Around New England

Two Massachusetts Teachers Unions Endorse Elizabeth Warren

January 14, 2020

Two large teachers unions in Massachusetts have endorsed Elizabeth Warren for president of the United States.

The Boston Teachers Union, which has 10,000 members and describes itself in a press release as “progressive and influential,” endorsed Warren on Monday, January 13, the first time in its history the union has endorsed a candidate before a presidential primary.

The Boston Teachers Union is a member of the American Federation of Teachers, a national teachers union that has about 23,000 members in Massachusetts, including teachers in Boston, Lawrence, Lowell, and Lynn. The Massachusetts chapter of that union also endorsed Warren on Monday.

The Boston Teachers Union endorsement was based on “a democratic process over several months that included multiple surveys, polling, and an open membership vote that showed overwhelming support for an endorsement of Senator Warren,” according to a written statement, which cited immigration as among the reasons to support Warren.

“Senator Warren’s values are aligned with ours, and we strongly support her plans for public education, immigration justice, and to build an economy that works for all by making it easier for workers in all sectors to join a union and by tackling our nation’s student debt crisis,” said Jessica Tang, President of the Boston Teachers Union, in a written statement. “Senator Warren has stood with us every step of the way in our ongoing efforts to win the necessary funding and policies to strengthen public education for all, particularly for the students and communities with the greatest needs. And now, we’re proud to stand behind her during the Massachusetts Democratic Presidential Primary.”

Bernie Sanders drew the second highest level of support from Boston Teachers Union members, according to the written statement.

The American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts endorsement “followed months of member engagement including a member survey and a series of ‘tele-town hall’ phone call events, which revealed great enthusiasm among AFT Massachusetts members for an endorsement of Senator Warren,” according to the press release.

“Senator Warren has always been a champion for students and educators in our fight for the nurturing and supportive schools we deserve. She stood with educators on the strike line and in our work to protect our public schools and win new funding for our students. We know we can count on her as President,” said Beth Kontos, president of the American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts, in the written statement. “As a former educator, Senator Warren knows firsthand that we need bold action to support public education, and that the best way to help the students with the greatest needs is to give them the additional help they need in the classroom. She’s building a movement that can win in November and replace the failed Trump-DeVos education agenda with the pro-student, pro-public education plan our students need.”

The Massachusetts presidential primary is scheduled for Tuesday, March 3.