Union News: Democracy is on the ballot

Union News: Democracy is on the ballot

democracy is on the ballot

Dear MTA Members,

“Democracy is on the ballot,” say the pundits and the president, and it is frighteningly true. Never in our lifetimes have we seen such an open attack on the institutions of democracy, through restrictions on the right to vote, attempted outright theft of a presidential election and the actions of plutocrats to control and manipulate opinion on social media.

One of the best ways to strengthen democracy is to lean into it, engaging in democratic structures.

But we’re not just talking about voting or writing to legislators.

One of our favorite chants at our union rallies and marches is: “This is what democracy looks like!” When we act as a union – an independent organization of education workers aimed at improving working and learning conditions – we are engaging in the most important kind of democratic action.

We urge you to exercise your union muscle, in part by showing up for the MTA Annual Meeting of Delegates, April 26 and 27, one of the largest annual democratic gatherings in the state. Run to be a delegate from your local, come to Springfield, celebrate our incredible local and statewide victories, debate the budget, vote for candidates, propose new business items and cheer on national union allies (a special guest has been invited to be with us in person), and prepare for our big campaigns ahead. Deadlines for locals to submit names are coming up. Join us!

MTA Events, Opportunities and Solidarity Actions

Responding to Global Warming: An Intergenerational Fight (part of the First Wednesday MTA Retiree Speaker Series)

When: April 3 at 3 p.m.
Where: Virtual

Join MTA Climate Action Network members as they discuss strategies for addressing the catastrophic nature of climate change. Learn more and register.


MTA Education Support Professionals Conference

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

Registration is now open for the annual ESP Conference. Join us as we honor the ESP of the Year, learn together, network and have fun! In 2024 – for the first time – the ESP Conference is free to attend!

Labor Seder – April 7

We have been regular sponsors of the Jewish Labor Committee’s annual Labor Seder, held this year on April 7. This year, two of our locals – Andover and Newton – will be recognized for their brave and victorious strikes that resulted in dramatic increases in pay for our ESPs, more recess for students, more social workers, and paid parental leave. If you would like to attend, please email Olivia Osiecki at oosiecki@massteacher.org. Seats are limited.

Thinking of this upcoming holiday of freedom, we also want to urge you to visit an exhibit with the opposite theme – the Auschwitz exhibit, which is only on view through this weekend at the Castle at Park Plaza in Boston. Max will be going on Sunday and would be glad to be joined by other members.

Spring Regional Presidents’ Meetings

From: February 27 - March 27

Regional Presidents' Meetings are underway. Please register here. These are the dates the meeting occurs in your region:

  • March 26 - MTA Quincy Headquarters.
  • March 27 - Berkshires Region – Zoom.

Summer Member Organizers – Apply today!

The MTA is looking for 100 members to reach out to fellow educators about what it means to be All In for their local and MTA and to educate parents and other community allies to help pass a ballot initiative in November that will end MCAS as a graduation requirement Learn more here.

Political Education

Something remarkable is happening in Minnesota this spring:

“A major network of unions and community groups in Minneapolis and St. Paul lined up bargaining processes for new contracts — and in some cases, strike votes — around a March 2 deadline, deliberately set in order to maximize their leverage and win collectively-determined community demands.”

And as The Nation reports:

“Over the past decade, Minnesota workers spanning different jobs and different unions have organized together, finding common ground to fight for under four key demands: dignified work, which includes higher wages, pensions, safe working conditions, and the creation of a labor standards board to dictate working conditions in Minneapolis; stable housing, including social housing and rent stabilization; good schools, secured by better pay for teachers and staff and more community resources; and a livable planet.”

Minnesota has a powerful progressive heritage – and it is alive and well.

In solidarity,

Max and Deb