Union News: Celebrating our wins in Fair Share revenue

Union News: Celebrating our wins in Fair Share revenue


Greetings, MTA member,

Sometimes “I told you so” is just the right response for a situation!

Remember during the Fair Share Amendment fight in 2022, when those gadfly organizations on the right – Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance and the Massachusetts Taxpayers Association – said that all the millionaires would leave the state because of our new tax on the ultra-rich? And that, therefore, we would never raise $2 billion as those wild-eyed advocates like the MTA were saying, fooling the public?

Well, it turns out we were right! Revenue from the Fair Share Amendment is at $1.8 billion so far this fiscal year, with two more months left to go. We expect Fair Share revenue to hit $2 billion once the books are closed on the FY24 fiscal year. That means the state Legislature will have close to $1 billion dollars (some of the “excess” is set aside in an Fair Share-only “rainy day” fund) to spend on one-time commitments – such as funding public school and college buildings. One caveat: the money cannot be accessed right away, as the final numbers for FY24 are not released until December. But when that time comes, we will have a series of proposals about how to use the monies you all raised. 

Here’s our statement on the great news, which bodes well for growing our investments in public education and transportation, which have already yielded major gains for our members and students. 

MTA Events, Opportunities and Solidarity Actions 

Protect Georgetown Public Schools 

Please sign this petition and help our Georgetown educators save jobs and programs in the wake of an override failure.

North Shore Educators United Action – BBQ &Music

The North Shore Educators United coalition – comprised of 5,000 MTA and AFT-Massachusetts members – are holding a Summer Solidarity Send-Off on Friday, May 31. While this is mostly aimed at our North Shore members, educators will be sharing their stories about the schools that students and staff deserve when everyone returns in the fall. You must RSVP so that we can order the right amount of food.

RetirementPlus Legislation 

On May 13, the Joint Committee on Public Service reported favorably on a bill that would allow teachers hired before July 1, 2000, who did not did not provide a written election to participate in RetirementPlus, to have a second opportunity to do so. Click here to get more information on the bill and to send a message to your representative.

Women2Women International Leadership Program 

MTA has an opportunity to put forward six Massachusetts women and girls, ages 15 to 19, to participate in an incredible two weeks of learning with 100 young women from around the world during the last week of July in Boston, as part of the Women2Women International Leadership Program. If you know of a rising leader, please urge them to apply. The deadline is June 14.

Boston Pride March – June 8 

Last year’s Boston Pride for the People parade was a success – because of your involvement! Please sign up here to march in this year’s parade.

Full-Service Community Schools Summit

When: Saturday, June 8, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Where: Boston Teachers Union, 180 Mount Vernon St., Boston, MA 02125

At this summit, you will learn about the Full-Service Community Schools strategy, which is based on local knowledge, creativity and community resources, and promotes equity, democracy and justice. Speakers include Journey For Justice executive director Jitu Brown and Chicago Teachers Union President Stacy Davis Gates. There will also be workshops. Register here.

Mental Health Awareness Month May is Mental Health Awareness Month! Students and educators deserve access to the mental health support and resources they need. Please share these resources that promote solution-oriented advocacy for much-needed mental health support for students and educators.

Disability Open Enrollment Deadline Extended Through May 31

Disability insurance protects your paycheck if you’re unable to work for an extended period due to illness or injury. The MTA Disability Plan is a group plan that offers discounted rates. And during the open enrollment period, coverage is guaranteed. 

To be eligible to participate, you must be either:

  • A member in a district that has opted to participate in this program; or
  • A new member since July 1, 2023 in any MTA-affiliated district.

Visit www.myenrollmentcenter.com/mta or call 866.998.2915 to schedule an appointment with a counselor before May 31.

Critical Student Loan Consolidation Deadline Extended to June 30 Federal student loan borrowers now have a little more time to consolidate their loans and qualify for forgiveness under the payment count adjustment and Public Service Loan Forgiveness. It is important to note that even if a borrower has not reached the number of payments necessary by the June 30 deadline, they should still consolidate and apply for the adjustment. If you’re unsure what this means for you, MTA Benefits and Cambridge Credit Counseling will host two more webinars in June to have all of your questions answered. Registration links will be coming soon. Additionally, you may contact Martin Lynch at Cambridge Credit Counseling directly for free counseling for MTA members at 413.883.3390, seven days a week, from 8 a.m. – 10 p.m. Before calling, Lynch simply asks that you visit studentaid.gov to determine whether your loans were issued through the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP).

Political Education 

A few weeks ago, I (Max) was in New York and had lunch at a restaurant named Lodi. I struck up a conversation with the server and soon found out that he was part of an independent unionization effort at the restaurant, that he had grown up in Newton, was following MTA contract campaign activities from afar, and had learned so much from one of our staff members – Audra Makuch (previously in the Field and Organizing Division and now in Training and Professional Learning)!  

And now, their fight has made the New York Times because of its potential to open up new organizing possibilities. The owners have tried to divide the workers in all the usual ways (especially race and immigration status), and have surveilled the workers seeking to form a union. The result of that unlawful behavior may be, if the National Labor Relations Board makes the right decision, that the workers can skip the election process and go right to the table to bargaining their first contract. This could have a major impact on restaurant and other workplace organizing. 

In solidarity,

Max and Deb