A Lot of Good News to Celebrate

A Lot of Good News to Celebrate

Greetings, MTA Members,

We are glad to offer you the second of our planned weekly editions of MTA Union News.

max page and Deb mccarthy

It is July 26, and there are just five more days in the formal legislative session. Weeks late (the state fiscal year begins on July 1, as do your local budget years), the Legislature has finalized its spending plan.

There is a lot of good news to celebrate: full funding of the third year of the Student Opportunity Act, another year of free meals for all public preK-12 students, a doubling of minimum aid to districts (from $30 to $60 per student), welcome increases for all public higher education campuses, a dramatic rise in funding for public higher education student scholarships, and $750 million in bond monies to build and repair our public campuses.

We are especially pleased that a program the MTA proposed — called Tomorrow’s Educators — was included, to the tune of $7.5 million, providing tuition grants for students attending one of our public colleges or universities with the intent of becoming a public school educator.

Moreover, an additional $7.5 million will be allocated to relieve the debt of newly graduated educators (and we wrote it to include ALL educators, including Education Support Professionals).

There were also many priorities that did not get to the finish line — the early retirement measure, the Cherish Act for public higher education, and a bill to diversify the education workforce, to name a few. To add to the negative side of the ledger, there is a wrongheaded tax cut for the wealthiest in the form of giveaways for the largest estates.

After we win the Fair Share Amendment on Nov. 8 (sign up to canvass or make some calls), together we are going to have to reconsider how we advocate at the state level for laws and policies. We will only win our biggest gains with intensive member involvement and a growing insistence that our elected representatives, many of whom we endorse year after year, follow the lead of the experts on public education — that’s all of you.

MTA Events

Although Summer Conference registration is closed, we welcome members to the plenary session on Sunday, July 31, at 4:30 p.m. at UMass Amherst. Members will have a chance to have a conversation with Chris Smalls and Derrick Palmer of the Amazon Labor Union, as well as Boston-area members of Starbucks Workers United. Sign up here (and please note that all attendees must follow the COVID protocols).

Consider Seeking a Committee Seat

The heart of a member-driven union is participation in committees that shape MTA policies and actions.Nominate yourself for one of our union’s many committees here.

Nominate Yourself for an MTA Committee

Solidarity Actions (and News of Victories!)

While many locals successfully concluded bargaining before the summer, the Malden Education Association has faced an especially problematic administration and School Committee. Please support MEA members by attending a bargaining session at Malden City Hall, 200 Pleasant Street, tomorrow at 4 p.m. (Wednesday, July 27). Sign up here by 8 tonight to be a silent representative at bargaining on Wednesday.

Sign up to participate in Malden

There were many remarkable contract victories this spring, which we will share over the coming weeks. Many of you supported the Brookline Educators Union in their strike for a fair contract. Their powerful collective action resolved a years-long contract fight with outstanding gains for educators and students.

“The fact is that Capitalism was built on the exploitation and suffering of black slaves and continues to thrive on the exploitation of the poor both black and white, both here and abroad.”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Political Education

We offer this powerful quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., given in a speech titled “The Three Evils,” delivered on Aug. 31, 1967, in Chicago. We encourage you to read an excellent book on Dr. King’s lifelong writing and activism on the integration of the battles for racial and economic justice: To the Promised Land: Martin Luther King and the Fight for Economic Justice.

“Again we have deluded ourselves into believing the myth that Capitalism grew and prospered out of the Protestant ethic of hard work and sacrifice. The fact is that Capitalism was built on the exploitation and suffering of black slaves and continues to thrive on the exploitation of the poor both black and white, both here and abroad.”

In solidarity,

Max and Deb