Member Spotlight: Jennifer Shelito

Jennifer Shelito is secretary of the Information Systems department at Tuscola Intermediate School District where she helps to manage a 17-district phone system, internet service for 26 districts, and training on all of that—plus data systems—for educators in the region. She helps people who’ve forgotten login credentials, voicemail pins, and how to get test scores to […]

MEA Help Carries Member Through Twists and Turns

by Brenda Ortega MEA Voice Editor MEA member Carolyn Matzinger had no idea the union could help her make a case for disability retirement benefits after a progressive illness made it dangerous for her to return to her Petoskey classroom. For two years she had received some long-term disability insurance benefits, which were running out, […]

Union Caucus in Ann Arbor Targets Special Education Issues

by Brenda Ortega MEA Voice Editor Four years ago, MEA member Dr. Tracy Loveland joined with a fellow Ann Arbor school psychologist to bring the union’s strength to bear on frustrations within the district’s special education department, which were contributing to high staff turnover. “We were struggling to have a voice,” Loveland said. “We didn’t […]

Local Unions Report Successful Bargains Across State

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 aides. That late afternoon in 2017, […]

Plan Points the Way to Solidarity, Strength, Success

by Brenda Ortega MEA Voice Editor At the start of her 30th year in public education MEA President Paula Herbart is looking forward, and a newly unveiled MEA Strategic Plan is helping bring the future into focus. Developed over the past year by a committee of union leaders and staff, the document defines the union’s aspirations—shared […]

Local Actions Combat Bullying Behavior at Board Meetings

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 – happening since last year but […]