top of page
Para Committee.png

An idea was formed at our AFT MA/BTU PSRP 2024 conference of organizing a committee of PSRPs to meet on a regular basis to share stories, strategies, successes, and failures.


With Senator Ed Markey's PSRP Bill of Rights, PSRPs across the Nation have the tool to fight for fair wages, healthcare, appropriate training & supplies, and secure their voice in making decisions for their locals. Paras are winning strong contracts across the state through innovative organizing and bargaining strategies. Now is the perfect time to come together to teach and learn from each other. We here at AFT MA have committed to create a space for our PSRP's to meet to discuss these important topics and more. 

We would love to have a committee made up of PSRP’s from as many of our locals as possible. Every local is unique, every school district is unique, every municipality is unique, and having a wide range of participants being able to share their uniqueness offers an opportunity for solutions to rise.

In solidarity,

Gina O'Toole




Western Mass Area Labor Federation Council Meetings



Between September and June, on every third Wednesday of the month, labor delegates, invited guests and speakers come together to discuss issues and events affecting unions and workers across our region. If you would like to make a presentation at one of our meetings, please call us at 413-732-7970 to tell us what you'd like to talk about. At our meetings you'll find a mix of union leaders, union staff, rank and file members and various community organization representatives.

Past speakers have included:

  • Rank and file union members and union representatives in need of advice or solidarity for their fight

  • Representatives from activist organizations looking to educate the public about their cause

  • Politicians running for office

  • Government officials explaining programs and initiatives

  • Representatives from charitable foundations

Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance


We are students, parents, teachers, school staff, and concerned community members who are directly affected by public education in Massachusetts. We are deeply committed to building a stronger and better public school system that is driven by community voices. By engaging all communities in the Commonwealth and building power through unity, our coalition is committed to working with our elected and appointed officials and holding them accountable to the actual needs and desires of the communities across our state. As income inequality grows, our public institutions and the very idea of the common good are under attack. Hedge-fund managers and other corporate interests are engaged in a broad based attack on democracy and the rights of working people. Our public schools are critical spaces for reclaiming hope and educating a new generation of leaders. In joining in solidarity to fight for the schools our communities deserve, we are joining as well in the struggle for economic and racial justice.


The Nature of the Challenge:

  • High-stakes testing. It narrows the curriculum and creates a culture of compliance in both students and educators. It undermines the possibilities of culturally relevant pedagogy and teaching and learning for democracy. It is designed for ‘failure’ that disproportionately impacts students of color and feeds the school to prison pipeline.

  • Disrespect of educators, parents and students. The data-driven obsession” treats us as pieces of a machine; our knowledge and expertise are denied, right along with the human relationships that are central to teaching and learning.

  • Inequitable resources. We see classrooms without books. Schools without librarians. Many more students with ELL and special learning needs, but not enough funding to support them. An austerity mindset that refuses to acknowledge the reality of economic injustice and how it impacts the lives of our students and their families.

  • Charters and privatization. Corporate education “reform” is focused on turning public schools over to private operators – whether through charterization or state school takeovers. This leads to the loss of democratic, local control of our schools, diversion of resources and the gutting of collective bargaining and due process rights for employees.

The Schools Our Communities Deserve

  • Teach the whole child. Our students are more than a score. They deserve a rich and varied culturally relevant curriculum that includes recess, the arts, physical education, extracurricular activities, family engagement, and programs that promote social and emotional growth.

  • More resources, fairly raised. In order to ensure smaller classes, early childhood education and critical wrap-around services we need changes in state funding to reflect the true costs of educating students. We also support fair tax reforms to raise new revenue from those most able to pay.

  • Keep public schools public. We reject the two-tiered education system in which some schools are allowed to use enrollment practices to “de-select” students, leaving district schools with fewer resources to educate a higher-need population. We reject the pitting of students and parents against each other in ‘choice’ models. We believe the rising tide of quality education should lift all

  • Engage the students, parents and community: Public education as foundational to democracy requires that the voices of students, families and the community be heard in creating, assessing and directing our public schools.

  • Give educators a real voice. Teachers, too, are more than a score: They have ideas born of experience about how to make our schools work better. Teachers need workplace democracy and union protections so they can use their voices without fear of reprisal. They also need time to collaborate and more freedom to innovate.

  • Name and fight economic and racial injustice: Any struggle for our schools must acknowledge the structural injustices that pervade too many of our communities. This includes providing students and families the resources they need immediately and, in the long term, fighting for economic security and well being for all. It requires culturally competent teachers that reflect the communities that they serve.


The Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance is a coalition of youth, parent, community, faith and labor organizations formed to advocate for quality public education for all in our Commonwealth.

Pioneer Valley Workers Center


The Pioneer Valley Workers Center (PVWC) seeks to build power for low-wage, and immigrant workers in Western Massachusetts. Through innovative and creative worker-driven organizing strategies, the Center unites community allies to win real change in the lives of working families and our communities.  The PVWC is committed to taking a range of actions to address issues of concern.

Western Mass Jobs with Justice


Founded June 5, 1993, Western Mass "J with J" is a coalition of almost 80 organizations and projects.  They work with and organize solidarity for unions and community groups doing grass-roots organizing.  They post to email lists; maintain and activate phone, fax, and email mobilization lists; and work with Street Heat, the AFL-CIO's mobilization


Springfield Federation of Paraprofessionals

bottom of page