By Jean Conley
The 173rd MTA Annual Meeting of Delegates will be held May 4 and 5, featuring elections to leadership posts and debate on a wide array
The Annual Meeting also provides an opportunity
for delegates to honor activists who have shown their
commitment to public education, labor and their
Delegates will vote on proposed revisions to the
association’s bylaws and resolutions, as well as the
proposed revision of a standing rule. The delegates
will also take up new business items.
The two-day meeting will be called to order at
noon on Friday, May 4, at the Hynes Convention
Center in Boston.
On Friday afternoon, MTA President Barbara
Madeloni, MTA Vice President Erik J. Champy and
Executive Director-Treasurer Ann Clarke will deliver
Also on Friday, 12 public educators will
be recognized for their work as members of the
Teacher Leadership Institute, a partnership that
prepares classroom teachers for leadership roles.
The partnership involves the MTA, the National
Education Association, the Center for Teaching
Quality and the National Board for Professional
O n Saturday, the delegates will vote for candidates for MTA President, Vice President and the association’s Board
In addition, four Retired Members Committee
seats will be filled by delegates representing the
Statewide Retired District.
The delegates will also act on the association’s
proposed budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1,
as well as on other business.
Among the awards to be presented is the
President’s Award, which pays tribute to an
outstanding individual chosen by the MTA President.
The recipient of this year’s President’s Award
is Maurice Cunningham, an MTA member and
associate professor of political science at UMass
Boston. Cunningham has done extensive research on
“dark money” in Massachusetts politics — money
from anonymous donors used to influence political
During the 2016 election season, when the
ultimately rejected Question 2 initiative to lift
the cap on charter schools was on the ballot,
Cunningham was researching the sources of millions
of dollars from anonymous donors to the New York-based Families for Excellent Schools — Advocacy.
The money was then donated to the Great Schools
Massachusetts Ballot Committee.
Cunningham reported his charter campaign
findings on MassPoliticsProfs, a blog he co-founded
and to which he contributes.
In September 2017, after its own review, the
Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political
Finance leveled the largest fine in its history —
$426,466 — and shut down the FESA operation in
Massachusetts after concluding that it had “violated
the campaign finance law by receiving contributions
from individuals and then contributing those funds
to the Great Schools Massachusetts Ballot Question
Committee in a manner intended to disguise the true
source of the money.”
The MTA Friend of Education award will be
presented to retired MTA Training and Professional
Learning Specialist George Luse, who spent decades
advocating for the rights of education workers.
After eight years as an instrumental music
teacher in Michigan and Maine, Luse began
his union work in 1981 at the Maine Teachers
Association, now the Maine Education Association.
He joined the Massachusetts Teachers Association as
a consultant in 1989.
Luse was trained as an organizer by a cadre
from the National Education Association that had
organized state education associations at the dawn
of public-sector collective bargaining. In turn, he
trained, influenced and inspired hundreds of fellow
activists before retiring from the MTA in 2016. Luse,
a resident of Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood,
is currently chair of the Executive Board of
Massachusetts Jobs With Justice, and he mentors
young black and brown men as a member of
Concerned Black Men of Massachusetts.
The MTA’s Friend of Labor Award will be
presented to Lydia Edwards, who represents District
1 on the Boston City Council.
When Boston created its Office of Housing
Stability in 2016, Mayor Martin Walsh tapped
Edwards to be deputy director. Edwards took charge
of delivering innovative solutions to help the city
fight the displacement of tenants being evicted from
their homes, bringing together landlords, management
companies, housing authorities and tenants.
Edwards has also worked as a public interest
attorney with Greater Boston Legal Services,
focusing on labor issues such as fighting for access
to unemployment insurance, ensuring payment of
back wages, combating human trafficking and fair
treatment of domestic workers.
Cara Pekarcik, the 2018 Massachusetts Teacher
of the Year, will also address the delegates.
The North Quincy High School science
teacher strives to develop students’ interest in and
understanding of how scientific concepts apply to
their lives in order to enhance their participation
and learning and improve their literacy and critical
In 2016, Pekarcik traveled halfway around the
world to expand her knowledge as a member of a
Polar TREC expedition in the Southern Ocean, where
she spent six weeks on an icebreaker that served as a
She kept a journal that her students could read
online, and she was able to have a video of herself
at work live-streamed to the high school so students
could follow her journey.
T he proposed MTA operating budget of $43,805,555 for fiscal 2018-2019 will be presented and voted on. The Advisory
Budget Committee, the Executive Committee
and the Board of Directors have proposed annual
dues of $474 for full-time active members, which
represents no increase or decrease from the current
Under the proposed budget, dues for secretaries,
clerks and custodians would remain at $285; and dues
for aides, food service personnel and other education
support professionals would remain at $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. For secretaries, clerks
and custodians, the assessment would be $12; aides,
food service personnel and other education support
professionals would be assessed $6.
To see a copy of the Annual Meeting schedule
of events and business session agenda, please visit
On Saturday, the delegates will vote
for candidates for MTA President, Vice
President and the association’s Board
Maurice Cunningham George Luse Cara Pekarcik Lydia Edwards