News & Events

House overrides Governor’s Veto of School Nurse Tenure Bill

July 24, 2006. This week, the Massachusetts House of Representatives and State Senate cast unanimous votes to override the Governor’s veto of H. 1087, the school nurse tenure bill. This legislation provides school nurses with professional teacher status. The bill classifies school nurses who have served in the public schools for at least the three previous consecutive school years as teachers, for the purpose of determining tenure and other employment rights. The bill is important in addressing pay equity issues for school nurses, a position the Massachusetts Nurses Association has long articulated. Speaking on the House floor in support of the override were Reps. Christine Canavan (Brockton) and Patricia Haddad (Somerset). Rep. Haddad noted "I want to make something clear – school nurses are no longer the person a child goes to with a bumped head or skinned knee. We ask them to do feeding tubes, catheters, to give children psychotropic drugs. We ask that they have a bachelor’s degree and take part in everything that the child comes to school with health issues, mental health issues, our school nurses help them. We are required to give every child an education and when possible in the district and we are asking school nurses to do more and more. They have long been professionals. Many school districts already do this. This will require the rest to come on board."