Marshall McLuhan's oft-repeated phrase, "the medium is the message," rings true when I think about the No on 2 campaign. When educators speak out in defense of our students, the public really does listen and care. There is no better medium for this campaign than you. Please be on the lookout for a message tomorrow about how you can sign up for a phone banking shift near you!
MCCC Contract Funded! DCE Bargaining to Begin
The Legislature finally passed a supplemental budget that funds the Massachusetts Community College Council contract - with all retroactive pay. While it's discouraging that these MCCC members had to wait months for the pay they were owed, it is gratifying that preK-12 and retired MTA members lobbied legislators in support of their higher ed brothers and sisters.
The MCCC's Division of Continuing Education unit, which represents adjuncts and part-timers, is now preparing to negotiate its new agreement. Union-wide solidarity will be critical in helping DCE members succeed.
MNA Supports MTA, and MTA Supports Harvard Workers
It gave Quincy educators and MTA staff a huge boost last Saturday to see that the Massachusetts Nurses Association had decked out its bus with giant No on 2 signs. Now, another union could use our support: UNITE HERE Local 26, representing striking Harvard dining hall workers. These workers are looking for donations to their Strike Assistance Fund as well as positive honks and cheers if you pass picketing strikers.
Student Test Scores
When the federal government reauthorized No Child Left Behind as the Every Student Succeeds Act, one of the big changes was that states no longer have to include student test scores in their educator evaluation systems. Since then, the MTA has been pushing the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to get rid of the unworkable, invalid "impact rating" based on state tests and District-Determined Measures. Hopes that the DESE would see the light are rapidly fading. Commissioner Mitchell Chester has told us that on October 25 he will propose getting rid of the Student Impact Rating . but will create a similar measure in the summative rating part of the evaluation system. The MTA and AFT Massachusetts are continuing to fight this plan, but prepare to do battle on this issue after the election.
In solidarity, and in anticipation of many great things ahead,