Agenda features elections and awards
By Jean Conley
T he 172nd MTA Annual Meeting of Delegates will be held May 19 and 20 at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston.
This year’s meeting will feature elections to
the association’s Board of Directors, Executive
Committee and Retired Members Committee, debate
on a wide range of issues, and celebration of those
who have shown their commitment to social justice,
labor and public education.
Delegates will also discuss and vote on proposed
changes to bylaws, resolutions, standing rules and
new business items.
The meeting will be called to order at noon on
Friday, May 19. That afternoon, MTA President
Barbara Madeloni, MTA Vice President Erik J.
Champy and Executive Director-Treasurer Ann
Clarke will deliver leadership reports.
Also on Friday, 22 public educators will be
recognized for their participation in the Teacher
Leadership Initiative. The initiative, which this year
has been renamed the Teacher Leadership Institute,
is a partnership involving the MTA, the NEA, the
Center for Teaching Quality and the National Board
for Professional Teaching Standards.
On Saturday, the delegates will elect members of
the Board of Directors and Executive Committee. In
addition, Statewide Retired District delegates will fill
four seats on the Retired Members Committee.
Over the course of the two-day event, the
delegates will also see award presentations and act
on other business, including the association’s budget
for the next fiscal year.
A Rally for Public Education will immediately
follow the business session on Saturday. For more
information about the rally, see the related article on
The President’s Award will honor Donna
Bivens, a consultant, trainer and coach with 25 years
of experience in leading the implementation and
development of diversity and inclusion strategies,
anti-oppression systemic change, interculturalism
and leadership development.
Madeloni said Bivens was her choice for the
award because “as president, a person needs a
touchstone to steady and focus.”
“In ways that have surprised, challenged and
moved me, Donna has provided critical guidance and
held me to commitments to counter white supremacy
and reach toward true racial and economic justice,”
Most recently, Bivens worked at the Union of
Minority Neighborhoods as director of the Boston
Busing/Desegregation Project. The project used
film, interviews, civic engagement, theater, and
story circles to explore the tumultuous history of
desegregation in Boston.
Previously, Bivens was co-director of the
Women’s Theological Center in Boston, where
her work included Study/Action, an international
alternative theological education program for
women. She holds an honorary doctorate from
Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge.
She has received numerous social justice and
community-building awards, including recognition
from the Irish International Immigrant Center, the
Boston Women’s Fund and Community Change, Inc.
This year’s MTA Friend of Labor Award will
be presented to Juan Cofield, president of the New
England Area Conference of the NAACP and chair
of the Save Our Public Schools coalition. The
coalition — in which the MTA played a key role
— led the grassroots effort to defeat Question 2,
the charter school expansion initiative on the 2016
ballot. Question 2 was defeated in a landslide on
As chair of Save Our Public Schools, Cofield
was a tireless advocate for public education. He
argued that allowing additional charter school growth
every year without end would result in significant
and irreparable harm to Massachusetts public schools
and the students who rely on them.
Cofield is serving his seventh term as president
of the NAACP’s New England Area Conference.
During his tenure, he has focused on providing
resources and helping branches become more
effective advocates for social and economic justice.
The Friend of Education award will be presented
to Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson.
Jackson, the son of two community activists,
is a lifelong resident of Boston’s Grove Hall
Elected to the Boston City Council for the
first time in 2011, Jackson is chair of the council’s
Education Committee and the Special Committee on
the Status of Black and Latino Men and Boys. He
also serves on a number of other committees.
He worked in the Executive Office of
Housing and Economic Development during the
administration of Governor Deval Patrick, and he
was political director of Patrick’s successful 2010
re-election campaign. In January, he announced his
candidacy for mayor of Boston.
The proposed MTA operating budget of
$47,486,674 for fiscal 2017-2018 will be presented
and voted on. The budget was reviewed by the
Advisory Budget Committee, the Executive
Committee and the Board of Directors. The Board
has proposed annual dues of $474 for full-time active
members, a $10 increase over the current year.
Under the proposed budget, dues for secretaries,
clerks and custodians would increase $6, to $285; dues
for aides, food service personnel and other education
support professionals would increase $3, to $143.
In addition, the proposed Public Relations/
Organizing Campaign budget will be considered.
The recommended general dues assessment for
the PR/Organizing budget is $20, a reduction from
$30 approved last year. For secretaries, clerks and
custodians, the assessment would be reduced to $12,
from $18 last year; aides, food service personnel
and other education support professionals would be
assessed $6, a reduction from $9 last year.
The two proposed budgets combined reflect no
increase or decrease from last year in total dues per
To see more about the Annual Meeting and
review the schedule of events and business session
agenda, please visit www.massteacher.org/am.
This year’s MTA Friend of Labor
Award will be presented to Juan
Cofield, president of the New
England Area Conference of the
NAACP and chair of the Save
Our Public Schools coalition.
The coalition — in which the
MTA played a key role — led
the grassroots effort to defeat
Question 2, the charter school
expansion initiative on the 2016
Tito Jackson Juan Cofield Donna Bivens