SOA Forums and Higher Ed Advocacy on Tap

SOA Forums and Higher Ed Advocacy on Tap

Merrie Najimy

Merrie Najimy, President


Like much of the rest of the country, we are gearing up for the presidential primary on Super Tuesday, which is March 3. Early voting has already started this week. At the same time, we at the MTA are pressing ahead with our advocacy on behalf of more funding for public higher education and encouraging districts to spend their new Student Opportunity Act funding wisely. To succeed, we need to continue to strengthen our union. To that end, please sign up to attend a regional member forum and find out what insights we’ve gained from the All In Blueprint Working Group process. These insights will help us increase our union power and strengthen connections in our communities.

Public Higher Education Advocacy Day Is Monday, March 2
This Public Higher Education Advocacy Day matters more than ever as we press the Legislature to increase funding in this year’s budget and move the Cherish Act to the next stage in the legislative process. The Cherish Act would increase funding for our public colleges and universities by $600 million over five years, restoring per-student state spending to where it was two decades ago when adjusted for inflation. We are urging the Legislature to pass the first installment of that funding this year. If you can’t make it to the State House, you can support the effort through our Virtual Public Higher Ed Advocacy Day action.

Student Opportunity Act Forums Coming
With help from their Senate District Coordinators and MTA field reps, a growing number of locals are organizing member or community forums focused on how new money provided under the Student Opportunity Act should be spent. Forums are now scheduled in Malden, Worcester and Springfield for tonight, New Bedford and Everett on Thursday, Acushnet on March 2 and Haverhill on March 9. Check with your local association president or SDC for more information.

Haverhill Makes Progress on ‘Serious Concerns’ at Bradford
Just before February vacation week, Haverhill Education Association members at the Bradford Elementary School took a vote of no confidence in the school’s principal and assistant principal and released a strongly worded letter condemning the climate of fear at the school. This demonstration of union power resulted in the Haverhill superintendent of schools quickly looking into the concerns. HEA President Anthony Parolisi said he was “encouraged” by the district’s response to “very serious concerns that have been festering for years.” Speaking out collectively really does make a difference! Your union has your back.

Registration Open for ESP Conference in Early April
Registration is now open for the MTA’s annual ESP Conference on Cape Cod. The event will be held April 3-4 at the Sea Crest Beach Hotel in Falmouth. Workshop topics include the Cherish Act campaign, conflict resolution training, how to design simple newsletters and flyers, health and safety concerns around student behavior, bargaining job security language, student debt, living wage campaigns, working with students on the autism spectrum, chair yoga and much more. This is a great time for ESPs from across the state to hear from one another and share common goals and strategies.

Teaching for Black Lives
Two college professors, Wayne Au of the University of Washington Bothell and Dyan Watson of Lewis & Clark in Oregon, will be leading an interactive presentation at UMass Amherst based on their book “Teaching for Black Lives.” This event is free and open to all. It will be held on Thursday, Feb. 27, at 4:30 p.m. in the Carney Family Auditorium in Furcolo Hall.

In solidarity,