Member at large- Brittany Burns

The members must approve the appointments- please click here to approve.   https://forms.gle/QXmgDwmyiG7Lnugc6 

Your elected and appointed 2020 ARTA  board and negotiations committee includes the following:
Co-Presidents- Christina Smith and Nikki Ruffo

Treasurer- Dan Forhan

Secretary- Mary Rose Steele

Unit C Chairpersons-Diane Egizi and Sue Baburins

Member at Large-Brittany Burns

Unit A Negotiations Team- Sherry Nolan Hess, Mary Rose Steele, Steve Godbout, Gina Johnston, and Aimee Selby

 Unit C negotiations Team- Diane Egizi, Sue Baburins, Ken Macdonald, Charlotte Brillhart, and Beth Mazzolla 
The new board will appoint a Parliamentarian and all other standing Committees in our bylaws. For a list of them go here. https://algonquinregionalteachers.files.wordpress.com/2015/07/2012-constitution.pdf

In non-election news, Greg should be reaching out to the teachers soon to explain the fiscal constraints we will be up against due to Covid-19.  Lots of things are unknown at this time but it would be unrealistic to think we won’t be impacted in some way.  We have no details at this point as a lot depends on the school committee, the town meetings, the state budget and possible federal funding.  The association will be involved in decisions regarding budgetary implications as much as possible.  I am sure the new presidents will do whatever they can to minimize the impacts on teachers, but some things will be out of their hands.  We expect that they will communicate to the membership whenever details emerge. 

And lastly to Zoom or not to Zoom- do what you are comfortable with and what works for your curriculum and your home circumstances. Switching to Google Meet might be a safer option if you feel that you and your students are up for the change, but if not don’t worry about it.  You are all doing an amazing job reaching your students and we fully support and defend your right to deliver your curriculum in the ways you are most comfortable. 

Local News

Election news!!! 1 Week away- May 4th!!!

Your vote, your voice!
If you are seeing this message for the first time. Go here now! https://wordpress.us11.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=d8a8b33bb5502f3d40f3ea441&id=d291d838b6 To ensure you get the ballot email on Monday May 4th!

And the candidates are…

Candidates for the ARTA 2020 Executive Board 

Kim Honey and Karla Reynolds- Co-President 
Christina Smith and Nikki Ruffo -Co-President

Dan Forhan- Treasurer- unopposed

Mary Rose Steele- Secretary -unopposed
Candidates for the Negotiations Teams 

Unit A Negotiations Team (5 member team) 
Sherry Nolan Hess
Mary Rose Steele

Unit C Negotiations Team ( 5 member team)
Diane Egizi

For our first online ARTA elections, we are using the voting system from electionbuddy.com.The voting email will go out Monday, May 4th, and will open at 7 am, it will close at 2 pm. Results will be posted immediately following the polls.
Here is what the email will say. “You are invited to vote in the Algonquin Regional Teachers Association ARTA 2020 Elections.The voting deadline is May 4 2020 2:00pm Eastern Time (US & Canada).We are using an online election system to tabulate our votes. You have been assigned a unique access key which can only be used to vote once, and your voting choices will remain anonymous. Do not forward this email. Do not reply to this email to vote, as your vote will not be registered.If you have election questions, feedback or want to be removed from future ballot lists, please email gina Johnston at ginalost@aol.com.”

If you have any further questions let us know! 

Good luck to all the candidates! 
Local News

2020 ARTA election time! Get your nomination papers here!

Due to COVID-19, elections this year will be electronic.  MTA is helping local organizations navigate this change, but we are still anticipating that our elections will be help on Monday, May 4th,  In accordance with the ARTA Constitution, petition papers are to be made available to those who are interested in running at least two weeks prior to the election and are to be returned one week prior to the election.  All signatures will need to be collected on the google docs by Monday, April 27th and sent to artaunion@yahoo.com

If you are interested in running for an office:

  •  Please select the appropriate petition papers:
  • Make a copy and rename with your last name and position i.e., Jones Member-at-Large;
  • Share your petition papers with ARTA members and ask them to “sign” your petition papers.  You will need signatures from at least 10% (18), but not more than 20% (36) members of the association- UNIT A numbers
  • Unit C members running for Unit C Rep or Negotiations Team you need 10% (3) to 20% (7) signatures of members of the association
  • Share completed petitions at artaunion@yahoo.com by Monday, April 27th.

Points of Information for the Membership

  • You may only sign one Petition for each position (except Negotiation Team) – if you sign more than one your signature will be voided on all forms
  • You may sign up to five Petitions for Negotiation Team*

*The Negotiation team that is elected in May will not take office until one week after the ratification of the new contract

ARTA election Nomination Papers on Google Drive– you can find all your nomination papers here.

If we are still out of school on May 4th we will be using an online voting system.

Thanks and good luck to all members running!

Local News, President's Message

We got this!

DESE and the MTA are giving guidance on our next steps to remote learning. You can see both the MTA and DESE’s remarks in the link.
ARTA has been working with Greg to ensure we have the best outcomes for you and your students during the shutdown.
It is an unprecedented experience, no one is superhuman, we will get through it!

There is more news to come in the following days from Greg, know we are working very closely with him to make this manageable and realistic.


Before we vote

Good morning!

There have been a few typos brought to the team. Thank you! Edits that do not alter the spirit of the document will be passed along to Heather Richards, Esq.

We will hold a meeting this Wednesday at 7am in room D113 for any last minute questions.

As a gentle reminder, you are voting for the entire contract as it has been negotiated. Further, please be reminded that the existing contract includes a 7.75% salary increase and no changes to our health insurance and existing benefits (eg, personal & bedside care days, sick days, etc.). It would be regrettable for another negotiations team to restart the process and risk losing what has been preserved and gained for our entire membership with this contract. The vote will be held Thursday at 1:55pm in the small theater.


Update on cleaning products

As I am sure  many of you are aware, it is cold and flu season.  We also have the additional novel coronavirus, COVID-19, as a potential threat to our community health.
In the interest of helping prevent the spread of illness or reduce its spread, I wanted to share some information about a cleaning product that is available to you.
The facilities department is more than happy to provide you with a bottle of Virex II.  I’ve included images of the label as well as directions about how to use the product.
Virex II is an industrial and hospital grade cleaner and disinfectant.  You may use it as a cleaner, in which you spray and wipe it off and/or you can use it as a disinfectant.  I chose to use it as a disinfectant. Our contract states that we do not have to perform custodial duties, and I see the application of disinfectant on the desks in my room not as a custodial duty but as a way that I can help prevent the spread of illness or reduce its spread just like washing my hands and practicing good coughing and sneezing hygiene.  
To use Virex II as a disinfectant, you saturate the hard surfaces in your room such as desktops and that’s it.  For maximum effectiveness, the product should be left on the surface for 10 minutes. It evaporates, but because of its dilution (1:256) it contains more water than chemical so the evaporation takes about an hour in my room.  I choose to spray the disinfectant at the end of the day and when I come in the next day, all the solution has evaporated and the desk tops have been disinfected with minimal effort on my part.  
If you are asking what makes me an “expert” in disinfectants, please know that I am not an expert, but that I’ve  made these discoveries over the last year about our cleaning products because I am interested in preventing the spread of colds and viruses.    
I’ve asked for this specific information to be shared with you, and to make sure it gets shared in a timely fashion ARTA seemed the best way to get this out to you.
I told Mike Gorman I would share this information with you, and to expect that you’d be asking him for the disinfectant.  Before asking, check to see if you have a bottle in your room that needs a refill.  Maybe two or three years ago, we were provided with “adult use only” bottles containing Virex II and a multipurpose cleaner.  I think you had to ask for these so some of you may have them already.
–Christina Smith Social Studies

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Local News, President's Message, Uncategorized

ARTA meeting Monday- Contract langauge attached!

Hi everyone,

We finalized the Unit A 2020-2023 contract language just in time for our meeting on Monday. Sorry about the delay, the language took longer than expected to clean up.

Attached are the langauge changes. This only reflects the additions and deletions and is not the contract in its entirety. Additions are in Bold, deletions have a Strike Through on the wording.

The Negotiations Team will be at the meeting Monday at 2pm in the small theater if you have any questions.

  • We will hold our vote on the contract on Thursday March 5th from 8-1 in the library. Please stop down and vote during those hours and we will have the results to you by Friday.

This contract vote is for Unit A members only ( Teachers, Nurses, Specialists). The Unit C contract negotations will hopefully start soon and we will inform you of when that will happen.



We are still working on language clean ups with central office so as soon as we finalize we will get the MOA out to you. It will be posted 5 days prior to the vote.Unit C negotiations will not begin until after Northborough and Southborough Teachers’ negotiations are completed, so we are looking at a few months from now.Please note there is no such thing as taking a day off unpaid, this could be deemed job abandonment and lead to dismissal and loss of pension. Take your days by checking off the boxes on the forms no-need to explain the reason any further unless you are asking to extend a school vacation or holiday weekend, which is only allowed if approved by the superintendent. If you are denied personal days, and then call in sick on those days, that is very tough to defend.There will be an insurance update in the next few weeks but for now things are looking relatively good for next year. In the spring there will be some meetings to educate people on the differences between Fallon Select and Fallon Direct as there is a price difference and one may be increasing more than the other in the coming year.


Tentative Agreement Reached!

Hi everyone,

Your negotiations team reached a tentative agreement for the 2020-2023 contract. Once the memorandum is written, we will present it to the membership for a reading and vote. This will not take place until soon after holiday break.

There will not be an Association meeting on Monday as we can’t report out on the tentative agreements yet.