MTA Union News: It’s summer but a lot is happening

MTA Union News: It’s summer but a lot is happening

Greetings, MTA members,

These are the slow days of August, but there is still a lot happening in the world of the MTA!

As you hopefully get a well-deserved break for a few days after summer work, the Summer Conference, PD workshops and bargaining, take some time to do some union summer reading and support your fellow members.

Late-breaking news: Yesterday we learned that in part because of our advocacy (along with the Massachusetts Nurses Association, among others), the governor vetoed a bill that would otherwise have allowed anyone working in our schools, trained or not, to provide insulin injections and other diabetes treatment to our students.

MTA Events

Mark your calendars — the Ethnic Minority Affairs Committee will hold its annual conference on Dec. 2-3.

And don’t forget to sign up for Fair Share Amendment canvasses and phone-banking. Use the power you have as respected educators to win this $2 billion — a yearly and permanent source of funding for public schools, public colleges and transportation.

Solidarity Actions and Victories

Victory on retirement benefits for more than 2,000 MTA members

We have a great victory to report: Over 2,000 MTA members who were through no fault of their own left out of RetirementPlus will finally get a one-time chance to join the program. If you are eligible, you will have until next June to finalize participation. Read the details.

Take action on unfunded higher ed contracts

The Classified Staff Union at UMass Boston and the Massachusetts Society of Professors at UMass Amherst have been waiting months to get their contracts funded by the Legislature. Some members have been waiting two years for these raises. The Legislature’s chaotic departure on Aug. 1 has left these contracts in limbo.

We need to urge our legislators to finalize these contracts by moving the language in Section 156 of the Senate’s economic development bill to the governor's desk immediately. Please take action now.

Be impressed: 50,000

That’s the number of doors our MTA Summer Member Organizers have knocked on as they make the case for the Fair Share Amendment. Join them for a canvass or phone bank! Sign up here.

Political Education

As we head toward the start of a new school year, it never hurts to remind ourselves of the essential value of unions. Here’s a brief report that succinctly highlights the power of unions to lift the pay, benefits, and working conditions for workers — even those not in unions.

And as we continue the work of challenging racial inequality, the report reminds us of how central unions are in that cause:

“Union representation narrows racial pay gaps. Collective bargaining increases the power of marginalized workers by standardizing pay grades based on skill level and strengthening protections against workplace discrimination. Unionization increases pay by 17.3% for Black workers, 23.1% for Latino workers and 14.7% for Asian workers, compared to 10.1% for white workers.

“Increased income thanks to unionization also narrows racial wealth gaps. For example, unionization increases the median Black household’s wealth by more than three times, compared to less than two times for white households.”

In solidarity,

Max and Deb