PSEA Mideastern Region

January Newsletter

Welcome to the Mideastern Region newsletter! Each month we will be featuring information to help our members stay informed, get involved, and advocate for our profession.

Our region represents the 15,168 public school educators across the 35 school districts and two intermediate units of Bucks and Montgomery Counties. Your hard work and the power of collective bargaining help to bring an exceptional education to the 195,426 students in our buildings.

ESP Coordinated Bargaining

We know that some of the most important work our Association does is to help us bargain good salaries, benefits, and working conditions for our members. This event is an opportunity for our ESP local presidents, officer teams, and bargaining teams to collaborate with other ESP members and PSEA staff on Wednesday, January 22nd at 5:30pm for an ESP Coordinated Bargaining meeting. Please use this website to register. We hope to see you there!

ACE Training

Join the elite PSEA member grassroots advocacy program! Share your stories and educate legislators on the policies and issues that impact your schools, classrooms, and students. If you are interested in building relationships with legislators and being an advocate for children and education, consider signing up for our ACE training taking place on Thursday, January 23 at 4:30pm at our region office. Registration is FREE and includes dinner. If you have questions about the training or our ACE program, please contact Jen Statler in PSEA Government Relations.

School Safety Event

State Representative Wendi Thomas (R – 178th District), in coordination with the Bucks County IU #22 and the National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC) hosted an Enhanced School Safety training at Council Rock High School South on Thursday, January 9th. Hundreds of PSEA members, first responders, and law enforcement personnel learned how to prevent targeted school violence from NTAC experts. The training reviewed the NTAC’s operational guide for school personnel and summarized the findings of a comprehensive analysis of targeted school violence. Thank you to a great team of members and students from Bucks County Technical High School for providing lunch to all attendees! Read more about the event here.

Win a Jeep Compass!


Life is hectic enough... when you’re behind the wheel make driving your priority. Promise to drive undistracted and enter for your chance to win a Jeep Compass or $25,000 cash courtesy of California Casualty!

PSEA Political Institute

Hundreds of PSEA members kicked off the 2020 political season at the Political Institute in Harrisburg on January 10-12. Participants heard inspiring stories about leadership and life from female legislators, learned how attacks on public sector unions are funded and executed in Pennsylvania and across the country, and spent an hour getting to know Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman and Second Lady of Pennsylvania Gisele Barreto Fetterman. This free-wheeling Q&A session energized the conference with laughter and optimism for Pennsylvania. Small-group sessions covered PSEA’s 2020 plan to deliver a pro-public education majority to the legislature, polling trends across the state, working with your new pro-public education school board, and learning from the victories of our allies in labor and other progressive advocacy organizations. Special thanks to our Mideastern Region legislators Senator Maria Collett (D – 12th District) and Senator Katie Muth (D – 44th District) for their contributions to this energizing conference!

Cheese and Weingarten

Please consider joining us on Thursday, March 26th from 4:30-7pm at Crossing Vineyards and Winery in Newtown to learn about your rights as a union member! Attendees will learn information about our Weingarten Rights, when to use them, and what to do in a variety of situations in which members may find themselves. The event is open to all EA and ESP members in our region/division. Registration is $20 and includes two drink tickets (beer or wine) and plenty of food: cheese and fruit, filet tenderloin croissants, shrimp cocktail, baked goods, and much more! Sign up early: enrollment is capped at 60 members. We hope to see you there!

Polar Plunge

On December 13, nearly 200 Souderton Area High School students, teachers and support staff were #FreezinForAReason as they hosted and participated in the Special Olympics Pennsylvania Cool Schools Polar Plunge. At this event, Souderton raised more than $17,000 to support Special Olympics Pennsylvania! Over the last 4 years, Souderton Area High School students and faculty have raised more than $42,000 to support inclusive programs through Special Olympics.

New Leader Symposium

If you are preparing to bargain in 2021 or 2022, are new the experience of being on a bargaining team, or are a new local leader - we have a workshop for you! The February 20th New Leader Symposium will help participants have a basic understanding of salary schedules, negotiations, and healthcare. The event will run from 5-7pm at our office in Montgomeryville. Registration is FREE and includes dinner.

28 MORE Black Picture Books That Aren’t About Boycotts, Buses or Basketball (Vol. 3)

Are you looking to make some additions to your classroom library or building library? Here are some great titles for you to consider!

QPR Suicide Prevention Training

QPR stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer -- three simple steps that anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide. Just as people trained in CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone to help. Each year thousands of Americans are saying "yes" to saving the life of a friend, colleague, sibling, neighbor, or student. Please join us for this 90-minute Act 48/Chapter 14 event on February 4 presented by PSEA members Mike Fiore, Stephanie Warshaw, and Joe Werner, certified school social workers in our region. Registration is FREE and includes dinner.

Student Achievement and Poverty

This Act 48/Chapter 14 session examines socio-economic status and student achievement and takes a look at approaches and interventions that are being implemented to help "close the achievement gap" for students around the country. Participants will leave the session with a better understanding of the facts and helpful knowledge and resources related to poverty and student achievement.


Presented by: Dr. Chris Clayton, PSEA Assistant Director for Student Services


Monday, February 10th at 5pm at our region office in Montgomeryville. Registration is FREE and includes dinner.

Minority Leadership Training

Part of the PSEA Spring Leadership Conference, the 2020 Minority Leadership Training, sponsored by the Minority Affairs Committee, has been designed to provide participants with the skills, knowledge, and resources needed to gain meaningful involvement in leadership at every level of PSEA. To accomplish this goal, the Minority Affairs Committee has designed the conference to allow participants to select from several different breakout sessions.

For additional information and to register, please visit this website!

Bucks County Commissioner

Bob Harvie, Bucks County Technical HS Social Studies teacher and BCTHSEA member since 2000, was one of three individuals elected to serve as Bucks County Commissioner and was sworn in to his new role on January 6, 2020. Bob's last day at BCTHS was December 20th. Two of our BCTHSEA members, Ron Martino and Walt Hansell, attended the inaugural celebration and are seen in this photo with Bob. Congratulations!

Women's Leadership Training

The WLT (Women's Leadership Training) Conference, part of the Spring Leadership Conference, has been planned and designed to assist members and leaders in developing inclusive and efficient locals. By participating in this important conference, members will gain the knowledge and skills needed for meaningful involvement at every leadership level. Participants also will be better prepared to be effective advocates for public education and public education employees. For more information and to register, please visit this website!

Labor Information Night

Calling all local presidents, grievance chairs, and members interested in labor law! Most of us are familiar with the process of what happens when a local files a grievance - but what happens when a local files an Unfair Labor Practice? Who oversees that? On Wednesday, April 1 at 5pm we are hosting Patrice Tisdale, a field attorney for the National Labor Relations Board, at our Montgomeryville office for a Labor Information Night. Our presenter will give an overview of the NLRB, it's purpose, and the effects of it's decisions on employees, unions, and employers. Registration is FREE and includes dinner. We hope to see you there!

Read Aloud with Confidence

Be prepared to get up on your feet and learn how to be clear, engaging, and comfortable reading in front of an audience of your students and colleagues. Through a series of fun exercises and improvisation games you will learn to apply simple techniques used by voiceover artists and actors to hold audience attention and interest. Reading aloud to students both slows down and simultaneously intensifies the classroom experience. In a world of sound bites and half-formed ideas expressed quickly in electronic formats, students benefit from hearing complete ideas, expressed with originality and attention, such as one finds in literary language.

Presented by: Emlyn McFarland, Actor/Voiceover Artist/Comedian on Monday, March 9th at 5pm at our region office. Registration is FREE and includes dinner!

PSEA Member Benefits

If you are a Verizon wireless customer and have a plan valued at $39.99 or higher (except the unlimited plan, sorry!) you can use PSEA Member Benefits to save 21% off your bill! To get started, visit this website.

Will Nights

If you are interested in working with an attorney to create a will, advanced health care directive, and durable power of attorney, please call 215.568.9804 to schedule an appointment!

Member Benefits Fair

Are you saving at least $1,500 a year via PSEA Member Benefits? If the answer is no, please stop in our office on Monday, March 23 for a PSEA Member Benefits fair! A variety of vendors will be in attendance to help you AND your family save money on everything from cell phone bills to insurance to hearing aids. The event will be open from 5-7pm for you to talk with representatives, save money, and eat pizza.

Time to update your beneficiaries?

Have the circumstances of your life changed in the past year? It's important to keep your beneficiaries up to date with PSERS. Not sure who you currently have listed? The easiest way to check is to register for a Member Self-Service Account using this website. The first step of creating that account is to obtain your PSERS ID. Look for it in the top corner of any recent PSERS correspondence mailed to your home, connect with PSERS at ContactPSERS@pa.gov, or call 1.888.773.7748 to have your ID mailed to you.

Save the Date: Advocacy Day on the Hill

Advocacy Day on the Hill (the artist formerly known as Lobby Day) will take place on Tuesday, June 23 for our Mideastern Region members. This event is a great opportunity to create or maintain your relationship with the legislators representing you in the PA House and Senate, meet our PSEA Government Relations team, and spend some time in PSEA Headquarters. (Look how close it is to the Capitol!) Attendees can choose to stay overnight in Harrisburg on the evening of June 22 or simply drive to Harrisburg for the day, which typically goes from 8am-1pm. Additional registration information will be headed your way in the coming weeks. If you have questions, please contact Jen Statler at jstatler@psea.org.

Aaron's Acres

Each year our ESP members bring donations for a non-profit organization to their House of Delegates in April. This year, the recipient of their generosity is Aaron's Acres, an organization that services students ages 5-21 with special needs and various disabilities. Next time you are at the region office, consider bringing with you any of the following items as a donation: sun screen, cotton balls, jump ropes, sidewalk chalk, bubble solution, frisbees, construction paper, stickers, masking tape, or educational activity books.

Previous Editions

Did you miss our newsletter last month? Was there something from earlier this school year that you'd like to reread? Look no further!


September

October

November

December

Mideastern Region PSEA

Bill Senavaitis, President (bsenavaitis@psea.org)

Alan Malachowski, President- Elect (amalachowski@psea.org)

Bill McGill, Vice President (wmcgill@psea.org)

Kathy Hornberger, Treasurer

Susan Brown, Secretary

Theresa Prato, PACE Director

Debbie Lee, NEA Director