We wanted to share these words that Max posted on Facebook after the end of the strikes in Malden and Haverhill:
“I have never been more proud to be an educator, a union member, and leader of the MTA than this week when Malden and Haverhill educators stood up to demand more for their schools. The fierce commitment to stand up to bullies of all types (school committees, the Department of Labor Relations, the courts, lawyers who get up in the morning to say, ‘We have to punish you educators’), and to embrace their union siblings in solidarity and call on their students and families to stand with them, was just so inspiring and moving. A lot of tears were shed because members knew they were and are part of something special. I witnessed a level of camaraderie, of support, of pure joy in taking a huge risk together, that I have rarely if ever seen. Everyone needs to learn how these locals decided enough was enough and that they were going to win better, fairer contracts for themselves and their schools. Let the story of this incredible week ripple across our union.
“Thank you, mighty members of Malden and Haverhill!”
We spent last Thursday in Haverhill supporting the team in their negotiations, which resulted in a contract at about 10 p.m. As HEA members gathered by the hundreds to insist that the School Committee not close schools for another day but, rather, make a deal, Deb recited the words of Mother Jones — the fierce radical of the late 19th and early 20th centuries who wrote the following, almost as if she knew that there would be brave Haverhill educators, students and parents fighting for their schools close to a century after her death:
“Some day the workers will take possession of your city hall, and when we do, no child will be sacrificed on the altar of profit.”
We are exactly 14 days away from Election Day, and I want to urge you all to Talk to Ten — talk to ten of your friends and family — and urge them to vote yes on Question 1. And then join at least one phone bank and canvass. You want to be a part of this historic victory and tell your grandchildren you called and knocked and spread the word about Question 1 — which will mean $2 billion from the very wealthiest every year, constitutionally dedicated to our public schools and colleges and transportation.
- The MTA Ethnic Minority Affairs Committee is excited to host the annual Ethnic Minority Affairs Committee Conference — in person — on Dec. 2 and 3 at The Verve Hotel in Natick. 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.
- MTA Benefits has been leading the way with weekly workshops on student debt, including how to access debt relief. Learn more. And register here for a workshop tomorrow. Please also visit studentaid.gov/pslf for more information. The deadline for accessing some forms of relief is Oct. 31. Today, we joined U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren and U.S. Representative Ayanna Pressley as they toured the state to help our members and the wider community understand and access the incredible new student debt cancellation victories we won together.
Fair Share Question
This week’s question in our series asking how Fair Share revenue could improve your ability to help your students to thrive is: What are the conditions in the school or college you teach or learn in or where your children learn? You can see more information and share your insights here.
As we head into the legislative session as a union, we may very well want to take on the law that prohibits strikes by public employees — one of the most onerous in the country. Here are a few articles about the importance of educators’ strikes over the past several years:
Max and Deb