Working Through the Summer: Our Union’s Work is Never Done

It is hard to believe that in just one month, we will be welcoming back our students, catching up with our colleagues, and preparing our rooms and our hearts for another school year.

As you continue to enjoy the summer break, I want to take a moment to remind you that our union remains busy fighting for the schools our students deserve and riding the momentum that members helped to build at the end of the school year.

Thanks to the work of the KEA Collective Action Team, we were able to secure regular meet and confer sessions with district leadership, which led to improved implementation of elementary prep time changes and meaningful discussions around high school prep time, the lack of substitute teachers, professional development for ESPs, and several other topics that you can read more about at the following links:

April Meet and Confer Session

June Meet and Confer Session

Additionally, our Ed Summer Program is underway, and KEA officers, staff, summer organizers and several other KEA members are working to keep our union engaged as we recruit new members, organize events, and have conversations with educators to identify the issues that matter most to you and how we can work together to find solutions.

I am particularly excited to be working with other labor unions, community groups, and local businesses to organize our new educator supply drive, “Supply Kenosha Kids for Success”. Each of us knows that, as educators, we invest hundreds of our own dollars into our students and classrooms every year. We hope that through this drive, we can share with the community the importance of fully funding our public schools and providing educators with fair and competitive compensation.

Donations and supplies that are collected will be available at our Back to School Celebration on Friday, August 24th, and will hopefully give members an opportunity to stock up on those items that we are always in need of. More information about our Back to School event and the drive will be available on our website as the date approaches. In the meantime, you can check out all of the summer events and professional development opportunities on our events calendar here.

One important calendar item I would like to bring to your immediate attention is the August 8th CPI negotiations. KEA plans to aggressively negotiate the full amount (2.13%), but we will we need the strength of you, our members, to help us through this process. The Collective Action Team will be meeting on Tuesday, July 31st to discuss strategy and tactics in order to get the base building wage increase we deserve. If you are interested in participating in our strategic planning meeting or are interested in being part of the bargaining team, please contact me or Kendra Koeppen (koeppenk@weac.org) for more information.

Your union continues to work hard supporting and advocating for the students and educators of Kenosha. I want to encourage you to stay connected by attending events, speaking with your colleagues and potential members, and challenge you to help build the KEA by contacting us with any questions, concerns, or ideas you may have.

Have a wonderful rest of the summer, and I look forward to seeing you at an upcoming KEA event and throughout the 2018-2019 school year!

 

In Solidarity,

Jill Jensen, KEA President