Wednesday, March 27, 2013

RTW takes effect Thursday; wear RED

From MEA’s “Capitol Comments” – 3/25/13

Numerous activites are being planned for Thursday to coincide with the official implementation of Michigan's so-called "right-to-work" law. Whether they're able to attend any of the events or not,

MEA members are encouraged to WEAR RED on Thursday.

The “We Are Michigan Coalition” (of which MEA is a part) will hold an event that morning to hold Snyder accountable for his attacks on Michigan's middle class and his dramatic reversal of his position on right-to-work.

MEA members and retirees who are able to attend should plan on arriving at the Detroit Athletic Club, 241 Madison St. in Detroit, by 7 a.m. Click here to RSVP.

In addition, the Michigan State AFL-CIO is holding events throughout the state on Thursday to raise awareness about how right-to-work will harm middle-class families. The events include candlelight vigils, marches, community forums and more. Click here to find an event near you.

Remember: The battle is far from over. Right-to-work is temporary. Solidarity is forever.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Legislature Aims Interference at Contract Settlement

Today I am sharing with you an email from our MEA President regarding the actions taken in the House and Senate subcommittees yesterday that would tie appropriation bills to WHEN groups settled their contracts with universities AND WITH SCHOOL SYSTEMS!!!!

I have also included a link to an article written by MIRS News Agency that explains yesterday's happenings in the legislature in more detail.

Message from MEA President Steve Cook

Dear MEA local presidents, board members and staff,

Using bullying tactics to try to enforce a law that doesn't yet exist, Republican-led House subcommittees today passed symbolic appropriations bills that would cut funding for school districts and universities that bargain "fair share" contracts prior to the so-called "right-to-work" law's taking effect on March 28.

The bills stand at a very early stage in the budget process – they are not expected to pass the full House and Senate, but rather serve as a form of political saber-rattling by political extremists bent on intimidating school districts and universities.

The House Appropriations School Aid Subcommittee voted to eliminate 22j performance grants and 22i technology and infrastructure grants for school districts that approve fair share contract extensions or agreements between Dec. 10, 2012, and March 28, 2013, unless those districts can show that the renegotiated agreements will result in at least 10 percent in savings.

The House Appropriations Higher Education Subcommittee, meanwhile, voted to cut funding by 15 percent for universities that bargain fair share agreements with their employees.

Republicans in the Legislature are using threats, intimidation and bullying tactics to interfere with legal contract negotiations between school districts, universities and employees. It's time politicians stop their big-government witch hunt and allow employers and employees to bargain in good faith.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Protest the EAA - Message from the MEA Capital Comments

Contact your legislators now -- House panel could take up EAA legislation tomorrow

The state House Education Committee may vote Wednesday on House Bill 4369, which would create a statewide "takeover" district called the Education Achievement Authority.

MEA members are urged to contact their lawmakers and urge them to oppose the EAA legislation. Click here to find contact information for your legislators.

The committee is meeting at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday in Room 519 of the Anderson House Office Building, 124 North Capitol Ave. in Lansing.

Currently a pilot program in Detroit, the EAA would be allowed to take over up to 50 public schools across the state that are deemed by arbitrary and flawed rankings to be in the state's bottom 5 percent. The bill would also allow the EAA to create new charter schools within two miles of a so-called "failing" school.

Contact your lawmakers and tell them:

  • Rather than addressing specific problems facing local school districts, House Bill 4369 would eliminate the time-honored tradition of neighborhood schools, allowing state government bureaucrats to impose their will over local parents and communities.
  • Proponents tout the Detroit EAA's alleged effectiveness, even though it has only been in place for a few months and has already demanded a government bailout. Under this legislation, taxpayers could be forced to bail out the statewide EAA at the expense of their own local schools.
  • The Legislature just took steps to stabilize the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System, but House Bill 4369 would destabilize the state's pension plan by reducing the number of employees paying into the system.
  • The bill strips away basic employment rights of school employees in buildings put under EAA control, taking away their ability to provide meaningful input on issues like curriculum, class sizes and school safety. In addition, school employees transferred to an EAA school would unfairly lose the retirement benefits they've already paid for.

In addition to your own lawmaker, please consider contacting the members of the House Education Committee. Go to this following link and type in their names for instant email access!
EASY Email Connection HERE!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

What do you get for your dues dollars?

......A very common question that I am asked MORE than just time-to-time!

Please click on the link to get an answer to that question from Rick Trainor, MEA Secretary/Treasurer.

Rick Trainor - MEA

Rick, along with Christina Canfield and Greg Steimel (both from the MEA), will be at the Northern High School  Auditorium on Monday, March 11th at 5 PM. 

They will be talking about what you get for your dues dollars and giving you information and research that counters the claims being made by Right-to-Work enthusiasts.

We are hearing from the RTW people all the time; COME HERE FROM THE OTHER SIDE!  Come to the presentation and be a part of spreading the TRUTH about teachers' unions and RTW!

You may come without RSVP's, but it would help us plan for seating if you respond through the link provided below!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

MEA Coordinating Council Speakers!!!!

What does the MEA & your local Union do for YOU?

Sponsored by the Oakland County MEA Coordinating Council

Attend this information meeting to learn about:

Right-to-Work Impact & Fair-Share

Monday, March 11th at 5 PM
Walled Lake Northern Auditorium

Rick Trainor, MEA Secretary/Treasurer
Christina Canfield, MEA Organzier
Greg Steimel, Research Consultant

RSVP using this link: