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Randi Weingarten at a Massachusetts high school

Summer is upon us, and parents, children and teachers are winding down from what has been an exhausting and fully operational school year—the first since the devastating pandemic. The long-lasting impact of COVID-19 has affected our students’ and families’ well-being and ignited the politics surrounding public schools. All signs point to the coming school year unfolding with the same sound and fury, and if extremist culture warriors have their way, being even more divisive and stressful.


In February 2020, the Boston Public Library Professional Staff Association affiliated with the Massachusetts Library Staff Association, Local 04928 of the American Federation of Teachers. Maty, a teen outreach librarian for the Boston Public Library, became president of the BPL-PSA in the fall of 2021, and continued the work of bringing a formerly independent union into the AFT fold. During their tenure as president, Maty successfully settled a contract that had been outstanding for four years with grace and thoughtfulness. In the words of their colleagues, “Maty handled a number of issues and


The American Federation of Teachers is actively trying to organize municipal librarians around the country.  As one of the small number of library locals affiliated with the AFT, the MLSA can serve as a source of information and 'best practices' as the AFT pursues its organizing goals. AFT represents public library workers across the country, in separate municipal library bargaining units, and as a part of school and university bargaining units.  AFT also represents librarians in state libraries—including the Illinois State Library, and the Connecticut State Library—and in other state agencies


What unions do


In AFT President Randi Weingarten’s latest New York Times  column, she describes what it is exactly that unions do. Though unions are the most popular they have been in decades, anti-union sentiment still thrives in red states and across the nation. “Several years ago, The Atlantic ran a story whose headline made even me, a labor leader, scratch my head: ‘Union Membership: Very Sexy,’” Weingarten writes in the column. “The gist was that higher wages, health benefits and job security—all associated with union membership—boost one’s chances of getting married. Belonging to a union doesn’t actually guarantee happily ever after, but it does help working people have a better life in the here and now.” Click through to read the full column.


Congratulations to BPL-PSA member Jenna Young! Jenna was recently profiled as part of the AFT Voices program.  "Jenna Young, a Massachusetts Library Staff Association (MLSA) member and union treasurer, has loved libraries her entire life. As communities turn to library systems and staff to help them navigate life, Jenna says it’s time to invest and truly serve our communities." Please click here for the full AFT-MA article and to view more images.

Randi Weingarten and NYC teacher Tamara Simpson

Attacks on public education in America by extremists and culture-war peddling politicians have reached new heights (“lows” may be more apt), but they are not new. The difference today is that the attacks are intended not just to undermine public education but to destroy it.