Update: School Committee Campaign in Final Push!
Many schools have organized standouts in support of Kathy and Shawn this week. The custodians are organizing a second Newton Centre standout on October 25th from 5:00 until 6:00. Let's join them! 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
Update: Newton Expands "NewMO"
Commuter Ride Sharing Service NewMO has expanded its service. Please see below an update from Nicole Freedman, City of Newton Director of Transportation Planning.**** For $2, Anyone, Anywhere Can Get A Ride to Any Place in Newton Starting this Monday, Oct. 25, NewMo is expanding so anyone, anywhere in the City, can get a ride to any place in Newton they need to go. Three new improvements will make this expanded Newton in Motion, or NewMo, service a game changer for many of us:
Anyone 13 and older can now take a ride anywhere in Newton (with no service area restrictions).
Service will now begin at 7:00 a.m. (instead of 7:30) and will run through 6:30 p.m. for the commuter service. Take note teachers and middle and high school students - you now have a new way to get to school and to afternoon activities. (Riders 13 to 17-years old can ride alone with adult consent; those under 13 need to be accompanied by an adult).
All fares for all riders, seniors and commuters, are now just $2. (Discounted $.50 rides are still available for qualified low-income riders by contacting Nicole Freedman, Nfreedman@newtonma.gov. All seniors now riding at discounted rates below $2 will automatically continue at that rate.)
NewMo is a new version of public transportation; the on-demand, shared system just looks a little different than traditional public transportation. Our goal is to provide you reliable, on-demand, shared trips with average wait times of less than 30 minutes, although occasionally they may be more. Since NewMo is public transportation, expect to share your ride with others, meaning your vehicle is likely to deviate from your shortest route to pick up or drop off other customers. Those not signed up as a senior may also be asked to walk up to a few blocks to meet your ride. (Seniors, your rides are always door-to-door.) Signing up for NewMo is simple. Download the NewMo app (search for NewMo Newton) on a smartphone or call 617-655-8019 to get started. Those without access to a smartphone can both sign-up and book a ride by calling 617-655-8019. Seniors over 60, we typically recommend you sign up for the senior service to ensure door-to-door service. To register for the senior service, start by contacting Newton’s Senior Center at 617-796-1665 or Elizabeth Lund at Elund@newtonma.gov. For more information or to see if you qualify for a discounted fare, contact Nicole Freedman, Director of Transportation Planning, NFreedman@newtonma.gov, 617-879-8148. For questions about the senior service, contact Newton’s Senior Center at 617-796-1665 or Elizabeth Lund at Elund@newtonma.gov New: Mass Child Grants Mass Child reimburses preK-12 local associations that purchase items for students who are facing financial challenges. For more than 20 years, Mass Child has helped MTA educators ensure that their students have had warm winter clothing, eyeglasses, school supplies and countless other items, making it possible for children to overcome some of the non-educational barriers to learning. And this work continues. If you know of a child or family in need, please contact the NTA office or your building rep.
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! Click here and sign up! MTA New Educator Trainings 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. 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.