Welcome to Menifee Teachers Association. You are a member of a professional organization that is over 480 members strong, and we’re growing! Our membership includes all regularly employed certificated employees—teachers, counselors, psychologists, nurses, speech pathologists and other non-management certificated support personnel.
It is my great pleasure to greet you as the newly elected president of MTA. Having been elected and taking on this responsibility as of July 1, my first duty is to thank MaryAnn Jacobs for all of her work in moving this organization forward. I also want to thank you, the members, for your confidence in me. As your new president, I hope to continue the work MaryAnn has promoted and to achieve new goals. This year I have two specific goals. First, I would like to improve communication between leadership--Executive Board, Bargaining Team, Organizing Team, Grievance Team, Elections Committee, Representative Council—and the general membership. You can help me achieve this goal by making certain that we have your personal email address. Many communications will be disseminated via non-school emails. Also, be sure to attend the “Ten Minute Meeting” held by your site reps following each rep council meeting. Second, I would like to improve member engagement. There are many benefits to being a member of MTA/CTA/NEA. I would like to make sure you know what those benefits include. Trainings offered through MTA will be made available on a wide range of topics so members are more aware of their rights and benefits.
MTA continues working to improve salaries, benefits, and working conditions. Negotiations are still ongoing for the 2015-16 school year. While there are tentative agreements on Article 12 Employee Evaluation and Article 13 Transfer and Reassignment, talks are still taking place concerning Special Education and salary increase. The bargaining team is made up of unit members, just like you and me. They represent and bargain for all bargaining unit members. They are charged with bargaining the best possible deal and bringing it to the membership for ratification. It is imperative to support our bargaining team and have our voices heard by attending board meetings and participating in upcoming activities planned by the organizing team. The five members of the bargaining team are the face of the union at the table, the rest of us are the “muscle”.
Finally, let’s talk about Prop 55 California Children’s Education and Health Care Protection Act. Many of you went out and collected signatures in order to get this proposition on the ballot. CTA led the effort and we were successful. This is an example of what can happen when we work together. Now it’s time for the real work. Proposition 55 protects our students and public schools from returning to the days of massive cuts, educator layoffs, larger class sizes, and tuition hikes. Do I need to remind you of the furlough days we took to protect members and programs? Karen Bost, from CTA will be joining us at our first rep council meeting to give specific details about Prop 55 and what we, as educators, MUST do to get this proposition passed. Site representatives will be bringing you information about how you can help.
As a member of one of the greatest professions in the world, I encourage you to become involved in your association, be proactive and knowledgeable. And remember, we are all in this together. We are a team. Respect each other and when you don’t know or understand something, seek to know and to understand. I wish you all a successful and rewarding year.