Letters to the editor for Sunday, Feb. 5
Woburn teacher strike a lesson in balancing needs of staff, taxpayers
To the Editor:
I would like to voice my concern in regards to the teacher strike in Woburn and others that have occurred across the state. It's negligent to use children as bargaining tools when they are all behind in learning due to the three-year pandemic. Not to mention the inconvenience to working parents, children with accommodation plans, and added inconsistency. It is certainly not in their best interest to be out of the classroom.
Considering this issue, I wanted to express my appreciation to the Marlborough Educators Association and all Marlborough public school staff. We have been able to negotiate in good faith with professional union leadership throughout my 11 years as mayor of Marlborough. I am proud and appreciative of how we all worked and supported each other during the trying times faced by the pandemic, and I look forward to the continued collaboration while making sure our students always come first.
As a nation, we are all faced with labor shortages across all major industries that are affecting distribution channels, supply and demand. In the municipal world, it's highly competitive and challenging to keep our staff in place while providing services and attracting qualified professionals to fill vacant positions.
My understanding is Mayor Galvin is offering a fair and competitive proposal, while running the city and remaining fiscally responsible to all Woburn residents. Municipalities across the Commonwealth must work within their means by balancing all necessary expenses in conjunction with raising salaries and increased benefit costs that affect the annual budget and will continue to affect taxpayers in years to come.
Perhaps it is time to discuss merit pay and bonuses, based on student achievement.
Mayor and chair of the Marlborough School Committee
ISO-New England not held accountable for its reliance on fossil fuels
To the Editor:
For many ratepayers, our electric grid is a mystery wrapped in an enigma. So thank you for explaining the basics of ISO-New England (Jan. 23).
But ratepayers should also be aware that internal power in ISO-New England is largely held by fossil fuel companies. This is a function of how decisions are made, with the fossil fuel industry and utilities having far more "votes" than ratepayers. As a result, ISO-New England has made many decisions favoring the ongoing use of fossil fuels, and disadvantaging renewable energy.
The public has little input into ISO-New England decisions. New members of the ISO-New England board of directors are selected by the remaining board members, so they're not accountable to any public officials or the general public. Activists are working to ensure more representation of the public. Our state governors also have some influence, and Gov. Maura Healey must rally her fellow governors to reform ISO-New England before the climate crisis overwhelms us.
This article originally appeared on MetroWest Daily News: MetroWest-Milford Daily News letters to the editor for Sunday, Feb. 5