At the Mass. Teachers Association (MTA) annual meeting, the divestment campaign was visible to over 1000 MTA teachers, many of whom learned something about climate change and about divestment of the pension fund. An amazing number of teachers and other pension fund contributors signed our petition and postcards and talked with us about divestment.
The Educators for a Democratic Union (EDU), the progressive caucus in the MTA, which includes a number of 350Mass delegate/members, brought a new business item (NBI) forward proposing that the MTA support the state divestment bill and the divestment of the UMass endowment.
The MTA delegates included members who are on the Pension Fund Board who proposed and spoke on behalf of a substitute motion that would require the MTA to propose legislation requiring PRIM to identify their fossil fuel holdings and to study the advisability of divesting. After finding out that our NBI had opposition, EDU volunteers came forward to provide many extra speakers, most of whom got a chance to speak. There was a very lively and civil debate before the motion to substitute a study was adopted.