School Committee Campaign in Full Swing
Last Wednesday, October 13, NTA members joined members of the Newton Public School Custodians Association in a Newton Centre standout in support of Kathy Shields and Shawn Fitzgibbons. Thanks to the custodians for organizing this very successful action! The custodians are organizing a second Newton Centre standout on October 25th at 6:00. Join us! Early voting at Newton City Hall starts on Monday, October 25, and runs through Thursday, October 28. If you live in Newton, cast your votes early for Kathy and Shawn! If you would like to organize a standout near your building, talk to your building rep, or email Jane Frantz at JaneFrantz5@gmail.com Newton Introduces "NewMO" Commuter Ride Sharing Service This summer the city of Newton introduced “NewMo,” a ride sharing service that allows Newton residents and employees to inexpensively hail a ride from a number of transportation centers in the city, and travel from there to their chosen destination within the city—this could include the school where you work. The service operates from 7:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m, and costs $2 per ride. When the Mayor announced this new program in the summer, I contacted her and let her know that for some NTA employees, the 7:30 start time might not be early enough to facilitate arriving to work on time—program facilitators are currently working on the logistics of beginning service at 7:00. Check out the program here, and let me know by responding to this email if an earlier start time would make this service work for your commute to school, and I will pass this along.
MTA Legislative Agenda
Extended COVID-19 Emergency Paid Leave Provisions
The MTA and its allies, as part of the Raise Up Massachusetts coalition, secured another victory recently: The state's COVID-19 pandemic sick time program has been extended through March 2022. This extension of paid leave as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic is an important public health benefit for all Massachusetts workers.
Early Retirement Bill
H.2620/S.1791, An Act to provide a retirement enhancement opportunity for certain members of the Massachusetts Teachers’ Retirement System, is a high priority for the MTA. Hundreds of members have already taken action on the bill demonstrate to the Legislature how much it matters. The legislation is currently being reviewed by the Joint Committee on Public Service following its hearing on Sept. 1. You can keep up the pressure by recording a video and emailing your legislators to urge them to support H.2620/S.1791 and push for a favorable report out of the committee.
Fair Share Massachusetts Although it may seem far off, it's not: In November 2022, the Fair Share Amendment will appear on statewide ballots. When passed, this amendment will add 4 percentage points to the tax on income above $1 million, generating up to $2 billion annually for public education and transportation. The campaign is beginning. Click here to learn more, and to pledge your early support for the amendment.
MTA Professional Development Opportunities
MTA Early Career Educator Conference Saturday, November 6th Each fall the MTA New Member Committee hosts a conference with a variety of timely workshops geared toward Educators in their first five years. This year, due to Covid restrictions, this conference will be held virtually. It is a great opportunity to learn and connect with other early career educators in Massachusetts. This conference is open to all members, and prospective members. Participants can certify workshop time, which can be applied to PDPs. This is a great way to engage prospective members and show them what resources are available to them if they join the union! MTA New Educator Trainings Professional Teacher Status and Pre-PTS Rights This training will show you the ins and outs of how to get professional teacher status, how you can earn it in fewer than 3 years, and what your rights are before you get it. Trainer: Ashley Adams, MTA New Member Organizer Wednesday, 10/20/2021, 7:15-8:00 p.m. click here for registration link. Credit Counseling and Loan Forgiveness Webinar This training explains exactly how you may qualify for loan forgiveness, with tips on good credit practices. Trainer: Todd Friedhaber, Student Loan Counseling Manager, Cambridge Credit Counseling Corp. Monday, 10/18/2021, 6:00-7:30 p.m. click here for registration link. Wednesday, 10/27/2021, 4:30-6:00 p.m. click here for registration link.
NEA/MTA Teacher Leadership Institute The TLI is a partnership between the MTA and the NEA that readies educators for leadership roles. Three hundred participants from across the country hone their expertise and engage in leadership work in schools, state houses and associations. TLI makes leadership accessible to educators with busy schedules as learning takes place primarily through webinars and video conferences, with much of the work self-paced. Click here for more information and access to the application form.