Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Monday's Successful School Board Meeting

Thank you to the approximately 250 members who packed the school board meeting in red last night!  The over capacity crowd sent a strong message that we are engaged and united behind a fair, competitive, and affordable settlement. You can see pictures at our Anoka Hennepin Education Minnesota Facebook page (facebook.com/pages/Anoka-Hennepin-Education-Minnesota) and visit ahemnegotiationsnews.blogspot.com for the statement our negotiators shared with the school board.

Next opportunities to show your support include wearing Red on Wednesdays and attending our next bargaining session Wednesday, November 6th, 4:45 pm, at the AHEM office. 

Thank you again and let's keep up the momentum!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Bargaining, School Board Meeting, Buttons

Wednesday's Bargaining Session: Wednesday's bargaining session yielded no real progress. The district presented "an alternate economic offer". They changed their salary schedule improvement by just fractions of a percent while adding a new step in between Step 11 and Career 1. The district team admitted that any increase in one part of the offer came from a decrease somewhere else. In summary, we have had three economic offers from the district that are effectively the same value as our last settlement, despite an improvement in district finances. For details visit http://ahemnegotiationsnews.blogspot.com.

We Need You at Monday's School Board Meeting: To avoid getting bogged down, we are delivering a message to the school board that it's time for a fair, competitive settlement. We need you behind us, both figuratively and literally, to get the process moving in the right direction. Please join us at the school board meeting:

  • Monday, October 28th,
  • 6:30 pm – about 7:00 pm
  • Sandburg Educational Center  
  • Wear Red
The meeting starts with about 20 minutes of student recognition where we can help celebrate students' accomplishments, then moves to an open forum.  AHEM negotiators will address the board and your presence in red as we speak will make an impact. See you Monday!

Good Question: Can I wear an AHEM button at school? Yes! Wearing buttons or t-shirts is not a problem. If a student asks why you are wearing it, you can simply say something like "AHEM is my union" and get back to the important work you do preparing students for a bright future.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Bargaining – We Need Your Support

Now that major proposals are all on the table, it's time to ramp up.  To show the district that we are serious about a fair, competitive settlement, we need your help:

Red on Wednesday! Show support for the process and your negotiations team by wearing red this Wednesday. Nothing gets the word out that we are together than a visible show of support. Digging out that red sweater is more than fashion, it's a show of unity and resolve.

Bargaining Session Wednesday: Join us this Wednesday, October 23rd, 4:45 pm, Erling Johnson Room A at the ESC (due to increasing turnout by AHEM members, we've moved to a larger room). It's the district's turn to respond on a number of issues, including the economic offer. Come hear their positions for yourself and show them very directly that you are watching and engaged.

School Board Meeting on Monday: We plan to extend an invitation to school board members to join us at the table at the Monday, October 28th board meeting. The meeting starts at 6:30 pm with an open forum early on the agenda. There, AHEM Negotiators will make a statement to engage the school board more fully in the process. Your attendance in red during that part of the meeting will make a strong statement.

By supporting one or more of these shows of togetherness, you will be directly supporting a fair, competitive settlement. We need you – see you in red!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Bargaining, Meet & Confer, School Board Elections, Veterans Day

Bargaining: We met for session #8 this past Wednesday.  Virtually everything is now on the table, so it's time to really get down to business.  The details of the session can be found here: www.ahemnegotiationsnews.blogspot.com.  Our next two sessions will be Wednesday, October 23rd,  4:45 – 6:45 pm, at the ESC and Wednesday, November 6th, 4:45 – 6:45 pm, AHEM Office 

Meet & Confer: You are invited to discuss the following topics with our school board this Wednesday:
  • Traveling Teachers' Issues
  • Special Needs of Students Regarding Clustering
  • Media Specialists Perspective on the Book "Eleanor & Park"
  • Open Forum (where you can bring issues not listed here)
Wear red and meet us Wednesday, October 9th, 6:00 pm in the Ehrling Johnson Rooms at the ESC. Support your colleagues and educate our board about key issues in our classrooms. 

School Board Election Forum: Half of our district's school board seats are up for election this November 5th. Meet the candidates at the League of Women Voters forum on Tuesday, October 8th at 6:30 at the Sandburg building in Anoka.  All the candidates have agreed to participate: 
  • District 3 (Champlin, Dayton and parts of Coon Rapids): Bill Harvey and Grace Baltich
  • District 4 (Ham Lake, Nowthen, and parts of Andover and Ramsey): Janelle Kirkeide, William Fields and Paul Meunier.
  • District 6 (parts of Coon Rapids and Andover): Jeff Simon

Veterans Day: Getting ready to celebrate Veterans Day with your students? Visit NEA's lesson plan area at http://www.nea.org/tools/lessons/veterans-day-activities-intro.html for some good ideas. Honoring Veterans Day is another way to show military connected families that we support them.