Build our power: Join the campaign

Greetings,

As the road through summer takes a turn into August, this will be my last update for two weeks. I want to share with you a story from Colorado, where I was this past weekend talking with educators from the Jefferson County Education Association.

Last year, the JCEA organized its members to reach out to the community against a Koch brothers-sponsored school committee and won all the seats up for election, returning the committee to one that supports public education and educators. This victory was recognized by unions across the country as sending an important message: Conversations make for victories.

John Ford, the president of the JCEA, will be the keynote speaker at the MTA Summer Conference next week at UMass Amherst. I had a chance to speak with many JCEA educators, and they told me: There is nothing so empowering as knocking on a door, telling someone you are a teacher, and having the person you are visiting welcome you and your ideas.

MTA members across the state are saying the same thing about their experiences canvassing and making phone calls for the campaign to #keepthecap and vote #NoOn2.

Rediscover your power: Join the campaign. For more information, talk to your local association president, field representative or MTA Senate district coordinator — or go here for information about the Save Our Public Schools campaign.

Take Action on Legislation

Legislators are wrapping up their session this weekend. Last weekend they overturned some of the governor’s vetoes, thereby restoring $3.7 million in special education circuit breaker funds and certain grant programs for both community colleges and state universities.

Please go here to keep up the pressure to overturn remaining education vetoes, including asking the Legislature to restore $30 million that the governor cut from the Group Insurance Commission budget — a cut that paves the way for employee premium increases — and to restore a health insurance premium split freeze for certain municipal retirees.

In addition, all members are asked to support their MTA brothers and sisters by going here to urge legislators to fund the Massachusetts Community College Council contract. 

The MTA is also supporting legislation for Paid Family and Medical Leave that is being considered by the Senate. Please go here to let your state senator know that you support this proposal.

Order ‘Secrets of a Successful Organizer’

As you take in hot summer days, please consider ordering a free copy of “Secrets of a Successful Organizer” from the MTA. A quick read, the book will help you plan how to return to school ready to support the campaign to #keepthecap and to organize to reclaim your classroom, your autonomy and your workplace rights. E-mail Ari Mercado (amercado@massteacher.org) for a copy.

Enjoy the rest of the summer. I look forward to seeing some of you at Summer Conference. I will be back in touch in mid-August.

In solidarity, and in anticipation of many great things ahead,

Barbara