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President’s Update

JasonFreed

Jason Freed, Tucson Education Association

May 23, 2018

TEAm,

With everyone running around, trying to get grades in, schools closed, and celebrate the end of the school year, let’s quickly go through the updates:

  • Negotiations – CONGRATULATIONS!  TEA has just concluded negotiations on THE LARGEST SALARY INCREASES IN THE HISTORY OF TUSD!  This is a victory for all of us, as all employees will see a raise, with intentional focus on teachers and classified staff seeing the largest raises in the district.  TDR A will receive a $3800 salary increase ($800 from 301), TDR B will see a $3000 increase (there was some discussion of excluding TDR B as not being teachers, and TEA quickly changed that rhetoric), and ESPs will receive 4%. TEA previously shared language changes as well. We have attached a few documents to help explain all of the pieces of this agreement, including the one-pager explaining the changes, and the proposed salary schedule for next year.  A link has been sent to your personal email so that you can vote to ratify the Agreement, and attached is the red-lined Agreement, showing the changes.  Voting has opened, and will close June 4th, so please make sure to remind members to vote.  Note, this must first be ratified by members, and then approved by the Governing Board.  We have more work to do on our salaries, and this is a step in the right direction.  If somehow you did not get the email from TEA with the ballot (check your junk mail for ers96@nau.edu), here is the link and information. Again, Congratulations.https://eballot4.votenet.com/tucsonea

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  • 301 Plan – The 301 Committee has updated the 301 Plan, and voting is closing Friday.  The Superintendent has asserted the position that the language for the grandfathered staff members needs to be modified to comply with current law.  TEA will continue to work with TUSD to find a resolution to what we see as a serious problem. The 301 payment will be increased by about $200, yet there will continue to be the same number of PLCs required (7), so this is very good news.  If you haven’t voted yet, please do so today.
  • Healthcare Costs – TEA makes it a priority to inform members and to be transparent, even if that means less than positive news.  Although this has not yet been shared at a Governing Board Meeting, healthcare costs will be increasing by 4.5% for those that are on the PPO Plan.  For those that utilize the high deductable plan, it will remain at zero cost for the employee, yet the payment that you receive to defray costs will be reduced to $1000. TEA has worked with the district to minimize these costs over the years, and this is the first increase for employees in four years.  This is not the same situation as 7 or 8 years ago when we were given a raise, and then medical increases took all of that raise.  The raises this year are much more substantial, so we will see a net gain.  This information is to help you as you make financial choices for our raise, and as you are making your selections for next year.  Also be assured that TEA will continue to look for ways of decrease the high cost of dependent coverage.
  • Petition Training and Pick-Up – Saturday the 19th from 10-12 at the TEA office. Learn more about the petition, the rules for collecting signatures, and pick up petitions. We will have a notary present as well, so bring your completed petitions and your ID please.
  • Invest in Ed – We are already in full-gear, gathering signatures for the ballot initiative that will bring in $689 million dollars for education.  We need to collect a minimum of 151,000 signatures in the next six weeks, which we will meet and exceed.  While we do have fantastic support (PCIC, SOS, parents, business leaders, etc.), we must be the leaders.  Please come by the TEA office to get some petitions to bring to your walk-ins, as we force the hand of the Governor and Legislature to fully-fund education in Arizona.
  • Association Representative Elections! – Every May we elect Association Representatives (ARs) from each site.  With all that has recently taken place, people are engaged, and we need to keep that momentum moving forward.  Please ask TEA members about who is willing to serve as the site AR, maybe encouraging your site liaison to participate as an AR.  Every site gets one, and an additional one for every 20 TEA members at your site.  If only one person agrees to be the AR, they are elected.  If there is more than one person who wishes to be the AR, please have a simple paper-ballot election within the next two days.  Please notify TEA who your AR is for next year.
  • Curtis Plumbing Discount! – The folks over at Curtis Plumbing called TEA to show their support for #REDforED, knowing that the walkout may have caused some financial challenges for us.  They are offering a 10% discount for TEA members!  Just call 323-7697, tell them that you are a TEA member, and they will give 10% off your plumbing costs.  Another local business that supports educators.  Thank you Curtis Pluming.

     

Please mark your calendar for:
-Governing Board Meeting – June 12 and 26
-Petition Training and Gathering – Throughout the summer.  Please check your email and the TEA Facebook page.
-New Teacher Induction – July 23-26 (we will need your assistance)

It has been another successful year, with the #REDforED movement being incredibly impactful.  The raises we have earned are a good first step, and we still have much to do.  The Invest in Ed initiative, getting good candidates through the primary elections, and then the General election in November have to be our next steps in the movement.  Relax and enjoy the long weekend, and then let’s get back to advocating for our students.  We have the momentum, the community is on our side, and we will still do even greater things for public education in Arizona.

Jason Freed
TEA President