Dear MCCC Colleagues,
I know the end of the spring semester presents many challenges to all of us as we finish with grades, support student awards ceremonies, and ready students and the college for upcoming graduations, so my thoughts are with all of you in the important work that engages you at this time.
Please note the SAC news below, the registration deadlines for future events, and the important political action that is needed immediately on the Harkins Jobs bill in the Senate.
MTA Annual Meeting Election:
Thanks again to all who attended this meeting and supported my candidacy for the MTA Executive Committee in so many different ways. Though Max Page won the election, key issues were raised about our community colleges and public higher education that will not easily be ignored. Since I will retain my seat on the MTA Board, I will continue to speak out for our campuses and for all of you in the year ahead.
Act Now to Support Educators’ Jobs:
Since state funding for education is at an all time low, I am repeating an earlier political action request of all of you: Please contact your U.S. Senators, so that federal monies regarding S 3206 (the Keep our Educators Working Act) can be used to support state educators. The State Legislature is proposing a 4 percent cut for pre-K – 12 and 13 percent cut for higher education, so your calls are most important. This legislation would provide almost $500 million to save jobs, and Senator John Kerry is an original co-sponsor of this bill.
Please thank Senator Kerry for supporting educators and urge Senator Scott Brown to support Senator Harkin’s bill. Follow this link : http://www.capwiz.com/nea/issues/alert/?alertid=14952031&type=co
Out of state residents should contact their U.S. Senators and not Senators Kerry or Brown.
Greenfield, Holyoke, Mt. Wachusett Educators: Meet with Your Legislators
On May 18th at the Clarion Hotel & Conference Center in Northampton, MTA educators from public schools and colleges are meeting with legislators from the districts serviced by the Holyoke MTA office. Be there to let legislators know that our schools and colleges, our students, and public educators need their support. For more information or to reserve a dinner and seat at this table, call 1.800.432.1117 or 413.535.2415. Or email firstname.lastname@example.orgemail@example.com
PHENOM Annual Meeting – June 5, 2010, at WSC:
Ferd Wulkan, PHENOM’s Organizing Director, invites all of you to attend this event: “Please help shape PHENOM’s future at our Annual Meeting Saturday, June 5 at 5 PM at Worcester State College (Blue Lounge, Student Center 1st Floor). PHENOM members will evaluate our work, plan for the fall election campaign and the rest of the year, debate and vote on any bylaw amendments and PHENOM’s budget, and elect a new Board.” RSVP to reserve a spot (and dinner!): firstname.lastname@example.org
Sign up for MTA’s Williamstown Conference:
Each year dozens of MCCC members go to Williamstown in August to attend summer workshops and relax in the beautiful Berkshires at an MTA conference that has something for everyone. Join friends and colleagues from across the state for informative and energizing workshops with education and labor experts. Please note the MTA Williamstown brochure that was mailed to you, and the email from Phil Mahler that your chapter president distributed to you. Each chapter can send up to 3 members and possibly more. Contact your chapter president ASAP in order to qualify for MCCC funding. Go to the MCCC website for many more details: http://mccc-union.org/Williamstown2010/index.html
I have been meeting with and in close contact with MTA’s Higher Ed. Director Arthur Pippo, State House Lobbyists, and a private tax attorney to finalize the language on the ORP bill (1173). The attorney has reviewed the bill and sees no conflict with the current Internal Revenue Code. Please stay tuned as we move forward very soon with a full-scale lobbying effort. I will be sending out a notice this week for a possible ORP Ad Hoc meeting to activate and organize this lobbying effort. If we want this campaign to succeed, we must work to get every interested ORP faculty in this state involved.
Higher Ed. Contracts Campaign:
* As you know, the Higher Education Leadership Council and MTA leaders and strategic action coordinators have been meeting with legislators, the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, and Education Secretary Reville to move these contracts forward into a supplementary budget. Our contract sits in the hands of the House Ways & Means Committee awaiting action. The Governor has told a recent higher education audience that, though he would like concessions to deal with the economic crisis, he is not putting pressure on legislators to hold off on these contracts. Note our legislators hold the key to funding these contracts, so that is where our energy needs to be focused.
* Know that MCCC and other higher ed. unions have no intention of reopening contracts at this time. We must all continue to work with the legislature to move these contracts forward.
* My thanks to those who have contacted legislators about our contracts or participated in related in-district meetings. Thanks to Brooks Smith for his weekly meetings with legislators and to Caroline Schwarzwalder and Tiffany Magnolia for their recent legislative breakfast at North Shore Community College. MCCC leadership will continue to work with MTA colleagues on this contract campaign. Please stay in touch with your legislators.
* Further action requests – including phone calls, emails, and/or in district meetings – may be needed, so please pay attention to SAC email action alerts and requests.
Best wishes for a quieter month ahead – and for some well-deserved time off in the near future for all of you.
Diana (Donnie) McGee
MCCC Vice President & SAC Chair