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May 15, 2024


We hope that you are having a great May as we approach the finish line of the school year!


Thank you for being active and supportive members of the EPEA!!





EPEA NEWS:

EPEA Retro Celebration Highlights:

Thank you to all who were able to join in the fun last Friday evening at Fat Pants Brewing Co. for some celebration of our ratified contract.  There were tons of smiles, laughter, fun, fellowship, and a little dancing too!  


End of the Year EPEA Survey:

Each year the leadership of EPEA likes to solicit feedback to make improvements to the service EPEA staff provide membership as well as ways to unify and engage all members for a strong education association.  When you have 10 minutes, please engage in the provided survey with your thoughtful responses.

 Here is the EPEA End of Year Survey: https://forms.gle/tTE83TrXVTwhReJR9


Reminder of EPEA Communication Confidentiality and Consequences:

 All communication that comes to EPEA members from the EPEA, either through the EPEA website or email,  is considered confidential information for members only.  Sharing, forwarding, or reading communication to an individual outside of membership is a violation of that confidential information.

Furthermore, sharing EPEA communication that, in turn, prejudices the purposes of the EPEA or affects the work of the EPEA is grounds for the EPEA’s Consititution and Bylaws Article 5: Membership Discipline Provisions to be initiated, including but not limited to a conduct meeting in front of Rep. Congress, an all membership vote on the matter of termination, and loss of EPEA membership and all benefits thereof. 

If you have any questions regarding the above, please reach out to Dominic Kirkpatrick.  



OPENINGS FOR EPEA STAFF LEADERS:

Oak Point, in particular, has a few openings for representation.  These positions are supported with stipends.  Oak Point could benefit from both a Meet and Confer Representative as well as 2 Site Representatives.  If you are an individual with a continuing contract and assigned to Oak Point next year, please consider partnering with others to fill these open spots.  Your voice at Rep. Congress and in district wide meetings is needed!  Please connect with Charles Cooper for additional questions.






GUIDANCE from YOUR MEMBER RIGHTS ADVOCATE:

If you are in need of support at an administration meeting, believe there is a contract violation, or have a performance/conduct-related support request, please connect with Carla Thompson (Lead MRA) cthompson@edenpr.org or 952-240-6577)


TRA Pension Bill:

The supplemental pensions bill is headed to Gov. Tim Walz for his signature after passing the Senate on Monday.


The legislation unanimously passed the House last week.


TRA received $28 million in one-time funding in a non-budget year thanks to your advocacy and leadership of the Legislative Commission on Pensions and Retirement. Thank you to Chair Rep. Kaohly Vang Her and Sen. Nick Frentz! The money reduces some early retirement penalties and moves up the effective date of NRA 65 to this year instead of 2025, which will save some retiring educators this summer thousands of dollars.


Education Minnesota will be pushing for further pension improvements in next year's budget session.


PEIP:  Possible Health Insurance for Teachers in the Future

On Friday, Gov. Tim Walz signed into law a bill that would help stabilize the Public Employees Insurance Plan (PEIP) and make it a more competitive option for school employee groups.


View details of the bill here


Education Minnesota is fighting everywhere to lower the costs educators are experiencing when it comes to skyrocketing increases from private health insurers. Nationally, health insurance costs are increasing on average by 7-8% per year. The average PEIP increase for 2024 is below that national average. Changes to the plan signed into law last week will help move educators in the direction of more affordable health care options in the future.


EdMN looks forward to expanding their work on this issue next session.  As EPEA looks at health insurance options, either with the rest of Eden Prairie Schools or with PEIP, negotiators and the Insurance Committee will continue to monitor moves the legislature is making to provide our EPEA educators with not only the best health care providers but also at the most affordable care for the best care.  As such, we will continue to monitor PEIP as a possible option in the future.  For the 24-25 school year, the self-funded EPS plan is best for our educators based on service, care, and cost.


MEMBER BENEFITS:

BUILT IN BENEFITS WITH MEMBERSHIP:

There are many PERKS benefits in the summer for teachers to utilize:  local entertainment, entrance fees, discounts at retailers.  Summer might be the perfect time to dive into all the additional benefits EPEA membership provides.  Click the link below to learn more.


IDENTITY THEFT PROTECTION:  FREE with MEMBERSHIP

     If you have not yet registered for the complimentary identity theft recovery plan (courtesy of Education Minnesota, ESI Member Benefits), please register today to receive the plan information.  More info can be could at the following link: https://educationminnesota.securusid.com/



Preparations for School Board Elections:

Charles Cooper and Jessica Premo will be taking the reins of “Get Out the Vote” (GOTV) work in preparation for the screening and endorsements of the school board, Congressional District 3, and MN District 49 candidates.

Please look for invites to participate in screenings this spring and early next fall within the EPEA newsletter found on the Member’s Only page of the epteachers.org website.

This November, our EP school board will have three seats that are open (Kim Ross, CJ Strehl, and Dennis Stubbes term ends Jan 2025).  Filing to run for these 3 school board seats are due August 1st.  The EPEA hopes to be proactive in its work to make knowledgeable and effective endorsements for the benefit of our work with students.

 If this is a passion area for you, please reach out to Charles and Jessica to become a partner in this work!  Stipends are available for those how put their time and energy into this GOTV work.


"Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out" - Robert Collier


In Solidarity,

Dominic Kirkpatrick, EPEA President

Charles Cooper, EPEA President

Brent Bovitz, EPEA Treasurer

Jessica Premo, EPEA Secretary












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