Organizing

Organizing

MEA’s power is in the collective strength of our 120,000 members.  From local school boards to the State Capitol and beyond, our collective action can advocate for the change our students and our colleagues need.

Want to organize with MEA? – If you work in a school employee group not represented by MEA but are interested in organizing with us, please call us at 800-292-1934 and ask for Organizing Consultant Jacob Louks (jlouks@mea.org).

Organizing News

Decline to Sign Latest Voucher Scheme

On Monday, the State Board of Canvassers approved revised summary language for a new voucher scheme, including important details about the cost and discriminatory practices in the description voters will see on the petition. The decision moves the GOP-backed scheme forward to signature collection – and signals the beginning of Decline to Sign efforts by a ballot committee formed to…

Lansing Educators: It’s Time to Rally for Public Education

By Brenda Ortega MEA Voice Editor Mariah Gaither MEA member Mariah Gaither had a challenging entry into her teaching career in 2020, having to adapt her secondary science curriculum for remote learners through the full school year in Lansing. Now Gaither is working in-person and getting an eye-opening lesson of her own: she’s discovering how much educators spend out-of-pocket to…

Union Caucus in Ann Arbor Targets Special Education Issues

Engagement * Bargaining * Advocacy * Justice * Empowerment * Support 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…

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 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…

Summer Conference Builds Connections, Knowledge, Solidarity

Last summer, amid a global pandemic, racial unrest and a divisive national election, MEA member Travis Neller wanted to give young people a chance to join the dialogue surrounding tough issues facing the country – so he took action. A prevention specialist at the regional educational services agency in Eaton County – Eaton RESA –  Neller founded a platform to…

New Resource Celebrates Labor, Highlights Inaugural Workplace Rights Week

To showcase the state's commitment to the labor movement and establish Michigan as a place for economic opportunity and prosperity for all, the Michigan Dept. of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) created a new online resource to celebrate, highlight and support the inaugural Workplace Rights Week, April 26 through May 1, as proclaimed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Michigan.gov/WorkplaceRights is a…

Legislative Councils: a case study in lobbying

When Ed Clements attends a dinner (or for now, a Zoom call) with other MEA members and their invited guest—a state representative or senator—he doesn’t expect the educators and politician will agree on everything. Sometimes they don’t agree on much. Yet the 22-year Bay City educator and current city commissioner keeps coming back for more of these events known as legislative councils.…

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,…

Finding Strength in Solidarity

By Brenda Ortega MEA Voice Editor MEA member Eric Curtiss thought he had a high number of students in his English classes last year when his numbers topped out at 144. This year he has 168, although the number fluctuates. Eric Curtiss Last year he had five preps, the most in his 22-year career. Now he has eight different courses…

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