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  • MEA-Retired members Pam DeGryse, Elaine Miller and Jeanne Hansen enjoyed a post-lunch conversation with members of Arkansas Education Association-Retired during the NEA-Retired Conference in Baltimore

  • NEA Board member Barb Schram, MEA-Retired Staff Liaison Paul Helder and MEA-Retired President Kay Walker Telma participated in an afternoon session for state presidents and liaisons, NEA staff and NEA-Retired leaders.

  • NEA Secretary-Treasurer Noel Candelaria spoke during one of the 2022 NEA-Retired Conference general sessions.

  • MEA-Retired members Elaine Miller and Barb Schram enjoyed a lighthearted moment with NEA President Becky Pringle following the closing session of the 2022 NEA-Retired Conference.

  • NEA President Becky Pringle addressed 2022 NEA-Retired Conference participants at the closing session of the event held in Baltimore March 16-18, 2022.

  • NEA Executive Committee member Gladys Vasquez, NEA-Retired President Sarah Borgman, MEA-Retired President Kay Walker Telma, and MEA-Retired Vice President Judy Daley were among the over 225 attendees at the NEA-Retired 2022 Conference held in Baltimore March 16-18

  • MEA-Retired was well represented at the NEA-Retired Conference. Standing: Jeanne Hansen, Judy Daley, Connie Boylan, Barb Schram, Kay Walker Telma, Rovin Aslakson, Elaine Miller. Seated: Millie Lambert, Al Beamish, Pam DeGryse.

  • East Oakland County MEA-Retired Chapter members Steve Sadlier and Mike Gillis, attended the Remembrance of January 6 Candlelight Vigil in Rochester.

  • Paula-salerno-herbart-2021-most-influential-women, congrats Madam President!

  • MEA-Retired Board of Directors Zoom meeting, 09/01/2021

  • MEA-Retired Board of Directors meeting, 09/01/2021

  • July Happy Hour gathering of the Grand Traverse Bay Area MEA-Retired chapter. Back row: Don Hakala, former MEA Board member and UniServ Director; Kay Walker Telma; former MEA/NEA Board member Tom Bousamra. Front row: Irene Brown, former MEA VP Lynn Larson.

  • President Kay Walker-Telma

  • Education Leaders 2021

  • Senator Debbie Stabenow With MEA-Retired Members Jack & Jo Ellis

A win

Mar 09, 2023

Back in 2011, the retirement tax was slapped on, and the Working Families Tax Credit was gutted to balance the budget. A single bill dealt a critical blow to people’s finances. Seniors had money that was promised to them taken out of their hands. Working families who were a missed paycheck away from poverty had a lifeline pulled away. It was wrong.

Today, we are making it right. We're rolling back the retirement tax to save half a million households an average of $1,000 a year and quintupling the Working Families Tax Credit to put an average refund of $3,150 back in the pockets of 700,000 families, directly benefiting half the kids in Michigan. This is a great day, Michigan!


Day of Action: The 3-7 Challenge

Mar 07, 2023

Greetings, MEA-Retired Friends!


Our affiliate and members in Florida have an ask of all NEA members and allies - and they want us to spread widely!   On 3/7 (that’s March 7th),  FEA is requesting that we join them for the 3-7 Challenge.  3/7 starts the legislative session and they want to storm the Florida Capital with calls and emails from in AND out of state. This is where you all come in.

Can you please share and support our colleagues in FLORIDA? When the legislative session starts, FEA, other unions and allies will be fighting for freedoms for Florida’s students and educators.  We know this will not end in Florida, so our strong advocacy is critical. 

Day of Action: The 3-7 Challenge

What’s the “3-7 Challenge”? The 3-7 Challenge will take place on March 7 (aka 3/7) and is a day of action challenging supporters of Florida’s public education system to make three phone calls and send seven emails to Florida’s elected officials. You can find out more by going to

March 7 is the start of Florida’s 2023 legislative session, and some elected officials have promised to pass legislation that will limit the fundamental freedoms of Florida’s students, teachers, education staff professionals, and higher education faculty. In response, we are asking all Florida Education Association (FEA) and United Faculty of Florida (UFF) members to participate in a statewide public education day of action that we are calling the 3-7 Challenge to show support for educators and the future of education in our state.

PS - the links take you to the talking points needed for this outreach. THANK YOU! 

Senate bill package proposes significant gun safety reforms

Feb 22, 2023

Senate bill package proposes significant gun safety reforms

FEBRUARY 21, 2023

In light of the tragedy on MSU’s campus, the following bills have been introduced in the State Senate and will likely see quick action:

  • SB 76 Would require license or background check for purchase of firearms.
  • SB 77 Updates references to a pistol in the State’s penal code. TIE BAR WITH SB 76.
  • SB 78 Updates references in sentencing guidelines.
  • SB 79 Provides for penalties for storing or leaving a firearm where it may be accessed by a minor.
  • SB 80 Updates sentencing guidelines for weapons.
  • SB 81 Would exempt sales tax for firearm safety devices, safes, lockboxes, and trigger locks.
  • SB 82 Would exempt use tax for firearm safety devices, safes, lockboxes, and trigger locks.
  • SB 83 Would enact an extreme risk protection order, also known as a “red flag” law.
  • SB 84 Would prohibit purchase of firearms by an individual who has an extreme risk protection order. TIE BAR WITH SB 83.
  • SB 85 Enacts sentencing guidelines for making a false statements in relation to an extreme risk protection order.
  • SB 86 Would allow court fees for the service of processing extreme protection order actions.

The first hearing on these bills will be Thursday, Feb. 23, at noon in the Senate Civil Rights, Judiciary, and Public Safety Committee.

It’s anticipated that the State House will move similar bills soon as well. Stay tuned to for more information as it becomes available.

Take a moment now to contact your lawmakers and urge support for SBs 76-86. After Oxford and MSU and too many other instances of gun violence in our schools, it’s time for action to address gun violence that affects our students and educators – and the new legislative majorities in Lansing are ready to do so.

Standing Together for Gun Safety

Feb 21, 2023

Standing Together for Gun Safety

We are tired of watching gun violence cut short the lives of students and educators.  Elected officials must take action NOW.

Contact Michigan Lawmakers Today

Contact your state lawmakers to urge action on common-sense gun safety reforms.

Join the Protect Our Schools Action Team

We need your help. Join a growing group of educators who are committed to taking action to protect our students and colleagues. Sign up today for the Protect Our Schools Action Team.

Polling Shows Broad, Bipartisan Support for Gun Safety Measures

EPIC-MRA: New Poll on Gun Safety Issues and Proposals

MEA President Paula Herbart in The Detroit NewsNo excuse for lawmakers to oppose popular and reasonable gun safety laws

State Board President and Superintendent in Bridge MichiganWhat is Michigan’s legislature doing to prevent another Oxford?

Michigan Gun-Safety Ranking from Everytown for Gun Safety

Michigan is in the middle of the pack in both its gun law strength and its gun violence rate, and does not have a recent track record of passing meaningful gun safety legislation. Learn more.

A Plan to Keep Students Safe

School is the last place where kids should have to worry about gun violence. Our children deserve better. Our country deserves better. Learn more from Everytown for Gun Safety about how to stop shootings and gun violence in schools.


From MEA on Gun Safety

In the shadow of fatal shooting at MSU, advocates push for change

From MEA and MSU Administrative Professionals Association Presidents on Monday’s tragic shooting on MSU campus

Resources for talking with students about school violence

Oxford Strong: One Year In

Whitmer to Dixon: ‘Do you really think books are more dangerous than guns?’

Gun Safety Legislation Introduced in the Michigan Legislature

MEA Members Support Rational Gun Safety Reform in the Wake of School Shootings

MEA VoiceStudents Organize Marches Across U.S.: ‘Enough is enough – we demand change’

MEA Voice Letter to the Members: Where we stand on gun safety

MEA President Paula Herbart in The Detroit NewsWe must stop watching and start acting to protect our kids

Message from MEA President Paula Herbart about the Texas shooting

#OxfordStrong – MEA Coverage of the Oxford tragedy

Other Resources:

Everytown for Gun Safety’s BE SMART Gun Safety Framework

National “Protect Our Schools” Resources

Take action NOW on pension tax and third grade reading law

Feb 01, 2023

Key MEA Legislative Priorities for 2023


From school safety and student mental health to curriculum flexibility and overhauling how public education is paid for in Michigan, there is a long list of pro-education policies to be addressed over the long term. 


MEA’s legislative agenda for the coming years is set by the MEA Legislation Commission, which is preparing its 2023-25 report for consideration later this spring by the MEA Board of Directors.


In the short run however, there are several areas that need immediate attention in Lansing that have been brought up repeatedly by MEA members since the successful 2022 elections.  While far from exhaustive, these are some of the issues that MEA is committed to working on with lawmakers in the coming months.


Student Academic Support

  • Repeal 3rd grade reading retention, shifting focus from punishing students who underperform on standardized tests to supporting their individual literacy needs.
  • Invest proper resources for PreK-3 reading intervention (such as “individual reading plans”), provide educators with professional latitude for assessments, and develop consistent post-4th grade literacy supports to help students get the support they need.
  • Implement supplemental post-pandemic academic support, like district-based tutoring programs, class size reductions and other interventions to drive extra resources to students who need more help.


Evaluation & Testing

  • Fix the teacher evaluation system to make it developmental rather than punitive by removing state testing data, changing “effectiveness” labels, ensuring educator voice in process and providing due process for evaluation appeals.
  • Streamline and minimize assessment requirements to reduce both time spent and high-stakes assigned to standardized testing
  • Take advantage of freedom provided by new federal law by eliminating dated, Michigan-specific requirements around frequency of testing, evaluation requirements and accountability systems.


Collective Bargaining and Job Security Rights

  • Repeal prohibited subjects of bargaining to provide employee voice in the workplace on job placement and security, outsourcing, evaluation, just cause requirements for dismissal, and more.


  • Remove automatic penalties for school employees when working under an expired contract, like step freezes and pass-through of health insurance cost increases.
  • Allow school employees the freedom to allocate their paycheck as they choose, including permitting payroll deduction of union dues like every other public and private worker in Michigan.


Educator Compensation

  • Allow public employers to pay a greater share of health insurance costs (beyond the current 80% or hard cap limitations) to improve school employee take home pay.
  • Repeal the pension tax that reduces the retirement security of school employees and others seniors across Michigan.
  • Work with employers to increase wages for all public education employees, including approving the minimum wage increase ballot measure, which will help drive up take-home pay for lower-wage education support professionals.


Public Education Funding

  • Continue historic investments in early childhood through higher education – including increases to both base funding and equity needs to meet different student needs (from special education and poverty to transportation and program availability for rural schools).
  • Encourage school districts and higher education employers to invest funding increases in employee recruitment and retention efforts.
  • Invest more in ensuring post-secondary learning opportunities – from trade programs to college tuition – are affordable to all students to pursue the jobs our economy needs.


Regarding “right-to-work” repeal

While MEA supports repealing right-to-work for our private-sector union sisters and brothers (including private-sector MEA members), it’s worth noting that a repeal will not apply to the vast majority of MEA members without a reversal of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 ruling in Janus v. AFSCME.  You can learn more about the Janus ruling at

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