Union News: We Fight for a Better Society

Union News: We Fight for a Better Society

Greetings, MTA members,

We hope you had a restful Memorial Day weekend and are ready for the final push through to summer.

Last week marked the anniversary of two terrible acts of violence: the May 24, 2022, murder of 19 children and two teachers at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, by an 18-year-old former student armed with an assault-style weapon; and the May 25, 2020, murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers.

As long as the gun lobby can continue to buy the policies it wants in Washington and block meaningful reform to gun laws, our communities will continue to pay an unfathomable price in lives lost to violence.

George Floyd’s murder triggered a movement to dismantle the racist practices and policies baked into every level of our society, yet that quest for social and racial justice has been met with resistance every step of the way.

It is no doubt disheartening to watch the non-stop flow of news about mass shootings, school shooting, racially motivated violence and prejudice.

But as educators we continue to play a vital role in moving our country toward a more just future. Whenever we fight for equitable, safe and enriching public schools and colleges, what we are really fighting for is a better society. In addition to all of the knowledge and critical thinking skills we impart to our students, one thing they also really need right now is a sense of hope.

And as a reminder that change is possible and fighting for a better world is worth it, let’s look at some other events that occurred last week.

Our members in Worcester won a transformative contract for ESPs; there was a rally supporting the ongoing, brilliantly creative fight for fair pay for paras in Hingham, one of the state’s wealthiest towns and certainly capable of offering better than poverty wages to educators; and an advocacy day for the Thrive Act at the State House, featured stunningly eloquent students who spoke about the harm of the MCAS, and of the anti-democratic takeover of Lawrence, Holyoke and Southbridge.

This union will always be relentless in defense of our students and our members. We know that as we take on high-stakes testing, or open the doors to our public colleges and universities to working-class students, demand living wages for all educators, we are, in the face of ongoing attacks, strengthening this democracy.

MTA Events and Solidarity Actions

Support Your Union Siblings: Check out this list of upcoming actions. 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 Forum on high-stakes testing, with Congressman Jamaal Bowman
When: 6 p.m., Monday, June 5
Where: Virtual
A virtual forum on The Thrive Act, High-Stakes Standardized Testing and State Takeovers on Monday, June 5, at 6 p.m. The event will be facilitated by Jack Schneider, co-founder of the Massachusetts Consortium for Innovative Education Assessment, education professor and author – as well as an MTA member. Congressman Jamaal Bowman headlines the forum. Register here.

MTA Forum on racial justice, with author Heather McGhee
When: 3:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 7
Where: Brookline High School
National bestselling author Heather McGhee joins us at Brookline High (and via livestream through MTA’s Facebook page) to speak about her book, The Sum Of Us, and hear about the campaign for living wages for paraprofessionals in Brookline. Register here.

Political Education

Take a listen to the latest NEA “School Me” Podcast, with MTA member Jack Schneider, one of the nation’s leading experts on the destructiveness of high-stakes testing.

In solidarity,
Max and Deb