In a great leap forward for union democracy, Educators for a Democratic Union voted on Saturday June 24, 2017 for Merrie Najimy and Max Page as our candidates for MTA president and vice-president respectively.
The vote came after three statewide forums in which eight candidates presented themselves for consideration. These candidates, Tim Dwyer, Kelly Henderson, Heidi Lahey, Deborah McCarthy, Jamie Rinaldi, and Jessica Wender-Shubow, along with the winning candidates, put their names forward pledging to support each other, grow EDU capacity, commit to strengthening the social justice union movement and to continue the transformation of the MTA that started under Barbara Madeloni’s leadership.
The selection process brought MTA members together at forums in Holyoke, Boston and Middleboro to hear from the eight candidates. All were welcome to come, listen and vote, after signing on to EDU’s principles. At the June 24th meeting, when final voting took place, time was made for EDU members to talk with each other about the candidates and the strategies for winning. This was a true collective effort and the energy, enthusiasm and pleasure in the process was evident in every conversation and the excitement about our choices.
Merrie Najimy, EDU candidate for MTA president, teaches kindergarten in Concord, is a founding member of EDU, and just completed six years on the MTA Board of Directors and eleven years as president of the Concord Teachers Association. Merrie is a leader in the MTA movement to rethink collective bargaining through member leadership and transparency. As a member of the Task Force on Race, she has led workshops on Islamophobia and racism. Read Merrie’s candidate statement to see her deep knowledge of and commitment to developing member leadership, and her vision of building a union that fights for public education and a more just world.
Max Page, EDU candidate for MTA vice president, is a professor of architecture at UMass Amherst, an MTA Board member and former executive committee member, was president of the Massachusetts Society of Professors from 2006-2008, and is a member of the Government Relations Committee. As a founding member of the Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts (PHENOM) Max has been working for years to increase funding for public education Pre-K-16, sitting on the Raise Up Massachusetts steering committee and leading the MTA in the development of legislation that supports adjunct benefits, equitable pay, and the Finish Line grant as a step toward free public higher education. You can read about Max’s vision for the MTA as a leader in the fight for public education and social justice here.
EDU is excited to support two candidates whose ideas, experience, and practice will continue our work of transforming the MTA into an activist, social justice union. We are even more excited that we had eight such candidates, and that EDU membership is ready to pick up this work and move the MTA to be the visionary, fighting union we need.
Who should EDU support for MTA president? For vice-president? We’d like to make that a democratic decision of the EDU membership, in an open and transparent process.
Download statements from EDU’s candidates for MTA president and vice president here. Then make your voice heard by voting at your regional candidate forum or at our next EDU meeting: Saturday, June 24, 12:30-3:30, at Watertown Public Library!