The PLSEA Pulse

Volume 8: September 2016

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Welcome Back Everyone!

We are off and running with another school year! Some of us for the first time, and others for the 43rd time...I hope that we can all find time to share our questions, wisdom and ideas with each other throughout the school year. We had several union events during the summer with the two highlights being the AFT convention in Minneapolis and our annual Summer Seminar trip to the College of St. Benedict. Both events provided some training to our members that will be shared and highlighted throughout our executive board and member rights meetings this year.

As always, please contact me or Erin Hester (our VP) with any questions or concerns.

Shawn Beaudette - President - Five Hawks 5th Grade -

Erin Hester - Vice President - High School Social Studies -

Union History

The AFT is 100 Years Old!

The American Federation of Teachers (one of the national teachers unions we belong to) turned 100 years old this summer. The convention in Minneapolis highlighted many of the things that have changed within labor unions and education in those 100 years. Here are just a few of the more interesting points:

  • In the 1920's, union membership with AFT was cut in half due to school boards pressuring teachers to not belong to a union.
  • In the 1930's, female teachers had to sign contracts that stated they would wear skirts of certain lengths, keep their galoshes buckled, not receive gentlemen callers more than three times a week and teach a Sunday School class.
  • AFT members in Minnesota lobbied for tenure rights for teachers in the late 1920's and early 1930's. It wasn't until the late 1950's that those same tenure rights were granted to outstate school districts.
  • The 1960's and 70's saw the AFT become a pioneering group in the collective bargaining process for teachers
  • In the 1970's, the AFT worked to make sure desegregation of schools happened the way it was supposed to across the nation, including here in the Minneapolis school district.

There are still many challenges facing public education today and that is why having a strong organization that brings a voice to the teachers is so important.

Please take 15 minutes to Watch These Powerful AFT Videos

AFT Leads on Desegregation
Teacher Power: Gaining Collective Bargaining for Teachers

Together We Work!

Committee Members Needed

Our local union is full of committees that get the important work done that we have on our plates. Each year we have turnover in those committees and we need to fill positions with new members. We currently have two committees that are in need of members. Please read the descriptions and contact Shawn Beaudette ( if you are interested in joining either group.

Unification Committee

This group meets about five times per year to plan the service projects and other events for PLSEA. During contract negotiation years, this group also advises the executive board on a settlement action plan. There is a small stipend that goes with this position.

Current members: Tony Lotzer (HOMS English), Amanda Fay (Tech Integration), Sue Muelken (Elem PE), Niki Logan (HS Social Studies). We could use two more members.

Political Action Committee

This group will meet frequently during the active political season and less frequently in between political cycles. The goal of this group is to help organize our union around political events and candidates, advocate for public education with politicians and political groups and keep members informed of political happenings. There is a small stipend that goes with this position.

Current members: Anne Nelson (JP 5th grade). We could use several more members for this committee!!!

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Upcoming Events

How Can I Get Involved with our Union?

Getting involved with PLSEA is simple, easy and a great way to meet more of our colleagues. We have a general membership meeting on Friday, October 7th starting at 5:00 at Prior Lake High School. The format for the meeting will be an open forum for our members to ask questions of our officers, executive board members, member rights representatives and anyone else that is present. At 6:00 we will have pizza delivered and have some water and pop available. At 7:00 we will head out to Dan Patch Stadium to watch the Laker football team take on Eden Prairie. Please plan on joining us for the event. You can RSVP at the link below - families are encouraged to attend, and there will be daycare for the 5:00 - 6:00 hour if enough interest is shown.

School Board Meetings

Make sure you are paying attention to the school board meeting schedule for each building. Your building representatives have the schedule and will be contacting members to attend. This is another great way to get involved in a simple and fun way. There are big decisions looming for our school board and it is important to be present to hear discussions and be informed.

2016-2017 Regular School Board Meeting Schedule

  • August 22nd 6pm - Everyone
  • September 12th 7:00pm - Five Hawks, Jeffers Pond
  • October 10th 7:00pm - Westwood, Grainwood
  • November 14th 7:00pm - HOMS, TOMS
  • December 12th 7:00pm - High School, Bridges, Edgewood
  • January 9th 6:30pm - Redtail, Glendale
  • February 13th 7:00pm - FH, JP
  • March 6th 7:00pm - WW, GW
  • April 10th 7:00pm - HOMS, TOMS
  • May 8th 7:00pm - HS, Bridges, EW
  • June 5th 7:00pm - RR, GD

Study Session Schedule

  • Monday, September 26, 2016: 6:00 pm - Study Session/Data Retreat
  • Monday, October 24, 2016: 6:00 pm - Study Session
  • Monday, November 28, 2016: 6:00 pm - Study Session
  • Monday, January 23, 2017: 6:00 pm - Study Session
  • Monday, February 27, 2017: 6:00 pm - Study Session
  • Monday, March 27, 2017: 6:00 pm - Study Session
  • Monday, April 24, 2017: 6:00 pm - Study Session
  • Monday, May 22, 2017: 6:00 pm - Study Session
  • Monday, June 19, 2017: 6:00 pm - Study Session

Union Benefits and Offers

Free Identity Theft Protection for All Members

Our statewide union, Education Minnesota, is providing free identity theft protection to all members through our ESI member benefits program. Use the link below to sign up for coverage if you haven't already done so.

The Perks Connect program is another benefit through Education Minnesota. Use the link below to find more information.

Education News

Interesting Read on Opening and Closing Routines for the Classroom

Short Video on Teacher Tenure

Tenure Helps Teachers Be Creative