Get Out To Vote, EPEA! Please read on for important happenings in advocacy for our profession. All previous newsletters can be viewed here.
VOTE, VOTE, VOTE:
This election is an important one considering local, state, and federal education funding, collective bargaining rights, and direction-setting by school board members. First of all, please vote! Secondly, as you are heading to your polling place, please go knowing where your candidates stand on educational topics that will affect your career, how you support students, as well as your retirement future.
EPEA Negotiations Process Begins:
The EPEA begins its negotiations process this December with the selection of EPEA negotiators. Persons interested in interviewing for a negotiator role should express interest to Dominic Kirkpatrick by Dec. 1st. Interviews will be held on Monday, December 12th.
The interview process will involve a short pre-conversation interest questionnaire followed by a 15 minutes conversation with the EPEA Executive Board on Dec. 12.
For those interested, the following information will provide more insight:
- 2-year commitment - $2300 - $4000 stipend (depending on experience and role)
- January negotiations training - April - May listening sessions with EPEA members
- May strategy/prioritize meetings - June - August negotiations sessions with district (1-2 times per week)
- Host ratification meeting - Help conduct ratification voting event
- Participant in Labor Management - Serve as a contract expert for all of EPEA
November is the time when many committees meet, which provides EPEA members the opportunity to share collective our voice related to various areas: School calendar, conference and break times, workload, EP Online, QComp, Insurance, and Labor Management. To date, the EP Online committee met to talk about protocols related to fluctuating enrollment, onboarding students, student support resources, EPHS vs. EPO course offerings. Those on the EP Online committee were able to share both areas of celebration and areas of continuing collaboration to serve EPO students effectively in the future.
Coming up this month are other committee meetings to focus on those areas. If you have any concerns/suggestions related to the aforementioned areas, please reach out so that your thoughts can be voiced too.
Meet and Greet: Nov. 11
Education Minnesota will host an LGBTQ+ meet and greet on Friday, Nov. 11 at Lush Lounge and Theatre in Minneapolis. For those interested in attending, please use the QR Code in the graphic to the left or use this link to register.
It is never too early to plan for retirement. Free to EPEA members, seminars highlighting information regarding your pension in partnership with TSA (403B), and Social Security income streams are available throughout the fall/winter. Both in person and Zoom options are available. Whether you just started your career, planning to retire in 10 years, or hoping to retire next year, attending is so beneficial. Give yourself the gift of knowledge and a roadmap to a happy retirement. Click here to access more information.
Preschool negotiators are reaching a really tough place in the process. Solidarity and support from both EPEA and the community will be planned in the upcoming weeks. Please stay tuned for ways we each can "Be the Union" as we walk alongside preschool teachers in their fight for equitable pay.
As many know, the goal before negotiations began was to aim at compensation and benefits that match those of K-12, Tassel, ECSE, and ECFE educators in EPS. This remains the goal to bring about stability and excellence for our youngest learners.
NEXT SWAG DAY: NOVEMBER 21
Monthly SWAG DAYs are one way to show our unity to our community and one simple way to say "I am the Union."
If you are in need of SWAG, please connect with Dominic Kirkpatrick with the size you prefer (when deciding between 2 sizes, it is recommended to pick the bigger size).
Mark your calendars with future SWAG DAYS: Nov 21, Dec 19, Jan 23, Feb 13, Mar 13, Apr 17, May 22
EPEA is looking for an individual (or a pair of individuals) who would love to be the "party planner" for this year's celebration events. This would include a fall event, a winter event, and our Spring Union Week events. This position would work closely with EPEA President Dominic Kirkpatrick. A stipend is available for the individual(s) who does this work. To show your interest or receive additional information, please contact Dominic Kirkpatrick.
DAY of GRATITUDE: Nov 22
On November 22 we will mark a day to show appreciation for others in our work life. Look for a small token of gratitude to come your way as well as an opportunity to pass on the thanks to others.
Thank you for being the union and supporting each other. EPEA leaders have been working on your behalf to advocate for individuals and groups in the areas of district leader supports, workload concerns, support with student behavior, respect for educators working outside the contract day, leave requests, performance inquiries, and negotiations. As questions or curiosities occur, please reach out to your site representatives as your first stop for support.