Bargaining

Bargaining

Bargaining and enforcing local contracts is at the root of MEA and our advocacy for members and the students they serve. One of the biggest advantages of MEA membership is the service provided directly to members by MEA’s UniServ directors. These highly trained professional labor relations consultants help teachers and education support professionals access a wide variety of services available only to members.

Bargaining News

MI Teacher Briefs U.S. Ed Secretary on Uses of Federal Rescue Funds

Addressing students’ academic and mental health needs, while lightening the load for overstretched educators, are among the most urgent uses of federal school rescue funds prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to one local union leader in west Michigan. Theresann Pyrett, president of the West Ottawa Education Association, took that message to the White House on Wednesday. Pyrett is among…

Bargainers Report Contract Successes: ‘This is basic economics’

MEA member Joe Ligaj has a blunt message for school administrators and state-level policymakers concerned about educator shortages: If you pay them, they will come. Joe Ligaj “This is just basic economics—Econ 101,” the president of the Lincoln Park Education Association (LPEA) said. “There’s a labor shortage, and the way to address that is through the contract: higher wages, benefits…

Leaders Urge Spending to Address Educator Shortage

Morale among educators in South Redford is the worst Bill Dyer has seen in 28 years as a math teacher in the district, the local union president said. He also has never before seen 10 teaching positions open mid-year—which was the number unfilled last month. Bill Dyer “It’s been an uphill battle for us to attract new teachers, so we’re hoping…

Support Staff Conduct Picketing in Lapeer

Education support professionals in Lapeer held an informational picket along Main Street last week to call attention to the fact they are working under an expired contract despite negotiating on a new agreement since last January. The 125 members of Lapeer Education Support Personnel believe their previous sacrifices during challenging financial times for the district should be recognized and compensated now…

Union Members Stand Up in Emotional Board Testimony

Engagement * Bargaining * Advocacy * Justice * Empowerment * Support by Brenda Ortega MEA Voice Editor Mike Eyre has been a middle school history teacher for 25 years, and he’s served nearly two decades as president of his local union. But even Eyre was moved by a recent turn of events that he and his Union City members influenced…

Local Unions Report Successful Bargains Across State

Engagement * Bargaining * Advocacy * Justice * Empowerment * Support by Brenda Ortega MEA Voice Editor Four years ago, serendipity stepped in to help MEA UniServ Director Mike McGee and a bargaining team in Portland win a good contract for secretaries—and set the stage for an even better outcome in talks this year for the district’s secretaries, paraeducators, and…

Flint Teachers Unite for Contract Win

Engagement * Bargaining * Advocacy * Justice * Empowerment * Support by Brenda Ortega MEA Voice Editor The celebration was short-lived when members of United Teachers of Flint learned the district was offering to pay each of them a $22,500 bonus, using some of the federal COVID-relief money sent to the district this year. Soon after that, in contract negotiations…

Local Actions Combat Bullying Behavior at Board Meetings

Engagement * Bargaining * Advocacy * Justice * Empowerment * Support by Brenda Ortega MEA Voice Editor One philosophy of the union bargaining team at Clarkston Community Schools says if it’s a problem for one, it’s a problem for all. For local president Daryl Biallas, that value now extends to a spate of attacks on school boards, administrators and educators…

‘Nonsensical’ Pay Threat Tied to Evaluations Needs Fix

As MEA pursues fixes to problematic teacher evaluation reforms enacted in 2015, bargaining teams in some districts have had to contend with a legislative change from 2017 that seeks to add more weight to already high-stakes evaluation scores. At the state level, MEA’s bargaining wing has developed prototype contract language to knock down the threat, and many local teams have fought it…

Union Presidents Lead through Unprecedented Crisis

What’s it like to be a local union president in the age of COVID? In this story, we talk with three local leaders in Macomb County—an urban hotspot in northern metro Detroit—who have employed every tool at their disposal to unite members and guide collective action through the most challenging circumstances in living memory. As in districts across the state,…

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