EDU held a well attended meeting on Saturday February 9. After hearing about the organizing in UTLA and in caucuses across the country, we discussed what it would look like for EDU to accelerate and intensify the Fund Our Future campaign. We voted overwhelmingly to:
1) Label the Fund Our Future campaign, in all EDU writing, Fund Our Future – No Strings Attached!
2) Task the EDU coordinating committee with developing a plan for civil disobedience if our demands for full funding with no strings attached are not met. 34 in attendance already indicated their willingness to engage in civil disobedience.
3) Initiate a petition campaign in buildings and locals wherein members will request a day off on May 1 in order to attend a rally for the Fund Our Future – No Strings Attached campaign. These petition campaigns will be organized by EDU members with the goal of collecting signatures from 50% of members in a building or local prior to bringing them to the principal, superintendent, or college president. The petition will say that these members are requesting a day off on May 1. If the administration refuses, we will have a strategy to address that.
We each also drew up an individual action plan for how we will organize a building site team, map our worksites, and develop escalating campaigns. The CC will be following up with attendees to support their plans.
If you did not attend the meeting, but want a petition and support developing an action plan, you can download the petitions below.
If you are interested in engaging in civil disobedience in order to win the campaign, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have a chance to bring the power of the #RedForEd movement to Massachusetts. Let’s lead the way!
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!