Tomorrow is the Thrive Act hearing at the State House, where hundreds of fellow MTA members, students and parents will push to end the destructive, high-stakes testing regime, including ending the use of a one-time MCAS exam to decide whether or not a student gets a diploma, and ending the failed receivership law.
Here is what we wrote in The Boston Globe on Monday:
“Educators, parents, students and community allies have won big gains for school funding and greater economic equality. We need to reclaim real teaching from destructive, high-stakes testing so that every child has the opportunity to receive the great public education they deserve. To create schools that will allow all students to thrive, the MCAS as a graduation requirement has to go.”
It's not too late to join us tomorrow at the State House to advocate for the passage of the Thrive Act, which would eliminate the graduation requirement tied to the MCAS as well as the receivership system that has led to the takeover of the Lawrence, Holyoke and Southbridge school districts, as well as schools in Springfield and Boston. Sign up for the hearing and learn other ways you can take action in support of the Thrive Act. Remember, we got the time of the hearing changed – it will run from 2 to 8 p.m. – so you and your students can make it after school.
And keep those signatures coming! Find out everything you need to know about the campaign at massteacher.org/testing.
MTA Events and Solidarity Actions
Support UAW Workers on Strike in Mansfield
The United Auto Workers is leading a generational strike, not only on behalf of its own members, but for the entire working class. The UAW is demanding its share of the enormous wealth that members have produced, and which the Big Three auto manufacturers are either hoarding or giving out in multimillion-dollar salaries to executives.
Join some of the local workers, even for 15 minutes, at their picket line in Mansfield.They are there 24/7, andsupport from other unions means so much to their morale. Here’s a good piece in Labor Notes about how you can support the UAW.
MTA Fall Regional Member and Presidents’ Meetings
Please join us for a regional membership and presidents’ meeting at a regional office most convenient for you. This is a chance to speak to us about the issues affecting you in your workplaces. This will also be an opportunity to hear about the statewide campaigns now underway, including theCherish Act andThrive Act campaigns.
We invite members to join us for dinner and discussion from 4:30 to 6 p.m., and then we’ll have a Presidents’ Hour from 6 to 7 p.m. Please register for one or more of the meetings.
Important deadline! 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 a 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.
Student Debt: Confronting Our Crisis Event
Join Max Page, U.S. Representative Ayanna Pressley and state Representative Natalie Higgins for a panel discussion, “Student Debt: Confronting Our Crisis,” on Tuesday, Oct. 10. The event begins at 6 p.m. in Room 425 at Suffolk University Law School, 120 Tremont St., Boston. If you are interested in attending, please RSVP so we can track attendance.
2023 MTA Prek-12 Bargaining Summit
Saturday, Oct. 21, 8:30 a.m., registration and breakfast, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Over the past few years, MTA members have achieved significant settlements, worked through some of the most challenging years in education, and won millions in new funding for our schools. The 2023 MTA Prek-12 Bargaining Summit will help bargaining teams by planning where to go next at the bargaining table and in our communities.
MTA Higher Ed Conference 2023: Reconnect, Celebrate, Organize!
Saturday, Oct. 21, 8:30 a.m., registration and breakfast, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Join us for our Higher Ed Conference! Catch up with higher ed leaders from across the state, celebrate achievements over the past year, and get organized for the year to come. Learn more and register.
EMAC Conference workshop proposals due Oct. 7
The Ethnic Minority Affairs Committee is accepting workshop proposals for their 44th Annual Conference, “Cultivating Cultural Pride, Nurturing Identity and Heritage.” The keynote speaker is Bettina L. Love, an award-winning author and professor.
The conference will be on Dec. 1-2 at the Sheraton Framingham Hotel and Convention Center.
You may have seen some memes on social media – “Record Profits are Stolen Wages” and “Keep reminding people that Mary Barra, the CEO of General Motors, makes $29 million/year, which is $111,000 a DAY.”
The UAW is brilliantly lifting up the stark divide between the income of workers and the wealth of company owners. Here’s a piece by the Economic Policy Institutethat shows how the company can invest in electric vehicles, provide fair wages and benefits – and still have healthy profits, which, of course, are generated by the workers themselves.
Max and Deb