MTA Union News: Taking Action for Locals — and Question 1

MTA Union News: Taking Action for Locals — and Question 1


This is a busy week in the world of the MTA, with three big rallies this weekend: one each on Saturday in support of two large locals — Haverhill and Malden — and the other on Sunday in support of Fair Share, with U.S. Representative Ayanna Pressley and our NEA President, Becky Pringle.

Read on for more information.

And please sign up for one or more canvasses or phone banks for the Fair Share Amendment. We are just 28 days away from winning progressive taxes to fund our public schools and colleges.

In addition, we are hoping you’ll fill out this Talk to Ten form, sharing the people you have spoken to or will speak to about Fair Share. You are the most trusted messengers when it comes to our public schools and colleges.

And here’s some musical inspiration, from a singer Max had the good fortune to hear recently: Billy Bragg, There Is Power In A Union.

MTA Events

Rally, Canvass and Lunch: Join U.S. Representative Pressley and National Education Association President Becky Pringle for a rally and canvass for Question 1, the Fair Share Amendment, this Sunday. The event is at the Lilla G. Frederick Pilot Middle School, beginning at 2 p.m. Here’s all the information. And please join MTA members and staff — and President Pringle — for a light lunch at 12:30 p.m. that same day, Oct. 16, at MTA headquarters, 2 Heritage Drive, Quincy. Please let us know if you are coming to lunch.

Prioritizing Mental Health: MTA Benefits and MTAB partner are hosting two upcoming webinars available to all members. The first will take place Oct. 18 at 4:30 p.m. and will focus on how to combat isolation and the winter blues. The second will take place Nov. 1 at 4:30 p.m. and will discuss creating a culture of mental health awareness in schools. Register for a webinar. Local presidents received a postcard last week regarding the virtual behavioral health program and its importance for members. If you’re interested in learning how you can offer this benefit, visit this link.

EMAC Conference: The MTA’s Ethnic Minority Affairs Committee is excited to host this year’s Ethnic Minority Affairs Committee Conference in person on Dec. 2 and 3. The committee is requesting proposals from members that amplify EMAC’s mission and purpose and incorporate this year’s theme: “From the roots up, shifting our culture with your union power, it starts with you.” To submit proposals and find event information, please visit the EMAC Conference webpage.

Health and Safety Grants for School Districts

Massachusetts school districts with low-income students have an opportunity to apply for substantial funding to improve ventilation and indoor air quality to support healthy learning environments. The deadline to apply is Oct. 28. Learn more.

Solidarity Actions

Malden and Haverhill Solidarity Rallies: Members of the Malden Education Association and the Haverhill Education Association are in the middle of major contract battles that are coming to a head. We hope for resolution, but regardless of the outcome, there will be two rallies this Saturday, Oct. 15: the first at 1 p.m. outside Haverhill City Hall and the second at 4 p.m. outside Malden City Hall. Sign up here.

Fair Contract for South Hadley Teachers and Paraprofessionals: Please circle Oct. 24 on your calendar to come stand out at 4 p.m. at South Hadley High School with South Hadley teachers and paras as they fight for a fair contract.

Political Education

We recently read Adolph Reed’s memoir about growing up in New Orleans, The South: Jim Crow and Its Afterlives. Reed — one of the most important political scientists of the last generation and a figure who regularly challenges conventional thinking around racial and economic justice — has this to say near the end of the book:

“While the segregationist system was clearly and obviously racist and white supremacist, it wasn’t merely about white supremacy for its own sake alone. It was the instrument of a specific order of political and economic power that was clearly racial but that most fundamentally stabilized and reinforced the dominance of powerful political and economic interests. …

“[The] core of the Jim Crow order was a class system rooted in employment and production relations that were imposed, stabilized, regulated, and naturalized through a regime of white supremacist law, practice, custom, rhetoric, and ideology. Defeating the white supremacist regime was a tremendous victory for social justice and egalitarian interests. At the same time, that victory left the undergirding class system untouched and in practical terms affirmed it. That is the source of that bizarre sensation I felt in the region a generation after the defeat of Jim Crow. The larger takeaway from this reality is that a simple racism/anti-racism framework isn’t adequate for making sense of the segregation era, and it certainly isn’t up to the task of interpreting what has succeeded it or challenging the forms of inequality and injustice that persist.”

In solidarity,

Max and Deb