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September 2022 Update #2: September 22

We hope this finds you well, EPEA! Here are a few updates and timely tips in the world of Eden Prairie Education Association. All previous newsletters can be viewed here.


Phone Bank Callers Needed:

Are you willing to give 2.5 hours of one evening to help encourage Eden Prairie voters to consider decisions that include prioritizing our students and schools? Voters' decisions will influence many aspects of our work with students and the resources available to us as professionals.

We need help to get the message out regarding our endorsed school board candidates and levy items this voting season. You will have a simple script to guide you, an automated dialer system that calls "friendly" voters, and the freedom to do this work from home with modern technology that protects your personal information. Click the button below to sign up for your preferred evening for 2 hours of chatting with the community to strengthen our funding, secure our resources, and set our decision-making body. All resources and training will be provided for this task. Want to make it a party experience? Sign up on the same night with your colleagues, pick a shared location, and let the fun begin! Thank you for "being the union" by volunteering for the phone bank.


Contract 101:

EPEA dues appear as a deduction on your payroll checks from October 15 - June 30. Your 2022-2023 dues will come out in 18 equal payments.

Each year you are allotted 12 "sick" days. Sick days can be used for personal illness, medical or dental appointments for self and/or minor dependents, emotional/well-being days, or serious illnesses/ medical needs of other immediate family members (up to five days). Unused sick days accrue to a maximum of 173 carry-over days.

MEA CONVENTION: OCTOBER 20-21:

Education Minnesota will host its annual convention highlighting both in-person and virtual sessions. For additional information regarding the sessions, Relicensure sessions, keynote speakers, and other logistics of the event, please see the MEA Event page.

Available online for EPEA members are at your pace courses for relicensure requirements. Please check the MEA Online section of the educationminnesota.org website for additional information.



TEACHER RETIREMENT REFORM:

EPEA Treasurer Brent Bovitz, along with other teachers who are calling for moves to be made to bring about a more favorable retirement situation for teachers who do not qualify for "Rule of 90," would like everyone to have access to additional information.

Anyone can learn more through the FAQ, linked articles, and documents this group of dedicated educators (and administrators) has assembled.

To learn more about their efforts and how your retirement is affected, please visit https://mntrareform.com/.


Tax Sheltered Annuity:

If you are new to EPS, please consider making an appointment with one of the 403b advisors listed below. These vendors work with EPS for tax-sheltered annuities. Take advantage of the work negotiators have put in for this district matching contribution.

The earlier you can begin your retirement planning and contributions, the better your position will be when it is your turn to retire. Make your future a priority today!


Preschool Negotiations:

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.


PLEASE CHECK YOUR PAYCHECK:

This year's salary schedule contains a "letter system" that presents some confusion related to the number of years of service. Pictured to the left in RED script are the years of service equivalent for each salary STEP. As you are reviewing your September payroll checks, please verify your "Current Earnings" are accurate based on your elected number of payroll checks. For example, someone with MA and in Year 11 should be placed on the J-MA ($71,499 annual) rate. If this person elected 24 pay periods, the employee should see current earnings of $2,979.13 ($71,499 / 24) per paycheck.

If you see any errors on your EAC paycheck preview, please contact Elise Lieberthal, EPS Business Office.

In addition, it is worth the time to clarify how to read the top 2 rows of the salary table for the EPEA contract.

In the past, most credits were offered and recorded as quarter credits. More recently, universities have been offering courses as semester credits. Therefore, an additional row was needed. For reference, 3 quarter credits are equivalent to 2 semester credits.



NEXT SWAG DAY: OCTOBER 24

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



ENGAGEMENT COORDINATOR:

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.



Thank you for your support of each other as we continue in our 2022-2023 school year. As questions or curiosities occur, please reach out to your site representatives as your first stop for support.

In Service,

Dominic






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