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  • MEA-Retired President at Conclave Nov 8, 2018

  • MEA-Retired Board Meeting Nov 7, 2018

  • President Conclave Nov 8, 2018

  • MEA-Retired Board of Directors Meeting Nov 7, 2018

  • East Oakland MEA-Retired Chapter Meeting/Picnic Oct 3,2018

  • East Oakland County MEA-Retired Members sign 200+ postcards to fellow MEA members

  • Gretchen Witmer Speaks to over 50 Michigan Union Leaders at MiARA Meeting at MEA

TAKE ACTION : GET TO LANSING WEDNESDAY (if you are able)

Dec 11, 2018

Another important Action Rally at the Capitol.  We know there has not been much prior notification of these events at the Capitol in Lansing, but Lame Duck happens fast and many groups work together to make things happen. This rally is happening TOMORROW, WED, DEC 12, earlier in the day than the Vigil we previously emailed you about (information is also at the end of this email). Here is the info about the rally from noon-4 pm tomorrow:

Fight for Our Families Rally at the Capitol

WHEN: Wednesday, December 12th from 12-4 p.m.

WHERE: Capitol Building in Lansing - included will be "caroling" of legislators - if anyone is interested in participating in that, let us know!

BUSES TO LANSING: There are buses available that leave at 10 am and return to each city at 4:pm. If you CLICK ON THIS LINK you can register and sign up for one of the buses.

Buses leave from:

Ann Arbor (Miller Rd Park & Ride, 2901 Miller Rd);
Detroit option #1 (Meijer, 1301 Eight Mile Rd)
Detroit option #2 (Good Jobs Now, 2400 E McNichols Rd)
Flint (St. Michael's Catholic Church, 609 E Fifth Ave.)
Grand Rapids (carpool lot, 3250 Deposit Dr NE)
Kalamazoo (302 Academy St, behind church in alley)

If you have any questions about this rally or the Vigil at the Capitol at 5:30 tomorrow, please email Jessica Lumbreras at MEA - jlumbreras@mea.org - or reply to this email and we will try to help you. Again, apologies for the short notice. All this is being put together very fast. Thank you for your support! Information about the 5:30 Vigil at the Capitol at end of this email. Stay informed about Lame Duck by going to www.mea.org/lameduck/.

Below is a list of some of the worst of the legislation they are trying to push through.

Take Action: innovative schools” legislation Moving in the Lame Duck Session

Dec 06, 2018

From MEA - 

"A “shadow State Board” and a “cafeteria-style” school voucher program could be created if the House passes so-called “innovative schools” legislation. New intel is that the bills could come up for a vote on the House floor TODAY. Please contact your lawmakers TODAY and urge them to oppose HBs 6314-6315.

In concert with the proposed A-F rating system bill (HB 5526), the measure would create a commission largely appointed by the current governor that would have broad authority over schools – described by Bridge Magazine as a “shadow State Board of Education” that would not be accountable to the incoming governor or State Board of Education.

In addition, HBs 6314-6315 would create a new type of school or district exempt from many existing requirements related to curriculum, days and hours, testing, and teacher credentialing. Such a designation would allow a school or district to enact “competency-based education” and remain exempt from some state requirements for school hours and days, curriculum, standardized assessments, and teacher credentialing.

Also, the bills’ “any time, any place, any pace” catch phrase is poorly defined but appears to allow credits to be granted for extended learning activities, including but not limited to independent study, private and homeschool instruction, team sports, performing groups, internships, community service, and work study. This will set up a type of “parochiaid” and “cafeteria-style” voucher program. The state constitution prohibits tax dollars from funding private schools, and Michigan voters have overwhelmingly rejected vouchers in the past.

There are many questions yet to be answered about this legislation, which makes it the most dangerous kind that can move during Lame Duck. From the education to the business community, objections are being raised to moving this legislation without enough consideration about the impacts. Join those voices and contact your legislator today – ask them to vote NO on the innovative schools bills.

https://actionnetwork.org/letters/tell-your-legislators-to-vote-no-on-extreme-changes-to-public-education-in-lame-duck/?fbclid=IwAR3cON1KRMldMbFu56V6kJ3mqZFckiaK2AEpqfcM1WKgUIS9QjgMj4aMkrc "

Calls & Emails Needed on Union Release Time, Recertification

Dec 05, 2018

MEA  Capitol Comments
MEA has learned that the House Education Committee will take up the union release time legislation (SBs 795-796 and HBs 6474 and 5368) at their next committee meeting tomorrow morning.  They may have the votes to pass that legislation on to the House floor for action.  However, our lobbying efforts with State Representatives are working!  There are several Republicans who are firmly against the legislation and several more who are truly undecided.  Your calls and emails are essential to helping our lobbyists keep these bills from passing – contact your State Representative today and urge him or her to oppose efforts to ban union release times that helps school districts be more efficient.
 
Another front has opened in the battle around union rights, however – this morning, the Senate blitzed a bill through committee that would require union members to vote every two years to recertify as a union.  SB 1260 would mandate that unions pay for these elections in the fall of even numbered years – even though there’s already a process in place for members of a bargaining unit to initiate an election to leave a union if they wish to do so.  This legislation serves only one purpose: undermining the ability of the union to defend our freedoms and the contract.​  It would force unions to spend time and money on constant elections rather than on protecting workers and their rights.  Please contact your State Senator and urge them to vote against this legislation

Controversial minimum wage, paid sick leave bills up for final passage

Dec 04, 2018

Detroit Free Press 

"LANSING-  A gutted version of proposals to raise the minimum wage to $12 per hour and require employers to provide paid sick time for employees are on a fast track to receive final passage Tuesday in the House of Representatives.

The bills, which were born out of a citizen-led ballot proposal, were passed in the House Michigan Competitiveness Committee Tuesday morning after less than one hour of testimony. They have already passed the Senate and are expected to get a vote in the House later today."  Continue Reading

Release time leaders and staff News

Dec 02, 2018

MEA – Doug Pratt, Director of Public Affairs
Good news for a change – the House Education Committee DID NOT pass the House versions of the release time legislation (HBs 6474 and 5368) in their meeting this morning.  Testimony was compelling for our side and our lobbying is making a difference.

 HOWEVER, we are not out of the woods – there are many procedural methods to get these or the Senate bills (795-796) up for consideration on the House floor.  We need to continue the pressure.  We’re doing patch through calls today to members in target districts, plus text messages that went last night and today to members asking them to call targeted lawmakers. 

To answer the question that last sentence is sure to generate, we are not sharing the target list broadly.  Were that list to get out, it would put an arm-twisting target on the backs of those legislators.  We’ve reached out to UniServ directors in those key areas to ask them to take particular steps, including getting with release time leaders in those House districts.  

 Regardless of targets (because the anecdotal pressure is helpful with both friends and foes alike), we need all of you to continue contacting your state representatives and urging your administrations to do the same. 

MEA Action Network page (which has already generated more than 500 emails in one day) is at https://www.actionnetwork.org/letters/tell-your-representative-protect-our-public-employees-vote-no-on-hb-6474-and-5368-2 -- please share this with members (we’ve included it in Capitol Comments and on Facebook). 


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