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Response to NBI #24


Delegates at the 2010 VEA convention passed NBI #24, which called on local Associations to submit a list of their accomplishments to the VEA for posting on veanea.org. Check out their responses:

  • Bedford County Education Association

    VEA lobbyist Rob Jones came to Bedford County this past winter to explain the threats to VRS. His presentation was very informative, and it impressed our members with our level of political advocacy.

    We have much improved email communication with our members. This helps to circulate information as well as rally for our cyberlobbying efforts on behalf of the students of Virginia.
     
    We fought salary cuts in Bedford County, and the Association helped many members to step up and underscore the importance of fair pay for professional educators and all employees.
     
    We celebrated many members’ years of service and careers at a reception and a dinner. It was important for us to recognize their efforts toward educating the students of Bedford County.

    Contact:  Dina Linkenhoker, president,
    Bedford County Education Association
    dlinkenhoker@bedford.k12.va.us


  • Chesapeake Education Association

    Despite the bad economy, Chesapeake Public Schools has had no layoffs to date, no increase in health care costs to employees, no pay cut, and the School Board voted not to pass 5% VRS payment on to new hires.

    The CEA has been vocal at School Board meetings about maintaining our current level of benefits, and even though we haven’t received raises, we have not lost ground either!

    Contact:  Heather Foxwell, President,
    Chesapeake Education Association
    foxwehda@cps.k12.va.us, 757-515-8471


  • Education Association of Alexandria

    This year, we secured a full step mid-year for two years in a row for all employees. I believe we were the only school district in Virginia that received any pay increase this year.

    All job positions must be posted in the buildings. The existing posting policy was not being followed.

    Pulled back language of “mandatory” for staff development outside the contract day.

    Contact:  Gina A. Miller, EAA President,
    ginaEAA@gmail.com, 703-370-1121


  • Floyd County Education Association

    This year we did a lot of work on Rep training. We developed a Rep folder with calendars, directories, membership info, current member lists, applications for new members and other important information. We hope this will organize the reps and help them have answers to questions generated by the members. It also helps them to be organized with the items needed at meetings.

    We had a luncheon for new teachers. We gathered materials from local businesses for prizes. We ended up with 6 out of 10 joining the association. It was a big success for us.

    At the first FCEA meeting I gave the handout explaining the reps responsibilities. This was given at the district training for trainers.

    At the first school board meeting under my presidency I addressed the board about a need for salary increases next year. We are going to push all year for this item. I hope to involve the whole membership.  My speech made the front page of the local paper, The Floyd Press.

    Contact:  Diana Sutphin, president,
    Floyd County Education Association
    sutphind@swva.net, 540-745-3253


  • Frederick County Education Association

    Lawmakers during the most recent General Assembly made several changes to the Virginia Retirement System (VRS). One of the changes gave localities the option of withdrawing up to 5 percent of a new teacher's pay, beginning July 1, 2010, as a retirement contribution. In meetings with the school board, FCEA President shared members’ feelings that future employees should not have to pay into their retirement. Frederick County is currently paying 5 percent into the VRS for all employees (new and old).

    When the proposed budget came out in February, many cuts seem to have more of a direct effect on the teachers. It was brought to the school board’s attention that in previous years they had expressed how much they valued their teachers and staff. With the help of FCEA President and several members, we were able to remind the school board to actually show us that they valued us and teachers/staff became a priority in the budget.

    Contact:  Alison MacArthur, president,
    Frederick County Education Association
    macartha@frederick.k12.va.us, 540-667-7500


  • Giles Education Association

    We faced a proposal to Increase the number of days required for retirees with less than 30 years in the county to work to continue health insurance from 30 days to 70 days.

    The county would discontinue paying health insurance for retirees with 30 years or more in county until they reached 65. And $3,000 was offered to any support staff to retire.

    Our Association spoke with School Board members and the superintendent. The agreement was made to continue paying health insurance for one more year for those with 30 years’ service and make no changes in the number of days for those with less than 30.

    The Association asked that that be offered to ALL employees, and it was opened up for everyone.

    Contact:  Gloria Hurt, president,
    Giles Education Association
    ghurt@gilesk12.org, 540-922-2293
     

  • Grayson County Education Association

    In Grayson County, we asked for our teacher workdays to be placed at the end of each grading period in order for effective planning, collaboration, and reflection on the past 6 weeks [to be completed] before starting another grading period. These planning days were granted and protected by the administration when school had to be delayed a week and the calendar revised.
     
    We are also starting to build a relationship with the superintendent. The GCEA was granted regular monthly meetings with the superintendent.

    Contact:  Rebecca Absher, President,
    Grayson County Education Association
    (s) 276-388-3489, Mt. Rogers Combined School
    rabsher@grayson.k12.va.us


  • Montgomery County Education Association

    Lawmakers during the most recent General Assembly made significant cuts to education funding across the state. This came as no surprise to the MCEA, and we met with acting superintendent, Walt Shannon, on a monthly basis to discuss the options for reducing the school system budget while doing the least harm to students and educators.

    Based upon the information we received about the budget situation from Mr. Shannon and Marshall Leitch, our UniServ director, the MCEA compensation committee set three standards that we presented to the school board in January.  They were:

    1. No Reduction in Force (RIFs)
    2. No salary cuts
    3. Health Insurance left intact

    MCEA leadership spoke at school board meetings about the importance of putting people first. The MCEA had worked previously to elect friends of education to our School Board and Board of Supervisors. MCEA leadership had also met with School Board members individually to discuss education issues. Difficult choices had to be made in order to adapt to the lower funding, but throughout this process the school board followed our philosophy—that people are more valuable than stuff.

    Using weekly communication with members through the MCEA Monday Updates we mobilized employees to e-mail and call members of the School Board and Board of Supervisors. At the public hearing on raising the real estate tax to fund education and public safety the speakers discussed the importance of educators--particularly the need to maintain our low pupil/teacher ratio.

    In the end, The MCEA was successful in getting all three of our standards adopted by the School Board.  The 2010-11 budget, helped by an infusion of $1 million from the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors, was approved with no reduction in force. We felt this was a major accomplishment. We also maintained our fully funded single subscriber insurance policy and also maintained the health insurance credit for part-time employees. Our employees also maintained the current salary scale with no furloughs. As of August educators in Montgomery County will also be getting bonuses. Full-time employees will receive a $500 bonus, part-time employees working between 20 and 40 hours will receive $300 and part-time employees working 20 hours or less will receive $200.

    As the MCEA focused on the very important budget issues above, it also succeeded in expanding a leave policy to help employees who need to attend funerals and worked hard to establish a strong working relationship with the new Montgomery County superintendent who started work on March 1, 2010.
     
    Contact:  Erin Bull, president,
    Montgomery County Education Association
    ebull@mcps.org


  • Stafford Education Association

    We continued to keep compensation and a restored step on the front burner by successfully lobbying the School Board to use “bonus” money to restore the lost salary step for ALL education staff members. SEA representatives served on and assisted in the development of the Compensation Task Force Plan, and participated in the development and revisions of the new employee evaluation process.

    We communicated our concerns and priorities to the School Board and Board of Supervisors by attending every School Board and Board of Supervisors meeting related to education.

    Members donated thousands of volunteer hours to create awareness to ensure a high quality of education for students of Stafford County Public Schools and engaged in statewide lobbying efforts with VEA to stop cuts to VRS, as well as alleviate state cuts to education.
     
    Contact:  Jannette B. Martin, president,
    Stafford Education Association
    www.staffordeducationassociation.org/

 

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