AFL-CIO decides to endorse Patrick’s re-election
Leaders of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO have decided to throw the labor union's support behind Gov. Deval Patrick’s re-election bid.
Republican rival Charles Baker says its proof “the governor is not going to deliver the kind of change that's required.”
Patrick and many union leaders have been at odds over his efforts to curb police details at road construction sites, as well as to trim the state workforce and revamp the state pension system.
The union acknowledged those differences in a statement last week, but said Patrick “has responsibly navigated budget shortfalls and joblessness.”
Baker quips, “I guess they got the band back together again.”
Boston firefighters get 1st drug, alcohol tests
The first random and drug alcohol tests have been administered to Boston firefighters. The testing had been a major sticking point in a long and often bitter contract dispute between the city and the firefighters union. The standoff finally ended in April when an arbitrator awarded the firefighters a bonus in exchange for drug and alcohol testing.
Boston Fire Commissioner Roderick Fraser symbolically took one of the first tests at a city firehouse last Thursday.
Fraser told The Boston Globe that the tests are being conducted properly and firefighters should have nothing to fear.
City officials begin pushing for random testing after two firefighters who were reportedly impaired by drugs or alcohol were killed in a 2007 restaurant fire.
Boston, Springfield to get teacher merit pay funds
Schools in Boston and Springfield are among those receiving federal money to create merit pay programs for teachers and principals.
The U.S. Department of Education announced last week that it was distributing $442 million nationally for the Teacher Incentive Fund, designed to reward educators who help improve student achievement in low-performing schools.
The Massachusetts Department of Education received nearly $27 million for a merit pay program at 22 so-called “turnaround” schools in Boston and Springfield.
State education officials say they hope the incentive-based program will help attract teachers and principals to low-performing schools and will eventually be expanded statewide.