Immigrant Rights and Funding on Summer Agenda

Immigrant Rights and Funding on Summer Agenda

Merrie Najimy

Merrie Najimy, President

It’s well beyond time for our legislators to act


I hope you are enjoying some time off with friends and family this summer. Max and I are just back from the NEA Representative Assembly in Houston and have news to share. As I write this message, our legislators still have not passed a new budget and the Education Committee has still not reported out a funding bill. It’s well beyond time for them to act!

Fund Our Future: Tell Legislators Our Students Can't Wait

Our next State House Fund Our Future action will be held on Thursday, July 11, from 3 to 5 p.m. All are welcome to join. Meet at the MTA’s Boston office, 20 Ashburton Place, at 3 p.m. Join fellow MTA members and coalition partners to have some fun doing a Read-In of letters written by 650-plus MTA members and visiting key State House offices to tell legislators that our students can’t wait yet another month for education justice and that they need to move on our Fund Our Future priorities in July — before they go on recess.

Responding to the Crisis of Child Detention
Join a Protest

Participate in one of the many standouts on Friday, July 12, to protest the concentration camps for immigrants and refugees at the border.

Find an Event

There will be more than 25 standouts across the state, and hundreds across the country, organized by Lights for Liberty on Friday, July 12. These events are to protest the concentration camps for immigrants and refugees at the border. Go here for information about activities around the state and the nation.

In addition, local immigrant communities in Greater Boston are holding a day of listening, learning and action on Saturday, July 13, on immigrant rights campaigns, including Protecting Temporary Protected Status, Countering Violent Extremism with the Muslim Justice League, and the Driver’s License and Safe Communities campaigns. They welcome the support of union members and educators.

MTA Delegates to the NEA RA Move New Business Items

“I went to the NEA RA to learn more about the union and to participate in the democratic process."

First-time NEA RA delegate Rachael White

First-time NEA RA delegate Rachael White from Framingham backed a successful new business item on the universal right of all people to have paid family and medical leave. When I asked her about this experience, she said, “I went to the NEA RA to learn more about the union and to participate in the democratic process. I also went with the intention of advocating for more inclusive paid family and medical leave, in part because, as a new building representative, I’ve seen the struggles of FTA members who have had to fight for their contractual leave over the course of the last school year. I think that all workers have the right to take paid time off when they need to care for themselves and their families, and I was thrilled when the NEA Representative Assembly voted (almost unanimously!) in favor of a new business item that I proposed that will cause the NEA to research paid family and medical leave and create a policy brief that state affiliates and their locals can use in collective bargaining.”

Cynthia Roy of the Bristol-Plymouth Teachers Association, a second-time delegate to the RA, submitted a successful NBI calling for the national distribution of information about the rights and protections accorded to people with opioid dependence under federal anti-discrimination and civil rights laws.

Strong Public Schools Presidential Forum

Along with the rest of the educators attending the RA, the delegates from Massachusetts had a chance to hear from 10 Democratic candidates for president.

Watch the Video

Cynthia told me, “For me, serving as a regional delegate is an opportunity to give voice to marginalized and oppressed groups. When it passed and I stepped out of the spotlight illuminating the podium, there stood a man before me. He shared his recovery story and his gratitude. We embraced and cried. In that moment, I remembered, once again, why I was there.”

In another action, thousands of NEA members marched on an immigrant detention center blocks away from the convention center in Houston.

MTA Member Makes Case for Adjunct Fairness

Paul Mange Johansen, an MTA member and a research analyst at Berkshire Community College, has been very active in the Fund Our Future campaign and organizing to win rights for public higher education faculty and staff. He co-authored a letter to The Berkshire Eagle with Representative Paul Mark making the case for legislation to achieve a measure of fairness for our adjunct faculty members.

In solidarity,