Our members have had a stellar couple of weeks of standing up for themselves, their students, their schools and their colleges. To name a few highlights:
- Fund Our Future Resolutions continue to pass. Don't forget to take and post pictures and short videos to publicize passage, and be sure to ask the School Committee to send a pro-funding message to your legislators and leaders in the State House.
- The Springfield Education Association held a retreat that drew more than 50 members, many of them involved in the union for the first time.
- More than 100 members in total showed up for forums in Quincy, Middleborough and on the Cape.
- More than 60 residents and members attended a community forum sponsored by the Worcester Education Justice Alliance, and 20 educators and parents attended a Southeast Education Justice Alliance forum in Hull.
- Weymouth educators have been holding standouts in support of a fair contract.
- Seventy members of the University Staff Association at UMass Amherst celebrated National ESP Day.
- The Educational Association of Worcester teamed up with the MTA ESP Committee and the NEA to organize a dinner social on National ESP Day that drew ESPs from around Central Massachusetts.
- Haverhill Education Association members won a City Council vote that overrides the mayor's plan to continue shortchanging the school budget.
- The New Bedford Educators Association is continuing to work with a community coalition to fight the expansion of the Alma del Mar and Global Learning charter schools -- expansions that would have a devastating impact on the local public schools.
- Members in locals that are part of WeMEAN (the Western Mass Educator Action Network) are taking part in many actions, including joining Southampton educators engaged in a contract fight by conducting informational picketing and leafleting at parents' night; setting a schedule to educate parents about Fund Our Future in Amherst-Pelham; and joining their counterparts in Easthampton to plan a community forum.
And here's some of what's coming up.
Reimagining Bargaining on Dec. 1: Register today!
In case you missed this notice last week, please join us for the 2018 MTA Bargaining Summit. The summit is a great place to learn new and effective negotiating strategies that will build our union and help us win on the issues that are important to our students, members and communities.
Big Push Needed to Pass Adjunct Bill
Higher education members are All In to try to finally win health care for adjunct faculty. The bill to achieve that, H. 4153, was sent to the House Ways and Means Committee with a favorable recommendation, but we have limited time left in the session. All MTA members are encouraged to write their legislators in support of this bill. It would make a huge difference to 6,000 adjuncts who are members of MSCA and MCCC.
Join us for the EMAC Conference December 7-8
All MTA members are welcome to attend the 2018 Ethnic Minority Affairs Committee Conference on Friday, Dec. 7, and Saturday, Dec. 8. The conference offers members a chance to discuss issues related to white privilege and racism, ethnic and racial identity, and economic and social justice. Register for the EMAC conference now..
MTA Benefits Launches Blog on Home and Work Topics
MTA Benefits is introducing a new blog on topics that relate to members' home and work lives. The goal is to help members better utilize and benefit from MTAB's many programs. Check it out!
Save the Date: MEJA Convening Coming on December 15
The Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance -- a coalition of groups representing educators, parents, students, and civil rights and labor groups -- is holding a winter convening on Saturday, Dec. 15, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Boston. More details will be coming, but this will be an exciting opportunity for MTA members to work with other public education supporters to map out a strategy for winning more funding for our public schools and colleges.
Less Testing, More Learning
We have to make sure that any new funding does not come with more testing and accountability strings attached. In fact, we need the state and districts to roll back testing mandates. Please contribute your own stories about the testing madness we are facing and read what others have to say on the Citizens for Public Schools' Less Testing, More Learning blog.
I wish you all a peaceful and delicious Thanksgiving.