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April 2023 Update #1: April 10

Happy Spring and start of Term 4! Here are a few union updates gearing up for Union Week, as well as continued legislative pushes and career support resources.


WHEN CAN I AFFORD TO RETIRE SEMINAR at the ARB:

Education Minnesota's partners (ESI Advisors) will be hosting a free retirement planning session/boxed lunch/prizes at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum on Thursday, June 15. Come for the great information, a free meal, a chance to walk away with door prizes, and then explore the ARB at your leisure the rest of the day!

Spots will fill up fast for this opportunity, so register now to secure your spot! Register using the following link: https://www.cvent.com/c/express/6f7c74fa-29d2-4275-a204-bfac225b8e80


NEGOTIATOR LISTENING SESSIONS:

EPEA negotiators are hosting listening sessions for each of the sites during March and April. If you were unable to make the listening session, the negotiators will still want to collect your insights regarding the area(s) of the contract you feel could be improved. Once all the feedback/suggestions have been gathered, the negotiators will prepare an "Digital Negotiations Prioritization Event" (May 9th) when you will be able to see the collective ideas from our members across the district and indicate your priorities. Contract idea submissions are welcomed through April 30.

Remaining listening sessions are as follows:

1) April 18 @2:45- Cedar Ridge, Room 1159

2) April 21 @7:45- Prairie View, Room 313

Please use the links below to provide your additional input for contract changes:


UNION WEEK: APRIL 17:

We are almost to our annual Union Week--Yahoo!

Our goal during of Union Week is to strengthen our community, and there are several events scheduled during the week help accomplish those ends.

Please take a look at a "Union Week Preview."

MONDAY, APRIL 17: Swag Day

(Wear you EPEA/EPPEA swag + submit your participation for the Participation Raffle)

ALL WEEK: PROP Food DRIVE

E- Grade 5 Buildings: box of cereal or Mac & Cheese

Grade 6 - Tassel Buildings: Peanut Butter or Jelly


WEDNESDAY: Fat Pants Scholarship Fund Event

4:20 - 8pm @ Fat Pants Brewing Co.

Additional Details below

ALL WEEK: "Save the Date"

"Pop In" Negotiations Prioritization Event (May 9)

ALL WEEK: Surprises in your mailboxes.

ALL WEEK: Membership Recruitment / Referral :

Encourage membership to those who may not be members.

ALL WEEK: Participation Raffle

Every event in which you participate qualifies you entry for the participation raffle.






SCHOLARSHIP FUND/EVENT--APRIL 19:

During this year's Union Week, one of the ways EPEA members can participate and "Strengthen our Community" is to engage in the planned Scholarship Fund Event as one of Eden Prairie Education Association's missions is to work for the welfare of children, the advancement of education, and the improvement of instructional opportunities for all. The goal is

to help expand the impact to more seniors who embrace the field of education.

The event will be held on April 19th from 4-8pm at Fat Pants Brewery in Eden Prairie. The event is designed to be an "Open House Style" social with food, beverages, and giveaways. It is a great way to kick back with colleagues while contributing to a great cause.

This year we have two options to participate in the fundraiser:

1. Donate to the Fund + RSVP to the Fat Pants Social/Raffle Event: ($10/per ticket)

- appetizers

- one beverage ticket (10oz. beverage of your choice)

- hourly raffle prizes

2. Donate to the Fund ($10 minimum)

- want to contribute but unable to attend

Tickets/donations are available now through April 18th for the Donate + RSVP option. Donate and reserve your ticket now.


QCOMP PLAN UPDATE:

Since the March 7th newsletter, EPEA leadership has continued to promote collaborative conversations with the end goal of looking at the fundamental reasons EPEA agreed to enter into the QComp Plan in 2006 along with looking at the difference in submitted plans and current proactice. In addition, EPEA leadership has asked for the detailed financial reports including complete revenue and expenditure data of the QComp program.

To date, EPEA leadership continues to press district leaders for complete financial information and engagement in the process to work collaboratively toward submitting a mutually agreed upon plan update. The next step comes Thursday when the Labor Management team studies the impact of rejecting exisiting QComp plan and the views held by both parties, the impact of moving to a state TD&E plan, and the financial burden both the QComp Plan and the states TD&E plans have on the district's bottom line.

Again, EPEA will not approve any changes that go against the tenants of developing teachers and teacher leaders or the four areas of the program that are the cornerstones of the program's 2006 beginnings.

  • Career ladder/advancement options (teacher leadership positions and responsibilities)

  • Job-embedded professional development (frequently utilizing teacher leaders and professional learning community structures)

  • Teacher evaluation

  • Performance pay and alternative salary schedules

The QComp MOU will likely be a pivotal priority during this round of negotiations and has mutliple ramifications for both teachers and the district. Your negotiations team is exploring all the facets in order to leverage our voice and our desires at the bargaining table. More information will be provided at the May 9th "Digital Prioritization Event."


PRESCHOOL STAFF UPDATE:

As the legislature continues its work to move closer to definiting preschool educators as "teachers." the EPPEA teachers continue without a settled 2022-2024 contract.

Lack of district movement has lead the EPPEA negotiators to seek support from the Bureau of Mediation Services in a mediation process.

Once the mediation process begins, communication of the progress/details to members will be limited.

Currently we are waiting for a mediator to be assigned and dates to be selected.

Please continue to show your support to the Preschool teachers in every way you can. We are hopeful for movement in this next stage of negotiations.

LEGISLATIVE NEWS:

The legislature will be returning from its week-long break early on Tuesday, and there are many components that affect education funding and policies yet to be finalized. Many of the bills are being considered for placement in the "omnibus" bill. More informations as to what makes it in, and what fell short of getting to that stage will be known soon.

Meanwhile, EPEA members continue to use their voice and presence to promote positive moves for educators and the students they serve. Pictured above are union members of Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Hopkins, and Burnsville as they speak with legislators.

IDENTITY THEFT PROTECTION: (Repeated)

For those who are interested, Education Minnesota's ESI Members Benefits offers Identity Theft Protection options to active or retired members. Additional information can be accessed through the document shown below.

Securus ID_EDMN Plan Options flyer_3-3-23
.pdf
Download PDF • 117KB

ROUND 3 BEGINS:

Any remaining open positions are now open and any applicant is eligible.

ROUND 3: April 10 - until filled

- Eligible: all educators

- Purpose: apply to remaining open positions at any site

- Process: 4 -5 question online form for internal candidates; full application for external candidates

Note for new teachers this year, VP Nate Gabel will lead a conversation centering around navigating ROUND 3, rehiring, application questions, and finishing QComp requirements. New teachers should look for a calendar invite for the April 24 Zoom meeting.


ENERGAGE SURVEY:

When the district first announced its partnership with the StarTribune/Energage survey, EPEA President Dominic Kirkpatrick wanted to learn more information. This is what was shared with her:

  • This district hopes that the results earn a “Top Workplace Honor” so that EPS can attract future employees.

  • The reason EPS is engaging is to get the “Top Workplace Honor” as a Public Relations action.

  • Star Tribune will not receive the aggregated data, only the results of who the top employers of the Twin Cities are based on engagement and positive responses.

  • EPS is not the survey creator; Energage is. Energage holds the information and EPS receives an overview of the results.

  • IF EPS wants to receive more aggregated data, it has to pay Energage $15K-$30K to receive that more complete data, but Dirk said at this point the district in not interested in that as it has its own survey data from the October engagement surveys.

  • Energage will verify employment upon entry of the survey using email address, so Energage will know who engaged in the survey.


We hope to see many of you on Wednesday, April 19th for our Union Event at Fat Pants Brewing Co. Please get your ticket ASAP using the button above. As the legislature continues its work, we will continue to monitor progress.

As always, please reach out to your site representatives as your first level of support when needed.

Gratefully yours,

Dominic








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