LIVIN' ON A PRAYER February 7, 2016
We've gotta hold on, ready or not
You live for the fight when it's all that you've got
Whoa, we're halfway there
Whoa, livin' on a prayer
Take my hand and we'll make it, I swear
Whoa, livin' on a prayer
I've been waiting a long time to bust this week's theme song out on you, and unfortunately, it's time. Though the school board is dedicated to keeping staffing in place, they simply cannot do that anymore with the numbers they've been given to work with.
At the School Board/Borough Assembly Liaison Meeting in January, the borough proposed to give us $400,000 LESS than what they gave us last year. It looks like it might be time to start looking around for those green shirts and keeping your Monday nights free...I'll keep you posted.
There's still time to vote in NEA-Alaska elections! If you haven't already done so, please take a minute to cast your ballot. All NEA-Alaska elections close at 11:59pm on Monday, 2/8/16.
Elections for the following NEA-Alaska positions are open:
*NEA-Alaska Vice President
*NEA-Alaska Board of Directors
*NEA Representative Assembly Delegates
To vote, you'll need to go to the NEA-Alaska website at: http://www.neaalaska.org/
To login, you'll be asked for your:
*Username, which should be your last name capitalized
*Member ID, which is the number from your NEA-Alaska card, including zeroes
If you don't have your member ID number, or if you get an error message after you submit your vote, please call Barb Young at (800) 996-3225, or email her at Barb.Young@NEAAlaska.org.
Candidates in this election are:
President: Andy Holleman, Tim Parker
Vice President: Jessica Cook, Unopposed, but you may choose the write-in option
NEA Director: Richard Lum, Tammy Smith
We also have two KEA members running for office in this election, and I hope that you'll vote and support them in their campaigns:
NEA-Alaska Region 1 Board of Director: Valerie Brooks
NEA Representative Assembly Delegate: Roxanne Abajian
KETCHIKAN CHAPTER OF THE AFL-CIO MEETING
Interested in being more involved with other unions in our fair city? The next Ketchikan Chapter of the AFL-CIO meeting is Tuesday, 2/9, 5:30pm at the IBEW Hall, which is located at 317 Stedman St.
LAST WEEK'S SCHOOL BOARD WORK SESSION
At this very early point in the budget process, music teachers, counselors, and programs like pre-school have been spared the budget ax. However, there are six teaching positions and six paraprofessional positions set to be cut. Wondering if one of those positions could be yours? You can check out the FY17 Draft Budget here: http://file:///Users/davisg/Downloads/FY17_BudgetDrafts_Updated_2-4-16.pdf
Also, just so you're not caught unawares about what's happening and when with the budget process, here's the FY17 Budget Preparation Timeline: file:///Users/davisg/Downloads/Budget_timeline_FY17.pdf
KGBSD PUBLIC BUDGET MEETINGS
If you don't like what you see on the FY17 Draft Budget above, take heart! There'll be two public budget meetings where you can give your input on what you'd like to see stay or go. The first meeting will be Tuesday, 2/9, 6-8pm in the Kayhi Library. The second meeting will be Saturday, 2/13, 2-4pm, also in the Kayhi Library. See you there!
SCHOOL BOARD MEETING ON WEDNESDAY
Though the school board wants to prioritize "staff" over "stuff" in the budget, at this point, they've pretty much cut out all the "stuff" they can--which leaves staff. It's important for you to be visible and to give your input throughout this budget process. Please consider joining me at this Wednesday's school board meeting on 2/10, 6pm at Borough Chambers.
PARAS, COOKS, & CUSTODIANS CONTRACT RATIFICATION
MEETING AND VOTE
The Paras, Cooks, & Custodians Bargaining Team has come to a tentative agreement with the district on their new contract.
We would like for all paras, cooks, and custodians to attend one of the two meetings next weekso that the bargaining team can explain what's in the TA'd contract and answer any questions you may have. You will then be VOTING at this meeting on whether to accept the tentative agreement or not.
Meetings will take place at the Kayhi Staff Lounge on Thursday, February 11th, at 2:30pm and 4:30pm.
Our Paras, Cooks, & Custodians Bargaining Team has worked very hard to bring you the best possible deal. They've spent countless hours researching, strategizing, and preparing for negotiations. Yay, team!!! Please give these folks a heart-felt thanks when you see them:
Wendy Stryker, Houghtaling
Melissa Klepser, Fawn Mountain
Larry Johnson, Kayhi
Jim Lindahl, Schoenbar
Hope to see you at the meetings next week!
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE, 2/5/16
PLEASE look at the section of NEA-Alaska's Legislative Update about the Tier 3 TRS/Tier 4 PERS Defined Benefit Retirement Bill!!! We ALL need to flood legislators with calls and emails demanding their support for this bill!! The current retirement plan for Tier3/TRS, Tier4/PERS is CRIMINAL. Many of our members are in those tiers, and they do NOT have a secure retirement with those plans.
And, for those of you who aren't aware of how much the current retirement plans suck, please watch the video embedded in the legislative update here: http://view.email.nea.org/?j=fe9610737065047b73&m=fe9315737c64057b7d&ls=fdef15797c640478721d7677&l=fef71079706600&s=fe3517737467047f701776&jb=ffcd16&ju=fe591c76746c05797011&r=0
KEA's One-on-One Committee met last Friday, 2/5, from 1-5pm to finalize plans on getting out and speaking with you all about our organization. Please look for more information to come out from them with details about when they'll be visiting your building. Thanks again to the following people who have volunteered to do this very important work:
HOPE YOU'RE GETTING A BABYSITTER NAILED DOWN...
Because KEA's Almost-Spring Fling is quickly approaching! Please come party with us on Saturday, 3/5, 7-11pm at The Alaska Fish House, located right next to Salmon Landing. We're going to have lots of great food, along with DJ Scott Bowlen playing awesome dance tunes! So come on down for a well-deserved night out!! I really want to see everybody there! ;)
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please give me a shout.
Have a great week,
TAKIN' CARE OF BUSINESS
September 28, 2015
Takin' care of business
Takin' care of business
I've been takin' care of business
Takin' care of business and working overtime
--Bachman Turner Overdrive
There are a few time-sensitive orders of business to take care of in the next couple of days...
CALENDAR COMMITTEE MEETING
Do you have passionate preferences for what the 2016-17 calendar looks like? If so, please let me or the calendar committee representative from your building know by our 4:15pm meeting tomorrow, Tuesday, 9/29.
IBEW CANDIDATE FORUM
Elections are almost upon us--do YOU know who you're voting for?? If not, you have the opportunity to hear the candidates running for various offices answer questions and explain their positions. The IBEW, in partnership with the Ketchikan Chapter of the AFL-CIO, is hosting a candidate forum tomorrow, Tuesday, 9/29, 5:30pm at the IBEW Hall. For more information, please see the attached flyer here:
TIME IS RUNNING OUT...
Open enrollment to get into or out of the district's health insurance plan, as well as any other supplemental pre-tax program, is quickly approaching. The deadline is Wednesday, September 30th.
THINKING OF RETIRING??
If so, then Wednesday, September 30th, is your last opportunity to give your IRREVOCABLE INTENT TO RETIRE to the district and still be able to receive the 18R step for the month of September. Please note: you may declare your intent to retire at any time (or not at all), but the pay difference between your current step and the 18R STEP IS NOT RETROACTIVE. You will only begin getting the pay for the retirement step starting with the month you get the district your retirement form. Also note: if you decide to retire and get your paperwork in by 9/30, you'll see the September increase in your October paycheck. You can find the retirement form here: https://gallery.mailchimp.com/06f48fbb171f50ecbb367a8bc/files/Retirement_Notice_1_.docx
TWO THINGS FROM THE LABOR RELATIONS MEETING ON 9/22
1. Paper towels are not being provided for student and staff use at all schools. The district indicated that they will make sure to address this problem. If it is not, please give me a shout.
2. Some folks expressed that their building administrator had told their respective staffs that people should not put in for personal leave, because it would be denied. The district said that this would not happen; we promised to file a grievance if it did. IF YOU ARE DENIED PERSONAL LEAVE AT ANY POINT THIS YEAR FOR A REASON THAT IS NOT OUTLINED IN THE CONTRACT, PLEASE CONTACT ME!!!!
AND THE WINNER OF THE SEPTEMBER BASKET-OF-THE-MONTH IS...
Drum roll, please...Ketchikan Charter School!!! Woo hoo!! Congratulations!! Thanks to Member Support for providing goodies to the hard-working folks at KCS!
That's all for now. May you stay warm and dry in what looks to be the start of the monsoon season. ;)
Have a great week, everybody!
WE ALL FALL DOWN
September 20, 2015
Climb every mountain
How high doesn't matter
Don't ever be afraid to fall
Walk out on that wire
Climb every ladder
Keep your back against the wall
And don't be scared to hit the ground
'Cause we all
One of the reasons why I'm so proud to be a KEA member is because we lift each other up when the going gets tough. With new evaluation standards coming into play, less money going to schools with the continuing budget crisis, and other challenges in the world of education, I know that we'll help each other through all of these and more.
LABOR RELATIONS MEETING
If you have concerns about working conditions or contract violations going on in your building, please let me know by Tuesday, 9/22, at 4pm. We'll address your concerns with the district during our Labor Relations meeting at that time. Thanks!
SCHOOL BOARD MEETING
It's another every-other-Wednesday again! Please consider joining me at the Wednesday, 9/23, School Board meeting in the Borough Chambers at 6pm. This is a bargaining year for our paras, cooks, and custodians; KEA needs you at the board meetings to show our strength. Hope to see you there!
CLASSIFIED BARGAINING TEAM
The classified bargaining team will be attending NEA-Alaska's Bargaining Training in Juneau on 10/3-4. The team consists of the following folks, who have very graciously agreed to represent you at the table:
Wendy Stryker, Para--Houghtaling
Melissa Klepser, Para--Fawn Mountain
Jim Lindahl, Cook--Schoenbar
Larry Johnson, Custodian--Kayhi
Please send them good vibes and good luck!
FALL EVENT REPRESENTATIVES
Thank you to everybody who expressed interest in going to NEA-Alaska's Fall Event. The three people who will be representing KEA there this year are:
Sean Powell, Alisa Thompson, JoNell Wallace
They all look forward to putting their new knowledge and training to work for us!!!
STIPEND REIMBURSEMENT FORM
There's been a lot of concern over the new stipend reimbursement form that the business office is requiring teachers to fill out for their contractually-mandated $350 classroom stipend allowance. We've never been required to fill out a form for reimbursement before, so why now, all of a sudden?
Well, it turns out that even though there's no mention of filling out a form for teacher stipend reimbursement in the certified contract, that there is board policy--AR 3310, "Purchasing Procedures." This policy requires the form to be filled out by the teacher and signed by the principal. I've been assured that principals will not be "approving" purchases, but simply signing off on the "supervisor" line so that they can keep track of their building's expenditures.
If anyone runs into any difficulty with receiving their classroom stipend reimbursement--for whatever reason--PLEASE let me know ASAP.
NEW KEA LOGO
At last week's General Membership meeting, we heard that members wanted a choice in what the new KEA logo would be. Therefore, the PR committee has been working hard to get a couple other designs so that you'll all have the opportunity to vote on which logo you'd like for us to adopt. As soon as the good folks in PR can get a survey monkey poll set up with the design choices, we'll let you know. Stay tuned...
That's all for now. Have a great week, everybody!
JUST DANCE September 7, 2015
Just dance. Gonna be okay.
Just dance. Spin that record babe.
Just dance. Gonna be okay.
Dance. Dance. Dance. Just Dance.
It's hard to believe that we're already cruising into the third week of school. You know what that means--time to let off a little steam and hang out with some of the coolest people on the island... KEA EXECUTIVE BOARD MEETING Is Tuesday, September 8th, 4:30pm at Schoenbar, room #206. The main order of business will be to change and/or the proposed 2015-16 KEA Draft Budget. Any and all KEA members are invited and welcome to attend.
SCHOOL BOARD MEETING This is a bargaining year for paras/cooks/custodians, and it's really important that we present a unified front to the district. To that end, please consider coming to this week's school board meeting on Wednesday, 9/9, 6pm in the Borough Chambers. See you there!
KEA'S BACK-TO-SCHOOL BASH Please join us this Saturday night, 9/12, 7-11pm at the North Tongass Community Club to ring in the new school year! There'll be beer, a band, and brilliant conversationalists--who could ask for more? Hire a babysitter, bring an appetizer, designate a driver, and JUST DANCE!!!! Hope to see you all there!
KEA GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING Our first General Membership meeting of the year will take place on Monday, September 14th, 4:15pm in the Kayhi library. Our main order of business will be to vote on the 2015-16 KEA Draft Budget recommended by the Executive Board. If you can possibly swing it, please plan to be there.
KEA EXECUTIVE BOARD RIGHTS TRAINING Our uniserv director, Hedy Eischeid, will be coming to town to provide rights training to the KEA Executive Board on Wednesday, September 16th, 4:30pm at Schoenbar, room #206.
We also wanted to invite any other KEA members interested in learning more about what rights we have based upon our negotiated agreement, state, and federal laws. We would love to have a packed room, so come join us! Dinner will be provided. *****************************************
I really hope to see you all at the various events this week, but especially at the Back-to-School Bash! Let's have some fun!!
Have a great week,
Messages from KEA President Michael Cron
School Year 2013 - 2014