GPEA NEWSLETTER

January 2016 - Volume 18 Issue 1

Education Town Hall

The Education Town Hall held on January 11th at North High School was interesting, informative and a little tense at times. Many thanks to those GPEA members who came to support our profession. Topics ranged from teacher evaluations, public school funding, charter schools and the turmoil surrounding the Detroit Public School System. GPEA Vice President (Negotiations) Chris Geerer (Parcells) did an outstanding job advocating for public education, our local community and standing firm against the current negative narrative surrounding our profession.


Below L to R: Gary Niehaus - Superintendent Grosse Pointe, Chris Geerer - GPEA, Brian Whiston - State Superintendent, Representative Amanda Price, Representative Brian Banks, Representative Sherry Gay-Dagnogno, Dan Quisenberry - President Michigan Public School Academies, Tom Biederwolf - Superintendent Harper Woods

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GPEA Scholarship

Sheryl Hogan will send out scholarship application information to all GPEA members in early April. The scholarship is worth a total of $500 for a graduating high school senior son or daughter of a member who is in good standing with the association.


Also, please consider volunteering your time to be a reader for the GPEA Scholarship Committee. It is a nice way to give back to our colleagues in the GPEA.


Please contact Sheryl at GPEAOffice@gmail.com to submit your name as a reader.

Staff Survey Results

Below is the button that will take you to the staff survey results that the GPEA and other bargaining groups took last summer. The cost to the district was $10,000 which is indicative of the fact that the Board of Education is placing a priority on the survey. These results have been shared with the Board of Education and the community. What isn't shared publicly is the over 1000 comments by staff. That being said, GPEA leadership, all administrators and the Board of Education has been given access to ALL comments. GPEA President, Laura Mikesell, has addressed the Board of Education on this topic and has been assured both publicly and privately that Board of Education members have read "all 1000 comments." Laura Mikesell and Mike Rennell, along with the presidents of the other three bargaining groups, have been asked to compile the top 10 concerns and present those to administration on Friday, 1/29.


In advance of that meeting, on Monday 1/25, GPEA leadership assembled a team of GPEA members that represent elementary, middle and high school teachers from the north and south ends as well as specials teachers, professional support staff and traveling teachers to review the survey and the comments.


The compiled list of recommendations as well as current updates on discussion surrounding the survey will be available in the February newsletter. If you would like to see a copy of all the comments in person - please contact Rebecca Fannon at 389.

New GPEA Website!

GPEA leadership is excited to introduce our brand new GPEA website! Please click the button below and register as soon as possible to access everything from our current contracts, insurance information, MEA support, Edues links, FAQ's and an information sharing site.


Do you have a service like tutoring, something to sell or trade? (Sorry - can't sell any of your students on this site) Puppies or kittens that need to be adopted? Our "Member Classifieds" is the place to reach over 500 of our colleagues across the district for free. Please send a note to Sheryl Hogan (GPEAOffice@gmail.com) if you would like to post something in this section.


It's important to remember that the website is a "work in progress" so the more feedback we get the more this website will help our members.


Many thanks to John Donnellon (Parcells) and Sheryl Hogan for diligently assisting us in getting this up and running.


** This website is for GPEA members in good standing only. Please register yourself ASAP.

Tax Time!

W-2

Your 2015 W-2 Forms can be printed out from the GPPSS website under "Staff Resources." Click on the Payroll Check Voucher and log in to the site. Choose the "Payroll" tab and click on W-2. You may have to put in your social security number to print the W-2 form.


Union Dues

Depending on when or how you paid your union dues everyone will have a slightly different number. You can find your specific union dues for this tax year after you log in at http://www.mea.org/ --> Edues --> MyEdues --> Scroll to bottom of page and click on 2015 Annual Dues Payment Statement.


$250.00 Deduction of School Supplies

This is an above-the-line deduction on Schedule A, which means you don't have to itemize to take it and it reduces your overall adjusted gross income (AGI.)

FAQ from the GPEA

Who do I contact if I have a paycheck discrepancy?


Contact Nicole Pilgrim - Director of Human Resources.


Is the current sick leave policy expiring at the end of this year?


YES. As of the date of this publication the current Letter of Understanding regarding the modified sick leave language will expire on June 30th, 2016. GPEA leadership continues to prioritize this issue with administration.


What do I do if I have not yet been evaluated this year?


Contact Laura Mikesell at GPEA2014@gmail.com.


Who do I contact if I have a grade level issue, concern or question that may involve the GPEA?


GPEA Liaisons:

Elementary - Cheryl Gawel or Deb Raab

Middle School - Peter Palen

High School - Barry Mulso


Officers:

Laura Mikesell at GPEA2014@gmail.com or CELL #: (313)310-3643

Mike Rennell

Education Grants

Edutopia - The Big List of Educational Grants and Resources!

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