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.
STAY UP TO DATE with TRA PENSION REFORM WORK:
Do you feel up to date with the actions of Education Minnesota and the Pension Reform Advocacy group? Brent Bovitz, or EPEA Treasurer, was a founding member of the movement to look at and advocate for improvements for MN teachers who do not qualify for "Rule of 90." As a result, Education Minnesota has now been tapped to support this work in a 3 phase advocay plan this school year: 1) help promote pro-public school educator and pro-public school legislators, 2) work with legislators to move language in the area of teacher retirement 3) be noisy about the need to support educators' pension improvements in multiple modes: media, lobbyists, legislators, social media. If you have not yet joined the FaceBook group, please do. You will gain access to a number of national pension comparisons, short videos that inform viewers of concerns / solutions, and links to how you can demonstrate your interest and support this valuable work for our retirement future. Thank you, Brent, for spearheading this work!
SCHOOL BOARD and LEVY ELECTIONS:
For those of us who do not live within the Eden Prairie School District and are wondering how other education associations are supporting their local ballot candidates and questions, please use this link to see other districts. Not all districts have yet contributed to the list, so please check back if you do not see the information that interests you.
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 still meeting with the district representatives to reach a tentative agreement. 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.
Please shower your Preschool colleagues with support as they begin the school year with a frozen salary until a ratified contract is accomplished. More to come when additional signs of solidarity are needed from all of EPEA to support our EPPEA brothers and sisters.
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. As questions or curiosities occur, please reach out to your site representatives as your first stop for support.