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EPEA January 2022 Update #3


HELLO EPEA / EPPEA!

As we march in the freezing cold toward the end of the second term, we know there is much to do for the students we serve. Below are brief updates (placed in order of deadlines or importance) for a few different topics. As always, please reach out to your site rep as the first step of advocacy.



LEAVES and RETIREMENT DEADLINES:

For those who are requesting a leave of absence for the 2022-2023 school year, Feb 1st is the deadline to do so. Military, general, sabbatical, and child care leaves are outlined in our contract (pages 20-24 EPEA) found on the "Official Documents" page of our epteachers.org website. An extended leave of absence (1 to 5 year leave) is outlined in State Statute 122A.46.

For those who are intending to retire at the end of the 2021-2022 school year, Feb 4th is the deadline to submit your email/letter to do so. Previous EPEA newsletters contained a sample email template to express intent to retire for those who wish to use it: "EPEA January 2022 Update #1" with more information is also located on the "Newsletters" page of our epteachers.org website.


*Note: your personal email and your employee number are needed to log in to the Members Resources section of the epteachers.org website.



EPEA / EPPEA UPCOMING ELECTION: One week remains to submit your interest to run for an elected leadership role within the EPEA/EPPEA. New this year, we will hold only one election for all the elected positions. In years past, EPEA held a separate EPEA President election in February and then a separate election for all other roles. In order to streamline the process and expense, EPEA /

EPPEA will hold one February 28th election. The following positions will be on the February ballot: - EPEA President - EPEA Vice President - EPEA Treasurer - Little Eagles Preschool Site Representative (1 position) - Lower Campus / Tassel Site Representative (1 position) - Cedar Ridge Site Representatives (2 positions) - Eagle Heights Spanish Immersion Site Representatives (2 positions) - Eden Lake Site Representatives (2 positions) - Forest Hills Site Representatives (2 positions) - Oak Point Site Representatives (2 positions) - Prairie View Site Representatives (2 positions) - CMS Site Representatives (3 positions) - EPHS Site Representatives (5 positions) - EP Online Site Representative (1 position) - Delegates for the EdMN Representative Assembly (April 22-23) (9 positions) Anyone interested in holding one of these positions is encouraged to express her/his interest to VP Nate Gabel (nathan_gabel@edenpr.k12.mn.us) by Friday, January 28th in order to be placed on the slate. If you are interested in learning more about the roles, please see the outline of the responsibilities of each role within the EPEA Bylaws.


STAFFING TIMELINES: In January each year EPS posts its Staffing Timelines, inclusive of deadlines, posting of positions, protocols. Here is a glimpse of the timelines that will be posted on the HR page of the EPS website: Feb 1: Leave Requests or return from leave notices Feb 4: Intent to Retire with EPEA Early Retirement MOU

Mar 4: Involuntary transfer notification Mar 7-11: ROUND 1: Positions open for tenured staff within the same building Mar 14-18: ROUND 2: Positions open for tenured staff between buildings Mar 28: Notice of release of probationary teachers Apr 4: ROUND 3: Positions open for all internal and external applicants



DISTRICT FINANCIAL UPDATES: As a part of the mid-year budget update, Director Jason Muntzenberger presents information to the school board and the finance advisory committee in the January/February timeline. Here are a few highlights worth noting: 1) EPS is receiving approx $2M increased revenue due to the unexpected 2.45% state aid increase and increased EPO enrollment. 2) OPEB (Other Post-employment Benefits) Fund is seeing a $1.5M increase for the current year (this is the fund from which the $50K retirement incentive is coming). This is great news for future retirees at the negotiations table. The current balance in the OPEB fund is $17M. 3) The Elementary and Secondary School Relief Fund (ESSR III), which is a COVID-related federal fund specifically designed to help mitigate learning loss, accounts for $7M in one-time only dollars. EPS, through a specific, mandated process has allocated $1M to be used within the general fund and $2M for new programming for students. The remaining $4M is to be used by June 2024. 4) Site and department budgets will go up by 2% for the 2022-2023 school year. 5) Class size targets that go into effect for the 2022-2023 school year include a reduction of students for grades 4 and 5. This will mean additional sectioning at some sites (5.0 FTE). K: 2o students Grade 5: 27 students (decrease from 30 students) 1: 20 students Grade 6: 30 students 2: 24 students Grade 7-8: 31 students 3: 25 students Grade 9-12: 31.5 students 4: 25 students (decrease from 27 students) 6) The school board will decide if the timing is right to go out for a referendum in the upcoming November 2022 election. The current referendum expires on June 30, 2025.


TRA: Re-Establish Rule of 90 Campaign Our very own EPEA Treasurer / CMS science teacher Brent Bovitz is championing the campaign to solicit support for the return of "Rule of 90" for all educators. Currently, those hired after July 1, 1989, are not eligible for "Rule of 90," which allows an educator to receive full TRA pension (without deductions) once years of service + age = 90.

To learn a bit more about the campaign to support the return of Rule of 90 and take additional action, you can join the Rule of 90 Facebook group, sign the petition, and/or access the PDF below.


ONLINE RELICENSURE CLASSES: Anyone who is looking to fulfill the required training to renew their MN Teaching license, Education Minnesota offers these online, at-your-pace courses free of charge for EPEA / EPPEA members (login required). Once you have completed a course, you can download the CEU certificate from the EdMn webpage and upload it to your "External Credit Request" tab of your TalentEd PD site where your relicensure representative will apply it to

your CEU data for relicensure. To find the online courses on the educationminnesota.org website, follow the path here: RESOURCES>>MEA ONLINE>>LOGIN to MEA ONLINE>>DASHBOARD>>CATALOG The Relicensure Courses Offered are as follows: 1. PBIS and Instruction Strategies (Relicensure) 2. Reading (Relicensure) 3. Student Mental Health (Relicensure) 4. English Learners (Relicensure) 5. Suicide Prevention (Relicensure)



SWAG DAY / SWEET CELEBRATION:

Everyone is invited to wear your EPEA / EPPEA swag on Thursday, Feb. 17th. On this day we celebrate our "100th Day of School Sweet Celebration," and you will be able to start your day with a sweet caramel roll treat, delivered at least 30 minutes before student contact time begins. Those who serve students solely in EPO will receive their treat at their homes.

Mark you calendars for EPEA Union Week: Strengthening our Community. The week of April 18-22 will consist of a negotiator listening session, EPEA Scholarship fundraiser and raffle, food drive for PROP, and some surprises along the way.



TAX-SHELTERED ANNUITY 403B: In our EPEA and EPPEA contracts, EPS matches a percentage of our yearly salary to be deposited to your personal Tax Sheltered Annuity retirement savings plan that allows employees of tax-exempt organizations to invest pretax dollars to build retirement income. An EPEA educator can receive a match up to 2.25% of the yearly salary; in addition, an

EPPEA member can receive a match up to a 1% of the yearly salary. From a negotiator and future salary viewpoint, EPS "costs" or assumes everyone will participate in the Tax Sheltered Annuity program and, therefore, calculates/predicts future salary limits based on that assumption. Therefore, we encourage EVERYONE to participate in the TSA matching opportunity the negotiating teams have fought for on your behalf. Plan A-ers...you know you have your separate benefit. If you have not yet set up your TSA (403B) to invest in your retirement future and take advantage of EPS matching contributions, do so this NEW YEAR SEASON! Below are 6 vendors you can choose from to help you get everything set up, get the guidance you need, and start you on your way to future retirement bliss!


We wish you a smooth end of term 2! Please reach out with any questions or support for concerns.

In service,

Dominic

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