School's Back. Game On!

MTA | Raise Up Massachusetts

Greetings,

The heat wave may be breaking, but union activity - from Massachusetts to Washington state - is heating up.

MTA Members Taking Action

Raise Up Petitions Are Here!

Game on! Petitions for the Raise Up Massachusetts ballot question are now available in our regional offices. The MTA is asking members to collect 20,000 signatures, our share of the more than 100,000 needed to begin qualifying this proposed constitutional amendment for the 2018 ballot. This initiative would raise more than $1 billion a year for public schools, public higher education and transportation. For more information, talk to your local or chapter leader and click here for fact sheets, articles and signature collection tips.

UMass Employees Win Back Pay

After months of organized actions, MTA members in the seven faculty and staff unions spread across the UMass system will finally be getting their negotiated wages. UMass President Marty Meehan has agreed to honor the university's commitment and is continuing to seek funds for UMass from the Legislature.

Haverhill Educators Protest Stalled Contract Talks

It may still be summer, but that didn't stop Haverhill educatorsfrom wearing black at their back-to-school meeting last week to protest stalled contract talks. Keep the heat on, Haverhill!

MTA Fights Charter School Expansion

Let the Joint Committee on Education know that you support a moratorium on new Commonwealth charter schools and oppose lifting the cap. The charter hearing begins at 10 a.m. on Oct. 13. Join us in Gardner Auditorium at the State House, contact your legislators and speak up. Read the upcoming issue of MTA Today, click here or contact MTA lobbyist Julie Johnson by e-mailing jjohnson@massteacher.orgfor more information.

Framingham Teachers Fight TS GOLD

The Framingham Teachers Association has joined other locals in fighting against the heavy hand of TS GOLD, the time-consuming kindergarten assessment. Advocacy by MTA members last year was instrumental in reducing the requirement, including giving districts the option to substitute their own assessments for TS GOLD. Keep pushing if your district's requirements are burdensome and not in the best interests of your students.

Changing the Game in Washington State

Seattle teachers are on strike. They are bargaining for professional pay, less testing, fair evaluations, equitable student discipline policies and more. They have not had a cost-of-living increase for six years. Contract talks broke down over Labor Day weekend.

In other big news from the Northwest, the Washington state Supreme Court ruled 6-3 last Friday that charter schools - which were narrowly approved on the ballot in 2012 - are unconstitutional. The court found that publicly funded schools must be under the control of local elected officials, but the state's charter schools are not. Sound like a familiar problem?

Opportunities for Members

RETELL Spring Registration Coming

RETELL spring registration opens at 4 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 14. Register here promptly at that time.

Scholarships Available for Race Amity Conference

The MTA has $5,000 to provide partial scholarships to the 2015 National Race Amity Conference, which will be held Nov. 19-21 at the Boston Marriott Quincy. This conference offers participants positive, focused opportunities for discussion circles, interactive panels and information sessions on a variety of topics central to the theme of race relationships in the U.S. For more information or a scholarship application, contact Mary Gilgallon in the MTA Division of Governance and Administration by e-mailing mgilgallon@massteacher.org.

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

Barbara