BAEA Dispatch

BAEA Member Newsletter

BAEA newsletter

We are sending you this newsletter to inform you of how BAEA is working hard each day to uphold the rights of its members and to help keep you informed. Once published only in hardcopy, we hope to revive the newsletter in a new, electronic form. Please read the newsletter and feel free to use the email link below to tell us whether you like it.

This newsletter is published periodically, is intended solely for BAEA members and their immediate family members, and should not be forwarded to any other person, or copied or used for any other purpose.

Collective Bargaining News...How we stack up.

Periodically, we have the opportunity to meet with other Associations around Berks County and discuss and compare contract items. From those meetings, we can derive some statistics. Sometimes, these stats are favorable, and sometimes not; these statistics change as contracts are at all stages of negotiation, but the items included are worth sharing because they are consistently on the list.

In comparison to other districts in Berks county (which is the only group they compare us against), we have the:

  • Best salary schedule structure (tied for fewest steps with Tulpehocken, but they have a PhD column, which prevents members from getting to top salary without one, so our schedule is “better” and members have higher career earnings)
  • Best Master’s Salary
  • Highest settled salary increase for 16-17 (when factoring in the incremental cost)
  • 3rd highest career salary
  • Highest starting salary

These stats are a direct result of the training and commitment of the leadership of the Association, beginning long ago with past leaders who learned, were trained, and were committed to the members of the Association and their financial well-being. Our current leadership remains committed to those same ideals.

Health Care Open Enrollment

BASD Health Care Open Enrollment is May 9-21, 2016. During this time, ALL professional staff members MUST make an election of health care coverage for 2016-2017.

The following options are available:

  1. Premier Plan - 13% premium share, $350/$700 deductible, and 0% co-insurance.
  2. Deluxe Plan - 6% premium share, $500/$1000 deductible, and 5% INN / 10% OON co-insurance on every claim.
  3. Value Plan - 0% premium share, $1000/$2000 deductible, and 10% INN / 20% OON co-insurance on every claim.
  4. Opt out. You may opt out of BASD coverage if you are already covered by your spouse's plan.

Failure to elect a plan will result in BASD defaulting you to the Value Plan, which has significant deductibles, co-insurance, and will result in coordination (sharing) of claim payments between BASD insurance and your spouse's insurance. The birth rule determines which insurance is "primary" and is applied to each claim first.

What's going on?

In this section, you'll find some quick notes about what BAEA has been involved in this school year.

  1. Representing members and successfully resolving 12 separate personnel issues.
  2. Addressed several other issues relating to health care, personal days, the substitute fill rates, retirement questions and concerns.
  3. Attending quarterly meetings of Berks County associations to discuss bargaining goals and contractual issues commonly encountered by other Associations.
  4. Monthly meetings with Central Administration to discuss and resolve issues.
  5. Monthly meetings with BAEA Executive Council to discuss and address issues.
  6. Monthly meetings with Rep. Council to collect and address member concerns.
  7. Supporting students and our community through the BAEA Scholarship Award.

We continue to work on several current/ongoing issues:
  1. Planning Time - we are advocating for every teacher to have a planning period every day. There is progress on this front, especially for elementary staff.
  2. Parent Conference Schedule for 2016-2017 - we are advocating for a modification that will make the day after conferences a bit easier.
  3. We continue to monitor the substitute fill rate in buildings across the district. The fill rate has been increasing, with January's coming in at 95%. But, with the end of the year approaching, there may be additional unfilled spots. Most unfilled spots occur when a teacher calls out early in the morning.
  4. Walkthrough Feedback - we are making progress in our effort to see that each teacher receives some sort of feedback after an administrator performs a walkthrough observation.
  5. Personnel moves after BASH construction, and Junior High conversion to Middle School - we are busy making sure the district is planning to accommodate, when possible, a teacher's certifications and personal preferences when assigning staff to positions after 2017.

Want additional details or scoop? Check the meeting minutes!

The BAEA Rep. Council meets monthly to share, discuss, and act on association issues. We put the minutes for each month's meeting on the Members' Only section of our website. Please read over the minutes and stay in touch by letting your building rep. know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns.

You can read the minutes from the latest meeting, or look up archived meeting minutes HERE.

If you do not know or remember how to access the minutes on our website, click HERE.

My Rights: Union Representation

Employees have the right to representation when called to a meeting by administrators. “Weingarten rights” give employees the right to request union representation during a meeting if the following conditions are met:

  • The meeting is an investigatory interview.
  • Disciplinary action may result from the meeting.
  • The employee reasonably believes that disciplinary action may result.
  • The employee requests representation.

Weingarten Rights

If an advocate is not available, the employee can ask that the meeting be postponed.

"If this discussion could lead to my being disciplined or terminated, I respectfully request that my association representative be included in the meeting. Without representation, I choose not to answer any questions."

Employees have the right to choose the union representative for an investigatory interview as long as that person is reasonably available.

Membership Facts

Fact: The Association must enforce the contract for all members . As a member, you have the full support and protection of BAEA/PSEA/NEA in due process proceedings and in the case of a grievance, reprimand, discipline, or termination as a result of those proceedings. In those cases, members receive representation, legal services, and support through BAEA, PSEA, and NEA as appropriate.

Fact: YOU can make a difference. Every member's input and involvement matters to the Association. Please share your professional triumphs, tribulations, comments, and concerns with your Building Reps. and the Executive Council, so that BAEA is aware of what's going on, promoting the good things happening in our schools, and helping out in times of struggle. Together, we are a community looking out for each other.

Fact: You can receive discounts and services through your membership, with savings that can save you more than the cost of membership each year. Details on those discounts and services are below.

Benefits of Membership

BAEA members receive full support and representation in due process proceedings and in the case of a grievance, reprimand, discipline, or termination as a result of those proceedings. In those cases, members receive representation, legal services, and support through BAEA, PSEA, and NEA as necessary.

All members have a voice and a vote in the collective bargaining process to help guide negotiations.

$1 Million Liability insurance policy

  • $1 million coverage for members of PSEA-NEA (per occurrence, per member)
  • $300,000 coverage for alleged civil rights violations
  • Reimbursement of attorney’s fees up to $35,000 for defense of criminal charges arising from employment activities, if you are exonerated or if the charges are dropped. If charges relate to corporal punishment, attorney fees are reimbursed regardless of the outcome.
  • PSEA will advance up to $2,500 of an attorney’s retainer to any member charged with a crime arising from employment activities, so that members will be helped with out-of-pocket costs.
  • $1,000 bail bond coverage
  • $500 coverage for your property damage as a result of an assault

Personal Legal Services at reduced cost - Covers almost any personal, non-employment related legal need, such as: wills, real estate, estates, domestic, consumer traffic.

Financial & Personal Services:

Special Discounts & Services:

Health & Wellness Programs:

NEA Member Benefits:
NEA Member Benefits offers a variety of programs, including:

  • Auto Discounts
  • Car Rental
  • Classroom Store
  • Heating Oil
  • Insurance
  • Magazine Service

If you think all is well with your job...

...thank your union! Better yet, please choose to be informed and consider getting involved. Because BAEA is strongest with YOU as a member! And please consider reaching out to us and sharing some of the good things you are doing in your classroom. See below for ways to share information with us.

If things aren't well... to us. You can always get in touch with BAEA by:

  • Email:
  • Contacting your BAEA Building Representative with questions, issues, concerns, or ideas.
  • Contacting a member of the BAEA Executive Committee.

We value your input, involvement, and membership and will continue working tirelessly to advocate for you and your rights!

Thank you!

Thank you for taking the time to read this newsletter, and hope that you find this first edition and future ones useful and informative. Please feel free to reach out with comments or suggestions!