MEA Frontline: Members Speak Blog

Back to school, back to work

School starts next week all over Michigan and, as a teacher, I will spend these last few days of summer preparing myself for the excitement, intrigue and challenges ahead. I do a fair amount of prep work during each summer on the subjects I will be teaching, and, like many teachers, I find there is so much more to learn than time permits. My recreational reading will come to a screeching halt in a couple of days, and for the next nine months I’ll be collecting things I want to read for fun next summer. And late next August, I’ll wonder why that stack of books is still so tall.

An Open Letter to All Teachers Who Have Opted Out of Your Union

If you have opted out of the union, and if I knew you personally, I would most likely respect you as an educator, but I want to share my take on this situation. I don’t know what your reasons for your actions are, and don’t expect that you need to share them with me.  But I do know that many of you feel you just can’t afford the dues. Or perhaps you feel the union doesn’t do anything for you anyway.

MEA Matters!

It is important to be an MEA member. Our communities need an organization that will challenge school budget cuts, stand up for students, and inform the public on the status of bills in the legislature.

The E-Newsletters, MEA Voice Magazine, and other communications keep members alert! We continue to challenge educational issues such as charter school accountability, '”toxic testing”, and teacher retention.

Mackinac Center is Not Your Friend!!

By now, many of you have may have received an email from an individual named Peter Boyd, who is affiliated with the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. The email provides information about how you can drop your membership in the union. This email went out to school employees statewide. I have talked with other local presidents whose members received the same email.

Let me remind you of who the Mackinac Center really is.

What MEA membership means

I come from what I consider a relatively unique background.  My father is a Democrat and union organizer.  My mother is a Republican whose father didn’t see the need for a wife and mother to go to college, so as an elementary student, I witnessed the drive for and benefits of higher education.  My mother became a CPA who passed the CPA exam on her first sitting and eventually represented management.   I am a second career teacher who was in risk management for a private sector property management company before a divorce led me to teaching.  These life experi

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.