Union News: Help Unfreeze 60K State Workers’ Contracts

Union News: Help Unfreeze 60K State Workers’ Contracts

pay educators what they deserve

Greetings, MTA members,

We hope you had a restful Thanksgiving.  

Our higher ed members need our help as their contracts continue to be held up by a state Legislature unwilling to do the regular work for funding the agreed-upon contract with 60,000 public workers. If your state representative or senator has not signed this letter demanding that the House and Senate leaders pass the budget, will you please write to them and remind them that this is the simplest of expressions to support labor?   

And look forward to Dec. 6, when we hand-deliver the 130,000 MCAS ballot initiative signatures that you helped gather over the past three months. Once certified by the Secretary of State’s office, we will be on our way to victory at the ballot in November 2024!

Many MTA members have asked for resources, for themselves and their students, on understanding and teaching about Israel, Hamas and Gaza, and on fighting antisemitism and Islamophobia. Here are some useful resources from the NEA, Feel free to share with us the best books, articles and films that you have encountered.

MTA Events and Solidarity Actions

NEA Webinar on Alleviating Student Debt – TONIGHT!

When: 7 p.m. today
Where: Virtual

The Biden administration is introducing pivotal measures to alleviate federal student loan burdens, including a one-time account adjustment for faster loan forgiveness and the SAVE Plan, an income-driven repayment option ensuring annual savings of at least $1,000 and monthly erasure of unpaid interest. This webinar will offer valuable insights for borrowers seeking loan relief. Register to learn more.

Winter Virtual Licensure Workshops

All workshops are at 4 p.m. Register here for the following workshops.

  • Dec. 13 – Licensure Basics

  • Jan. 17 – Professional Licensure

  • Feb. 28 – Licensure Basics for Educators with Emergency Licenses

Save the Date for Winter Union Skills (New Location)

When: Saturday, Feb. 10 at 8 a.m.
Where: Sheraton Framingham Hotel & Conference Center, 1657 Worcester Road, Framingham

Additional information & registration will be posted here soon.

Save the Date for the All Presidents’ Meeting

When: Saturday, Jan. 20
Where: Verve Hotel, 1360 Worcester St., Natick 

Ask your local president if you can join them on that day. Presidents can attend with a team of core activists from their local. A registration link is forthcoming. For more information, email mtagovernance@massteacher.org.

Save the Date for the Education Support Professionals Conference

When: April 5 - 6, 2024
Where: Sea Crest Beach Hotel, 350 Quaker Road, North Falmouth

The request for proposals for workshops at the 2024 ESP Conference is open until Dec. 17. Local leaders can nominate first-time participants to receive a scholarship that covers conference fees, meals and hotel rooms until Jan. 31. Registration will open in February.

Legislating for a Dignified Retirement (part of the First Wednesday MTA Retiree Speaker Series)

When: Dec. 6 at 3 p.m.
Where: Virtual

Join us for an overview of the current state of the teacher pension Cost of Living adjustment (COLA) and the Windfall Elimination Provision - Government Pension Offset (WEP-GPO). Learn more and register here.


Nominate a Civil Rights Hero

The MTA Human Relations Committee is soliciting nominations for the MTA Human and Civil Rights Awards, which honor individuals and groups for showing extraordinary dedication to civil rights and human relations.The awards will be presented on Friday, June 14, at the 2024 Human and Civil Rights Awards celebration.

Go to massteacher.org/hcr to learn more and download a nomination form. The deadline to submit nominations is March 22, 2024.

If you have any questions, please email Director of Governance and Administration Jennifer Freeling or Olivia Osiecki, executive assistant to the President, VP and EDT, at MTAGovernance@massteacher.org.

Nominate Are Now Open for MTA ESP of the Year Do you know an ESP who deserves recognition for their professionalism and dedication? Nominations are now open for MTA’s most anticipated award, the ESP of the Year. Deadline for submissions is Jan. 2, 2024. The winner will be announced at the ESP Conference in April.

Remember, ESPs in both higher education and preK-12 are eligible for this honor. Learn more and nominate an ESP.

Who’s making a difference? Nominate them for NEA award

Nominations are now being accepted for the NEA Friend of Education Award. This award is the association's highest honor and may be bestowed on an individual, organization or group whose leadership, acts or support have significantly benefited public education, education employees and/or students on a national level. Learn more about past winners and the process and visit this page to download the nomination form.

Political Education

Two weeks ago, we held a Zoom webinar about our retired member COLA bill. A thousand MTA and Boston Teachers Union members showed up!  

Listen to this podcast about another important — and troubling — issue for retirees: the Medicare Advantage program, which activists suggest should be titled the Medicare Disadvantage program — unless of course you are one of the insurance companies reaping huge profits at the expense of taxpayers and traditional Medicare programs. When the insurance companies profit, the corollary is that regular people suffer. 

In solidarity,

Max and Deb