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  • Board of Directors Members Nov 8

  • Board of Directors Meeting Nov 8

  • Bob and Jo Bird at President's Conclave Nov 9

  • Mark Brewer explains Gerrymandering at President's Conclave

  • Gaylord Area MEA-Retired Members Oct 9th

  • East Oakland County MEA-Retired Chapter

Labor Voices: Cyber Charters are Failed Experiment

Nov 18, 2017

In Wednesday’s Labor Voices column in The Detroit News, MEA President Paula Herbart called for an end to the failed cyber charter school experiment in Michigan.
Clear evidence shows that Michigan's expansion of cyber charter schools has been an abject failure, yet our state's lawmakers continue to fully fund these for-profit online ventures at the same level as traditional neighborhood schools, which have higher operating costs.
Herbart writes in the column: “Here in Michigan, legislators continue to ignore the poor academic achievement of cyber schools and pour millions into this failed experiment. Even Gov. Snyder recognized that funding for cyber charters needed to be scaled back when he proposed in last year’s education budget that they receive only 80 percent of normal per-pupil funding — acknowledging that cyber charters have a fraction of the overhead that traditional brick and mortar schools face.

“Unfortunately, the Legislature rejected the governor’s proposal — but many from both parties in Lansing are hoping he pushes again for this change next year.” Read the full column.

MPSERS Out-of-State Fall Seminar Locations

Nov 10, 2017




November 8

Scottsdale, AZ

Courtyard Scottsdale Salt River

5201 N. Pima Rd.

Scottsdale, AZ 85250

November 9

Tucson, AZ

Hilton Garden Inn Tucson Airport

6575 S. Country Club Road

Tucson, AZ 85758

December 4

Ocala, FL

Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Ocala Conference Center

3600 SW 38th Ave

Ocala, FL 34474

December 5

Tampa, FL

Sheraton Tampa East Hotel

10221 Princess Palm Ave.

Tampa, FL 33610

December 6

Sarasota, FL

Holiday Inn Sarasota Airport

8009 15th St. E.

Sarasota, FL 34243

December 7

Fort Myers, FL

Holiday Inn Airport at Town Center

9931 Interstate Commerce Drive

Fort Myers, FL 33913

BREAKING: Senate to consider bills allowing concealed guns in schools

Nov 07, 2017

Yesterday evening, we received word that the State Senate would be considering a package of bills this week that would allow concealed weapons in gun-free zones like schools or churches.
MEA strongly opposes this legislation for the safety of students and school employees alike, and has been part of a coalition fighting similar legislation for several years. 
The answer to gun violence is not more guns in schools – in fact, it’s a recipe for disaster.  Making it legal to conceal a pistol in a preschool is a tragedy waiting to happen, regardless of the training concealed weapon holders undergo. 
Instead of these bills, the Legislature should simply close the controversial legal loophole allowing open-carry of guns in schools and make gun-free zones truly gun free.
Call your State Senator TODAY and urge them to vote NO on SBs 584-586.  Tell your Senator that – as an educator – you want fewer guns in school, not more.  We’re hearing the Senate plans to rush this legislation through before the hunting break, so urgent action is needed.

Tuesday Night Vigils Nov 7th Bring your flashlight

Nov 04, 2017

From AFT and MEA

Tuesday Night Vigils

What: On the night before the Michigan Supreme Court hearing, education employees will gather at locations through out the state for Flashlight Vigils to "Shine a Light" on the 3% case.

When: Tuesday, Nov. 7th @ 5:30 p.m. Click here to sign-up for attendance!

Where: View Map.

Why: On the night before the Michigan Supreme Court hearing, school employees will gather at locations through out the state for Flashlight Vigils to "Shine a Light" on the 3% case. These events will ensure the Supreme Court Justices and the public can see the faces of dedicated education employees who are owed more than $550 million.

Who: Education employees as well as those who support the hard working women and men that educate our students

What: Bring your flashlights to shine the light

Click here to sign-up for attendance!

If you haven’t yet ensured your vigil is online on the event website, please check now at If you need a quick primer on how to set up an event on the site, you can watch this quick video at

Vote Expected on School Millage Diversion to Charters

Nov 02, 2017

A bill that would give money from school enhancement millages to for-profit charter schools is expected to get a vote in a state House committee tomorrow—contact your representatives today, and encourage parents and community members to get involved. 

Your calls and emails have started to make a difference. Changes to SB 574 are planned that would only give money to online cyber schools that show 80 percent of students live in the enhancement district’s boundaries. Another expected change would ensure the bill does not apply retroactively to existing millages. 

Overall, this controversial change to school funding is opposed by numerous school groups and many parents, who argue that 90 percent of Michigan school children attend traditional public schools, which are held to higher standards of financial transparency and performance.

About 83 percent of Michigan charter schools are for-profit entities with no elected representation or public oversight in how tax dollars are spent – which means no guarantee additional public money would benefit students instead of furthering corporate profits. 

Charter schools come and go—sometimes closing without notice.

While many privately managed operators of for-profit charter schools do not divulge executive pay levels, the CEO of nationwide cyber giant K-12, Inc., reportedly makes $16 million per year.

Meanwhile, overall public school funding in Michigan remains below pre-recession levels, and several recent studies and reports have found the state’s education spending to be inadequate. Enhancement millages are regional tax levies approved by voters within a region and administered by intermediate school districts. 

The House Education Reform Committee plans to vote on SB 574 tomorrow. 

Contact your representative today, and urge public school supporters in your community to take a moment and make their voices heard.

House Votes for a Budget that Will Lead to Massive Medicare and Medicaid Cuts

Oct 29, 2017

MEA-Retired is a member of the Alliance for Retired Americans. We support their policies and activism. Please click on this link to sign up to receive their Friday Alerts and take part in this ACTION to send a message to Washington. Thank you!

House Votes for a Budget that Will Lead to Massive Medicare and Medicaid Cuts While Providing Tax Breaks for the Wealthy

The U.S. House voted 216-212 on Thursday (10/26/17)  to pass the same destructive 2018 budget that the U.S. Senate approved last week. Representatives did not offer any amendments to the resolution. See how your rep voted - click here.

The budget will lead to cuts of nearly $500 billion from Medicare and more than $1 trillion from Medicaid over the next 10 years, and paves the way for massive tax breaks for the rich. It will also add $1.5 trillion to the federal deficit.

"The government's disregard for citizens, particularly older Americans, is palpable in this budget. Gutting much-needed safety nets for average Americans so that billionaires and corporations can line their pockets is beyond cruel," said Richard Fiesta, executive director of the Alliance.

With passage of the 2018 budget, Republican leaders say this will turn to so-called tax "reform." House Republicans will release their tax bill on November 1, but some details have already emerged, and many middle class taxpayers will pay more. Click to see how families in your state may be affected.

Join the National Call-in Day November 2 - No Tax Breaks for the Wealthy

With the unveiling of the Republican tax bill set for November 1, and a U.S. House vote that could happen as early as November 13, the time to call your representative now.

 CLICK HERE to sign up to be part of the Alliance's call in day on November 2 and they will send you talking points and a reminder to make your voice heard.

Americans Are Retiring Later, Dying Sooner and Sicker In-Between

Oct 24, 2017

“The U.S. retirement age is rising, as the government pushes it higher and workers stay in careers longer.

But lifespans aren’t necessarily extending to offer equal time on the beach. Data released last week suggest Americans’ health is declining and millions of middle-age workers face the prospect of shorter, and less active, retirements than their parents enjoyed.

Here are the stats: The U.S. age-adjusted mortality rate—a measure of the number of deaths per year—rose 1.2 percent from 2014 to 2015, according to the Society of Actuaries. That’s the first year-over-year increase since 2005, and only the second rise greater than 1 percent since 1980.”  Read More

Contact your state Representative - Urge Opposition to SB 574

Oct 18, 2017

From AFT of Michigan

"Today, the Michigan Senate voted 23-14 in support of SB 574, which will require funds raised from school enhancement millages to be shared with charter and cyber schools located in the regions that approve the additional taxes.

After transfer to the Michigan House, the bill was referred to the Education Reform committee, where it awaits a hearing.

Contact your state representative now to ask them to oppose SB 574, as it would send dollars raised for public schools to for-profit companies which run charter schools.

Enhancement millages are regional property taxes levied when approved by voters of a community and distributed to local public school districts by intermediate school districts. Currently, there are six regions which levy such millages through ISDs, in the counties of Wayne, Kalamazoo, Kent, Midland, Monroe, and Muskegon. SB 574 would not require these communities to distribute funds already approved by voters to charter schools, however, any future renewals of these tax programs and new regions which approve enhancement millages in the future would be required to split the raised funds with charter schools.

This is problematic because 83 percent of charter schools are run by for-profit corporations with no transparency requirements and which are not accountable to the communities in which they are located.

Public schools are currently underfunded, and it is not right to allow for taxes to be raised to pad corporate profits while public schools are struggling financially."

MI Senate Voting on Money Shift to Charters

Oct 18, 2017

The Michigan Senate is expected to vote today on a bill that would require money from school enhancement millages to be given to charter and virtual schools located in the communities that approve the additional taxes.

Contact your state senator and representative to voice opposition now. And urge friends, family members, and neighbors to get involved. Many parents are opposed to this change in school funding rules, and those community voices are needed to fight back. Nine out of 10 Michigan school children attend traditional public schools.

Enhancement millages are regional tax levies approved by voters within a region and administered by intermediate school districts. Under SB 574, the money raised would have to be split with charter schools that exist in the region and virtual schools that are headquartered within its boundaries.

Six regions have enhancement millages through these ISD’s: Wayne-RESA, Kalamazoo, Kent, Midland, Monroe, and Muskegon. While the measure would not apply retroactively to those that have already passed such a millage, it would have a major impact on new millages and renewals.  As an example, in Wayne County, a 10-year enhancement millage shared by 33 public school districts would have to be split with 100 charter schools, under the proposal.

Continue reading . . .

The Flu and Pneumonia vaccines

Oct 09, 2017

“Getting the flu and pneumonia vaccines  are two important ways to avoid getting sick. Your medical plan covers the flu vaccine  at 100 percent once  per flu season. The pneumonia vaccine is covered in full once  per lifetime or more  frequently if medically necessary. However,  keep in mind that not all providers can bill Blue Cross directly for these services.  This means you may have to pay out-of-pocket and get  reimbursed by Blue Cross. The easiest way to avoid paying out of pocket for your flu or pneumonia shot is to check with your doctor, health department or pharmacy before you go to make sure they can bill Blue Cross directly.”  Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Best of Health, Fall 2017, pg6

If you need to get reimbursed for a flu vaccine, follow  the steps below:

1.   Go to

2.   Click Medicare Plus BlueSM  PPO plans under What you’ll need.

3.   Click Medicare Advantage Member Application for Payment Consideration (PDF) to access the form.

4.   Print, complete the form and mail it to:

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
Imaging  and Support Services
P.O. Box 32593
Detroit,  MI 48232-0593

Shingles vaccine:  Is it covered?

“The Zostavax injection,  known as the shingles vaccination, is covered by your retirement system when you get  it at a participating network  pharmacy. If you have questions, call OptumRx® at -855-577-6517.”  Blue Cross/Blue Shield, “Best of Health, Fall 2017, pg 8

How Decisions Are Made About Our Healthcare

Oct 04, 2017

"Most retirees think the plan changes come from union negotiations or from insurance vendors, but this isn't the case.  Insurance vendors selected through a competitive bidding process administer their part of your health care coverage, but they don’t make any decisions about the plan benefits, coinsurance, deductibles, copayments or out- of-pocket maximum  amounts.

Unlike the benefit plan you had as an employee of Michigan public schools, your retiree health care benefits and costs are decided by the Michigan Public School Employees' Retirement System board of directors with guidance from ORS benefit specialists and external health care benefit and actuarial  consultants."  Office of Retirement Services, Best of Health Fall 2017

MPSERS FALL SEMINARS for BC/BS PPO Members and Priority Health Members

Aug 22, 2017

Ever fall MPSERS hosts health care seminars for retirees who have Blue Cross/Blue Shield PPO for their health providers. The schedules and locations of the meetings are listed at the bottom of this post.  The purpose of these meetings is to update MPSERS retirees on the updates and changes that retirees can expect starting on January 1, 2018.  All benefit providers will be attending such as, Blue Cross/Blue Shield PPO, OptiumRx, Delta Dental and our Vision Provider.  This will be a good opportunity for members who are covered by BC/BS to get information and updates.  These seminars are for current retirees.  The time for all venues are from 10am to 2pm.  Look for Blue Cross/Blue shields “Best of Health Fall issue” in the mail for more information.

Those members who have Priority Health for their health care providers also will have fall meetings for their members.  To find out more information about the time and location of Priority Health meeting click here.

The schedule below are for members who have BC/BS PPO.



Locations   Venue Time
10-Oct Escanaba   Terrace Bay Hotel 10am-2pm
      7146 P Rd.  
      Gladstone, MI. 49837  
11-Oct Marquette Masonic Center 10am-2pm
      128 W. Washington Street  
      Marquette, MI. 49855  
12-Oct Alpena   Aplex-Alpena Events Center 10am-2pm
      701 Woodward Ave.  
      Alpena, MI. 49707  
13-Oct Williamsburg Williamsburg Event Center 10am-2pm
  (Traverse City) 4240 M72 East  
      Williamsburg, MI. 49690  
16-Oct Flint   Holiday Inn Gateway Centre Flint 10am-2pm
      5353 Gateway Centre  
      Flint, MI. 48507  
17-Oct Clare (Mt. Pleasant) Doherty Hotel 10am-2pm
      604 North McEwan Street  
      Clare, MI. 48617  
18-Oct Grand Rapids Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park 10am-2pm
      1000 East Beltline Ave NE  
      Grand Rapids, MI. 49525  
19-Oct Kalamazoo Kalamazoo Expo Center 10am-2pm
      2900 Lake Street  
      Kalamazoo, MI. 49048  
20-Oct Lansing   Eagle Eye Golf Club 10am-2pm
      15500 Chandler Rd  
      Bath Twp, MI 48808  
24-Oct Detroit   Greater Grace Temple 10am-2pm
      23500 West Seven Mile Road  
      Detroit, MI. 48219  
25-Oct Livonia   Burton Manor 10am-2pm
      27777 Schoolcraft Road  
      Livonia, MI. 48150  
26-Oct Riverview/Southgate Holiday Inn Southgate 10am-2pm
      17201 Northline Road  
      Southgate, MI. 48195  
30-Oct Sterling Heights Wyndham Garden Sterling Heights 10am-2pm
      34911 Van Dyke Ave  
      Sterling Heights, MI. 48312  


Scheutte's Office Argues State Not Responsible to Teach Literacy

Aug 19, 2017

from AFT-Michigan, August 14, 2017

The office of Attorney General Bill Scheutte argued in federal court on August 9 that the state is not responsible for providing an education that teaches students basic literacy. The case, brought by Detroit parents and students, with AFT support, argues that the state has failed its legal obligation under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Schuette's office argued that the case is without merit and should be dismissed. Judge Murphy will probably issue a decision on the state's motion to dismiss in September. CLICK HERE to read the statement of AFT President Randi Weingarten, AFT Michigan President David Hecker and Detroit Federation of Teachers President Ivy Bailey following the hearing in the Gary B. v. Snyder case.

Court Blocks State from Using Public Funds for Private Schools

Aug 03, 2017

AFT of Michigan

The Michigan Court of Claims has issued an injunction prohibiting the state from spending public money for private schools. The request for an injunction was filed by the Council Against Parochaid (CAP), the ACLU of Michigan, public education leaders and parent groups from across Michigan. AFT Michigan and the MEA are supporting the work of CAP on this law suit.

According to the ACLU, “Judge Cynthia Diane Stephens' opinion follows a request by the plaintiffs in CAP v. Michigan to extend a preliminary injunction to prevent the state from implementing a law passed by the legislature last year that would divert $2.5 million in public funding to private schools. Without the injunction, the state was scheduled to distribute the funds by August 15.”

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