Can you explain the structure of the MEA so I know how it works?
Recently I was at a member gathering in Washington County and I was asked about the structure of the MEA.
Our MEA members are why we exist. Without you there is no Maine Education Association. So when we ask, "What will the MEA do for our local?" or "How will the MEA solve this problem?" we are really asking ourselves how we will work together for a desired result.
Of course, any organization as large as ours and that represents almost 24,000 people needs some employees to keep the wheels turning. In the flowchart shown below you can see the different layers to our Association. There are two strands ~ Governance and Employees.
Governance members who work for you in state-level elected positions want to hear from you with ideas and concerns. These include your area Board of Directors, the Leadership Team, and the President (Lois). Governance holds our most important meeting each May when we have the Representative Assembly, our member congress, to which your local can send elected delegates.
MEA employees include your area UniServ Directors (UD) and UD Assistants who work in regional offices, and the Program Directors and Assistants for Communications, Government Relations, Collective Bargaining, and our soon to be added Instruction and Professional Development Departments, who work in the Augusta headquarters. The employees are always willing to meet with your local for trainings, listen to local concerns, and direct you to the resources that will help your local.
Other employees include our Legal Department, Finance Department, Field Assistant Manager, and Program Assistant Manager. We have a Deputy Executive Director and an Executive Director (Rob Walker). Rob and I have offices side-by-side and work closely together to mesh our two respective parts of the whole.
In addition we have committees within Governance each of which has on it a Staff Liaison to be sure we complete the loop of communication between Governance and Staff. Committees are made up of members who volunteer a few Saturdays a year to come together. We all depend on these interested members preK to higher education to keep us informed on what is happening in public schools and universities around the state.
Together Governance and Employees take what we learn from our members and work with you, advocating for Maine's schools. Our goal, as always, is to lead the way to great public schools for all Maine students.