Candidate for MTA Vice President: Erik Champy
T he Massachusetts Teachers Association is at a critical juncture. Despite the extraordinary record of accomplishment among our preK-
12 schools and higher education institutions, our
profession and union are under tremendous scrutiny.
We need a Vice President committed to working
with ALL members in order to rebuild relationships,
strengthen capacity and identify solutions that will
benefit our association and the many students we
serve. We need to elect a Vice President committed
to unifying members and moving MTA forward. My
experience, voice and vision have prepared me to
lead as our next Vice President of the MTA.
As an Educator and Advocate, I offer rich
experience to complement the position that I am
seeking. I have worked with educators and support
professionals from preschool through graduate
school. I have served as a teacher, counselor,
adjunct professor and student teacher supervisor. I
have committed two decades to representing MTA
members at the local, state and national levels. I
have led the premier Parent Teacher Association in
Massachusetts. I have volunteered with my alumni
association for more than 20 years in various
leadership roles. I am ready and eager to share my
skills at a more influential level of leadership.
As a Leader, I am well-known for exercising
my voice to
results. I am
to speaking up
for ALL MTA
for our interests
Hill to Capitol
Hill. Within our
need to work
together, value voices that may be different from
ours, rebuild morale and tackle the many challenges
that face us. This election is not about what MTA
was or what MTA is; it is about what MTA can be!
As our next Vice President, I pledge to ALL
n I will build upon and expand relationships
with lawmakers by visiting Beacon Hill during week
one in office.
n I will be prudent as I work with members
to assess and recommend the finances of our
n I will assist leaders as we ensure fair contracts
for all of our units within the Massachusetts Teachers
n I will voice support for state transportation
funding to our regional school districts across the
n I will encourage the creation of an early
retirement incentive for educators and support
n I will work with our retirees to create
opportunities for veteran members to mentor our new
n I will consult with MTA staff to provide more
professional development opportunities for our
n I will advocate for parity among all educators
and support professionals throughout our state.
n I will strengthen and increase relationships with
pro-public-education and child advocacy groups.
n I will continue our practice of organizing
members to realize greater change within the MTA.
I welcome an invitation to speak with you and
our members regarding the issues and solutions as
we move forward. Mostly, though, I thank you for
all that you do for our profession!
Candidate for MTA Vice President: Merrie Najimy
T wenty-six years ago, I was, like you, drawn to education out of my passion for learning. For so many of us, being an educator defines
who we are.
Over the past quarter-century, I have taught
each grade, kindergarten through third grade. For the
past decade, I’ve been leading the Concord Teachers
Association, and for the past five years I’ve been
organizing MTA members and leaders across the
state to fight the corporate education agenda.
We all share a vision in which:
n Education is meaningful, composed of joyful
schools filled with creativity, spontaneity and
n Educators are esteemed as education experts.
n We thrive in democratic workplaces, anchored
by a strong union.
n Retirees, ESPs and adjuncts have job and
n Our children can get a college education
without being saddled with debt.
n Rank-and-file members understand that power
lies in us, not in our relationship with power brokers.
The corporate agenda works against every
element of our shared vision. The Common Core,
tied to high-stakes testing and a narrow teacher
evaluation, robs the joy from the classroom, narrows
all over K- 12
now, but it is
trickling up to
ed as well, in
the form of
based compensation, austerity measures, reliance on
adjunct faculty with fewer protections and benefits,
and privatization of services. On a daily basis, all of
us in the MTA can feel overwhelmed and powerless
to stop the “reform” machine.
But we don’t have to feel this way. When
we build strong local unions, where members see
themselves as “the union,” we can organize to stop
the local and statewide attacks and reclaim our vision
for our own schools and public education. I know
this because I have been successful in leading the
Concord Teachers Association from fear to collective
We endured a three-year union-busting scheme
in which our superintendent tried to privatize the
unionized bus drivers and hired a principal who
silenced the staff. The district used the evaluation
tool to try to fire me. The unions, in coalition with
parents and the wider community, stopped the
privatization effort and the attempt to fire me. The
principal resigned. The parents went on to win four
out of five seats on the School Committee. Building
on that momentum, we developed a platform that we
are bargaining over, based on these principles: Time
for Teaching and Learning, Professional Dignity and
Equity. Our members and the broader community
sit in negotiation sessions. Our members feel their
power because they have become central to the
Local by local, with our members and
community allies, we will connect local struggles
with statewide battles and reclaim public education
by fighting for the schools our children deserve.
Under Barbara Madeloni’s leadership, we have
started on that journey.
I am asking for your vote so that we can continue
to move forward on building the New MTA.