Union News: Stay involved this summer

Union News: Stay involved this summer

north-shore bbq


June is here and that means you are all looking ahead to the end of this school year and a chance to recharge with a well-deserved vacation… and perhaps be a Summer Member Organizer and certainly attend the MTA Summer Conference.

But there is much to do before there is a scattering for the summer. We hope to see many of you at the Boston Pride for the People march this Saturday, or at the Community Schools Summit (see more information about both, below), or at one of your bargaining actions. 

As you think about the push for winning great contracts in the next month, preparing for the fall, or just dreaming about summer, we’d urge you to consider as inspiration the words of George Saunders in his short story, “Liberation Day”:

“What is great? That is what my heart longs to ask. What is lush? What is bold, what is daring? In which direction lies maximum richness, abundance, delight?”

MTA Events, Opportunities and Solidarity Actions

Women2Women Leadership Program – Encourage a Student Leader to Apply! 

When: July 23 to August 1
Where: Emerson College, Boston
Deadline: Application is due Friday, June 14

The Women2Women America 2024 International Leadership Program is hosting participants this year at Emerson College. The program offers female students, aged 15 to 19, tools and opportunities to become influential leaders in their communities and beyond. Students will have the opportunity to learn about the current status of women and girls around the world, as well as the social and economic progress that is possible when women and girls have the opportunity to participate fully in every aspect of society.

The MTA will select six students from those who have applied and will pay for the full program fee, which includes lodging, all meals, conference materials, and conference-related activities. Students must check the box indicating that they are submitting the application as part of a scholarship and complete the accompanying essay. Learn more and apply here.

2024 MTA Human & Civil Rights Awards Banquet

When: Friday, June 14, at 6 p.m.
Where: Beechwood Hotel, 363 Plantation St., Worcester

Annual celebration hosted by the MTA Human Relations Committee honoring individuals and groups for showing extraordinary dedication to civil rights and human relations. Learn more and register.

Stand with Northampton Educators this Thursday!

When: Thursday, June 6, at 5:30 p.m.
Where: Northampton City Hall

This Thursday, please come out and stand in solidarity with Northampton educators in their fight for a fully funded school budget.

Fully Repeal Unfair Social Security Penalties

The years-long campaign to fix the injustice of the so-called federal “GPO/WEP” laws, which unfairly reduce our members’ pensions and retirement security, is still underway. Your voice is still needed to repeal GPO/WEP.

This Friday, June 7, at 10 a.m., the Subcommittee on Social Security, Pensions, and Family Policy will hold a field hearing in Columbus, Ohio, on S. 597, which would repeal the GPO/WEP. Your written testimony on the subject will go a long way toward encouraging Congress to repeal WEP/GPO once and for all.

MCAS Update for All MTA Members

Please join us for an All Members’ Meeting on Tuesday, June 11 at 7 p.m. for updates on the MCAS campaign, including recent discussions on a potential legislative solution to the MCAS ballot initiative, the status of our signature gathering efforts, and developing plans for the ballot campaign. Register now for a unique Zoom link.

MTA Retiree Speaker Series: “A Museum for All of Boston”

When: Wednesday, June 5, at 3 p.m.
here: Virtual

This workshop, presented by Museum of Fine Arts Senior Director of Learning Nile Blunt will offer an introduction to renewed efforts by the Museum of Fine Arts to create opportunities for our audiences to engage with the visual arts by revealing connections, exploring differences and fostering moments of discovery and learning. Register here.

Boston Pride March – This Saturday

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. The purpose of the Boston Pride For The People Parade is to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community, to continue to advocate for equity and inclusion for LGBTQ+ people, and to honor those who risked their lives for LGBTQ+ people.

Feedback Needed from Higher Ed Members

In an effort to get a better understanding of the workplace experiences of faculty and staff in public higher education, the MTA is asking those in higher ed to participate in an online survey. Union members and those who are non-members within an MTA bargaining unit are encouraged to take the survey. Read more and take the survey at massteacher.org/highered.

Higher Ed for All Meeting 

On Wednesday, June 12, at 7 p.m., MTA will hold a meeting for members in higher ed to share progress, victories and what’s next in our Higher Ed for All campaign. This is a great opportunity to hear directly from MTA leaders and staff about a vast array of issues impacting higher ed members, including the successful rollout of the Fair Share Amendment, increases to student aid, the Senate budget and our new wage equity study. Sign up to join

Tell Your Legislators to Support Public Education in the Final FY25 Budget

Now that the House and Senate have each passed a Fiscal Year 2025 budget, a legislative conference committee has been convened to reconcile the differences between them. The House and Senate budgets each contain several significant elements that resulted from your strong advocacy, including increased Chapter 70 minimum aid and rural school aid in the Senate budget. Email your state legislators about the final FY25 state budget.

Community Schools Workshop

What: 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

This Saturday, our Training and Professional Learning division, along with the Boston Teachers Union and others, will hold a major summit on community schools. 

Learn more about the impact of community schools, how they are key to addressing the varied needs of students and families outside the walls of our public schools, and how they increase democracy inside. Learn more about community schools and register for the summit on June 8.

Be Sure Not To Miss the June 30 Student Loan Consolidation Deadline

MTA Benefits’ partners are offering webinars this month to help ensure members understand the one-time account adjustment, which will help borrowers count more of their past repayment periods toward forgiveness. The deadline to consolidate has been extended to Sunday, June 30, so you must act quickly in order to take advantage of this benefit.

Savi, the student loan benefit offered by MTA Benefits in partnership with NEA Member Benefits, is hosting a workshop for Massachusetts and Connecticut members on Wednesday, June 12 at 6 p.m. Register Now.

Political Education 

We have so much further to go in Massachusetts, but we have successfully fought to keep the worst of privatization away from public education — stopping Question 2 in 2016 (to expand charter schools infinitely), challenging charter schools from opening, and holding back any attempt at vouchers. But it is important to be aware that around the country our union siblings in NEA state affiliates are fighting voucher programs that are already undermining public education. The right-wing would gladly eliminate all publicly funded and democratically run public schools. 

We urge you to read this report about vouchers and how they undermine public education, and how the real answer is sustained funding, especially for those places most woefully underfunded.

In Solidarity,

Max and Deb