Agenda features elections and awards
By Jean Conley
T he 171st MTA Annual Meeting of Delegates will be held May 13 and 14, featuring elections to leadership posts, debate on a
wide range of issues and tributes to those who have
proven their commitment to labor, public education
and their communities.
Delegates will vote on proposed changes to the
association’s bylaws and resolutions, as well as new
business items. There is also one proposal to revise a
The two-day meeting will be called to order at
noon on Friday, May 13, at the Hynes Convention
Center in Boston.
MTA President Barbara Madeloni, MTA Vice
President Janet Anderson and Executive Director-Treasurer Ann Clarke will deliver leadership reports
on Friday afternoon.
Also on Friday, 23 public educators will
be recognized for their work on the Teacher
Leadership Initiative, a partnership involving the
MTA, the NEA, the Center for Teaching Quality
and the National Board for Professional Teaching
O n Saturday, delegates will vote for candidates for MTA President, Vice President, the Executive Committee and
the Board of Directors. In addition, four Retired
Members Committee seats will be filled.
The delegates will also see award presentations
and act on a variety of other business, including the
association’s budget for the fiscal year that begins
The President’s Award will honor three young
people who embody the spirit of student activism:
Italo Fini, Fania Joseph and Ruthie Page Weinbaum.
Fini, a junior at Worcester Technical High
School, is originally from São Paulo, Brazil. He and
his family moved to the United States in 2001, when
he was 2.
Fini began his community organizing when he
and other students in the Worcester Public Schools
created a documentary telling his story and those
of other immigrants. Last summer, Fini testified at
a State House hearing in favor of expanding access
to in-state college tuition rates and financial aid for
Joseph, a sophomore at Boston Community
Leadership Academy, is a member of the Boston
Student Advisory Council. She actively fights for
student rights at her school and across the district,
and she was among the thousands of students who
walked out of Boston schools in March to protest
threatened budget cuts.
Weinbaum has taken a leadership role this year
in organizing an opt-out movement at Amherst-
Pelham Regional Middle School, including
organizing forums and leafleting.
The MTA Friend of Labor Award will be
presented to Massachusetts Attorney General Maura
When she was sworn in to office in January
2015, Healey pledged to lead “the people’s law
firm” — an office guided by her core values and
driven by the issues that matter to the people of the
Commonwealth, from health care and energy costs to
protecting consumers, ensuring equality for all and
making communities safer.
Last year, Healey launched the Community
Engagement Division, which brings the attorney
general’s office and its work into neighborhoods
and communities across the state. Healey has also
advocated for a more equal and inclusive workplace.
She announced last May that her office would
provide six weeks of paid family leave for all
employees, making it the first state agency to offer
paid parental leave. The office has also helped shape
state legislation that would expand opportunities for
women in the workplace, including bills to ensure
pay equity and fairness for pregnant workers.
T he Friend of Education award will be presented to Steven Tolman, president of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO.
As a young man, Tolman went to work
for the railroad, rising through the ranks of the
Transportation Communications International Union
and ultimately becoming New England Division
chair. He was elected to the Massachusetts House
in 1994 and eventually served seven terms in the
Massachusetts Senate. In 2011, after 17 years in the
Legislature, he resigned to become president of the
During his years in the Legislature, Tolman
fought for working families to have a strong voice
on Beacon Hill on issues such as health care, public
education, environmental protection and consumer
safeguards. During the time he has led the AFL-CIO,
he has been a part of groundbreaking victories such
as raising the minimum wage, passing a strong
law governing earned sick time, and establishing a
domestic workers’ bill of rights. In September 2015,
Tolman was elected to a second term as president.
Audrey Jackson, the Massachusetts Teacher of the Year, will also be recognized. Jackson is a fifth-grade inclusion teacher at the Joseph
P. Manning Elementary School in Boston, which
specializes in supporting students affected by trauma.
Jackson, a member of AFT Massachusetts, was
a member of the Negotiated Rulemaking Committee
that advised the U.S. Department of Education on
regulations regarding implementation of the federal
Every Student Succeeds Act at the state level.
The proposed MTA operating budget of
$45,776,576 for fiscal 2016-2017 will be presented
and voted on. The Advisory Budget Committee, the
Executive Committee and the Board of Directors
have proposed annual dues of $460 for full-time
active members, a $1 increase over the current year.
Under the proposed budget, dues for secretaries,
clerks and custodians would remain at $276; dues
for aides, food service personnel and other education
support professionals would remain at $138.
In addition, the proposed Public Relations/
Organizing Campaign budget will be considered.
The recommended general dues assessment for the
PR/Organizing budget is $50. For secretaries, clerks
and custodians, the assessment would be $30; aides,
food service personnel and other education support
professionals would be assessed $15.
To see the 2016 Annual Meeting schedule of
events and business session agenda, please visit
The MTA Friend of Labor
Award will be presented
to Massachusetts Attorney
General Maura Healey. The
Friend of Education award
will be presented to Steven
Tolman, president of the
Steven Tolman Maura Healey Fania Joseph Italo Fini