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New law grants school nurses Professional Teacher Status

A bill passed by the Legislature that allows school nurses to obtain professional teacher status (PTS) became law on July 24, as the House and the Senate both voted unanimously to override the governor's veto.   

The bill was part of the MTA's legislative package and was sponsored by Rep. Christine Canavan (D-Brockton). 

It was passed unanimously by both the House and the Senate and was sent to the governor on June 8. The governor returned the bill to the Legislature on June 15 with a proposed amendment that would remove assistant principals from collective bargaining.  This amendment was unrelated to school nurses or to professional teacher status, but would have furthered the governor's goal of reducing unionized positions in the public schools.

The Legislature rejected the governor's amendment and sent the original bill back to him.  The governor then vetoed the bill because, he claimed, it would result in "further limiting management flexibility in our public schools."

Members should contact their legislators to thank them for their support of this important bill, especially Rep. Canavan, the bill's main sponsor, as well as Education Committee co-chairs Rep. Patricia Haddad (D-Somerset) and Sen. Robert Antonioni (D-Leominster), who both helped ensure the bill's passage. Thanks also to Rep. Karyn Polito (R-Shrewsbury), who was the lead sponsor of a similar bill and helped to get Republican support for the bill.