Last night, over 1,200 members and allies of the Newton Teachers Association marched from Newton North High School to the administration building. There was incredible energy as the educators and their many parent and student supporters demanded what this very wealthy community can certainly afford: living wages for ESPs, stronger mental health support for students, fair parental leave, and just compensation for all. Watch a short clip of the program here. When locals win important gains, they propel forward every other local.
Last night’s event followed a bargaining summit on Saturday in Southbridge, where 150 MTA members gathered to get inspired by the victories in Pentucket, Quincy and Worcester and then get down to work planning regional bargaining campaigns for this year. If you couldn’t make it, know that there are a number of upcoming bargaining workshops to aid you and your local in securing major gains for your members and students.
MTA Events and Solidarity Actions
MCCC Members Deserve a Fair Contract
Our community college staff and faculty are at the bottom of the pay scale compared to their equivalents in most other states and are fighting for a fair contract even as we fight for passage of the Cherish Act and the historic investments in public higher education it will bring. Please support them.
Community Conversation: Representation & Inclusivity in Higher Education
When: Nov. 13 at 4 p.m.
Where: Roxbury Community College, Media Arts Center
Join state Secretary of Education Patrick Tutwiler, Senator Liz Miranda, the co-chair of the Joint Committee on Racial Equity, Civil Rights & Inclusion, and MTA President Max Page for a community conversation on the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision on affirmative action, how it affects you, and how you can learn more about resources available in your community.
The program has been organized to allow participants to attend and exit throughout the event so that it is as accessible as possible for people with varying work schedules. Educators, parents and students are encouraged to attend the event, in whole or in part. RSVP here.
Retirement Plus Webinar
When: Nov. 14 at 5 p.m.
Join MTA and the Boston Teachers Union to hear about several bills currently under consideration by the Joint Committee on Public Service that would allow teachers hired before July 1, 2001, and who did not “elect” to join RetirementPlus, to have a second opportunity to do so. Register here.
MTA Climate Action Network’s Fall Mini-Conference
Theme: Advancing Climate Action in Schools and Campuses
When: Saturday, Nov. 4, 10 a.m.
Where: Newton South High School
The conference will feature speakers and discussions about curriculum, bargaining, facilities and finances. Hear from students, educators, non-profit activists, and more.
See more details and register here. The first 25 MTA members who register will receive $100 stipends.
African American Studies: Teacher Enrichment Workshop Series
Faculty members from the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies and the Department of Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies at UMass Amherst are offering a free workshop series. The series is designed to prepare local educators to teach African American studies content more broadly or to offer the AP course. This workshop is the first of a two-part series. To earn professional development points, participants must attend both workshops. Learn more about this two-part workshop series.
Part 1: Saturday, Nov. 4, at 10 a.m.
Part 2: Saturday, March 2, 2024
101 Furculo Hall, UMass Amherst College of Education, 813 North Pleasant St., Amherst, MA 01003
First Wednesday Retiree Virtual Speaker Series
The Retired Members Committee kicks off its virtual speaker series on Nov. 1 with NO MCAS: Organizing Stories and What We Can Do. Come to hear inspiring stories from five different local organizing efforts to fight high-stakes testing, as well as to learn more about the Thrive Act and the MTA’s ballot initiative to end the MCAS graduation requirement.
The Waging Liberation: The Dynamics of Race and Labor Conference and Arnold Dubin Labor Education Center Awards Banquet
When: November 16 from 9 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Where: Marketplace at UMass Dartmouth, 285 Old Westport Road, North Dartmouth
Please mark your calendars for two events at UMass Dartmouth. The Waging Liberation: The Dynamics of Race and Labor Conference will be held from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Marketplace (Parking Lot #5). Keynote speakers include the Rev. William Joseph Barber II, Ph.D., and Bill Fletcher Jr. The conference is followed by the Arnold Dubin Labor Education Center's 48th Annual Awards Banquet. Register here.
Rachel S. White, Ph.D., from the University of Tennessee is conducting a research study that aims to better understand educators’ and administrators' perspectives of superintendent attrition and how educators and administrators perceive a superintendent's attributes. The objective of White’s work is to better understand the ways in which superintendent turnover is perceived by educators, and the impacts that superintendent attrition has on educators’ feelings/emotions, perceptions and actions within their professional context; and educators’ perceptions of superintendents.
Participation will require completion of a short survey (10-15 minutes). You may access the survey here. Any person who completes the survey will have the opportunity to submit their email address to be considered for a drawing to receive a $200 Amazon gift card.
Bill Fletcher, Jr. Reading: The Man Who Changed Colors
When: Nov. 14 at 6 p.m.
Where: Bristol Community College, C111 (Please use parking lot #4)
Bill Fletcher Jr., a longtime labor and civil rights activist, will present his new novel, “The Man Who Changed Colors,” on Nov. 14. The event is hosted by the LusoCentro at BCC and Bridgewater State University's Pedro Pires Institute for Cape Verdean Studies. If you cannot attend in person, you may attend virtually. Please register by clicking here. For more information, please email Carlos Almeida at firstname.lastname@example.org or Angelo Barbosa at email@example.com.
This year, all new members are eligible to enroll in disability insurance for up to 60 days after their hire date. Disability insurance insures your paycheck by replacing a portion of your salary when you’re out of work due to an illness or injury. Short-term disability can fill the income gap when you can’t work, which is particularly valuable to new members who have few sick days. Short-term disability will also provide maternity benefits, but if you think you’ll need maternity coverage, don’t wait until you know you need it. By then, it’s too late. Watch this video to learn about the importance of disability insurance. New members can get coverage now or wait until April 2024 for the last opportunity to enroll. Materials are available in English, Spanish and Portuguese. Learn more today.
Student Loan Debt Forgiveness and Repayment Webinars
Student loan payments have resumed, and the deadline to receive retroactive credit for payments you’ve made toward loan forgiveness is quickly approaching. If either of these topics affects you or you’re looking for general information regarding a student or Parent PLUS loan, join an informational webinar hosted by MTA Benefits and Cambridge Credit Counseling.
Many colleges and universities, including Massachusetts public higher ed campuses, are dropping the requirement that students take the SAT or ACT.
And with good reason – those scores, like MCAS scores, almost perfectly match family income. They do not measure intelligence or abilities; they do measure economic privilege. Check out this article with shocking – if not surprising – graphs about how SAT scores match wealth. And check out this new book, “Ours Was the Shining Future” by David Leonhardt which shows how centrally important labor was to fighting for greater economic equality in the second half of the 20th century.
The decline in labor union power has led to staggering inequality.
Max and Deb