As Massachusetts enters Phase 2 of its vaccination roll out, we would like to update you on our vaccination access campaign.
First, thanks to your combined effort the Action Network petition sent Governor Baker more than 5,000 emails! This significant number was reached because so many of you took the time and trouble to circulate the petition among your family and friends, creating an enormous groundswell of support for our urgent cause. We are very grateful to you for your activism.
Following the petition rollout, MTA President Merrie Najimy and MTA Vice President Max Page met with Secretary Sudders to raise the issue with Governor Baker. Though we did not get a commitment for including Higher Education in Phase 2 from Secretary Sudders during that meeting, she acknowledged that our collective voice of 5,000 had reached her.
We need your help again at this critical moment to renew our push for vaccines for preK-16 educators.
MTA has compiled a second petition in coalition with several major unions (American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts, Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts, Boston Teachers Union, Massachusetts Nurses Association, Service Employees International Union Local 888, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1459, Massachusetts AFL-CIO, American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees Council 93 and United Steelworkers) to advocate for the Last Mile Vaccine Delivery Program.
The Last Mile Vaccine Delivery program proposes a specific distribution plan of vaccines to educators and advocates for including all higher ed employees in Phase 2. The idea is to join forces to amplify our reach and therefore our advocacy strength.
Please take a few seconds to sign this second petition here and share it with your friends and family as well.
Further, we will be putting together op-eds on the urgent need for vaccines in higher education to educate the public about the significant risks of exposure to COVID-19 that many higher ed employees face daily. Please consider signing up to contribute to an op-ed by sharing your personal experience about what it means to work in person on campus. We need your help to highlight the range of issues that underlie our demand for access to vaccines, such as safety for higher ed employees, equity of access for our students of color and the financial perils of low enrollment in our institutions.
Please consider signing up here to help the campaign develop several op-eds, which the MTA will help publish in local newspapers. The MSCA and MTA will provide resources and support for writing these op-eds (likely in the form of an hour-long op-ed writing workshop). You do not need to be a writer or have special skills to be part of this workshop!
This campaign arose from MSCA members voicing the need for vaccine access for higher ed employees. We need your help to push this effort to the finish line by signing the petition, sharing it with family and friends on social media, and signing up to write op-eds that highlight the urgency of the issue.
Irina Seceleanu & Aruna Krishnamurthy,
MSCA Organizing and Unity Leaders