Your Source for Union News - January 2020

Happy New Year!

I hope you all enjoyed a restful, relaxing winter break and returned feeling rejuvenated and ready to tackle the second half of the year!

One of the gifts I received this holiday season is a sweatshirt that states: "Nothing changes if nothing changes." This thought has served as an inspiration for me in the days since. Whether experiencing uncertainty, success, fatigue, you name it, it reminds me of my personal power to effect change. If excited by an outcome, I can ask "how did this change come about?"; if discouraged, "what needs to change?"

I am so grateful for this gift. Not only is it a cozy reminder of someone who cares about me, but it's also provided a valuable reflective lens for the new year:

"Nothing Changes if Nothing Changes".


January 13 - School Board Meeting, District Center 112, 7:00 pm

January 16 - MHWS: How to Support the Middle School Girl You Love, Community Room, 7-8:30

January 19 - Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute, University of Minnesota, 3:00

January 23 - Executive Board Meeting, North Campus Innovation Classroom, 4:15

January 24 - End of First Semester

January 31, 1, 2 - EdMN Unity Summit, Bloomington MN (choose from Fri/Sat or Sat/Sun)

February 6 - Rep Assembly Meeting/Senator Chuck Wiger Fundraiser,

Sheet Metal Workers Hall, 1681 Cope Avenue East, 4:00 - 5:30

February 10 - Member Rights Training (MRAI), Jimmy's Event Center, 4:30-8:30

February 12 - Secretary and Treasurer Election Filing Window Opens

February 26 - Filing Window Closes

February 27 - Candidates Announced

February 27 - Executive Board Meeting, North Campus Innovation Classroom, 4:15

March 2 - Member Rights Training, (MRAII), Jimmy's Event Center, 4:30-8:30


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Our members showed overwhelming support for an organizational name change in the new year: 359 members voted in favor, 60 against, and 19 abstained. The constitutional amendment passed with 85.6% approval. Our new logo received 63% of the vote.

Our new name, White Bear Lake Area Educators, Local #7286, is inclusive of all of our members and shows solidarity with Education Minnesota, the National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, and the broader labor movement. Special thanks to White Bear Lake Area Schools graduate Michelle York Roberts for her work on our new logo design.

It's not to late to join the conversation!

These groups will meet periodically in the weeks and months ahead to achieve their mission. If you are passionate about any of these subjects, sign up.

"Nothing changes if nothing changes" - RAISE YOUR VOICE!

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EdMN Unity Summit: January 31 & February 1 or February 1 & 2

The Education Minnesota 2020-21 Unity Summit is a place for educators to learn about the tools they'll need to build unity around electing pro-public education candidates in the 2020 election and fight for fully funding schools in the 2021 legislative session. The summit will also feature a public meeting with key elected officials.

It's time to REPRESENT!

Our goal is for two WBLTA members from each building to attend the Summit. Education Minnesota is offering scholarships to members willing to commit to this critically important work. Child care is provided.

Fundraiser for Senator Chuck Wiger

Join your colleagues in the Rep Assembly and surrounding locals on Thursday, February 6 for a fundraiser rally for Senator Chuck Wiger who's "committed to improving the working conditions for all education and education support professionals. [His] promise to you is to fight for fully funding schools, support the Professionals Bill of Rights, restore high standards for teachers, and support workers rights."

Contribute $50/person or $100/couple to Chuck Wiger for Senate, and you'll receive a dollar for dollar refund. Steps to secure your refund are included on the event flyer.

License Renewal Support

The WBLTA relicensure committee works hard to assist members with the license renewal process. Find everything you need HERE.

Not sure when your license expires? Use PELSB's license lookup to find out. Unsure of whether or not professional development that you've participated in meets the new Cultural Competency requirement? Read more about the statute.

Contact relicensure chair Kari Solheim and/or committee members

Julee Ellefson, Mick Mccollough, or Claire Luger with any questions.

THANK YOU to all who donated during our Holiday Baking Bag drive. Due to your generosity, we were able to donate just over 800 pounds of food to support families during the holiday season.

Have ideas for future community outreach events? Contact Member Engagement Chair Erika Jagiella.


Do you have student loan debt? Want to do something about it? Education Minnesota’s Degrees, Not Debt program works to educate members about existing student loan forgiveness programs, how to find out if you're eligible, and how to apply. "GO PACK GO!" You should also have recently received an email from the AFT inviting members to utilize the Summer student loan advising tool.

Fill out this form if you're interested in attending a one hour Degrees Not Debt seminar in White Bear Lake.

WBLAE go to the Movies

Celebrate MLK day by joining your colleagues in Educators United for Change for a screening of Just Mercy (trailer) The film tells the story of Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, and his fight to exonerate Walter McMillian who was sentenced to death in Alabama despite evidence proving his innocence.

We'll meet at Emagine Theater in White Bear Township for the 2:50 matinee showing; those interested can join us for a post screening conversation and appetizers to be held at the Blue Heron in Hugo.

Interested? Let us know HERE.

Members Rights Training

We are pleased to offer Member Rights Advocacy Training (MRA) for members in February and March.

February 10 (4:30-8:30) - MRA I

Develop the knowledge and skills to assist other members in understanding their rights and resolving conflicts using a variety of strategies.

March 2(4:30-8:30) - MRA II

Develop skills to use various alternatives to grievances for resolving conflicts. Develop additional knowledge and skills to assist other members in understanding their rights and resolving conflicts using a variety of strategies.

Trainings will take place at Jimmy's Event Center. Dinner provided. REGISTER HERE.

I Am Because We Are (On Being a Good Neighbor) - 2020 Program

Join your WBLTA colleagues at the 39th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute on Sunday, January 19, 2020, from 3:00-4:30 PM at Ted Mann Concert Hall. This multi-disciplinary celebration combines the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with musical performances. by the University of Minnesota Gospel Choir, Freddie Bell and Chantel Sings of KMOJ Radio, and more.

Family and friends welcome. RSVP HERE.

Professional Development

MHWS: How to Support the Middle School Girl You Love

Middle school is a turning point for our girls: they are no longer children, but not yet fully women. Anxiety runs high as they navigate big challenges like puberty, social media, academic pressure, and more. At the same time, it’s often a turning point for parents and guardians as they face their own midlife crises.

This month's event is hosted by Christina Nguyen who invites you to sit in circle to consider different ways to guide our girls and ourselves. If you've never participated in a circle, it’s a way of meeting with a focus on deep listening, non-judgment, and sharing respectfully.

Join us in the community room on Thursday, January 16, from 7-8:30. Together we can support each other and help our girls to become healthy, resilient, thriving young women.

This month's reader's question: What is Member Engagement Chair Erika Jagiella's favorite football cheer?

Congratulations, Amy Carney, one of 33 members who correctly identified the age at which Treasurer Kirk Gednalske first ice skated: 31. We'll be in touch with your prize soon!