Happy (almost) Independence Day!
We hope you are all enjoying some rejuvenation this week. While we are not in session, the EPEA is still hard at work, notably in the area of negotiating the preschool teacher contract and continuing education for EPEA staff.
The following contains some updates and reminders to begin July.
PreSchool Negotiation Update:
Negotiators representing the Preschool unit have presented their proposals to the district for contract improvements. These improvements follow the ideas of increased district contributions for health and dental insurance, salary schedule improvements, increased TSA (403B) match, increased compensation for out-of-contract hour events, increased compensation for summer school, as well as language surrounding certified/licensed teachers.
The district has reviewed the negotiators' initial proposals and has responded with its views/proposals. The preschool negotiators and the district have much ground to cover over the next few months.
Additional negotiation updates will come later this summer.
FRONTLINE WORKER PAYMENTS:
Frontline workers, including school staff, can start applying next week for one-time payments to recognize their work during the early part of the COVID-19 pandemic. The application period is open June 8 through July 22 at frontlinepay.mn.gov.
Those eligible include ESPs, teachers, bus drivers, grocery store workers, factory workers, health care workers and many more. Employees in those categories are eligible for payment if:
They worked in person for at least 120 hours between March 15, 2020, and June 30, 2021.
They did not receive unemployment for more than 20 weeks during that period.
For educators, their wages were no more than $185,000 for a married taxpayer filing a joint return or $85,000 for all other filers.
All eligible applicants will receive an equal share of the available $500 million. Payments can’t exceed $1,500, but they could be lower if there are a significant number of applicants. We estimate payments will be around $750 per worker and will go out in early September as either direct bank deposits or mailed debit cards. Click here for more information on the frontline worker pay.
2022-2023 EPEA STAFF Training to Serve You Better:
Many of the EPEA/EPPEA staff will engage in learning, train others, or prepare for some adjustments in the coming year. Whenever possible, please pass on your gratitude for their service over the summer in preparation for their role. The following preparations are occurring. - New Member Rights Advocates training - Site Rep training - Preschool negotiations - New Teacher / Mentor Lunch Preparations - Exec. Board Strategy meetings - School Board Campaign Support - Legislative Candidate Screenings - Organizing for Settlement 2023-2025 Prep - Summer Seminar Training
If you have any feedback, are in need of support, or would like to be a more active part in your union, please reach out!