Greetings, MTA members,
All of us in the MTA should not only think about what we can win at the local level — good contracts, enforcement of those contracts, strong school budgets, and so on — but what we can only win at the state level, including progressive taxes, adequate state funding for schools and colleges, better policies on the MCAS and licensure.
Even as we show up for more and more locals holding solidarity actions to win fair contracts, we are focusing energy on the State House. The more we show up for these statewide priorities, the more we can win for all educators, students and communities.
Please take a moment right now to review the legislative priorities approved by the MTA Board of Directors and then ask your local representatives and senators to co-sponsor our five core priorities.
You can do both at massteacher.org/legislation.
Many of you know your state reps and senators well. Maybe you have their email or cell phone. Let them know that you hope – and expect – that they will sign on to the MTA’s priority bills. You won the Fair Share Amendment. You won the Student Opportunity Act. You stopped charter school expansions with Question 2. And you have put the issue of the harm done by high stakes testing on the front burner. Now our legislators need to step up again and do what is right for our public schools and colleges.
MTA Events and Solidarity Actions
A regular feature of our weekly email is this list, where you can view upcoming actions.
It’s a busy week for our locals across the state: There are standouts in Canton (today at 4:30 p.m. at Canton High), Watertown (Wednesday), Weymouth (Saturday), Quincy (next Tuesday) and a rally in Woburn (Saturday). Use the link above to see more details.
Please add your own to this form. The more we show up for one another, the greater the power we generate for local and statewide campaigns.
MTA's Climate Action Network is having its second regional conference this Saturday, Jan. 28, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at UMass Lowell. This half-day of professional development will show participants how they can fight climate change by exploring K-12 climate curricula, supporting youth climate activism, and developing climate action plans for your school or local. The first 25 MTA members who register will receive a $100 stipend for attending.
NEA Conference Opportunities
Each year, MTA receives an allocation from NEA to send members to NEA national conferences. President Max Page would like to put together MTA teams for various NEA conferences. Please click here to learn more about each conference opportunity and complete the form indicating one or more choices among the conferences you are interested in attending.
Back by popular demand! More from Mary Heaton Vorse, the labor journalist who – Max just found out because of a wonderful new historic marker – lived down the street from his home.
Here she is writing about the unique power of women on strike at a Passaic, New Jersey strike in 1926:
“There is strength in these women, and power. They are no passive audience who sit like jugs and have the words of the speakers poured into them. They take part in the meeting. There is a response and approval that makes it a live thing. You can see them thinking together and getting ready to act together. The many weeks of strike have added something to them. They come out from the drudgery of the mill and home into the picket line and halls where they are fighting together, for the women knew that they were fighting for, their faces showed it. Animating these women is a calm determination to win the strike… This evening is only another step in the lessons on unionism that they have been learning from the strike, another expression of solidarity. A meeting like this could not have been held in a textile town a few years ago. Here are women of all races listening to speakers in English. Women have come out of their homes to meet together for a high purpose. The cry has been always before that you cannot organize the women.”
From Rebel Pen: The Writings of Mary Heaton Vorse (ed. Dee Garrison, New York: Monthly Review Press, 1985).
Max and Deb