We believe in the collective wisdom and power of our members; that every student should have the chance to experience school as a place of joyful and meaningful learning, civic and personal engagement, and hope; that we have the power to create workplaces and communities in which all are secure and each may flourish.
For our union, we will...
- Organize building‐by‐building and local‐by‐local to grow member leadership and collective action
- Strengthen solidarity across locals --from preK‐12 through higher education --with ESPs, teachers, faculty and professional staff working together
- Recognize and act from the understanding that our power is in our collective voice and shared vision, and not in appealing or conceding to power brokers and deal cutters
- Demand that politicians act in the interests of public education and our union before we support them and invest our union dues and/or MTA staff resources into their campaigns
- Strengthen statewide accountability by listening to members, reporting out on actions and debates, and insisting on roll call votes on the Board
For our public schools and students, we will...
- Demand the very best --fully qualified teachers; art, music, field trips, physical education, and professionally staffed libraries; rich, varied, and developmentally-appropriate curricula, schools and colleges as spaces of joy and hope, intellectual and social development ‐for every student in Massachusetts
- Fight to end high stakes testing, stop charters, restore and increase funding preK-12‐ higher education, and stop the privatization of public education at every level
- Name and fight the broad‐based corporate assault on public education and educators by mega‐foundations, key members of both political parties, and the media
- Ally with parents, students, other unions and the community to create the schools and communities we deserve
- Expand our struggle to include economic, social, and racial justice for our members, students and communities
For our workplaces and communities, we will...
- Assert and protect the rights of all MTA members to control our working conditions and to make democratic decisions about how we do our jobs
- Organize for just wages, respectful and just evaluation processes, for an end to the mandates that distract us from our work, for control over how we use our time, and a voice in our own professional development
- Take on the gender pay gap that continues to exist in our historically female-dominated profession
- Mobilize to put an end to bullying, intimidation, and harassment in the workplace, and for the right to a safe work environment
- End the exploitation of adjuncts and ESPs, and demand benefits and protections for all members
- Demand and protect a secure and comfortable retirement for all
- Stand with our allies as we reignite a unified labor movement that envisions and fights for greater justice, democracy, and equality in our communities and schools
The MTA under Barbara Madeloni’s leadership:
A Record of Achievement
We put unprecedented pressure on Mitchell Chester and BESE to prevent tying educator licensure to evaluation. Chester caved.
Barbara initiated a weekly email to keep members informed and encourage activism.
We helped to stop a charter school expansion bill in its tracks. On her first day in office, Barbara insisted that we call on the legislature to reject the charter school expansion bill. It died.
We held 37 open forums across the state where members shared their struggles and their goals for their schools and their union.
We developed a progressive legislative agenda, which included a moratorium on high-stakes testing, a moratorium on new charters, and anti-bullying legislation.
We brought the MTA into the Raise Up Massachusetts (RUM) Coalition, the group that drove the battles to win paid sick leave and an increase in the minimum wage. In RUM we were instrumental in shaping the progressive tax constitutional amendment.
We delivered more than 29,000 signed ballot petitions to bring the progressive tax amendment to the voters -- the most of any organization in RUM. Never before have so many MTA members participated in such an action.
We led an unprecedented number of MTA members to write and deliver testimony to our legislators against high-stakes testing and participate in a week of action against high stakes testing.
We supported locals that organized to push back against TSGold and are in alliance with AFT meeting with Mitchell Chester and calling for an end to DDMs.
We led the development of the Massachusetts Educational Justice Alliance (MEJA), which includes the AFT, Jobs with Justice, and NAACP. Our voice is stronger if we stand with parents and community members.
We organized, with MEJA, Charter School Week of Action to fight against the charter school expansion bill. We have met with the Senate president with the MEJA coalition to assert our position on charter schools.
We rallied hundreds of members and community supporters to push back against a hostile school takeover effort by BESE in Holyoke and helped organize a community coalition to lay out the fight for the schools Holyoke deserves.
We held two Collective Bargaining Summits on rethinking bargaining for collective power. Regional bargaining councils are underway.
We challenged the NEA’s rush to endorse Hillary Clinton, and sponsored a series of political forums for members to discuss the issues, the legislative agenda, and activism.
We helped higher education unions win funding of their contracts.
We held a summer organizing institute that one president recently said had transformed his local.
We shifted the content and focus of MTA Today and social media to educate, activate and engage members as never before.
We pressured Mitchell Chester and BESE to reject PARCC, and achieved a partial victory, with the rejection of PARCC in favor of “MCAS 2.0.” We changed the conversation on testing in Massachusetts.
Barbara Madeloni has established the MTA as the voice of students, educators and the community in the fight to reclaim public education.
Re-elect Barbara Madeloni as MTA President.
Paid for by the Committee to Elect Barbara Madeloni
What Does Member Action Look Like?
How is Member Action’s platform different from that of the other candidates? We have:
A vision for public education
Ours is a vision for public education that embraces schools as places of joy, creativity, imagination, critical thinking and democratic engagement. We call for this vision of public education to be realized for every child. Our vision includes the kinds of communities we want our students to experience in and outside of school: just, democratic, and open to the range of human knowledge and experience.
An understanding that power resides in our members, not the statehouse, not corporate actors, and not in simple public relations campaigns.
For too long, the MTA acted out of a belief that having power depended on the leadership having a “seat at the table,” and not on our members. This strategy submitted us to the corporate agenda for public education set by billionaires. It yielded Race To The Top, The Teacher Evaluation System, High-stakes Testing, District Determined Measures, Stand for Children Legislation weakening our seniority rights, and weaker pension and health care reforms.
Member Action believes that our power resides in our union and the relationships we build with one another. We, along with parents and community partners, must create a shared vision of what we stand for. We must set the agenda for education. We must fight to reclaim public education. When we go to the table, we go with the full force of organized membership and community allies.
A plan to transform our union through deep internal organizing where members build statewide power by taking ownership at the local level.
Organizing means breaking through the isolation and helplessness we often experience in our working lives in order to act on the values that brought us to this work in the first place. Organizing means making spaces for members to share concerns and identify issues that impact them directly, and then training members on how to change their circumstances. Organizing starts with members asserting their professional knowledge, experience, and rights at the building level and continues through collective action at the statewide level within and beyond the union. We are stronger in every aspect of our working lives when we take an organizing approach to what goes on in our buildings, from curriculum changes to contract violations, and everything in between.
A commitment to coalition-building.
We believe our work must include partners – students, parents and community members – and that we are strongest when we stand together. That is why we are committed to working with the Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance (MEJA), the Raise Up Massachusetts (RUM) coalition, and the AFLCIO-MA. Through this work we are reframing the conversation over charters and testing in Massachusetts, working for economic justice across the Commonwealth, and building alliances with union brothers and sisters.
An understanding of the broader context of the assault on public education.
We know that the issues we face are not isolated. They emanate from a concerted attack on public education, public sector unions, and the common good itself by national actors from the Koch brothers, to Governor Baker and his friends at the Pioneer Institute here in Massachusetts. This understanding helps identify the threat and informs how we engage with it. We will not pretend that we share the same interests as those who are looking to privatize our public schools and bust our unions. Ours is a national, indeed international, struggle, and we welcome not only local alliances, but also national ones with those whose commitment is to defending public education, unions and democracy.
A commitment to counter the false narrative of austerity, hyper-accountability, and a shallow purpose for public education.
The plan of privatizers is simple: use tests to allege failure, cut off much needed funding, and then move to privatize public schools through receiverships and charters. We’ve seen it in action in New Orleans, Chicago, Flint, and Holyoke. Their accountability system is not broken: It is working just the way they designed it to work. But their story is not the truth, and neither is the austerity narrative espoused by the Governor and his partners in the State House who want us to do more with less while claiming we haven’t the resources to fully fund our schools and colleges. Member Action does not accept the accountability or the austerity narrative. Rather, we claim the right to fully funded public schools that do more than test and punish. We assert a purpose for public education that is broader and deeper than testing or college and career readiness - a purpose that reestablishes a vision of universal public education for our children and young people as essential to our democracy.
A willingness to name and take up the struggle for economic and racial justice.
We understand that racial and economic injustice impact our students and communities every day, and that public schools are powerful institutions that can be used to either reinforce injustice or give young people the tools to challenge it in order to build a more just society. We join in coalition to fight for our schools and for our communities, and for a society that is fair and inclusive for all people.
A platform based on action.
More than three dozen member forums. A week of action in June 2015 against high stakes testing. 29,000+ signatures for the Fair Share amendment. Two collective bargaining summits. A summer organizing institute. Next Generation Leadership training. Strong coalitions with Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance, Raise Up Massachusetts and AFLCIO- MA. Active local campaigns where presidents, know they have the full support of the state president as teachers assert themselves in contract campaigns, TSGold resistance, and a growing Opt Out movement.