Happy May EPEA / EPPEA!
As we start counting the days to the end of the school year with students, EPEA leadership is already thinking about ways to make our organization a more solidified, unified body. And...we know partnering with our community to demonstrate an additional perspective is vital in preparation for the next round of bargaining. We also know together we can do so much to promote the measures needed to serve our students well.
With all that in mind, the following newsletter contains information regarding important MN legislative moves that may affect you, a feedback opportunity to build a stronger 2022-2023, May Swag Day Prize, Friends of EP Teachers Partnership opportunities, and upcoming election information.
ONE TIME PAYMENTS for PANDEMIC WORK: Educators and other frontline workers will finally get one-time payments from the state for their work during the pandemic The Minnesota Legislature and Gov. Tim Walz signed off on legislation to provide checks of approximately $750 for essential workers such as school staff, health care workers, child care providers and retail employees. The amount could be more or less, depending on the number of eligible workers who apply. Any school staff is eligible if they worked at least 120 hours in person between March 15, 2020, and June 30, 2021, and made less than $85,000 as an individual or $185,000 or less as married taxpayers filing jointly. Details about the program, including the application process and timeline, are still being finalized and will be posted here when they are available. Sign up to receive updates about Frontline Worker Pay.
MN HOUSE vs MN SENATE WORK RELATED TO PUBLIC SCHOOL FUNDING:
Minnesota’s $9.25 billion surplus gives the Legislature an unprecedented opportunity to support public schools that have been underfunded for so long. Now, the House and Senate need to come together to iron out the differences in their bills and send a compromised one to Gov. Tim Walz.
Take a look at what each legislative body has proposed and contact your representatives / senators to encourage them to work together for public education.
In particular, additional funds to expand voluntary pre-K would place our very own Little Eagles Preschool teachers in line with k-12 teacher salaries and benefits, which are so deserved. In addition, improvement for additional SpEd due process time and resources for our struggling students would help meet the needs of staff as they support our students.
MAY 16 = SWAG DAY:
To continue our work in presenting a visual united front, Monday, May 16th, will be EPEA / EPPEA Sway day. Please wear your swag on this day and you could be "caught having union pride" and win a $25 Target gift card on the spot.
UNION WEEK FEEDBACK OPPORTUNITY:
Thank you for participating in our 1st annual "Union Week." A huge shout out to Linda Enck for all the behind-the-scenes work that went into coordinating the events.
We want to capture some feedback from you as to what could improve our organization's unity in the upcoming year. EPEA leadership encourages you to take the opportunity to provide your voice.
Please find the anonymous feedback tool here (10 minutes):
CAMPAIGN 2022: Did you know there will be FIVE open seats for the Nov. 2022 school board election? Now is the time to recruit possible candidates to put their name in the running for open seats. We need former educators, former
colleagues, retired educators, and educator-friendly residents to be on this year's slate. This election could change the trajectory of how the school board functions, what policy decisions are made by our admin teams, and how feedback and communication are delivered to the public. Please consider reaching out to viable possible candidates who would be pro-educator to consider running for school board and pass on the name to Dominic Kirkpatrick.
FRIENDS of EP TEACHERS:
EPEA leadership is looking for those of us who reside within the Eden Prairie Schools district to partner in hopes to gain more community support/awareness in preparation for our next round of negotiations. If you reside within EP and are willing to be open to some possibilities within your neighborhood, please reach out to Dominic Kirkpatrick!
This is a simple, yet very powerful way to allow the community to hear more than 1 perspective.
EPEA Leadership is honored to serve you in all ways we can. We strive for continued gains in support and advocacy for our students, our working conditions, and the advancement of the profession.
As your first line of support, please reach out to your site representatives.
Wishing you a great May!
Dominic and your EPEA leadership team