Build Union Democracy: Get Involved

Greetings,

As the nomination of education privatizer Betsy DeVos as U.S. secretary of education shows, it is more important than ever that we build and strengthen union democracy at our state and local levels. Our ability to fight back against attacks on our economic, professional and social justice goals and to fight for the schools, colleges and communities our students and educators deserve is directly related to how many members are actively and effectively engaged in our union.

There are many ways to be involved, including taking leadership roles within your local or at the statewide level. Check with your local association or chapter about the timing and process of becoming more involved locally. This e-mail will highlight some opportunities at the state and national levels.

Board of Directors, Executive Committee and NEA Director Elections
MTA members are represented statewide by the Board of Directors, which has district, retiree and at-large members, and by the Executive Committee, whose members are elected regionally or statewide. MTA members are also represented nationally by our NEA Directors. Go here to read about MTA's governance structure. Go here to see which seats are up for election in 2017 and find out how to obtain nomination papers. Nominees need to get member signatures on those papers in order to run.

The deadline for turning in signed nomination papers for the MTA Board, Executive Committee and Retired Members Committee is 5 p.m. on Friday, March 3. The deadline for NEA Director candidates is 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 13. If you have questions or want to request nomination papers, please contact John Connelly in the MTA Division of Governance and Administration by calling 617.878.8305 or e-mailing jconnelly@massteacher.org.

Nominations Open for CRC: Deadline December 29
The MTA's Candidate Recommendation Committee makes recommendations to MTA members in support of candidates for state and federal offices. Go here for information about which CRC seats are available in 2017 and for a self-nomination form.

MTA Annual Meeting
The MTA Annual Meeting of Delegates is the representative body that sets the direction and budget for the year ahead. MTA's Annual Meeting will be held May 19 to 20, 2017, in Boston. That's later than usual, so mark your calendars.

Retired and Regional Ethnic Minority Delegates: Elections for these positions will be held in conjunction with NEA delegate/director elections. The nomination process is now open and will close on Friday, Jan. 13. Go here for details on serving as a retired delegate and here for details on serving as an ethnic minority delegate.

Local Delegates: Go here for information on becoming a delegate from your local/chapter. Contact your local association or chapter president to let him or her know you want to run.

NEA RA to Be Held in Boston this Summer!
The NEA Representative Assembly will be held at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center from June 30 to July 5. The MTA will be the host, and we expect a lot of MTA members will want to attend as delegates.

To become a regional, statewide or retired delegate to the RA, go here for information. The deadline for applying to run for these positions is 5 p.m. on Jan. 13.

If you want to nominate yourself to be a delegate from your local, go here for details and e-mail your local president and vice president in January.

To find out about non-delegate volunteer opportunities at the NEA RA, go here.

Applications Open for National Leadership Program:
Deadline December 16

Applications for the 2017 Teacher Leadership Institute (formerly known as the Teacher Leadership Initiative) are being accepted through Dec. 16. Go here for more information and a link to the online application.

The TLI is a partnership among the MTA, the NEA, the Center for Teaching Quality and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards to prepare educators who want to play a greater role in shaping the policies and practices that govern teaching and learning in the U.S. Through the initiative, 300 participants from across the country will hone their expertise and engage in leadership work in schools, state houses and associations. Accepted candidates will be notified in early January. For more information, contact Gary Gilardi at ggilardi@massteacher.org.

Save the Date: Bargaining Summit on January 7
Collective bargaining and organizing campaigns around bargaining are important elements in building power and creating the schools our students, educators and communities deserve. Please save the date of Saturday, Jan. 7, for the 2017 MTA Bargaining Summit at the DoubleTree by Hilton, Boston-Westborough. Registration information will be coming soon. For more information, go here.

Environmental Health and Safety Committee
This committee - which has a broad view of the issues related to healthy and safe workplaces and an organizing focus - needs members. If you are interested in serving, please contact Mary Gilgallon in MTA Governance at 617.878.8213 or e-mail her at mgilgallon@massteacher.org.

And in the National Higher Education Picture .
Higher education members are encouraged to register for the National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education and the Professions conference to be held March 26 to 28 at CUNY's Hunter College in New York.


In solidarity,


Barbara