It is crunch time for the Fair Share Amendment. The opponents — funded almost exclusively by a few multimillionaires and billionaires — are rolling out one lie after another in their attempt to protect their enormous wealth and deny a reliable source of funds for our public schools, colleges, and transportation systems.
What they don’t have is you: the most respected people in your communities on education issues. So we need you to talk to your family, friends, and neighbors. Can you talk to 10 friends and family members this week?
And if you like writing, please sign up to send a Fair Share letter to the editor. With just a few weeks left until Election Day — Nov. 8 — it's important that we share our support for Question 1 in local newspapers and counter the misinformation being spread by the billionaire-funded opposition. If you want to write a letter to your local paper, please email Fair Share communications team member Andrew Farnitano at firstname.lastname@example.org for resources and guidance.
How can resources from Fair Share improve your ability to help your students to thrive? Over the next five weeks, the MTA will be inviting members to discuss the needs you see in your classrooms. We are inviting comments on five different topics and provide background information on each. The first question is: “Do you think teacher salaries being lower than those of other workers with similar levels of education affects the teaching profession?” See more information and share your insights.
And, finally, even though most everyone is back in school and college buildings, Zoom will continue to be a major part of our world. For the next four weeks, please consider using the Fair Share Amendment Zoom backgrounds available on this page.
Student Debt Benefits Deadline — Oct. 31: MTA members have just until the end of October to take advantage of several important changes to college debt-relief programs. The NEA has provided helpful information on the recent student debt cancellation victory, as well as deadlines for applying for some or all of your Public Service Loan Forgiveness debt to be wiped away. MTA Benefits is continuing its free seminars for members about how to take advantage of the new developments.
Solidarity and Victories
- Veteran Martha’s Vineyard Educator, Dani Charbonneau was awarded the title of Teacher of the Year this past week. Congratulations to this outstanding educator and MTA member!
- Join us on Oct. 11 as we both serve as silent representatives at bargaining to support Malden and Haverhill educators. Both locals are in major battles with administrations that are not bargaining fair contracts, and things are coming to a head. Let’s show them that these locals have the support of members from far and wide. Sign up to be a silent rep for Malden at 3 p.m. at City Hall. For Haverhill, open bargaining begins at 4:30 p.m.
In addition to working long days as educators, many of you are involved in your local unions and in MTA statewide committees and conferences. That must add to your stress, right? Well, not so fast. Among the other values of unions, it turns out that “Teachers’ unions reduce teacher stress. Anti-union laws significantly increase it.” (NOTE: We in the MTA always try to refer to our members as “educators” to capture the full range of education work done in our schools and colleges. The author of the study hasn't yet gotten the message!)
The study suggests: The positive union effect on teacher stress may be driven by unions’ role as “teacher voice.” Teachers’ unions provide more supportive leadership relationships, improved school climate, advocacy for professional development, and increased teacher morale. Because of these, the unions also correlate with teachers’ overall well-being, a critical pillar of teachers’ stress and their mental health.
Max and Deb