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Boston Teachers Union urges members to vote for Martin Walsh

The Boston Teachers Union, at the last minute, weighed in today on the mayor’s race, urging members in its weekly news bulletin to vote for Martin J. Walsh. That bulletin is sent out to well over 5,000 people.

“Our elected leadership have come to the conclusion that Marty Walsh will be a more inclusive mayor and a better leader for our school system than his opponent,” Richard Stutman, the union’s president, wrote in the bulletin.

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Stutman later explained in an interview that the union’s executive board, negotiating team, and its political education committee coalesced around Walsh over the weekend after discussing the issue for the last few weeks.

“The virtually unanimous consensus was that Marty Walsh would be better for public schools,” Stutman said. “There wasn’t debate on this.”

Stutman said the union had no plans to advocate for Walsh beyond publishing its recommendation in today’s bulletin. However, he said many members have on their own accord have been holding signs or knocking on doors for Walsh.

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The Teachers Union also made a last-minute recommendation just days before the September preliminary race, throwing its support behind City Councilors Felix Arroyo and Rob Consalvo. The two mayoral candidates failed to make it to the final vote.

Backing either Connolly and Walsh presented a quandary for the teachers union, which adamantly opposes more charter schools. Both candidates support increasing a state-imposed cap on the number of charter schools that can operate in the city. Charter schools rarely employ unionized teachers.

But Stutman said last month that the union may overlook that issue as it analyzes each candidate’s proposals to improve the city’s public school system.

James Vaznis can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @globevaznis.
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