Wednesday, January 13, 2016

NSEA and NESPA Merger Information

NSEA’s Building Reps (BRs) voted as a group on Monday to recommend to you a “YES” vote on the Merger Framework between NSEA and NESPA. Last week, NSEA’s Executive Board also unanimously voted to recommend to you a “YES” vote. This is a positive development that will make us more effective in improving our work and schools! The next step, if membership approves this merger framework, will be to form a group to rewrite our bylaws creating this new merged organization. The vote to approve those bylaws, and thus create a new NSEA, is under the power of the NSEA Representative Council. You will see those bylaws changes a month ahead of the final vote on a change. During that time building reps will hold meetings to seek your input on those changes.

The Merger Framework you will be voting on in early February is included in the Northshore News, our (paper) newsletter you will shortly receive from your BR. This month’s newsletter is packed with info about this and other matters. We hope you’ll read it and get informed. 

The short Merger Framework recommended by our Building Reps is also included below, for your ease of access. BRs will be holding Ten Minute Meetings at schools, and will try to answer any questions you may have.  
If you have questions your BR cannot answer with certainty, or if you prefer to get an answer from NSEA, please send them to us via this form (http://goo.gl/forms/hkfn7ef0c8).  Each week on Monday, we’ll send you answers to the questions we receive. We will also have all of this information on our website.  

See below my signature to read the Merger Framework.   It includes the rationale, and how things would change or not.

We are making a difference together!


Conceptual Merger Agreement
“Together, we can improve our schools and work lives!”

Background: 
Our members work together, side by side, every day at school. We serve the same students. We face many of the same issues, and have the same desire to create effective schools and be recognized as professionals. By being in separate organizations, we are less effective. We will be far more effective together by speaking with one voice to improve our work, schools, and our lives.

In Seattle, Spokane, and other districts where the certificated and educational support professional (ESP) groups are united, they are more successful in shaping their futures together. In Northshore, we have been more effective when we have worked closely together, but being in separate organizations has made this cumbersome.  

At the request of the NESPA (Northshore Educational Support Professionals Association, WEA) Board, the NSEA (Northshore Education Association, WEA) Rep Council (teacher Building Reps) authorized merger discussions earlier this school year. Leaders from both organizations met and drafted the following conceptual framework for your vote February 2 through 4 using a Survey Monkey link that will be sent to your school email. NESPA and NSEA are conducting separate votes of our respective memberships.

Recommendation: Vote “YES” to merge NESPA and NSEA into one organization that will be more effective at creating better schools and work.

What Won’t Change
  • The merged organization will be called NSEA (Northshore Education Association).
  • NSEA’s education support professionals (ESPs, formerly NESPA) and NSEA’s certificated staff members will continue to negotiate separate contracts with the NSD administration, as required by law. Contracts will continue to be voted on separately by the staff covered by their contract, as required by law. 
  • Dues will not change for either certificated or ESP members as a result of the merger.
Organization
  • NSEA’s 1,300 members will increase by 480 NESPA members, resulting in a local of nearly 1,800 members consisting of all educational staff in Northshore.
  • All members of the merged organization will eventually vote for the NSEA President and Secretary/Treasurer. Any member, certificated or educational support professionals (ESP), can hold these positions (though the predominance of certificated members means that the President is likely to be a certificated member).  
  • Certificated members will vote for the NSEA Certificated Vice President.
  • Educational support professionals will vote for the NSEA ESP Vice President.
  • NSEA’s certificated staff members will continue to elect ten representatives to the NSEA Executive Board.
  • NSEA’s educational support professionals will elect Executive Board members in proportion to their membership in the merged organization: approximately 3-4 members at present.  
  • The NSEA Representative Council will continue to consist of one Building Rep (BR) for every 15 members, and will now include the added ESP members to each school’s count. BRs are elected by their school and could be certificated or ESP. Building Reps will continue to receive the same annual stipend for their work, and ESP staff elected as BRs will also get this stipend.
  • There will continue to be monthly meetings of the NSEA Executive Board and Representative Council. 
  • Certificated leadership and ESP leadership will also continue to meet periodically in their respective groups.
  • School-based Union Support (US) Teams will consist of certificated and ESP members.
Finances
  • There will be one operating budget with combined organizational resources.
  • Dues will not change for either certificated or ESP members as a result of the merger.
For More Information

Next Steps
  • Questions will be answered weekly. 
  • Updates will be sent via email and posted to this page.
  • NSEA members will vote via SurveyMonkey from February 2 through February 4.
  • If members vote YES, a group of NSEA and NESPA members will meet to review and make changes to the NSEA Bylaws. Bylaws amendments will be presented to the Rep Council (2 readings), distributed to membership, and voted on by Building Reps.


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