Who do I go to at MEA about getting out the word to legislators and others about issues, or when I agree or disagree with MEA? Who is there to listen?
You have an important voice at the MEA through the Board of Director who represents your area. Your Board members meet several times a year to "exercise general supervision and management over the Association," as stated in the MEA Constitution.
The Board of Directors make decisions for the MEA between annual Representative Assemblies. Board members contact presidents, negotiators, and general membership to get input before making thoughtful decisions. This year we have spent the fall collecting data on Educator Evaluation, Common Core State Standards, Proficiency-Based Diplomas, Opt Out, and school culture and morale besides listening for local issues to bring to the group. At our most recent meeting we developed an updated position for State Standards, a position for Proficiency-Based Diplomas, and a position for parental Opt Out of standardized testing.
Once the Board develops and approves decisions our staff and Board share the information to general membership at Leadership meetings, District Bargaining Meetings (DBC) and Affiliate Council Trainings (ACT), as well as in e-mail updates. But still we know we miss getting information to and from every member. The process can improve if you contact your MEA Board of Director with issues of concern.
Without your voice decisions are made based on what we hear from the vocal minority. The MEA is your Association, you are the MEA. When we send out opinion surveys, or you receive e-mails, or phone calls we are trying to reach our members because we value what you think. We base decisions about how the MEA will run, who will run it, what will be said, and who will say it on the opinions of our members. Positions are drafted and voted on by the Board because MEA needs to have a path to follow. In addition, the positions become the direction of the legislative agenda when we talk with legislators and other stakeholders.
You can find the newest MEA positions on the MEA website (www.maineea.org) under the Teaching and Learning tab. If you have questions or comments don’t hesitate to call or e-mail your Board of Director to share your ideas. As always I am glad to talk to you about your thoughts and concerns as well.