From Allison Mitchell <[email protected]>
Subject MDP WIRE: Fwd: Largest MA Educator Unions Respond to Governor's Accusations
Date March 12, 2021 9:59 PM
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Talking points to boost Democrats and take on Baker and his Republican allies.

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Our goal with the MassDems Wire is to give you the tools to boost Democrats and take on Governor Charlie Baker and his Republican allies. Use these talking points on social media, as the basis for a letter to the editor of your local paper, in emails to your personal network, or in conversations with your friends and neighbors.
Dear Activist,

Yesterday, the Baker-Polito administration issued an inflammatory and irresponsible statement deliberately mischaracterizing educators and their efforts to ensure a safe return to in-person learning. Governor Baker's own management failures are the reason that seniors, folks with underlying health conditions, and educators are still unvaccinated, but instead of taking responsibility for his own failed vaccine rollout, Baker is pitting vulnerable groups against one another.

I wanted to make sure you saw the statement from the Massachusetts Teachers Association, AFT-Massachusetts, Boston Teachers Union and Massachusetts AFL-CIO below.


Allison Mitchell
Communications Director
Massachusetts Democratic Party | @massdems

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: [email protected]
Date: Thu, Mar 11, 2021 at 5:45 PM
Subject: Largest MA Educator Unions Respond to Governor's Accusations
To: Allison Mitchell

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Joint Statement on behalf of Massachusetts Teachers Association, AFT-Massachusetts, Boston Teachers Union and Massachusetts AFL-CIO

“The statement issued today ([link removed]) by the Baker-Polito administration dishonestly and irresponsibly misrepresents the efforts that educators and other school employees in Massachusetts have made to get educators vaccinated so that more of our students can
safely return to the classroom and in-person learning.

The administration’s mischaracterization of educators as somehow seeking to take vaccines away from the sick and elderly is untrue and defamatory. Several union leaders had a cordial meeting with Secretary Marylou Sudders this morning concerning the Last Mile Vaccine Delivery Plan, which has been endorsed by health experts across the state. Secretary Sudders asked if we thought she should divert vaccines from other high-need groups to give to educators, and we emphatically declined.

We suggested, instead, that some of the doses designated for educators via the mass vaccination sites be sent to local communities so they could be administered to school employees efficiently and effectively at the local level, with facilitation by firefighters and nurses.

The administration is entitled to its opinion on how it has handled the vaccine rollout, but the administration is not entitled to their own facts. From the onset, our unions have advocated for classifying educators as essential workers and for vaccinating them at the same time as others who are eligible within the current phase of the rollout. Despite mischaracterizations by aides to the Baker administration, we have never advocated for educators to “skip the line” or be prioritized ahead of the sick and elderly.

It is sad, and frankly, reckless that on the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down our state, Governor Charlie Baker is pitting one vulnerable group against another. The Baker administration’s weaponization of the fact that most educators are under the age of 65 distorts several realities, including the presence of underlying health conditions. It ignores the fact that many educators live with and take care of sick or elderly family members, and worry about bringing the virus home with them. And it undermines our efforts for a timely and safe return to in-person learning.

It has become evident that while most leaders at the local, state, and federal level believe that educators should be vaccinated as quickly as possible in order to safely return more students to the classroom, Governor Baker disagrees. We hope that the administration will refocus on increasing accessibility to the vaccine so our state can get one step closer to defeating COVID-19.”

- Beth Kontos, President, AFT-MA
- Merrie Najimy, President, MTA
- Jessica Tang, President, BTU
- Steve Tolman, President, Mass AFL-CIO
We encourage you to share these talking points with your networks online and offline. Questions about the information outlined above and about the MassDems Wire program may be directed at our Communications Director, Allison Mitchell. (mailto:[email protected]?subject=Wednesday%20Wire)

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