MTA's Governance Structure

Annual Meeting 2014

Union strength grows with member participation in union governance from the local level to the state level to the national level. In order to deepen our union democracy, members need to understand the MTA’s governance structure and actively participate in decision-making.

Too many members are not aware of how MTA makes policy or how to impact our policies. The system can be complicated to the uninitiated – but don’t let that keep you away. We need member engagement that is wide and deep. Please take a few moments to review these brief descriptions of how things work and how you can participate. Then, get involved. We need your voice, your ideas and your passion.

2017 MTA Election Resources

Democracy at Work

The MTA is governed by a Board of Directors, which includes the president, vice president, executive director-treasurer (non-voting), the Executive Committee (eight regional positions, a statewide retiree position and an at-large statewide Education Support Professionals position), district directors (50 regional district directors and four statewide: two retirees, one at-large representative of ESPs and one at-large representative of ethnic minority members), and the Massachusetts NEA directors. These Board members are responsible for the general policies and interests of the MTA.

Executive Committee and Board seats are elected positions that represent constituents regionally or statewide. Please click here for information on your Executive Committee member and your representative on the Board.

In order to maintain and deepen our union democracy, members should stay informed about the actions taken by the Board, be attentive to emerging issues and communicate with their Executive Committee and Board representatives about their concerns and policy expectations.

Meeting agendas and action reports, as well as schedules, are available here. Members are always invited to attend meetings, and the Board meeting has a 30-minute public speaking time before each meeting.

Each May, the MTA convenes an Annual Meeting at which delegates from across the state gather to set policy, vote on Bylaws, Standing Rules and Resolutions, elect members to the Board, vote on the budget and approve new business items. Most delegates represent their locals and are elected locally. In addition, there are statewide retiree and regional ethnic minority delegates. 

The 2017 Annual Meeting will take place May 19 and 20 at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston.

The Annual Meeting, generally with more than 1,000 delegates present, provides an amazing opportunity to experience the democratic process at work, but we never fill our delegate capacity. See below for how to become a delegate, and let’s fill every seat for a robust democratic process.

As an affiliate of the National Education Association, our national union, the MTA sends representatives to NEA Board meetings and to the annual NEA Representative Assembly (NEA RA). At this event, MTA members participate with education union workers from across the state — and across the nation — to set national policy for the NEA.

The 2017 NEA RA will take place June 30 - July 5 in Boston, MA.

How to Become Involved

The president and vice president are elected every two years, and the next election for these seats will be in 2018.

Executive Committee members are elected by Annual Meeting delegates from their regions. Executive Committee members serve three-year terms. There are four regional seats on the Executive Committee up for election in 2017, along with the Statewide Retired Member seat and the at-large ESP Member seat. You can see where there are elections for open seats by clicking here.

Board seats: District directors are elected to serve on the Board for three-year terms. These terms of office rotate so that about one-third of the seats are open each year. You can see where there are elections for district seats and any at-large or statewide seats in 2017 by clicking here.

Candidate nomination papers, including signatures, must be in the Boston office by March 3, 2017. Click here for more information on the nomination process, including where to get papers.

It is important to note that Board members are elected by delegates from each district at the MTA Annual Meeting; that is where the voting takes place. It’s all the more reason to actively engage yourself and others in becoming Annual Meeting delegates.

MTA delegates to the Annual Meeting are also elected within each local. If you want to nominate yourself to be a delegate from your local to the MTA Annual Meeting in May, we recommend that you send an e-mail to your local president and vice president in January notifying them of your interest in serving as a delegate. Each local then runs its own election. If there are fewer candidates than seats, all candidates are selected, and no election is held. Keep in touch with your local leadership about this important opportunity to participate in MTA governance.

As noted above, there are also elections for retiree delegates and ethnic minority delegates. Click here for information on statewide retiree delegate elections. Click here for information on the election of regional ethnic minority delegates.

NEA directors and statewide, regional and retired delegates to the NEA RA are elected in the spring, with nominations due by Jan. 13, 2017.

  • For NEA director seats (there are two positions for which elections will be held in 2017) click here for more information on the nomination process, including where to get papers.
  • To become a delegate to the NEA RA as a regional, statewide or retired delegate, click here for more information on how to nominate yourself. The MTA provides travel stipends for elected MTA delegates to the NEA RA.

Locals also elect delegates to the NEA RA. If you want to nominate yourself to be a delegate from your local to the NEA RA, we recommend that you send an e-mail to your local president and vice president in January notifying them that you are doing so. The MTA also provides limited travel stipends for local delegates.

Other Opportunities

MTA committees represent another place where members can engage and have their voices heard. The great majority of committee appointments are, by policy, made by the president. Some are elected by the Board. Click here to learn more about our committees. Please feel free to attend meetings and voice your opinions.

The Candidate Recommendation Committee is a fully elected committee. It reviews candidates for state and federal office, interviews them and makes recommendations for which candidates MTA will support. Please click here to find out where there are open seats this year and how to nominate yourself. Nominations are due Dec. 29, 2016.

Resolutions: Members are invited to propose Resolutions for review by the Resolutions Committee and the Board to be voted on at the Annual Meeting in May. Resolutions are statements of policy and support that can be used to guide leadership. 

Bylaws and Standing Rules: Members are invited to review the MTA Bylaws and Standing Rules and submit proposals for changes to the Bylaws and Rules Committee, to be reviewed by the committee and the Board and voted on at the Annual Meeting. 

Resolutions, Standing Rules and Bylaws are critical working documents that structure how we do our business and how we frame the goals and vision of our work.

For more information, please contact John Connelly of the MTA Division of Governance and Administration by calling 617.878.8305 or e-mailing