Seven Reasons to Join the KEA?

#7) Get your own KEA “Kool Kids” Membership Card, complete with Weingarten Rights on the back! (Non-members only get a brown piece of corrugated cardboard) 

#6) Find out the location of the secret KEA Kave – and a map – so you don’t get lost!

#5) Learn the secret combination to the taxpayer’s vault – because obviously that is the only way we were able to secure all those ludicrously lucrative salaries and benefits over the years!

#4) Receive one “Get Out of Jail Free” card – for one escape from the inevitably pointless in-service to which you will be subjected at some point in the up-coming year! (“Just one?!” I hear you cry?!)

#3) Get your choice of a free, Union Surplus protest sign from the 2011 marches in Madison – still potentially useful, depending on the outcome of this November’s election!

#2) A free ticket to The Greatest Show on Earth (aka, the monthly School Board Meeting)! And the…

#1 Reason to join the KEA?...  Free access to a rabid dog to act as your “representative” at any unanticipated discipline meetings with Administration (“I’m sorry, the dog ate my meeting notes!”)

But seriously… 

#7) Security… of a position in a career to which you have already given so much.

#6) Safety… it was the KEA which coordinated the initial community effort to address bullying and safety in the classrooms.

#5) Benefits & Salary… compare what you have to what those in private schools receive and ask yourself what the only difference is between your work situation and theirs… your union! 

#4) Professionalism… the KEA has provided leadership in getting the in-servicing to members on Educator Effectiveness and hopes to partner with the District on this important work moving forward.  We have worked – and known how to work – collaboratively with the District for decades!

#3) Activism… when it becomes necessary to advocate for the needs of our students and for a high quality, free public education, now and into the future, the united voice of KEA members speaks with the authority of experience and knowledge!

#2) A free ticket to The Greatest Show on Earth… that’s still true… whether that’s the monthly School Board meetings… or the seven outstanding hours of education you perform every day, 180 days a year!

And the…

#1 Reason to join the KEA?  Dignity… the ability to work with your colleagues and Administration as equals, with the knowledge that you are able to do what you know to be best for your students and advocate for their needs without fear.

Be a Professional… Join the KEA!

Kudos!

(oder Glückwünsche, perhaps?)

We just wanted to take a moment to recognize KEA member Jammie Orth on her being named the Wisconsin German Teacher of the Year by the German Language and School Society of Wisconsin – for a second time!  Where better to be the best in German than Wisconsin?  Congratulations, Jammie!

(and another, technically – no, literally – well, both!)

Congratulations also to KEA member Jennifer Schlie-Reed, the library media teacher at Stocker, who was recognized by the International Society for Technology Education as one of seven “emerging leaders” in the United States.  She was also accepted in to the Google Teacher Academy.  Well done!

 

Alert

KEA NEEDS YOUR HOME EMAIL ADDRESS

Within the next couple of weeks, an independent group will be conducting an internal KEA Online Survey. In order to maximize participation and give everyone an opportunity to participate, it will require using your home email address.  Please provide this information to your building representative or by calling the KEA office.  Also, you can provide it at the www.KEANOW.com website and sign up to access the Members Only section of the website.

Please take steps to provide KEA with this information no later than Wednesday, December 5, 2012.

Payroll Deduction of Membership and Fair Share Dues to be Restored February 19th

KEA Association Representatives Take Action to Reduce Dues by 20%

With the ratification of the Collective Bargaining Agreements for this year and next, both the availability of having membership dues deducted from your payroll checks and the restoration of non-members being required to have Fair Share Dues deducted are restored.

Given that the KEA budget was prepared at a time when there was no certainty about the level of funding that would be available to the Association, a special meeting of the Association Representatives was called last Thursday, January 30th, to review the finances given the new information.  As it has always been the intention and practice of the KEA to only collect adequate dues to meet its responsibilities, it was possible to reduce the local dues level for this year by 20%, from $447.56 to $358.05.

The ARs only have authority to adjust local dues.  Knowing that all of our members are dealing with the financial strains created by Act 10’s pension and health care contribution requirements, the KEA is in contact with WEAC and NEA as well to see if some adjustment in those dues levels can be considered. 

Thus, at this point is time, annual dues for KEA teacher members will be $848.05.  This amount includes both KEPAC ($5) and KEA Scholarship ($4) contributions, as well as WEAC’s PAC contribution of $19.99.  

Education Support Professionals/Noon Hour Supervisors annual dues level will go from $379.24 to $341.89.  This amount includes both KEPAC ($2.50/$1.25 respectively) and KEA Scholarship ($2/$1 respectively) contributions, as well as WEAC’s PAC ($10/$5 respectively) contribution.  

Adjunct Members: 

Substitute Teachers annual dues will go from 198.74 to $158.99.

Interpreters annual dues will go from $445.00 to $356.00 

Carpenters & Painters annual dues will go from $398.48 to $318.78

Since the 2013-14 contract is retroactive to July 1, 2013, all teachers and ESPs who were members in good standing at the end of last year will again be such this year.  KEA Bylaws provide a window at the beginning of each school year during which members may request their PAC contributions back from the KEA and WEAC.  Also, Fair Share members do not have these dues collected.  Since that window is closed, the ARs also took action to re-establish that window for this year through February 28,2014.  If anyone covered by the collective bargaining agreements wishes to have either PAC monies refunded, or wish to make their status Fair Share, they need to contact the KEA in writing (in-person, by post, or email) by noon on the 28th of this month.

Cash:  Members who paid their full dues by check will be issued a refund.  Those paying by cash installments will have their future amounts reduced. 

EFT deductions:  These will be reduced to equal withdrawals for the remainder of the year to correct for the reduction in dues.

Payroll: We are hoping to adjust the payroll deduction amounts for those who have been paying their dues by payroll deduction into equal deductions for the remainder of the year, but that still needs to be approved with the District.  Otherwise, the difference will be refunded. 

For those who have not yet had their membership dues or Fair Share dues deducted, the annual dues will be collected in equal installments over the next 9 pay periods that remain in the District’s 20 pay period window for such deductions. 

We know this will create stress for those who have not yet considered these payments in their budgets.  This consideration was also part of the reason for the action taken by the ARs to reduce the dues.

Consider the following, however: 

In spite of a School Board candidate’s claim that “teachers were already going to get a $900 bonus,” the District’s actual offer to over 90% -- probably over 95% -- of the staff would have been $794.40, instead of the $1,100 negotiated.  That’s an increase of $305.60. 

ESPs gained an additional $0.75/hour increase over the District’s original offer, worth $987.00 annually.

Without the KEA, you would have been paying 12% of the premium on a more expensive health insurance plan (ESPs at 12% also!), at an additional cost of about $189.00 a year, for a plan with a $2,000/$4,000 deductible, and an 80/20 copay on everything, with no maximum out-of-pocket cap (we leave it to you to calculate how much more in medical expenses that would have cost you last year – perhaps all of them, as we hope that none of you would have reached the $2,000/$4,000 deductible).

Just in direct dollar amounts, that is $494.60 – more than your local dues at the original level.

Finally, you can determine the value of being able to accrue an additional 30 days of accumulated sick leave (a month’s salary), and the stability that contracts bring to the work environment. 

We hope that you, like us, see your membership in the KEA as a very worthwhile investment.