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At times there is negative speak about unions, but the bottom line is that average workers who make an average wage or less do not have the time or money to advocate in favor of the rights for average people solely on their own. Big, rich companies and individuals have lots of political power thanks to their wealth and what that wealth can afford by way of services and supports to impact political decisions they favor. Average workers do not have that power and that's why working together as a union can make up the difference with regard to the power that wealth brings.
Unions, similar to our democracy, work best when people get involved. If people are passive, neither our country nor unions will work with the effect possible. Therefore it's essential that every union member and citizen get involved in some way to forward the best of who we can be and the supports we can advocate for. We don't have to stay satisfied with laws, protocols, and policies that don't adequately support children, families, schools, and communities. We know that better funding, more accessible mental and physical health care, access to good food, safe communities, welcoming homes, healthy recreation, the arts, and regulation, restriction, and reduction of harmful substances, guns, and other dangerous objects/behaviors will elevate life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all.
So as I think about the Summer MTA Conference, I think it's a great opportunity for every MTA member to get involved for a day or more--it's also great opportunity to learn about the union, earn needed Professional Development Points (PDPs) for recertification, better your practice, and collaborate with dedicated educators from all over the state.
I always arrive with a number of questions and leave with good information to forward the work I do with and for students, colleagues, families, and community members. I hope to see you there :)