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announcements

  • East Oakland County MEA-Retired Picnic

  • East Oakland County MEA-Retired Chapter

  • Communications Committee Meeting Oct 3, 2017

  • GTBA Mea-Retirees at Sept 18th Luncheon

  • Paul Helder, speaks to retirees at GTBA Sept 18

  • MEA-Retired Committee Chairs Sept 14, 2017

  • Board of Directors Meeting Sept 13, 2017

  • Bonnie Urlaub receives award from Dan Rudd

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 bcbsm.com/claimsmedicare.

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.

 

Dates

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.”

House committee approves deep cuts to education, but bill's future in doubt

Jul 23, 2017

education fundingIn a party-line vote of 28-22, the House appropriations committee approved the NEA-opposed Labor-HHS-Education funding bill, which slashes education by $2.4 billion. The cuts include all funding for Title II-A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and greatly reduced support for 21st Century Community Learning Centers, which provide afterschool services for the students most in  need. While it is now less likely the full House will vote on this bill, and the Senate still needs to craft its version, educators and allies must make sure that all members of Congress understand that cutting Title II will lead to lost jobs and larger class sizes, as well as undermine implementation of ESSA. Click on the take action button and tell Congress to invest in our students, not cut education funding.  documents," said NEA president.take action

 

 

Governor signs MPSERS legislation (SB 401)

Jul 16, 2017

With the Governor's signature on July 13, the MPSERS legislation (SB 401) is now law (Public Act 92 of 2017). 

"We continue to believe this complicated legislation was rushed through the process without proper analysis of the outcomes it will have for school employees and the state.  Although it retains choice in retirement plans for school employees and improves the defined contribution option available to them, there are still too many unknowns," said MEA President Steven Cook.

"The bill's passage less than two days after introduction failed to carefully consider key concerns. Uncapped cost increases in the event of shortfalls in the new hybrid system put unknown levels of risk onto new educators and school districts.  The legislation fails to provide stability in the hybrid system and fails to pay down the unfunded liability so often decried by politicians. And language in this bill places new restrictions on the ability of educators to invest in their retirement, including banning the ability for school employees to purchase service credit when they take parental leave."

For a detailed summary of the legislation (which will continue to be updated now that the bill is law), please CLICK HERE.

MEA-Retired Delegates in Boston

Jul 05, 2017

Thirty-Seven elected delegates are representing MEA-Retired at the NEA Representative Assembly in Boston. On June 30 and July 1 caucuses were held for the entire Michigan delegation, totaling 500 delegates. July 2 - July 5, Michigan met with other states at the RA which more than 7,000 delegates were present and 3,676 guests respectively. Decisions were made about many new business items, constitutional amendments and standing rules. NEA officers were elected and other elections as well. June 27-29 delegates also attended the NEA-Retired Meeting and several business items were discussed.

At the NEA-Retired meeting Sarah Borgman from Indiana was elected President. Our own Barb Schram and Cleorah Scruggs-DeBose were elected as NEA Alternate Board members. MEA-Retired received the Runner Up Award for our website. Elected MEA-Retired delegates attending are: Judy Gail Armstrong Hall, Al Beamish, Geoff Blain, Sheila Blain, Linda Brunson, Elias Chapa, Judy Daley, Vivian Davis, Pam DeGryse, Judy Foster, Roger Foster, Stephen Franko, Catherine Frederick, John Frederick, Anne Good, Jeanne Hansen, Joanne Hoekstra, Kathleen Huey, Diana Irons, Sid Kardon, Millie Lambert, Sally McNamara, Elaine Miller, Betty Org, Susan Pegan, Bill Papo, Dan Rudd, Linda Russel, Iris Salters, Jack Schneider, Barb Schram, Cleorah Scruggs DeBose, Jim Sparapani, Randy Stone, Rita Vater Darnton, Kay Walker Telma, and Mary Yedinak.

Calendar Bill Stopped – Pension Moves to Governor’s Desk

Jun 27, 2017

The bill that would ban school calendar and schedule as topics of bargaining did not come up for a vote yesterday – your calls and emails to lawmakers ensured the state House leadership could not rally enough “yes” votes to forward HB 4163 to the Senate.
 
The House adjourned just before midnight without taking action on the measure that would silence educator voices on issues that affect student learning conditions – matters such as school start and end times, parent-teacher conferences, and prep periods, among others.
 
And in addition to the calls and emails – for the second week in a row – MEA members and leaders traveled to Lansing to personally lobby legislators against a bill with destructive consequences for public education.
 
Sue Ziel, president of the Romulus Education Association, said she volunteered to lobby both times. The experience was exciting and eye-opening and hard to describe, especially given the success in fighting off a planned vote on the calendar/schedule bargaining ban, she said.
 
“Members who are being told ‘Make the phone calls – write the letters’… they need to hear – it does work, and (politicians) are listening,” Ziel said. “They may have their agenda, but they’re also listening to what’s coming at them.”  
 
The House is not scheduled for another session day until July 12 and is unlikely to return for any significant length of time until September.  House lawmakers did vote yesterday to concur in SB 401, the pension legislation we fought last week, which now goes to the governor for his signature.
 
Read our preliminary analysis of the legislation here. 

 


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