March 2, 2018
Vol. 2, #7



Hi all,

At Region 3 we are in the process of hiring a new Director to replace the recently retired Sue Britz. We certainly miss Sue, but we've been inspired by the number of applications for the position, the fantastic round 1 phone interviews, and the anticipation of round 2, in-person interviews that will be held in about a week. 

I've been thinking quite a lot about one particular answer we got in response to the question: "What are the 3 biggest challenges in public education in Wisconsin?" The interviewee talked about the recent student demonstrations and how we, as educators, can be inspired by the students and rise up ourselves to meet our challenges. When there's an issue that is felt deeply by a significant number of people, it's time to ACT. What do you care about? Are you ready?

--Peace
Kathy Rohde
Regional Director 

For NEA guidance about how to respond to upcoming potential student demonstrations, see below.


Celebrate Success!



WEAC Region 3 welcomes 
 7
 
new members in February!


Region 3 Member, Scott Winkler, Publishes Novel
At the end of April, Scott's  debut novel is being published by Peregrino Press, an imprint of TitleTown Publishing. The Meadow is his second published book. Below are links to the publisher's website for the novel, the author's website, the author's Facebook page, and the online store for advance orders of the book (which will be in reader's hands by the April 27 publication date). Additionally, Scott will be "launching" the book at Luxemburg-Casco HS on the evening of April 27.
 
Links:
Peregrino Press site for The Meadow:   http://www.peregrino.press/the-meadow---a-novel.html
Author's website:  www.scottawinkler.com


Student Walkout Preparation

NEA

NEABelow is guidance from the NEA addressing how teachers can best handle student walkouts planned for next month as well as how they can support their students in demanding safe schools within the parameters of the law.

It is important to note that teachers are not protected by the First Amendment if they participate in or help organize the walkouts. For teachers in a public school setting, there is a distinct line between "duty" speech (what you say and do as a matter of course in your role as a public educator), and "non-duty" speech (what you say and do as a matter of course in your role as a citizen). Please read the links (below) carefully.

It is suggested that educators and local unions confer with school districts to encourage the development of plans to address the walkouts before they occur.    

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NEA ADVISORY RESPONDING TO STUDENT WALKOUTS
PROTESTING SCHOOL GUN VIOLENCE

Since the horrific shootings in Parkland, Florida, students across the country have launched an inspired movement to demand long overdue action on school safety and gun control. NEA, its affiliates, and members throughout Florida and the nation, support these calls to prevent further school massacres. Questions have arisen about what educators can and cannot do to support the emerging student movement. This advisory addresses these questions:

  1. What can educators legally do to support their students' demands for safe schools? 
  2. What can educators do to prepare for student walkouts?
  3. Do educators have the legal right to engage in walkouts or other work stoppages to support their students?
  4. Can educators legally help students organize walkouts? Can educators legally participate in student-organized walkouts?
  5. What should educators do if or when their students walkout?  read more.

For NEA Talking Points about gun and school safety, click here.

 
Income Tax Information

Tax Prep Discounts
Did you know members can get a discount on tax preparation services?

In the Green Bay area, Tax Management Services, Inc., offers discounts to members. Mention that you are a WEAC Region 3 member when you call 920-432-1985.

Services such as H&R Block, Jackson Hewitt, Turbo Tax & Quickbooks are offered through the WEAC Saver's Club. Don't forget to check out the many other discounts members can take advantage of on insurance, shopping and more! Here is the link:   WEAC Saver's Club.

   
Itemize Your Union Dues
If you file a form 1040 and itemize your deductions, your local, state, and national union dues are tax deductible on Schedule A.  Members who would like to receive a letter that documents your dues payments for 2017, please call the WEAC Region 3 office at 1-800-472-5582 or email your request to Region3@weac.org.
 
Also, remember the Educator Tax Deduction! There is a $250 tax deduction for educators who purchased classroom supplies and instructional materials for 2017.
 
Tip of the Month

  
The Ten-Minute Meeting
All too often we hear, "there's no reason to hold a meeting if there's nothing to report/decide/vote on." Or, we hear, "I'm not sure we have a union because there are never any meetings." But mostly, we hear, "I don't have TIME to go to ANOTHER meeting."
 
You have an opportunity to keep members in the loop AND respect their time by holding 10-minute meetings! It's also a great time to get feedback from people in the building. 

If you feel like you're in a rut, why not try the 10-minute meeting?

For more details about how the 10-minute meeting works, click  here.

Past topics can be found in our archived newsletters on our website:
October 6, 2017 - Teacher licensure changes
November 3, 2017 - Recertification election
December 1, 2017 - NEA Benefits
January 5, 2018 - Union Contact Information
February 2, 2018 - Retiree Information


Teacher Contracts for
2018-2019   
Members who are on plans of improvement or are otherwise under scrutiny by administrators, need to contact Local leaders in the union to talk about contract renewal for 2018-19. BEFORE administrators bring recommendations of non-renewal to the school board is the BEST time to negotiate a separation agreement with the District. "Have you been considered for non-renewal?" is a question often seen on teacher job applications and checking "yes" to that box inhibits a teacher's ability to get hired in a new District. Getting this information out to our members is critical.

Non-Renewal and Renewal
of Individual Teacher Contracts
 
Important deadlines for full-time teachers, governed by WI State Statute 118.22, are coming up and Local leaders SHOULD ask District Administrators if they are considering any non-renewals.
 
April 30, 2018
If the District is considering the non-renewal of any full-time teacher, the School Board must issue a preliminary notice of non-renewal on (or before) Monday, April 30th. This notice must be voted on by the School Board and must be a written notice. Preliminary notices of non-renewal can be for budgetary reasons or for teacher performance reasons. Members who are given a preliminary notice of non-renewal are strongly encouraged to contact Local union leaders or the WEAC Region 3 office ASAP at 1-800-472-5582.
 
Five (5) calendar days after receiving a preliminary notice of non-renewal
The teacher has FIVE (5) calendar days to request a private conference with the School Board to discuss the preliminary notice of non-renewal. Teachers can request the hearing, then decide later to not have the conference. The timeline is short, so request the meeting, then decide whether or not to have the meeting. Contact the Region 3 office for guidance at 1-800-472-5582.
 
May 15, 2018
All teachers are given EITHER a continuing individual contract or a final notice of non-renewal on (or before) Tuesday, May 15th. Sometimes the continuing contract comes in the form of a "letter of intent." The continuing contract or letter of intent must include a salary amount or a reference to a salary (e.g., "step 10, lane 5," or "not less than the salary for 2017-18").
 
If no continuing contract or letter of intent is provided, teachers may self-renew. This is what the letter needs to say:  "Pursuant to Wis. Stat. ยง 118.22(2), given that the District did not provide me with notice of renewal or refusal to renew my individual contract by May 15, my teaching contract now in force is to continue for the ensuing school year. I hereby accept the renewal of my 2017-18 individual contract for the 2018-19 school year."
 
June 15, 2018
Teachers must sign and return their individual contracts NO LATER THAN Friday, June 15th. Some districts ask for the return of signed contracts before that date - but there is no legal requirement for teachers to do so. If the district pressures teachers to return a signed contract prior to June 15th, please contact the Region 3 office at 1-800-472-5582.
 

 

Professional Development

NOW AVAILABLE: a state-wide calendar of Professional Development events offered by the Academy, WEAC, Regions, and everywhere in between!

GBEA is Hosting the Following Events
Region 3 Members are Welcome to Attend!
LGBTQ+ 102
Come and learn more about how to create inclusive and welcoming classrooms
for LGBTQ+ students
April 5th 4:00-5:30 p.m.
Backpacks Full of Cash
Tuesday, April 17th 4:30-6:30 p.m.
De Pere Cinema
Join us for a showing of the film "Backpacks Full of Cash." All GBEA, Region 3, Inspiring Educators, and community members are welcome.

Political Action
This is an 11.0101(10)(b)(1) communication with WEAC members.

Tony Evers is hosting a campaign event in Green Bay at 5:30pm on Wednesday, March 7th at The Libertine. We'd love to have you join us for light snacks and a conversation about how to move Wisconsin forward.

You can RSVP ahead of time by visiting www.tonyevers.com/GreenBay2 or emailing Mitch@tonyevers.com  

WEAC Region 3
800-472-5582
rohdek@weac.org
www.region3.weac.org