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Brunswick Members Help Reverse Pay Cut

The Brunswick Education Association (BEA) confirmed recently that getting active and speaking up can pay dividends.

At least three dozen BEA members turned up at the local school board meeting to speak against a proposal for a 3-percent pay cut and RIFs. And after hearing testimony from several members the board ultimately decided not to cut pay.

That came as a relief to BEA President Annette Tucker, who had spent several months mobilizing her colleagues, talking to members of the school board and county board of supervisors, and even filing a Freedom of Information Act to secure budget information.

"After seeing the proposed budget, it didn't take much to mobilize members," she says. "Vice President Michealene Zaccarine prepared buttons and flyers that read, 'No 3% Cut.' We called everyone we could get a hold of and asked them to come to the next school board meeting."

They also won support from another organization representing school bus drivers, which increased the turnout at the meeting. The advance work paid off.

Although no one welcomes a budget crisis, Tucker says it did spark members to action and helped to open up lines of communication with board members. BEA members over the past few months have contacted school board and board of supervisors members. "That was the crux of our campaign; having as many persons as possible to make personal contacts with elected officials, and to show up collectively at board meetings," says Tucker.

"We are active and working," she says proudly of the BEA's efforts.

Top: BEA members say no to 3-percent pay cut.
Right: Angela Hyson, librarian and BEA member, speaks to the school board.



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