SLC ’18: Tackling Issues with Union Values

“We’re focused on relevance and action.”

We’ve said it before, it’s an unprecedented time for public education in Maryland and the country. The Janus Supreme Court case is unleashing anti-union attacks that threaten employees’ seat at the table; the Betsy DeVos agenda to privatize and monetize public schools has found an ally in our governor; and we’re campaigning for our endorsed pro-public education candidates in the mid-term elections. Every office in the Maryland House and Senate is up for grabs and it will be those lawmakers who will debate the Kirwan Commission’s final funding recommendations in the 2019 General Assembly.

At MSEA’s 2018 Summer Leadership Conference (SLC), July 17–20 at Salisbury University, every program and event will align with these threats and opportunities so attendees can lead on big issues at the local level — and make the connections between public policy, the quality of public education, and their job.

“We’ve worked hard to connect SLC ’18 to what’s happening here in Maryland and around the country,” said Tyrone Terry, chair of the Leadership Development Committee and member from Montgomery County. “We’re welcoming true heroes as our special guests — educators from public education battleground states West Virginia, Arizona, and North Carolina who raised their voices in a hard fight for funding, decent pay, and basic school resources and — against tremendous odds — made significant progress.”

In new SLC ’18 T(ed) Talks, those educator–activists will share what they’ve learned about member-driven social media, how they organized members and non-members around a pressing issue and now hope to gain members as a result, and how a truly grassroots movement started among activist educators and how they used the union to support it.

The SLC organizers are also welcoming Shelly Moore Krajacic, a Wisconsin teacher who is working to organize members after Governor Scott Walker stripped unions of collective bargaining rights and fair share dues in 2010. Since that time, teacher pay has dropped 11% and in some districts teacher recruitment has dropped 28%.

“We’re focused on relevance and action,” Terry said. “Educators and students need a strong, organized association of committed activists now more than ever — at SLC ’18, we’re delivering a program to make sure our members are informed and ready to take action.”

Missed the registration deadline for this year’s SLC? Mark your calendar for next year’s event!