Last Week in the EPEA

Keeping members informed and engaged ... July 5, 2018

Janus and the Supreme Court

Much was discussed this week at the RA after the JANUS decision. While that decision is viewed as a targeted and funded effort to hurt unions and those specific efforts will continue, the results post decision have been encouraging. Members and union supporters across the country are CHOOSING UNION! Former fair share fee payers are asking how they can show support. At the NEA RA the support and response has been called 'Teacher Spring' due to the unprecedented teacher activism around the country. Since decision day ED MN shared that ZERO members have contacted ED MN asking about dropping membership. Today at the RA, all 7000 are wearing #RedForEd. It's really quite impressive. I encourage you to watch the short video below shown at the RA.

It's important to know members across the country and MN (including those in EP) have already received drop membership campaign materials. If you are a member and receive materials, phone calls, door knocks, targeted ads, etc. asking you to drop membership, PLEASE SHARE THOSE WITH ME. Keeping others informed about these anti-union campaigns is important. Your benefits, our collective voice, and ability to negotiate and provide benefits to members are at stake. Ask lots of questions, investigate funding and agendas, and #ChooseUnion.

All union dues collection for fair share individuals stopped immediately. EPEA had about 15 fair share fee payers end the end of the membership year. We will of course continue to provide representation as required under duty of fair representation related to contract issues. Other member benefits such as the MEA convention will be exclusive to membership. We are now a member only association and proud to have you part of it.
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What an exciting July 4th week! Your EPEA delegates Tom, Angie Roesner, Julie Weeden and Jamie Alsleben were downtown all week with the MN delegation at the RA. Jamie and Julie were both state funded. Regardless of which side of an issue people speak, I'm in awe by so many with their arguments, thoughts, and conviction to improve the work of the NEA. Lively debates on immigration,

* David Hogge, a Parkland survivor, spoke to the delegation. He was also highlighted in EP News as part of a tour of student activists. Pretty powerful message.

* Two MN Student spoke along with the NEA teacher of the year Mandy Manning. See those Student speeches here. They start speaking about the 5 minute mark. Easy for the students to steal the show.

* Our NEA President Lily, Our AFT President Randi, and President Lee Saunders from AFSCME joined hands ... all passionately speaking on behalf of public education, educators and students. See Lee here. Wow!

* Lily Eskelsen Garcia played guitar and led the RA in singing along to Love is All You Need Is Love. Sounds like a party doesn't it?

* Passioned debates and discussions occurred around a new NEA Policy Statement on Community Schools, a Constitutional Amendment determining whether membership should be eligible to persons advancing cause of public education that typically would not be eligible, and other proposals (New Business Items or NBIs) on institutional racism, school safety, trauma and crisis in the workplace, student advocacy, standardized testing, human trafficking, and various calls for digital and informational topics for the NEA to publish. This is a small fraction of the 150+ Standing Rules, Amendments, Policy Statements and NBIs brought forth. Watch your next NEA Today for updates.

Some highlights from Julie:

As the state contact for the NEA Democratic Caucus for lots of years, I was thrilled to hear that Senator Steve Cwodzinkski was our keynote speaker at our July 4th breakfast. He did not disappoint. With his usual humor, stories, and passion, he spoke to members of our caucus and got us really pumped fort he upcoming election. We all need to be ready to help. Let's get this done!

#RedForEd I was excited to hear some great news from our AZ delegation. In an attempt to get the question of sustained funding for education on the ballot in November, they were told they needed 150,000 signatures in 6 weeks. The Arizona State President delivered 270,000 AZ signatures today. Being told it was impossible, they made it happen. #unionstrong

And a message from Jamie:

Sisters and Brothers,

One of the most moving experiences during the NEA RA was the work done by Community Outreach volunteers. Whether it was the projects completed by delegates in school districts in Mpls or Glencoe-Silver Lake, both projects acknowledged needs for students in both metro and Greater MN communities. Courtyards made into learning spaces for students, brought together delegates, staff and community members with students at heart.

It didn't stop there, at the convention, school supplies, toiletries and books were collected for students and families in need. Books for Read Across America were collected and will be distributed too. As needs continue to grow, we do not stand on the sidelines, union members stand up strong and united to meet them head on.





The best way to reach me is by email as I transition office to ASC. New phone # in fall.

Your Reps

Tom Baker, President

Allen Lundberg, Vice President

Adam Cooke, Treasurer
Stephanie Baker, Secretary