Today (Monday June 19,2017) was the first day of negotiations between the BEA and Billings School District 2. Here is a brief recap:
The BEA brought language to the table that includes the following:
A 2 year contract with a 5% and 6% increase on each cell of the Salary Schedule- rejected
Changes in CFI language- rejected
Paid leave to change in building classrooms (involuntary)- rejected
Still in discussion:
Increase in Master's stipend
Split payday in September, same amount, 2 checks
12 year transfer language
The District brought the following language to the table:
7 period day in the high schools
Deadline changes for moving lanes
Decreased service credit
Counter proposal for retirement incentive
Dual Credit incentive (tentative agreement reached)
The only proposal from either side that has been agreed upon is the Dual Credit incentive. All other items are in flux at this time. We meet again on Friday, June 23rd and will update you again at the conclusion of talks.
Your Negotiations Team
Rita Wells, Sara Hull, Kate McAuliffe Miller, Rachel Schillreff, Craig Beals, Teresa Mountains and Noreen Burris
Secretary: Kristen Berge
On behalf of the BEA, I want to thank our membership for the support they showed our endorsed state wide and legislative candidates. I know many of you have some very heavy hearts today, but I will never characterize any of our efforts as "unsuccessful". To do so would be to minimize all of the positive energy and enthusiasm that was generated by you, our members. You are the best, and know that I am so proud of what we accomplished as a union. You stepped up, you said "yes", and I know this is only the beginning. Going forward, I want to thank all of our candidates and their families who put their lives on hold for this campaign, and although the vote didn't go our way in every case, we truly had a slate of candidates with the biggest hearts in the world. Those that we are sending on to their elected positions will continue to need our help and support in doing "the work that matters". Although there is a long road ahead with issues that will at times be frustrating, just know that I have the utmost confidence in you... in US.
BEA President Rita Wells
Don't assume you will just because you got one before. To check on your voter status go to the Montana Secretary of State web site at www.sos.mt.gov.
Click on My Voter Page; click on Start; enter your first name, last name, and date of birth.
YOUR Voter Page will appear! You can check your voter status (hopefully, it is ACTIVE!). You can see if you will receive a mailed ballot or if you have to go to the polls! You can also find your polling location and your House and Senate Districts.
If your voter address is incorrect, or if voter status is not ACTIVE or if you will not receive a mail ballot YOU can fix that easily! Just complete a new voter registration form and mark it to recieve an absentee ballot. Call the BEA office to request one.
It's an important decision and timing is everything to maximize your service credit and sick leave credit. Please keep the following dates in mind when giving your retirement notice to the District:
Like it or not, a teaching career is a political venture. Public school teachers are public employees whose salaries, benefits, working conditions, and job security is dependent upon legislation, legislators, elected school trustees and voters. There is a national movement afoot, and Montana is by no means exempt, to do us harm.
Every election is vital. Every legislative session is key. We must promote and advocate our positions, we must protect what we have worked long and hard to attain.
It will be a difficult journey. The opposition is organized, determined, and financially supported. But you are fortunate. You have a voice, several voices, in fact.
First, you are a voter! You have a say when you cast your ballot! You get to pick! You pick who will represent you and your family and make decisions that affect your job. You pick what levies this community will fund that will impact your working conditions and your children's education. You pick who will be your boss on the school board and decide your next contract.
Second, you are a BEA member! You have the backing of this Association. This Association is constantly working to assure all things possible are favorable for your career so you can pursue your chosen profession.
Anything worth pursuing has a price. It takes money to find public education friendly candidates to represent you in Helena and at school board meetings. It takes money to help those candidates get elected. It takes money to promote school bond and mill levy elections that benefit everyone in this community. It takes money. Period. Your membership dues dollars are not used for political purposes. Only contributions from our members to our Political Action Committee are used. And we need more to be ready for the fight ahead.
Give your voice more power. Contribute to the BEA PAC. Get the form here to make monthly contributions to your national, state, and local PACs.
Can what happened in Wisconsin, happen here? This very question is the reason MEA-MFT and BEA work diligently to find the right candidates and get them elected. Watch this video just for a reminder of how wrong things can go when they go wrong.