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Saturday, May 05, 2018

MTA Annual Meeting 2018: Day Two

On day one of the MTA Annual Meeting, I was impressed. I was impressed by the commitment of so many educators in the room--a commitment to work together for fair laws and decisions to support successful public schools.

This is a meeting about betterment for students, families, educators, and the community, and this betterment is the reason why so many educators volunteer their time to support the Massachusetts Teachers Association and the many initiatives teachers throughout the state support.

This will be the focus of my study
at the MTA Summer Conference.
There are countless ways that people can get involved, and those opportunities range from lots of time to not as much time. As I listened, I decided that my union contribution and efforts in the next year will include my work at the local level and efforts to engage in the MTAs All In campaign--a campaign to learn about, stand up for, and support unions.

As part of that effort I will also learn about the the Raise Up Massachusetts effort which is an effort to "build an economy that works for all of us." Daily I see the difference between what well supported initiatives, families, and children experience versus those who would profit from better support. I know that there is tremendous potential waiting for greater support by way of a fair minimum wage, optimal social services, top notch education, and conditions for excellence in the work place, neighborhoods, and community.

This summer I'll spend a few days at the MTA Summer Conference learning more about this advocacy, and then in the fall I'll volunteer some time to support related initiatives.

I still believe that average working people benefit from solidarity and unions. Most working people don't have the wealth and political power to make significant change and advocate for needed supports on their own. We are almost all too busy attending to our work, family and friends, personal matters, and the community to single-handedly gain the needed supports, however when we work together with solidarity, good debate and communication, and a focus on what we need to succeed, we are able to bring about important change and gain those needed supports. Together we are better, and together, I believe, we can improve communities and opportunities for all.

Today at the Annual Meeting, the membership will choose a new President and Vice President. I'm not sure who will win, but I know that with the votes we made yesterday and the supports and initiatives already in place, there is good work planned ahead to maintain a strong union and work to elevate public schools and the education profession.

There will be some sacrifice required to uplift our schools and work conditions in the days ahead. Similar to the many educators throughout the country that are courageously marching and speaking  out to bring attention to the need for fair wages, good working conditions, and support for school children and their families, teachers in Massachusetts will also have to sacrifice time and money to build strong schools. While many with power and money understand the value that good schools and a quality education bring to communities, there are still more to convince and reach out to. Massachusetts is an education leader now, and with continued sacrifice and advocacy, we can truly continue to build great schools while also shining a light on what it means to work together to uplift all.

This is important work. It is the work that brings us together and helps us help one another in ways that matter. There's a place for all educators, students, families, community members, and leaders in this effort, and today I'll listen more to those who fill the meeting hall as to how I'll heed this call. Onward.