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March 2023 Update #2: March 27

It is hard to believe March is nearly complete. As we grow closer to term 4, please take a few minutes to stay informed. As always, previous newsletters can be found here.

CAPITOL UPDATES: Gov. Tim Walz and leaders in the House and Senate decided on Tuesday, March 21, that the education committees in the Legislature will have approximately $2.2 billion to spend on E-12 education. The committees will decide over the next few weeks how to spend it.

The governor and legislative leaders also set a budget of $600 million for reforming the state’s public pension system, which is far too low to allow educators to retire at an appropriate age and encourage the next generation of Minnesota to choose the profession. So, in response, there is a rally that is organized for Monday, April 3, at 3:45pm. You can register for mileage reimbursement here if you plan to attend the Rally in the Rotunda on Monday.

Another pension-related event will occur March 29: Virtual Town Hall. Make your voice heard on pension reform! Meet with Rep. Kaohly Her, Chair of the Legislative Commission on Pensions and Retirement, and Rep. Dan Wolgamott, LCPR member and lead author of our pension bill (HF2222), as part of our virtual pension town hall at 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 29.

We will hear these the perspectives of these legislative leaders on pension legislation and the overall legislative landscape.

Registration for the virtual town hall event is now open: https://cvent.me/VrD3ZB


Education Minnesota has also created templates to contact legislators on the following topics:


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 (or after your contract day--sorry CMSers) 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.


SUPPORT FOR PRESCHOOL STAFF:

The House Families and Children Committee heard from several stakeholders in support of House File 2281, including EPEA/EPPEA president Dominic Kirkpatrick. This bill highlights 4 important aspects for Preschool educators:

- MN teaching license would be required for districts and charter schools for those serving as Preschool teachers.

- Those individuals currently in a preschool teaching position without a MN Teaching license will have until July 2027 to obtain this license.

- Individuals who teach Preschool would be defined as "teacher" under state statute.

- Individuals who teach Preschool would be able to join the teacher bargaining unit.

There is indication that this bill is moving from committee work to House approval soon. If the bill passes all processes, it will go into effect on July 1, 2023 and allow for Preschool teacher language to be included in our next round of bargaining.

IDENTITY THEFT PROTECTION:

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

EPEA LISTENING SESSIONS:

This week will include our only virtual listening session for members--all other opportunities are held at sites. No matter which session you choose to attend, please bring your computer.

Here are the remaining listening sessions:

1) March 28 @3:45- EPHS, Room 118

2) March 31 @7:45- Zoom (https://tinyurl.com/ZoomMrBovitz)

3) April 5 @3:30- Eagle Heights, Room 321

4) April 6 @3:30- Forest Hills, Room 186

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

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


ROUND 2 THIS WEEK:

If you are a teacher on continuing contract (tenured) and are looking for a change during ROUND 2, you are encouraged to "click" all the buildings and/or positions you are interested in pursuing, even an opening is not currently posted for that position/location. New openings could occur at any time.

ROUND 2: March 27 - 31

- Eligible: internal, continuing contract "tenured" educators

- Purpose: transfer to an open position at another site/building

- Process:

2. Click here to complete the 23-24 transfer request form.


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



UPCOMING RETIREMENT PLANNING:

One of the many things Education Minnesota ESI Member Benefits provides for members are educational seminars. ESI will be hosting a When Can I Afford to Retire? virtual seminar for members with a TRA pension (teachers) for locals serviced out of the Education Minnesota SW Metro Office.

During your working career, income comes from your salary. In retirement, your income comes from three sources: a pension, Social Security and other savings you have such as a 403(b). Whether you're an early career educator or nearing retirement, these seminars contain valuable information for you.

Topics to be discussed:

Pension education:

  • Learn how benefits are calculated.

  • Understand defined benefit pension plans.

Financial Planning:

  • What can you expect from Social Security?

  • Tax-deferred and tax-free savings

  • Asset allocation and asset management/diversification/performance and fees

  • 403(b) match and severance payment options

Details:

Wednesday, May 17

Virtual: Link sent after you register

6 –7 p.m.

Register here

Thank you for spending a few minutes staying informed in union news. We are looking forward to Union Week April 17-21. Stay tuned for all the details in our next newsletter. As always, please reach out to your site representatives as your first level of support.

In service,

Dominic








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