MEA Frontline: Members Speak Blog

The MEA helps teachers

I’m a public school teacher and a member of the Michigan Education Association.

I’m also an independent with many conservative views.

Like many of my colleagues in public schools — Republicans, Democrats, independents — we’re appalled by attacks singling out our profession. We are outraged because these attacks ultimately hurt the children we have committed our lives to educating so they can learn and compete for jobs.

Our Unions Are Our Power

My name is Jan York, and I’ve been an REA/MEA member since the 97-98 school year.  I go to work each day to teach my students knowing that I can teach what I have been endorsed to teach and knowing that my union will protect me if need be.  Mostly, teachers are creatures who love children and want to make some difference in their lives.  What better way to pass on knowledge to the coming generations and get them excited about learning something new than being a teacher.  I’ll bet most teachers had a special teacher in their lives that inspired them in some way.  We should want to be learnin

What does the MEA do for me?

Everyone thinks of the “union” as your particular “local” but that is only the closest layer and the one that is in direct contact with the members and the district. However, the local is backed by the MEA.

Anti-teacher freeloaders

Full disclosure time. I am a proud teacher and a very proud union member. I realize that that’s a double whammy for a lot of you out there. Teachers have been demonized. Unions have been demonized. Sadly, a lot of folks have bought into that process — probably without thinking much about it. To be sure, public school teachers and union members pose a threat to the political agenda of some very rich and powerful people. As such, my profession is subjected to constant attacks by those for whom a good public education is problematic.

We are the MEA!

I have been an MEA member since the Fall of 1998 when I was hired at Rochester High School to teach English and History. At the time, I didn't know much about what being in a union meant, except that the union reps were welcoming and some of most helpful people on the staff. One of them encouraged me to become a rep, also, so I did. Even as a probationary teacher, I felt confident in taking on this role and had a wonderful mentor on that path. I transferred to Stoney Creek High School in the Fall of 2002, and have continued in my role ever since.