MTA pays tribute to Anne Wass

I want to reserve special thanks for a special person – someone whom I treasure as a mentor, a role model and, especially, as a friend.

I am talking about Anne Wass, president of MTA.

I’ve known Anne since my early days of union activism. Her wisdom and guidance were invaluable when I served as president of the Cambridge Teachers Association and chaired the New Presidents Group. As MTA president, Anne made me a true partner. We shared good times, visiting members across the state, and we shared challenging times, dealing with those whose policies would hurt our members and the students they serve.

Through everything – the good, the bad, the best and the worst – Anne never lost her humor, her compassion and her rock-solid belief in the power of a united education profession.

I could go on about my friend Anne, but so could many of you in this room. She is a friend to every one of us, and she is leaving behind a legacy of achievement and deep feelings of affection and respect.

So join me now in a trip down Memory Lane as we watch a brief video of your friend and mine, a video that might be entitled, Anne Wass: The MTA Years.

I talked about Anne Wass being a friend of every MTA member, and she is. But the affection and respect I mentioned are shared by the entire Massachusetts labor community. Every MTA-AFT and MTA-AF of L collaboration in the past four years has her stamp on it. And every future collaboration – including the crucial collaboration to defeat Question 1 – will be built on the foundation she has worked to maintain and strengthen. In recognition of the vital importance of labor community unity and action, the MTA Executive Committee has voted to create an award to honor a person who has been instrumental in fostering the cooperation that makes such collaborative action possible.