MTA leadership issued the following statement today:
The 117,000 members of the Massachusetts Teachers Association are shocked and, frankly, disgusted that state legislators, mired in their personal and petty disputes, failed to pass a supplemental budget that would have provided funding for migrants in desperate need of shelter and neglected to fulfill a long-overdue obligation to tens of thousands of state workers whose contracts have been held up for months. More than 15,000 of these state employees are MTA members who work in public higher education.
This is another stain on a Legislature that struggles to meet its obligation to serve the public good.
MTA members and other state employees whose contracts are delayed will be attending the Legislature’s informal session at 11 a.m. Monday then will hold a rally and press conference at noon outside the State House.
Community college staff and faculty represented by the MTA have had no cost-of-living adjustments for more than three years, yet they – and our higher education members in the state universities and UMass system – are expected to play a crucial role in the expansion of access to public higher education, thanks to investments from the Fair Share Amendment that MTA members helped win a year ago. The state is treating these dedicated public servants poorly and jeopardizing the success of new programs that will improve the quality of life for countless residents. The Legislature must be held accountable for this kind of egregious, short-sighted behavior.
The state employee contracts were not controversial in any way and should have been funded in June when most of them were signed, ratified, and delivered to the Legislature.
The Healey-Driscoll administration did its job by efficiently forwarding the contracts to the Legislature, only to see them languish and become a football in state lawmakers’ dysfunctional game. Throughout this period, our members have been doing their jobs. It is well past time for the legislators to do theirs.