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Welcome to the Anchorage Education Association
2013 - 2014 Contract Proposals
|Subject:||Updates and AO 37 Progress|
|Post Date:||March 13, 2013|
This is a quick mid-Spring Break update!
Senate Finance is holding a hearing on SJR 9 on Friday at 1:30. You can make your voice heard from the Anchorage LIO. You normally don't have a chance to do this as the hearing are held during the day.
Testimony through the LIO is not difficult. It isn't in front of a lot of people. If you want to be heard on this, I'd urge you to come.
If you're willing, please fill out THIS FORM. If there's a cancellation I'll try to call you. At the form, if you want to meet early, there are directions.
Numbers matter on this, and they normally do not hear from a lot of people.
I'll meet with members downtown in advance if they wish to chat about the process early.
Funding - we might mention during the above testimony that they're having trouble funding critical services in education now. There are more constituent meetings coming, and I'll try to keep each area advised as they happen in your districts. If you haven't yet, consider sitting down and writing or calling to ask for a bump in the Base Student Allocation.
AO 37 - this continues to be a battle, but the Assembly has closed testimony. If you get the chance to chat with a candidate for Assembly, please let them know how you feel. There's information at AEAPACE.net on that as well. The Coalition of Municipal Unions (CoMU) continues to decide what to do, and I talk with them frequently. Member support has been great on this. Stay in touch with what your Assembly member is doing, but for now there's a little break.
Continue to relax and enjoy the Break, and thank you to those folks working our issues through this.
|Subject:||Updates and AO 37 Progress|
|Post Date:||March 11, 2013|
First, I hope everyone is having a relaxing and renewing spring break. This message is aimed primarily at folks that are staying in Anchorage, or have a little more time to email their representatives.
While we have a marvelous break right now, the Anchorage Assembly and state legislature do not. It's a fine time to take a few relaxed moments and contact them.
We have two key issues in Juneau - inflation-proof the BSA and NOT changing the State Constitution. If you've not written yet, refer to http://AEAPACE.net for info on who your reps are, what their email and phone numbers are, and talking points on the issues.
I think everyone is seeing more displacements and pain at their building last week as principals dealt with their reduced FTE. We have to get more funding to the ASD Board so we can go back to them to get the reinstatements we need for kids. Juneau first, then ASD.
Also - teachers often don't get a chance to do this, as it happens during the workday - there are two chances this week to testify to a Senate committee from the Legislative Information Office. I'll be there and would be glad to work with any member that wishes to do this also. It's not unlike what you're seeing at Assembly. You'll have 3 minutes to speak to the committee, in this case, on the constitutional amendment. It happens Wednesday and Friday at 1:30 this coming week. Reply to the email and say "I want to meet you at the LIO" and I'll be in touch. The LIO is on 4th Street in downtown Anchorage.
Numbers matter, as they tally the "for" and "against" speakers. Simply showing and saying you oppose it makes a difference.
On AO 37, I'm urging members to turn out again on Monday. MOST IMPORTANT is to be in the Loussac Assembly chambers between 10 and 11 PM. Consider a late dinner, or go out for dessert and show around 10. At 11 is when they have to close public testimony, and quite frankly, they don't like to do it with a lot of people around (even though the chamber has been full of some of the nicest people!).
I have an online form at THIS LINK where you can let me know you're coming. This helps greatly!! If you care about AO 37 and pushing back on it hard, please turn out. This process will be over soon, and every bit of effort this week and perhaps one more impacts the shape of the future for bargaining in Anchorage.
Just to be clear - AO 37 does not directly impact how ASD and AEA bargain or in any way apply to us. But it will, if implemented, substantially diminish the ability of groups to bargain with the Muni. If you think that our position can remain strong while IBEW, APDEA, AME, Firefighters, MLP, and others take a body blow, you are sadly mistaken. We need to make strong, balanced bargaining the norm in Anchorage.
If you're in Anchorage, I hope you'll join me. I'll be wearing a purple AEA shirt Monday night!
Please feel encouraged to email me if you have questions.
|Subject:||If you're coming tonight....|
|Post Date:||February 27, 2013|
On Wednesday, make sure you dress for the weather. We will be lining up outside while waiting to testify. Parking will be at a premium so please carpool if possible or read through the list of options:
If you can't come tonight but would like to be part of the testimony on March 5th or 6th, reply with an indication of your preferred date and time, with a good telephone number. We'll try to schedule folks in so we have plenty on hand to keep testimony going, but you won't have to sit from 6 until 11 PM.
|Subject:||I Need Your Help|
|Post Date:||February 28, 2013|
This message is to all AEA Members.
Friday, March 1, from 2 to 5 PM I'm the guest host on the Dave Stieren Radio Show (750 AM & 103.7 FM). Not just a guest, but the host!
I'll be talking about issues in education along with other things. We'll also talk about things that are going RIGHT with education as well.
I'm inviting teachers to make it a Tell It Friday!! One of the themes will be why you like living and working in Anchorage, Alaska! I'm hoping teachers will share some of what makes their job rewarding - coaching a team or a special project where students shine. Tomorrow is your chance to call and talk about that.
We can also chat about the impact of the the proposed Constitutional amendment, what's happening right now in our own legislature, and.....heck, it's Friday. You get to decide.
To be on the air, you call 522-0750. They stream on the Web at http://KFQD.com or through their iPhone app. This won't happen often, so make the most of it.
|Subject:||Actions by the Assembly|
|Post Date:||February 26, 2013|
The Assembly opened and continued debate on the Mayor's Prop 37. Real testimony will start Wednesday at 5 PM. That meeting will likely be only about Prop 37, so it will start and move. We're hoping for significant turnout at the start, but realize that we need to have people ready to testify on past 11 PM.
We suspect not everyone will be able to testify Wednesday. March 5 & 6 have been set aside also.
The Mayor's plans are almost "Right To Work" for the city of Anchorage. It copies a page from Wisconsin where unions can still bargain for money, but that's about all, and allows he Mayor to say on his Muni-funded commercials "It doesn't do away with collective bargaining."
But the fact is, if you restrict what can be bargained, you do away with it. Right now our bargaining team is working with ASD with everything on the table as they work on wages, the duty day, benefits, planning time, safety issues and more. Make it just about money, and there's no give and take, and no protection with a contract. We argue about money, and the School Board simply decides everything else.
Your support to the Coalition of Municipal Unions to keep full, robust bargaining as the norm for Anchorage (as it has been for decades) is key to keeping it that way for teachers as well.
I hope to see you Wednesday night.
|Subject:||Saturday Success. Wednesday on Deck|
|Post Date:||February 25, 2013|
In terms of what we hoped to do, Saturday was a huge success.
Once again, the Loussac overflowed. The legislators that showed stayed over by an hour and a half past what they had planned, and there were still people waiting to talk when they had to give up the room. They left with 6 pages of names of folks that signed up to talk that never got called.
No on Vouchers! Yes on increased funding to education! No on 37! and a handful of other messages came across strongly. The crowd was almost unanimous in their support of items that matter to Alaska families.
This week NEA-Ak and AEA will be working on legislators we think are undecided on vouchers and funding and continuing our push in Juneau. Some of you will be getting letters asking you to write your specific legislator.
In the meantime, Wednesday night at the Loussac again, we're hoping ASD will turn out in opposition to 37, which is essentially a Right To Work law for Anchorage Muni employees. There's still some confusion on scheduling - the meeting starts Tuesday, but we're asking for the crowd on Wednesday. Check http://AnchorageEA.org for details up until the last minute.
Thank you for all you're doing. This is going to be a tough fight, and we cannot let up!
|Subject:||Action Needed This Weekend|
|Post Date:||February 19, 2013|
This Saturday is the Anchorage Legislative Caucus. Almost all members of the legislature from Anchorage will be in attendance. There will be a few moments of announcements from invited guests, but the fundamental purpose of the meeting is for legislators to hear concerns from their constituents.
We're asking all AEA members to attend and voice their concern about the lack of inflation-proofing for school budgets, and the consideration of amending Alaska's Constitution to allow for for-profit schools or religious schools to get state money.
We're asking everyone to be on hand by 9:30 or a little before. Please encourage friends, parents, PTSA members and anyone else that has concerns about education funding and the integrity of the public school system to attend.
See http://AEAPACE.com for details.
|Subject:||What You Did & Why It Mattered|
|Post Date:||February 14, 2013|
I have to give a huge thank you to everyone that turned out Tuesday night. And I know many more wanted to but could not get away. It was big. It was respectful. And it had a clear impact.
I know for a lot of people it was frustrating. You came and couldn't get inside, or maybe couldn't even park close enough to walk. But the fact that so many people turned out that the Assembly couldn't handle it was part of the success. If that happened to you, take a moment to write your thoughts and frustrations to email@example.com so they know how you feel (that email will copy to every Assembly member). Let them know you couldn't even get in the parking lot. You might mention that when they start taking public testimony, they need somewhere with parking and seating for many more people.
But back to Tuesday night. The fact that the room was packed mattered. The fact that the lobby was packed mattered. The fact that there was a huge crowd outside the door mattered. The folks that sit up front and face the crowd know. They know there were only 4 days to get the word to people in Anchorage, and yet you came out.
I'll be at the Assembly Work Session Friday along with other labor leaders. We can observe; it is open to the public, but does not have a time for people to speak. We'll be in touch about upcoming public testimony to the Assembly in a couple of weeks, and we'll want to turn out a crowd again for that. Wednesday, February 20th is our Candidate Forum at the Museum. You can bet this proposal will be among the questions to people that want to serve on the Assembly. I'm hoping you will pay attention to the Assembly races that are getting off the ground, and find one to help with.
Again, thank you to all that came out. This is a real battle against people that are organized. We're still watching Juneau carefully for anything that might be brewing there, and rest assured, they're watching what happens in Anchorage. While the Bargaining Team works with the District we see this issue and school funding out of the Legislature as our two biggest issues of the moment. Please continue to engage parents and other members of the public about funding. Please keep checking http://AEAPACE.net for resources and let me know if there's more you need. Come Wednesday to the Candidate Forum. Be ready for candidates at your door. It is a busy time, and the future is at stake.
|Subject:||From the President - Attack on Labor in Anchorage|
|Post Date:||February 10, 2013|
The Mayor has introduced changes to the Muni Code that would severely alter its relationship with labor. This IS Wisconsin style politics - change the rules fast and hard legislatively, and let actual collective bargaining die.
The proposals were released at the end of the day on Friday. Unions are still interpreting the legal details, but it clearly will strip unions in Anchorage of the ability to advocate and bargain for their members in any meaningful way. It reduces their membership, pulls fees to the city from them, and restricts bargained increases to inflation or less.
This does not impact AEA or ASD in the short run, but will have a great impact on all labor if it stands.
You can read more details as they develop at our PACE information site.
City bargaining units are calling on ALL ORGANIZED LABOR to turn out Tuesday at 5 PM at the Loussac Library (Assembly Chambers) in a show of force when this bill is introduced.
We hope to pack the building.
If Alaska Wants to Avoid Being the Next Wisconsin,
We Need to Listen and We Need to Act Now.
We're looking at a lot of changes happening in the 2012-13 school year. Welcome back, and we hope you'll keep checking in here as things get underway.
From left to right, Austin Schwartz, Laura Guest,
Mark Van Arsdale, Megan Perkins, Emily Guest,
Patty Hamre. Photo courtesy of Lynn McNamara
Six Anchorage teachers were recently honored at the annual Anchorage Area Council Mini Grant Breakfast. All six received Mini-grants from the Anchorage area chapters of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International.
The grants were for $250 each and went directly to teachers for projects involving students.
Emily Becker of Airport Heights Elementary School received a grant for the school's Garden Club. The funds were used to build raised beds. In the beds, the students grew potatoes, carrots, and flowers. Planted in the spring, the potatoes and carrots were harvested in the fall to provide food for school projects and to donate to the needy while the flowers added color to the school grounds throughout the summer.
Laura Guest's project for Turnagain Elementary involved purchasing headphones with attached microphones so students can create book trailers to be posted on the school web site.
Patty Hamre from Campbell school focused on a project titled "Readers Theater." The project activities build confidence and fluency in reading and hence a love of literature in her students.
Megan Perkins of Mears Middle School won a grant to provide supplies for the activities in "Initiatives, Team, and Trust Building." A variety of non-competitive games and problem solving activities presenting mind and body challenges aid the students in building trust in themselves and one another.
Austin Schwartz, who shared the grant with Sue Schade of Mt. Iliamna Elementary, described the use of activities in the Calm Classroom manual. The exercises are short and support Social Emotional Learning Standards.
Eagle River High School teachers Mark Van Arsdale and Farah Stephens received a grant for purchasing heart rate monitors for use in a project charting the Mammalian Dive Reflex (the slowing of the heart when receptors in the face are immersed in cold water.)