Friday, September 30, 2011

Tentative Agreement and Contract Vote

Negotiations: The AHEM and District negotiations teams came to a tentative agreement on a new contract the afternoon of Tuesday, September 27.  Given the current state of district finances and the economy, our negotiations team feels we have an acceptable offer.

From here, we follow a process outlined in our organization’s bylaws and rules to conduct a vote.  Here are the steps:

Organizational Meetings: The next step is for the AHEM Executive Board to decide to send the tentative agreement to the membership for a vote. Our Board will meet on Monday, October 3rd at 4:30 pm to consider this. A Representative Assembly will follow at 6:00 pm to hear the specifics of the proposal and approve election rules.

Member Meetings and Information: Members will receive written details in their buildings by mid week.  AHEM Negotiators will hold informational meetings on
  • Thursday, October 6, Champlin Park High School (North Lecture Hall), meetings at 3:45 pm and 4:45 pm
  • Monday, October 10, Coon Rapids High School (Auditorium), meetings at 3:45 pm and 4:45 pm

Voting: If approved by the Executive Board, a vote will be held on October 12 and 13 at central locations.  After the Representative Assembly approves election rules on Monday, we will send out the details of the voting procedures, including where and when to vote, how to vote absentee, and when the vote will be tallied.

Good Question:  Why won’t you answer my question about the specifics of the tentative agreement?  According to our bylaws, our Executive Board needs to decide whether to send the agreement to the membership for a vote before we discuss details of the settlement.  This helps us get the information out more consistently and accurately by ensuring the agreement has been checked over by a number of people before it is made public. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Negotiations, Taskforces, Levy Videos, Online Contract

Negotiations: For details on Thursday’s bargaining session, check the hotline (651-695-2029), the blog (, Facebook or Twitter for our progress.

Opportunities:  In the coming year, AHEM and district administration will be putting together a couple of taskforces.  One will come up with plans regarding the new annual teacher evaluation law that goes into effect in 2014 and another will develop recommendations around corrective actions required by the federal NCLB law.  We aren’t asking for specific volunteers yet, but start thinking about if you’d like to be part of these processes.

Levy Videos:  If you would like to share videos explaining the impact of the upcoming levy, here are their YouTube links:
Consider putting them on your Facebook page, Twitter feed, or emailing them to friends from your home email account.

Good Question: I can’t find my contract – can you send me another one?  Our goal is to be able to throw away those purple books in favor of a new contract, so rather than send you one of those, you can find our contract online at (we do have some extra though if you want a hard copy – send us an email at

Friday, September 16, 2011

Negotiations, Levy Rumor, Candidate Forum, Traveling Teachers and Duties

Negotiations: Our next bargaining session will be this Thursday, September 22 in the afternoon.  We will update the hotline (651-695-2029), the blog (, Facebook and Twitter that evening with our progress.

Levy Rumor Alert:  Some legislators are circulating an inaccurate piece that makes it look like our district got significantly more money this year than it did.  The numbers include Q-Comp money and levies that we voted down and says nothing about the funding shifts.  This article goes into greater detail:

Meet the Candidates Forum:  The League of Women Voters ABC, a nonpartisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government, will host a forum for candidates running for the Anoka Hennepin School Board on Wednesday, September 21, 7:00 p.m., at the ESC.  There are six candidates on the Tuesday, November 8th ballot:
  • Tom Heidemann, Anoka (District 1)
  • Darin Rorman, Ramsey (District 1)
  • Marci D. Anderson, Blaine (District 2)
  • Randy Kolb, Blaine (District 2)
  • Mary Nelson, Blaine (District 2)
  • Scott D. Wenzel, Brooklyn Park (District 5)

Good Question:  Do traveling teachers (those who go between buildings) do hall duty before or after school?  The answer is no – traveling teachers are not required to do before or after school duties, as is laid out in our contract in Article X, Section 11, Subdivision 2 (page 16 in the purple contract book).  As always, if you are being asked to do something that goes against our agreement, give us a call at 763-421-9110.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Welcome Back, Negotiations, Lawsuit, Reps

Welcome back!  All of us at Anoka Hennepin Education Minnesota are excited about what we’ll do together this year.  Remember, you can contact your union by emailing us at or calling our office at 763-421-9110.  This is the first of our weekly updates where we’ll work to keep you informed and connected.

Negotiations:  We generally don’t send negotiations details out on our school email system, instead, we post it on our website at and our phone hotline at 651-695-2029.  We just put up an update, so click or dial over to see how things are going.

Lawsuit: As you have heard, our district is facing lawsuits on behalf of six students concerning our Sexual Orientation Curriculum Policy (also known as “the neutrality policy”).  As a union, our role this summer has been to connect with our members whose names appeared in the complaint and support them through the process.  Please note that no teachers are defendants in the suit, their names show up as people who may have knowledge about the incidents that are part of the complaint.  Our support included meeting with these members to discuss how a suit like this works and accompanying them if they were interviewed by lawyers.  Remember – if you find yourself part of an investigation at school, even if the investigation is not about you specifically, give us a call at 763-421-9110.  

Who’s My Rep?  If you are wondering who the head rep is at your site, check who forwarded you this email.  At most sites, the person who forwards these is your Head Building Rep.

Good Question: This week’s question is “Why is there a listing for an 8th year day on the orange sub forms we fill out in our buildings?”  A number of people noticed this space on the forms and knew that in our contract (and the para’s contract as well), we get an additional personal day our tenth year.  This space on the form is for interpreters, who have an 8th year day in their contract.