Another good week in the Legislature!
Right to Strike, Collective Bargaining Bills:
Last Wednesday, the Labor Committee voted OUGHT TO PASS on LD 900, the bill that would give our members and public sector workers the right to strike. About a dozen MEA members with #RedforEd watched the Labor Committee vote.
LD 900 is a key bill for the MEA and we will be working hard to pass it, but we need your help. Please email your legislators and tell them to support LD 900: http://bit.ly/MEA-Labor-Bills
The Labor Committee already passed LD 1177, which would make salaries and health insurance subject to binding arbitration. The Labor Committee will revisit LD 240, which would allow teachers to negotiate over some ed policy issues, including planning and prep periods.
These bills are designed to increase educators voices at the bargaining table but they will only pass if you contact your legislators and make the case to them of why they should support. Please share this link with members in your locals and ask them to support these critical bills: http://bit.ly/MEA-Labor-Bills
Last Thursday, the Senate approved LD 898, which would increase the minimum teacher salary to $40K. The bill was approved unanimously, but this is the first vote of many. Governor Mills included a similar proposal in her budget so MEA expects positive action this session.
LD 345, the bill to change teacher probationary period from three years back to two years, was voted OUGHT TO PASS unanimously by the Education Committee and will head to the floor for votes.
MEA’s bill to end food shaming has passed the House and Senate, and now goes to Governor Mills for her signature.
The Legislature has made VERY LITTLE progress on the state budget which is due to be signed by June 30th in order to avoid another state shutdown. The Governor’s proposed budget includes $120 million in additional state aid to schools over the two year budget period and a minimum teacher salary of $40K. The Republicans on the Appropriations & Financial Affairs Committee have made clear they do not support the additional school funding and the $40K minimum teacher salary. Stay tuned for more details as MEA expects the budget process will move very quickly in the coming weeks.
On deck this week, the Education Committee will conduct public hearings on a number of very technical bills related to the school funding formula, college affordability, CTE funding, among other items.
One key bill the MEA will testify on is LD 1549, a bill to increase the National Board stipend to $9,000 per year for teachers in districts with high free/reduced lunch rates.
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