Get PAID for your graduate hours!!!

Every year it seems there are some folks who missed following the contract language and have completed courses in graduate school but aren’t getting the additional pay because they never followed protocol. Don’t short change yourself! Be sure to complete and turn in a Request For Approval of Courses form – available in your building’s front office or by request from our PPS Human
Resources office

This is a focus on Article 21 of our contract.
Remember to document and complete Permission To Take Courses paperwork PRIOR to taking classes and completing them. More than a couple of our members have failed to do this and were not granted advancement on the payscale as a result.

Section 7:  An amount of 0.2% of the base of the Bachelor’s Degree Schedule as shown on Schedule A per semester hour shall be added to the appropriate step of Schedule A of a teacher for each semester hours of approved graduate credit earned after placement on the Master’s Degree Schedule.  Such reimbursement shall be made provided:

a)         The graduate credit was earned from an accredited institution of higher education designated as a four-year college or university.

b)         That all courses were approved on the appropriate form by the appropriate Administrator prior to the teacher’s registration for the course.

c)         Such reimbursement shall be made following submission of proof of satisfactory completion of the course.

d)         The maximum number of hours reimbursed shall be thirty (30) hours.

In order to receive salary adjustments based on this Section for the fall semester, passing grades must be submitted by the next February 1 following the completion of the course, except that the adjustment made at the beginning of the second semester shall be based on 0.1% of the base of the Bachelor’s Degree Schedule per semester hour.

In order to receive salary adjustments based on this Section for the winter, spring and summer semesters, passing grades must be submitted by the next October 1 following the completion of the course.

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MERC ruling on August opt-out window a disappointment

The Michigan Employment Relations Commission made its ruling regarding the legality of the long standing practice of an August opt-out window being for August only. Under the system in place any member could opt out of the union during the month of August but for the obvious benefit of budgeting and having had the benefit of voting on contracts, etc.. the window was limited to just August. This challenge was brought forth by the actively anti-union, anti-MEA Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a strong GOP right-wing organization that promotes and professes anti-worker and anti-union agenda for Michigan. Whether or not the MEA will seek to advance this to the courts has not yet been decided but MEA president, Steve Cook, did make a formal statement in response to the ruling (see link)

MEA logo

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You’re not paranoid if they ARE out to get you

Unions, and teachers, are under direct, targeted attack. The first step is to disguise attacks as a way to help workers with pseudo-friendly movements like “Right To Work” which most anyone can see as a way to weaken workers’ voice and ability to negotiate or grieve any aspect of their pay, benefits, working conditions or pensions. New Jersey Republican Governor, Chris Christie, has been calling for minimum wage salary for teachers while Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker wants to abolish all unions and strip middle class working America of any voice in workplace.

 

We must KNOW which party and candidates support teachers, education and unions and which DO NOT! There is a state-wide and national attack on both unions and teachers in America.

Scott Walker pic

“Many of Walker’s proposals are focused on unions for workers at all levels of government, while others would also affect private-sector unions. Labor law experts said such an effort, if successful, would substantially reduce the power of organized labor in America.”… read the whole news article by clicking on the link!

 

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Pay dates adjusted during July, August & September

All Portage Public School employees should have gotten notification via email and phone about the adjustments to the pay dates for July, August and September 2015. If you have questions contact our PPS payroll department.

Summer Paycheck schedule

Looking ahead, there will be some minor changes in pay dates this summer.  Due to a late Labor Day and to avoid a 27-pay schedule*, the following paychecks will be delayed due to calendar rotation.   For those of you with automatic payment withdrawals from your bank account, please plan ahead!

Monday, July 13

Tuesday, July 28

Wednesday, August 12

Thursday, August 27

Friday, September 11

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Effective immediately, for any union membership resignation during  August, 2015, and any subsequent resignation time frames, all resignations of MEA membership must be submitted in writing, signed and dated by the member, postmarked during August and mailed to MEA at P.O. Box 51, East Lansing , MI 48826.

Any member who has questions about how to resign membership should immediately contact the MEA Help Center (help@mea.org) MEA will provide a written reply to the member.

 

To notify the PEA of opt out. Read and follow directions at Freeload link

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 Tentative Agreement 2015-2016
Following the PEA By-Laws:
 
If there is a Tentative Agreement (TA) during the summer, the fan-out will be used to get members to pick up their Tentative Agreements. At least one general informational meeting will be held, for questions. The general membership meeting may be held at the time members are notified to pick up Tentative Agreements, but will not be held more than one week after date of Tentative Agreement dispersal. Following the informational meeting, voting may take place at either a separate general meeting or at the first general membership meeting (or electronically). The Executive Board, at its discretion, will set the ratification election date.

 
The general membership meeting to discuss the TA will be held this Wednesday, June 24th beginning at 9:00am in the Central High School Auditorium. Copies of the TA will be available at the meeting and also electronically for those who can’t attend.
 
With the ability of MEA-IT to coordinate in time, PEA Executive Board has approved that members will electronically vote from 9am on Wednesday, June 24th through 9am on Friday, June 26th.  This will give the Board of Education a few days to ratify before the expiration of our current contract (and the increased insurance premiums are picked up 100% by our members.)  The TA and voting instructions are attached at the bottom of the page emailed to members Tuesday morning.
 
As a reminder, only PEA members in good standing may vote on the TA.   Last week our Treasurer, Martha Keeler, sent out a courtesy email to members not in good standing with a reminder to call MEA at 1-866-632-4357 to get current on payments or agree to a payment plan.  Please, please, please check the monthly statements that MEA email on the 15th of every month.  Open the attachment to see your balance and call the help line with any questions.
 
Questions on the TA? Contact our appointed Chief Negotiator:
 
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General Membership meeting! Tentative Agreement Reached! Voting this week!

Following the PEA By-Laws:
If there is a Tentative Agreement (TA) during the summer, the fan-out will be used to get members to pick up their Tentative Agreements. At least one general informational meeting will be held, for questions. The general membership meeting may be held at the time members are notified to pick up Tentative Agreements, but will not be held more than one week after date of Tentative Agreement dispersal. Following the informational meeting, voting may take place at either a separate general meeting or at the first general membership meeting (or electronically). The Executive Board, at its discretion, will set the ratification election date.

The general membership meeting to discuss the TA will be held this Wednesday, June 24th beginning at 9:00am in the Central High School Auditorium. Copies of the TA will be available at the meeting and also electronically for those who can’t attend.  (I’m working with MEA to see if the TA can be uploaded to the voting site.  If not, I will post the TA to a secure Google site Wednesday morning.)
With the approval of a majority of Executive Board members, PEA members will vote from 9am on Wednesday, June 24th through 9am on Friday, June 26th.  This will give the Board of Education a few days to ratify before the expiration of our current contract (and the increased insurance premiums are picked up 100% by our members.)  Voting instructions are attached to this email.
As a reminder, only PEA members in good standing may vote on the TA.
The TA has been uploaded to https://sites.google.com/a/portageps.org/pea-ta/  so that you have a chance to take a look at it prior to our general membership meeting on Wednesday, 9am @ CHS Auditorium.
You must be logged in to your Portage email account in order to view the Google site.TA reached
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