BEA Home PageMTA Annual Meeting of Delegates 2008
Sixteen members of the Brockton Education Association attended the 2-day Massachusetts Teachers Association Annual Meeting of Delegates held at Boston's Hynes Auditorium May 9 and 10th. The Annual Meeting of Delegates, this the 163rd, is the time of the year when MTA member delegates, elected by their local associations, come together as one body and decide the bylaws, budget, proposed amendments, and new business of the association. Delegates voted to re-elect Anne Wass to her second term as MTA President and Paul Toner to his second term as MTA Vice-President. An MTA dues increase of $24.00 was adopted by delegates.Top of Page
The first business session was called to order by Anne Wass, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. The Star Spangled Banner was sung by Andrew Barbato, student at Stoneham High School, studying under Mr. Bob Lague who was attending his 42nd Annual Meeting and who has served for many, many years as the official pianist for both the MTA and the NEA annual meetings. Bob is retiring from public education this year. Hopefully he will continue entertaining the delegation as a retired member! U.S. Senator John F. Kerry addressed the delegation and thanked the delegates for all that they do for the children of Massachusetts and further stated that although teachers may not always feel it or see it, they are always appreciated for the outstanding work they do for their students.
Mr. Tom Gosnell, president of the Massachusetts chapter of the American Federation of Teachers spoke to the delegates and was thanked by Paul Phillips of the Quincy Education Association for all the support the AFT gave the QEA during their tumultuous bargaining experience last year and for giving them, free of charge, their meeting hall for the QEA meetings.
MTA launched its campaign against income tax repeal. The MTA strongly opposes the November ballot initiative because it would devastate public education, the economy and our quality of life in Massachusetts. The consequences would be dire. A comprehensive overview was delivered by Mr. Peter Meade.
Public Education: Slashing state revenues would lead to unprecedented and unsustainable cuts in public schools and higher education, which receive a substantial share of their funding from the Commonwealth. Our schools would be thrown into chaos and dysfunction. Our public colleges and UMass would have to cut services and sharply increase tuition and fees, putting the cost out of reach for many students.Coalition Opposes Ballot Measure
Economy: By making deep cuts in investments in public education, public safety, roads and bridges and many other areas, this proposal would do severe damage to our economy, making it harder to attract new businesses to the state.
Property Taxes: The initiative would force local communities to raise property taxes significantly to lessen the damage. Those who think New Hampshire has a tax model we should follow should consider that New Hampshire ranks first in the country in property taxes as a share of personal income.
This ballot proposal is opposed by a growing coalition of labor, civic, human services and business organizations. Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a business-backed budget watchdog group, said, “The income tax repeal would have a dramatically negative impact on the Massachusetts economy. Essentially, the sponsors of this ballot question are attempting to repeal the 20th century.”
Information Ballot Initiative courtesy of: MTA
Timothy D. Sullivan, President of the Brockton Education Association gave a passionate address to the delegation about the dangers of this ballot measure by recalling the damage sustained by public education following the CLT Prop 2-1/2 and Tax Cap initiatives. (Click here for Mr. Sullivan's address.) (Large file, slower download.) Smaller file, quick download
Other meeting happenings of interest:
- Keynote speaker at this year's meeting was Lily Eskelson, NEA Secretary-Treasurer.
- MTA Special Recognition Award for the Recipient of the 2008 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year award presented to Michael Flynn, M.Ed., Southampton Teachers Association
- Presentation of MTA Friend of Education Award given to Edward P. Sullivan, Former MTA Executive-Treasurer
Above photos taken by Kathleen Ettinger, BEA Webmaster