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BTU UPDATE #1: Welcome Back!

Dear Members,

Welcome to the start of the school year! As many members report back to buildings this week I’d like to start this message by reminding all BTU members to complete the vaccine mandate survey, created and given by BTU to learn more about your views on a possible vaccine mandate. The survey was sent out on Monday and will be open for 3 days, closing Wednesday at midnight. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey so your voice can help determine our next steps as a union.

Last year reminded me of several things I’ve known for a while. I was constantly reminded of the importance of community, and that’s why I’m pleased to announce that Union Night at Camden Yards is returning on September 10th, when the Baltimore Orioles will be playing the Toronto Blue Jays. Tickets are available through BTU for a reduced price of $12, and $3 of every ticket goes to support the Metro Baltimore AFL-CIO Community Services program, which supports area union members and their families with food and rental assistance. Camden Yards has implemented Health and Safety protocols that members should review before the game. I hope you will join your BTU sisters and brothers in the stands for a great event for a great cause!

This week’s email blast contains wellness opportunities from Brick Bodies and the Downtown Sailing Center that I hope you will prioritize time for now, prior to schedules getting more hectic. This week’s update also includes resources for supporting grieving students, and our own trauma as educators. We’re also featuring information about the monthly LisTEN event, a back to school summer jam, a job opportunity from CTY, classroom and community resources for immigrant families, and information about how members can take advantage of rental assistance. There’s also an announcement from the Baltimore City Department of Transportation about parking enforcement that I hope saves at least one person from getting a parking ticket this week!

Our weekly email blast is intended to be full of resources that support your professional and personal wellness. The weekly blast also provides opportunities for members to engage with each other to build power and fight for the schools our students deserve. We hope you’ll sign up to participate in the BTU Paper Drive, and as always, please immediately inform BTU of Health and Safety concerns that are occuring at your school by either giving us a call at 410-358-6600, or through our online form that collects reports of Health and Safety violations.

Wishing you a school year filled with wellness, solidarity, and success,

President Brown

Union Night at Camden Yards, September 10th

Let’s go O’s! Join your union sisters and brothers from BTU and unions across Central Maryland for the return of Union Night at Camden Yards! Camden Yards is takingHealth and Safety precautions and has agreed to a reduced ticket price for Union members on the evening of Friday September 10th! Tickets are $12 and benefit the Metro Baltimore AFL-CIO Community Services of Maryland. Please click here to buy your tickets. We can’t wait to see you at the game!  

Do you have questions for President Diamonté Brown? Do you have a story that you want to share?

Are you curious about her-story? Want exclusive information? Let’s Talk!

LisTEN is a monthly Town Hall where a panel featuring up to TEN BTU members ask questions and share ideas stories, observations, affirmations, inspiration and thoughts. President Brown will answer your questions that you submit in the chat and comments during our TEN minute Lightning Round!

When you are interested in being a panelist , please contact Chris Bilal, PSRP Member Engagement Team Associate, at

BTU Members: Free 14 day trial at Brick Bodies

learn more and sign up here


Downtown Sailing Center, a non-profit sailing club located at the Baltimore Museum of Industry, believes “Sailing is for Everyone.”   DSC has invited members and staff of the Baltimore Teachers Union to join now at a substantially reduced rate and spend the pleasant fall days after school and on weekends on the water. Sailing on the water is a COVID-safe activity.

Downtown Sailing offers special programs for handicapped adults and young people, after-school STEM programs and work force development for several public-school student groups and access to a fleet of 40+ sailboats, cruisers, kayaks and dinghies on Baltimore’s Inner Harbor for adults at every skill level. Twice-weekly adult member sails provide a nice way to meet and learn from other sailors. Or you can use DSC’s social media sites to create your own sailing outings.

The BTU membership is $125 (normally $325) for crew-level (beginners and intermediate) sailors and $325 for qualified skippers (normally $825) through New Year’s Day. More information at Downtown Sailing Center or call Graham Humphrey at 410 727- 0722. You also can call Graham to set up a visit; or join on the website using this code : DSC Insider.

In April of 2020 AFT launched a new benefit made available at no cost to all active working members of AFT.  Trauma Counseling provides up to 21 hours of counseling for members experiencing trauma of many types – but also including secondary trauma.

Secondary trauma within the context of this benefit is the emotional duress that results when an individual hears about the firsthand trauma experiences of another. This secondary trauma can also be known as compassion fatigue.

AFT members across the country experience this secondary trauma every day in every way—never more so than in the last 18 months. And we know that the coming year will be even tougher and want you to know the AFT and the BTU are here for you.

Log into AFT Member Benefits for more information. Sign up for AFT Member Benefits and find your Membership Number by clicking here.

Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY)

Part-time Instructional Job Opportunities

CTY L.I.V.E: Offers a blend of live online instructor-led activity and independent learning that includes discussions, class projects, and interactive exercises designed to foster community in a digital environment. The program’s instructor-developed courses are limited to about 10 students per section and focus on a range of engaging topics taught by instructors who specialize in teaching advanced students.

CTY Online Programs: Offers 170+ online courses in flexible formats designed to enrich and accelerate academically advanced students in the areas they show the strongest abilities. Online Programs offer both session-based and individually-paced programming.

Problem-Based Learning: CTY’s problem-based online courses blend real-time, collaborative, student-directed learning and independent exploration to solve complex, real-world problems. Course are grounded in problem-based learning and are interdisciplinary.
All instructional roles are 100% telework. Schedules are flexible.

Hiring Instructors for the following program areas:
  • Computer Science & Technology
  • Humanities
  • Language Arts
  • Math
  • Pop Culture
  • Problem-Based Learning (PBL)
  • Science & Engineering
  • World Languages
Minimum Requirements:
  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field.
  • Two years teaching (post-undergraduate), tutoring or related experience is required.
  • Some experience working with K-12 students.
Fall 2021 Schedule:

L.I.V.E. Fall Dates:
Wednesday Classes: September 15 – November 10
Saturday Classes: September 18 – November 13
Sessions are once a week on Wednesdays at 5 PM or 7 PM or Saturdays at 9 AM or 8 PM.
Each section will be scheduled for one of the following time slots (all times are Eastern time zone).

Project-Based Learning (PBL) Dates:
Fall: Mid-September 2021 – Early December 2021
Sessions are once a week on Wednesdays at 5 PM or 7 PM or Saturdays at 9 AM or 8 PM.
Each section will be scheduled for one of the following time slots (all times are Eastern time zone).

Application information

  • The simplest pathway for interested individuals to learn more is to click the following link:
  • Upon submission of the form, candidates will receive step-by-step instructions on how to join our talent community and to apply to positions of interest.

The Mayor’s Office of Children and Family Success is Expanding Access to Resources in Our Immigrant Communities

The Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MIMA) works to promote community wellbeing and economic development across—and integration of immigrant communities into—our larger city fabric. They are a wealth of resources and wisdom, and another one of our partners that we lean on to make us better at improving the lives of Baltimore’s children, youth and families.

Here are some MIMA-recommended resources for you to share across your communities so that, together, we can connect all Baltimore families to the opportunities and supports they need to succeed.

ESOL, citizenship, computer and Spanish classes, plus legal, health and reunification services

Assistance referrals related to adjustment of status, citizenship, political asylum, social services, education, employment, housing, financial assistance and health care

Support for Latinx youth with study programs, parental guidance, mentorship and more

After- and in-school programs for immigrant and first-generation middle and high school students that combine academic support, college and career readiness, civic leadership development and social justice training

Summer school, individual mentoring, college access services, community arts programs and after-school programs that focus on homework, social and English language skills

College and career readiness, paid internships, career coaching, mentorship, scholarships and digital literacy and financial empowerment programs

Small business support, loans and advice—plus home ownership counseling and affordable housing preservation/tenant organizing programs

Supporting Grieving Students

As a founding member organization of the Coalition to Support Grieving Students, the American Federation of Teachers understands 2021 is a different kind of back-to-school year. As schools move toward full in-person learning, students and educators alike continue to adapt. In the transition back to in-person learning, schools may need to reach out to students who have not returned to school or re-engaged in learning. They may also be making contact with families that have suffered multiple stressors and losses caused by the pandemic or exacerbated by the isolation of shutdowns. The coalition has provided video and downloadable grief-support modules for school personnel to navigate this transitional period.

DOT to begin full parking enforcement August 15th

DOT announced last week that starting on August 15th, DOT Parking Enforcement will enforce all parking restrictions, permit areas, and the like. This does not include street sweeping because that has not started yet. It does include:
  • Peak Hour parking restrictions (so move your car before 7am or 4pm depending on the area)
  • Permit parking areas – renewals will begin for RPP in the month you normally get your permit, so if you have a permit but it is from last year or 2 years ago, you will be OK as long as it is displayed.
  • No Stopping
  • Scofflaw – meaning towing for cars who have three or more unpaid parking citations.
Click here for more details.

Emergency COVID Rental Assistance

Renters and landlords can apply for money from the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Emergency Rental Assistance program. Get help with rent, utility bills and even moving costs.

If you’re having trouble making rent payments, you’re not alone.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult for renters and landlords to cover housing costs. The CDC eviction moratorium ended on July 31, so renters are worried about catching up on past-due rent and facing eviction.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury has an Emergency Rental Assistance program. The funds are being distributed by state and local organizations to their communities. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has a tool to find a program in your community.

You don’t have to be behind on rent to get assistance. Some programs offer help with future rent. Local programs may also offer help with utility bills and moving costs.

Campaign Kickoff!!

The BTU Paper Drive

Too often we don’t have enough paper to do our job and even when we do have enough paper, the copy machine is often broken, which can make delivering a lesson plan challenging. To learn more about how we’re addressing this need in teacher contract negotiations please read below. In the meantime, we want to be sure our members have the basic tools required to meet their professional responsibilities, so we’re planning a paper drive!

To get the language we really want in the next contract, we will have to execute this action and gather data about exactly how much paper members are being provided and how much they need next school year so that we can win stronger language in future contract negotiations.

BTU Make and Take Room Available by Appointment

The BTU Make and Take Room will be available by appointment for back to school preparation. You can use the BTU’s copy machine, laminator, poster maker (single color) die cut presses, and basic supplies to get your classroom ready for the school year. Please sign up for a time slot here.

Paycheck Updates!

Click here for the 21-22 School Year Pay Dates!

Use THIS BTU Form to Report Health and Safety Violations

As members volunteer and are mandated to work in person at school sites, the BTU has created an online reporting form in order to document positive and suspected COVID cases. This online reporting form can also be used to report:

This form is NOT meant to replace reported violations sent to supervisors, it is a supplement that will allow union membership a single, consistent, and safe place to report to BTU so that we are able to most efficiently and effectively support staff.

We will continue fighting for your safety whether you are working at home, or in a building whether voluntary or mandated. Please email or your field rep if you have questions about how to fill out this form.