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NSEA Board Meeting Dates 2010  Sat. September 18

The Higher Education Advocate Volume 4, No. 1

August, 2010

Nebraska Higher Ed at the NEA Representative Assembly

 Sat. October 23

The NEA Representative Assembly (RA) was held in New Orleans from June 30th until July 6th. The RA is the same format as the Nebraska Delegate Assembly except that there are 8,000 plus members elected

 Sat. November 20  Sat. December 4

Inside this issue: Chris Waddle , NSEA Board Member

HEA at the NEA-RA


Nebraskans in NEA Emerging Leader Academy


Third Annual NEA Salary Roundtable


HEA at Delegate Assembly


NSEA Supreme Court Win!


UniServ Kudos


Academy Directorate Info.


from state associations all around the country. The primary role of the RA is to consider the new business items of the NEA and to set the direction of our organization for the next year. As the largest operating democratic body in the world, the RA allows any member of the NEA to propose business. As a member of the board, I was able to attend the RA as a representative of the Higher Education Academy District. My wife Heidi also came as an elected representative of her local. She is an administrative assistant and a member of the CCCSA. Being first-time delegates, there was much to learn about the process and how Nebraska works

through handling the new business. The higher education community was organized through a

caucus led by the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) that met each day of the assembly. I attended several of these meetings. Nebraska is well known as one state which has a very organized floor strategy. Although higher education did not bring any new business items to the RA, there were several modifications made to existing business to incorporate our issues. The true benefit of the caucus was to meet several of the higher education leaders

around the country and hear about their issues. Although we have seen some significant higher ed cuts in Nebraska, they are much smaller than those in other parts of the nation. Many of our colleagues face difficult negotiations with pay cuts a part of those discussions. Arrays

with negative salary increases are very common. The guidance from the higher education community, along with the K-12 leadership, also focused on issues such as grievance policies, intellectual property rights and other working conditions. Nebraska higher education has not had a large presence at the RA in previous years. Local associations are entitled to send delegates based upon their membership. Because of Heidi Farrall the effect the RA has on the business of the NEA, NCHE is urging states to send more higher ed delegates to speak more effectively about our issues. I would encourage you to consider attending the 2011 RA which will be held in Chicago. If you are interested in affecting the higher education agenda of the NEA. For more information on the next RA or other issues related to the board, please contact me at

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Nebraska Higher Ed Leaders Graduate from NEA Leadership Academy: Reflections on an exceptional experience One of the true highlights of the 2010 NEA Higher Education conference in San Jose, California was the presence of three Nebraska Higher Education leaders as members of the 2010 graduation class for the NEA Emerging Leaders Academy. The NEA Higher Education Emerging Leaders Academy (ELA) is a three session training program over a nine month period that is open to dues paying higher education members from all categories of higher education who meet the program’s eligibility requirements. Candidates can apply for the program directly but must be endorsed by their state association or higher education affiliate. ELA sessions were held at the NEA headquarters building in Washington, DC, in Miami, FL, and at the San Jose higher education conference. The following are reflections from Nebraska’s three graduates. Congratulations to each of them! Find out more about the ELA and how to apply for the class of 2011 at the NEA website. Karen Granberg—Nebraska State College Professional Association (NSCPA) – Wayne My name is Karen Granberg. I am a Licensed Mental Health Practitioner in the State of Nebraska, employed by Wayne State College. My work is with student retention and success through academic advising, career decision-making, and personal goal-setting. I am an academic professional and a long-time member of the Nebraska State College Professional Association. At the beginning of the bargaining session for the 2009-2011 contract, out of frustration at the adversarial tone at the table, I told the NSEA Higher Ed UniServ Director that I needed to understand more about the bargaining process and its context. He advised me to apply to the NEA Emerging Leaders Academy. I went online ( ) to learn about the academy and applied. And the transformation that comes with education began. Two goals took precedence for my ELA experience: 1) to gain a thorough knowledge of the process of collective bargaining; and 2) to share that knowledge with my local association. At ELA I learned about the “collective” in bargaining. I learned about the effectiveness of teamwork; about the incredible resources of the NEA/NSEA to assist in the team -building process; how to contribute to the local team through focus on the strengths of our membership; that the “collective” is the vehicle for defining opportunities to organize outside of the bargaining moment. Listening to the aspirations of the collective membership for our work and for our lives is essential for success. I learned about the power of identifying and creating measurable goals and achieving measurable results. So what’s changed? 1) our local NSCPA-Wayne now operates according to by-laws; 2) we held an election of officers; 3) we elected Board Members and a Negotiating Team; 4) we meet monthly as an association with our NSEA UniServ Director; 5) we have invited NSEA staff members to speak at our meetings and our members are increasing their knowledge of the organization to which they belong; 6) members are recognizing and taking advanLeft to right: Pam Burks, Karen Granberg and Mary Goebel-Lundholm tage of the professional development opportunities offered by NSEA/NEA; 7) our local President meets regularly with the President of the Professional Staff Senate and the WSC Human Resources Director; 8) we are building membership. The changes occurred because the membership was ready to step up. Through the ELA opportunity, the “collective” came to the fore and became a catalyst for re-energizing our local. I have moved from a passive observer of the process to an active participant in my local association. The ELA is an intense, dynamic, and transformational experience. Thank you to the UniServ Director, who encouraged me to apply; to my colleagues and Wayne State College for making my participations possible; to the members of the Academy 2010, who contributed immensely to the learning experience; to the ELA training cadre and to NSEA/NEA for believing that leaders can be made and for supporting that belief through action. The “collective” is the strength of the Association. Pam Burks—North Platte Community College Education Association – North Campus Hi, I am Pam Burks. I really enjoyed the Emerging Leaders Academy Training after the first initial shock was over. I really was over whelmed with information during the first session and quickly realized that the things I dealt with in my local was on a much smaller scale than some of the other people attending. We had a great group and all seemed to get along great and there were friendships formed from spending all of this time together. Meeting all of the other people from different states helped us to learn about different cultures and issues they had in their own local organizations. I learned so much about myself and how to handle different situations that come up. We had a lot of group situations where we had to brain storm our ideas and work out solutions that worked for eve-

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ryone and the Cadre leaders were great. We attended three different training sessions. The first one was in Washington DC, the second one was in Miami FL and the last one which included our graduation was held in San Jose, CA. I would highly recommend anyone wanting to apply to attend this do so as it is an experience that will stay with you forever. Everything learned can be applied in all aspects of your daily life. Mary Goebel-Lundholm—Peru State College Education Association It was an honor to participate in the NEA’s 2010 Emerging Leader Academy (ELA). Participation is vital for succession planning and flourishing leadership of the National Education Association and associated locals. ELA serves as the foundation for training future leaders by providing historic perspective for organizing and training in effective strategy. Importantly, the training acquaints future leaders with resources available to local leadership and introduces leaders to accessible offices, which provide assistance in everything from data gathering to communications to outreach, all components necessary for effective leadership. Most important is the opportunity to meet and learn from members which represent a cross section of all organizations engaged in higher education. Hearing stories of challenges faced by various levels of contributors to the higher education experience serves to place a human face on struggles which we know exist but are often removed from. This experience provided a much deeper appreciation for the fact that everything we accomplish or fail to accomplish resonates through a much larger community.

Nebraska representation at 2010 San Jose NEA Higher Ed Conference: Left to right: David Eledge and Joan Trimpey of Metro Community College, two folks from other states, and Larry Scherer, NSEA Bargaining Research Director. Mark those calendars now! The 2011 NEA Higher Education Conference will be in Boston in March. Plan on having your local represented!

SCEA President represents Nebraska at NEA 2010 Salary Roundtable Over August 2-3, SCEA President Bill Clemente was an invited presenter at the third annual NEA Salary Roundtable. The meeting brought together union leaders from fourteen states, each with a four member delegation. The Nebraska group included Al Koontz, Larry Scherer, Ron Goldenstein, and Neal Clayburn. Bill offers the following reflections on his experience: “The NEA invited me to attend as a speaker. The various state groups broke up to attend the workshops and then met Tuesday morning with various folks from NEA on specific areas of interest of the group's choice. And groups also shared information about a wide variety of topics, from contract language to technical communication tools. The workshops and the speakers focused on salary campaigns and other areas of interest, from talks about union organizing to the use of short movies in union campaigns. My 55-minute presentation focused on what the SCEA and HEA has accomplished over the past nearly five years, from SCEA's ever-developing contract situation to HEA's growing influence in salary negotiations and other areas of Higher-Education concern. Neal Clayburn and Larry Scherer also attended my session and took part in the discussions, as did Mark Smith and Dave Winans, who introduced me and who had written an excellent article in a NEA publication about the SCEA contract negotiations: "At the Heart of Rural Nebraska: NEA Higher Ed Faculty." The session passed in a flash: indeed, the story of SCEA and HEA over the past five years is compelling enough to keep everyone awake on a humid day and after an excellent lunch.” SCEA President Bill Clemente

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Higher Education at Delegate Assembly a Record Success

The nineteen higher education delegates at the 2010 NSEA Delegate Assembly over April 16-17 represented eight of the fourteen higher ed locals and one of the largest higher ed turnouts for a DA. The Academy goal is to make next years representation even larger. Check your calendars now for the 2011 Delegate Assembly, which will be over April 15-16. Plan now on being part of the next Delegate Assembly.

NSEA-Higher Ed Gets Major Win with Supreme Court Decision The email arrived early on Friday the 13th but it was not bad luck news! Rather, Karen Kilgarin, the NSEA Director of Government Relations and Public Affairs announced the following: “This morning, the Nebraska Supreme Court handed down decisions in favor of our State Code Agency Teachers Assoc. and State College Education Association. Congratulations to our SCATA and SCEA members and to Mark McGuire and all NSEA members and staff involved in this litigation! “ This is a huge win for the State College Education Association (Peru, Wayne and Chadron) and the State Code Agencies, but it is also a big win for all of us who rely upon the integrity of the Special Master process and the authority of the Commission of Industrial Relations. In both cases the administrations sought to undermine the authority and deciKaren Kilgarin sion of the Special Master and then the Commission of Industrial Relations, and in both cases the Supreme Court upheld the Special Master process and the CIR and rejected the claims of the administrations. Also, in both cases part of the administration arguments were that in multi-year contracts there can not be grounds for projections of coming years because we do not yet have real data for those years and this was a clear challenge of reaching comparability. Again the Court flatly rejected that conclusion, enforcing and supporting reasonable projections no matter what the economic environment. Tons of NSEA time and expense went into this legal battle and it is truly something significant that higher education is getting for membership dues dollars. Jerry Hoffman and Mark McGuire

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UNKEA leaders: Let the Negotiations begin!

Nebraska Student Leader Now NEA Student Chair Tommie Leaders!

Leaders of the University of Nebraska at Kearney Education Association preparing for the opening of contract negotiations. Pictured (Left to Right) are Negotiator Will Aviles, Chief Negotiator Marc Albrecht, and UNKEA President Bill Wozniak. UNK negotiations kick off in late August.

I am Tommie Leaders, your 2010 -2012 NEA Student Program Chairperson. I am originally from Minden, Iowa, and am a student at the University of Nebraska at Omaha majoring in elementary education with endorsements in math, language arts, and social sciences. As chairperson my main goal for the student program is to increase the active participation of student members at the local, state, and national levels. Other goals involve establishing an effective line of communication with state presidents, revamping our social networking sites to make them more user-friendly and accessible, and developing external partnerships to build interest in education and community outreach. For resources, more information, or to discuss potential ideas for improving the student program, please contact me through one of the following: Email: Phone: 202-822-7915 Web site:

Your Higher Education Academy District: Our state-wide Academy district encompasses all of the higher ed locals across Nebraska. You can visit the district web site via the NSEA main web site.

UniServ Kudos Corner! As all of our higher ed officials and locals work with the NSEA UniServ Directors to create an effective state-wide higher education resource team we want to highlight opportunities to recognize the good service of our UniServ Directors. Recent comments include the following kudos: Duane Obermier: A former seven year president of NSEA, Obermier’s areas of expertise include organizing, problem solving and member rights. He is the staff liaison to NSEA's Ethnic Minority Affairs Committee (EMAC) and also works with NSEA's English Language Learner (ELL) project. He has been a UniServ Director for five years, and is assigned to Wayne State College. “Duane has attended our monthly NSCPA-Wayne meetings since we began having them in fall of 2009. He has been extremely helpful in bringing NSEA people to campus to help us learn more about the professional organization we belong to.” - Karen Granbert, Secretary, NSCPA—Wayne “Duane Obermier is, without doubt, the greatest Uniserve Director EVER! I’m not exaggerating.” - Charissa Loftis, Treasurer, NSCPA—Wayne. Jackie Wise: A UniServ director for 12 years, Wise is a strong advocate for members and has extensive experience in the area of member rights. She is a 7 Habits of Highly Effective People facilitator, and her talents include problem solving, quick responses to member questions and effective listening skills. Jackie is assigned to Metro Community College. “Jackie helped us develop our 2010 membership recruitment and retention plans...Jackie referred to our contracts...and referenced our College catalog. Wow! She has clearly taken time to learn about us before making suggestions. And, as a result, her suggestions are on-target for our group.” - Karen Rodgers, Metro Local

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Volume 4, No. 1

Your Higher Education Academy Directorate

Christopher Waddle Central Community College Board Member 402-476-8222

Bill Clemente Peru State College Secretary 402-872-2233

Patti Blundell Chadron State College Faculty Representative 308-432-6454

Roger Davis University of Nebraska at Kearney President 308-865-8771

Joan Trimpey Metro Community College Vice President 402-738-4675

Ann Petersen Chadron State College Treasurer 308-432-6337

Karen Rodgers Metro Community College Academic Prof. Rep. 402-457-2683

Lael Churchill Central Community College ESP Representative 402-461-2491

NSEA Higher Education Academy Newsletter, August 2010  

NSEA Higher Education Academy Newsletter, August 2010

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