NEWS BULLETIN August
NORTH CAROLINA ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATORS
Volume 43, No. 1
Tough Legislative Session Yields Key Wins for NCAE percent cost-of-living adjustment). Educators will also receive a !!!! First-year teacher Alana Bigford $250 tax deduction for personal out-of-pocket classroom and veteran teacher Jolunda Coe expenditures. Both are good news and a relief for Coe, who has admit the reason they get up every two children in college and works three jobs – as a school social morning and go to work is for their worker and as a medical social worker for two home health students, not for the paycheck. Both agencies evenings and weekends. educators work in Robeson County “When I’m tapped for resources, I turn to community centers and like many of their colleagues and local stores for donations,” said across the Coe, who coordinates a backpack snack state, they Alana Bigford program that helps feed approximately aren’t NCAE ALSO WORKED TO: 80 children in her community. “As strangers to educators, gleaning supplies from purchasing school supplies with Repeal the elimination of different sources is nothing new for us. their own money. But, they say, prepayment of teachers’ Social service agencies don’t have the they need something in their salaries. All teachers will resources to help these children, so I do pockets in order to take something receive a full paycheck in what I can to make sure they get what out. August; they need, even if it’s at my expense.” With education budget strings In addition to compensation benefits being pulled almost to the breaking Save career status and and the tax deduction for school point, educators are doing more due process rights; supplies, NCAE garnered several other with less, which means more of very important wins and worked them have been reaching into their tirelessly to prevent major legislative wallets to pay for supplies and reform measures looking for community assistance. threatening With factors such as increased Gain five bonus annual K-12 health insurance premiums and no leave days for ALL education and pay raise, their pocketbooks have educators; educators been suffering along with the from economy. Ensure that Separate becoming law. “I’m only allotted $300 worth of Personal Education Plans “This was supplies per year, which doesn’t go (PEPs) are no longer clearly a tough very far,” said Bigford, who teaches required for teachers to legislative at Parkton Elementary School. Jolunda Coe complete, if satisfied by year, but “When that’s depleted, I can’t ask through it all, for more; I just have to make it information provided in the NCAE was the work. I gladly use my own money student’s report card; voice of public education,” said to supplement what I’m given President Rodney Ellis. “We stood because I want the best for every united and held our ground to ensure child who passes through my that educators and students remained classroom.” Stop a voucher bill from the focus of the work being done by the Thanks to the persistent work of diverting K-12 public General Assembly. NCAE during the short legislative education funding to private To review the full wrap-up of the session, Bigford and members schools; 2012 legislative session, visit the statewide will celebrate the victory Members’ Only section of the Web site, of obtaining a 1.2 percent pay Prevent performance-based www.ncae.org, and click on the raise…the first salary increase and merit pay plans from “Government Relations” tab. educators have received in more being mandated. than four years (retirees receive a 1
The President’s View Sign Up for EFT: Your Membership Depends on It! !!!!!As you know, the Legislature voted in January to eliminate the Association’s ability to collect dues via payroll deduction. For years, payroll deduction has been a convenient way for members to pay their dues. However, our advocacy in the Legislature for better pay, smaller class size, affordable health benefits, and for the respect we deserve as professionals have led to retaliation by those who seek to cheapen the public education profession. In response to this action, NCAE led a vigorous campaign to flip members to Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) in an effort to is Rodney Ell President ensure that your membership is protected from threats being made by those who seek to harm NCAE because of actions we took to stand up and give a voice to public education. For those of you who have made the transition to EFT, I personally want to thank you for your proactive approach to standing up for public education, your profession and for NCAE. For those of you who have not, I encourage you to join the tens of thousands of your colleagues who have. By keeping your membership, you can help NCAE continue to be the voice that unites, organizes and empowers educators to be advocates for the profession and for the students we serve. In June, NCAE won a major court challenge to the Legislature’s vindictive action by receiving a preliminary injunction on the payroll deduction issue. The NCAE Board of Directors has elected to continue this method of payment because of the favorable action of the Courts, but, it is only a matter of time before the General Assembly totally eliminates this method of payment. EFT is the best and only way by which we can remain a strong, vibrant organization, giving us complete control over our revenue.
Members Give Input on Proposed Changes to Literacy Policies
NCAE will continue its efforts to have ALL members transition to EFT by December 2012. Signing up for EFT is easy and secure and only takes a few minutes. Forms are available on the NCAE Web site, through your UniServ director, or can be emailed to you by the NCAE Membership Department. If at any time you have questions about the process, contact the Membership Department at 1-800-662-7924. Thank you for all that you do as a member of this Association and for the children of North Carolina. And, thanks for taking a stance with NCAE, your professional organization, and for not letting your voice be silenced. Together we are United, Organized and Empowered!
EFT Information You Need to Know ‣If you are currently signed up for EFT, your first dues payment will be deducted on September 2. Your dues will continue to be drafted on the 2nd of each month through June 2013. ‣If you pay dues via payroll deduction beginning September 2 and convert to EFT between September and December, you will begin EFT deductions for on January 2, 2013. Dues will be deducted on the 2nd of each month through June 2013. ‣Once you sign up for EFT, you will not be allowed to revert to payroll deduction. ‣If you intend to cancel your membership during the EFT Campaign, you must follow the process outlined in the membership contract. You will have 15 days after your first deduction to contact your local president or treasurer.
Jane Queen, a teacher at North Ridge Elementary School in Wake County, was one of eight NCAE members who recently participated in a focus group to review and give feedback on recommendations for strengthening K-6 licensure in reading and mathematics. Facilitated by DPI, members’ opinions will be shared with the State Board of Education, who will use the input to make major policy changes connected to literacy, both pre-service and in-service.
NCAE Advocacy Center Quickly Resolves Employment Issues !!!!!Immediate answers to issues related to members’
assistant. A general counsel will be hired before the end of 2012 and will directly oversee the Center’s operations.
Cases Handled Range the Gamut Wake County served as the pilot for the center, which became operational in September 2011. The Center added the remainder of the Triangle Region in October, and then the Southeast Region in January 2012. Members statewide now have access to the Center. Since its inception, more than 1,000 cases have been handled. During the busiest months, March through May, the Center managed approximately 150 to 200 cases per month, many dealing with evaluations and growth plans. Evaluation matters, which do not require immediate legal action, are routed to the NCAE Center for Instructional Advocacy (formerly the Center for Teaching and Learning), so that members receive assistance from experts in this area. Yet the member’s file remains within the Advocacy Center to monitor its progress. Other cases, by category, that the Center has handled include accusations of criminal conduct, discipline/reprimands, grievances, incidents (alleged misconduct/non-criminal), license suspension/revocation, recommendations for dismissal, recommendations for non-renewal, transfers and other employment issues (parent complaints, inappropriate conversations, etc.).
employment is just a mouse click or phone call away at the NCAE Advocacy Center, which provides assistance for everything from questions about sick leave to cases dealing with dismissal. Located in the headquarters building, the Advocacy Center serves as the initial clearinghouse for cases that were mainly handled in the past by UniServ directors. Concentrating on advocacy work takes a lot of time; the Center is not meant to replace UniServ directors but to give them an opportunity to focus on other job responsibilities, including organizing, membership recruitment and training. Open Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., members needing assistance will receive it almost immediately. “Having an advocacy center helps streamline the process from the time a case is opened until it is closed,” said Marie It’s About Building Relationships “I have strongly advocated for my Evans, one of the UniServ advocacy colleagues to join NCAE after specialists. “Members can begin receiving Advocacy Center services The number of cases that the Advocacy the process by visiting the during my situation.” Center is able to handle, and handle well, is a Advocacy Center Web site, --Chrystal Dempsey, Wake County clear indication that the new process is www.askncae.org and completing working. Most members are adjusting to the the online form (or they can call 1-855change, and occasionally Evans said she receives ASKNCAE). They fill in their own calls from someone who wants a face-to-face meeting. “I have demographic information and all facts pertinent to their case. members call and ask, ‘Can I come by to talk to you?’ When I Once they click ‘submit,’ a case ticket is generated, which tell them that I’m in Raleigh the response is usually, ‘Oh, my appears in our system for processing.” The Advocacy Center gosh, I’m not driving to Raleigh!’ Yet once we have talked for a staff then evaluates the matter and develops a plan of action while, they forget we’re not in the same room. This process is based on the nature and severity of the issue. about establishing trust and helping them fix their problem. When the relationship is strong, it is not necessary to look each What Makes the “Call Center” Model Effective other in the eye.” When members are in a position to handle situations on their Evans said the North Carolina Advocacy Center model is own, the Advocacy Center equips them with talking points, something new among state affiliates because it is a “call makes sure they are organized and tells them that help is only a center” that works in conjunction with field staff trained to be mouse click or phone call away. onsite advocates. “What’s different about ours is that we have Regardless of what the future has in store, NCAE is now even ‘feet on the ground,’ per se,” Evans said. “For example, if a more prepared to provide members with immediate and member in Asheville is in jeopardy of losing his job, the knowledgeable employment assistance whenever they need it. UniServ director in that area is contacted and the member’s file is shared so strategies to resolve the issue can be put in place. The UniServ Director accompanies the member to the meeting and then provides the Advocacy Center with a full report on what transpired. The information is added to the member’s file, creating one central record that can be reviewed by anyone in the Center.” The Advocacy Center is part of the NCAE Legal Services NCAE Advocacy Specialist Department and is currently being staffed by one UniServ Marie Evans assists a member advocacy specialist, three lawyers and an administrative with an issue.
!!!!!NCAE has restructured its service areas and the function of UniServ directors. Effective July 1, the state was divided into seven regions. Each region will be served by multiple UDs who will focus on assisting local affiliates with instructional advocacy, issue organizing and membership recruitment. At least one UniServ director in each region will also be assigned to work with members on legal issues, as assigned by the NCAE Advocacy Center. “These changes will help us grow and strengthen our local affiliates in ways we haven’t been able to in the past,” said Claudia Cole-Williams, manager of Legal Services. “Our UniServ directors will be more hands-on by providing training that locals need to be successful, and working with local leadership and Association Reps to organize around issues and recruit new members.” Listed are the regional offices and the UniServ directors who will staff them:
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Northeast Regional Office (Greenville), 1-800-560-5128 – UniServ directors Dorsey Harris and Deborah Harris Ivery will serve Beaufort, Bertie, Camden, Chowan, Craven, Currituck, Dare, Edenton-Chowan, Edgecombe, ElizabethCity/Pasquotank, Franklin, Gates, Greene, Halifax, Hertford, Hyde, Lenoir, Martin, Nash, Northampton, Pamlico, Perquimans, Pitt, Roanoke Rapids, Tyrrell, Vance, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Weldon City and Wilson. Southeast Regional Office (Fayetteville), 1-800-635-9153 – UniServ directors Robert Blackwell and Naomi Chisolm will provide service to Arapahoe Charter, Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Clinton City, Columbus, Cumberland, Duplin, Hoke, Jones, New Hanover, Onslow, Robeson, Sampson, Scotland and Whiteville City. Triangle Regional Office (Raleigh), 1-800-650-5034 – This region will be served by UniServ directors Tyrone Melton and Norma Reaves. Their locals are Chapel Hill/Carrboro, Chatham, Durham, Granville, Harnett, Johnston, Lee, Moore,
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South Central Regional Office (Charlotte), 1-800-635-3387 – UniServ directors Lina Drinkard and Don Lloyd will serve Anson, Cabarrus, Catawba, Hickory City, Iredell, Kannapolis, Lexington/Thomasville, Lincoln, Charlotte/Mecklenburg, Montgomery, Mooresville City, Newton-Conover, Richmond, Stanly and Union. Western Regional Office (Gaston), 1-800-822-9287 or (Asheville), 1-800-635-3371 – UniServ directors Keyth Harrison and Theresa Zeigler will provide service to Asheville City, Buncombe, Burke, Cherokee, Clay, Cleveland, Gaston, Gaston College, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania and Yancey. Northwestern Regional Office (Winston-Salem), 1-800-635-3386 – This region will be served by UniServ directors Amy Bridges and Colleen Lanier. Their locals are Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Caldwell, Davidson, Davie, Elkin City, Forsyth, Mt. Airy, Rowan, Stokes, Surry, Watauga, Wilkes and Yadkin. Central Regional Office (Greensboro), 1-800-635-9148 – UniServ directors Frederick Pruitt and Ray Riffe will serve Alamance, Caswell, Guilford, Randolph and Rockingham counties. NCAE Headquarters -- 1-800-662-7925 Advocacy Center (Raleigh) -- 1-855-275-6223, www.askncae.org ! Marie Evans ! Michael Chaudhuri ! Jessica Holmes ! Carrie Bumgardner
10,000 New Members…Together We Can Do It! Ten thousand new members is the goal NCAE is setting for its 2012 Back-to-School Membership Campaign, which begins in September and runs for 12 weeks. “The Association’s continued strength is contingent upon substantial membership growth,” said Bettye Brown, manager of Membership and Organizing. “But as we bring in new members, our focus will be to engage them, facilitate their empowerment, and assist them with becoming advocates for themselves, their students and the profession.” !!!!!4(25/!'/+26(,1'-!,77!72+,7-!82!-'8!9'9:'(-3*;!12,7-<!82!0')'72;!,!9'9:'(-3*;!;7,/<!implement the plan, analyze the plan and tweak it as needed in order to be successful. “Together we can do this,” she said. “The success of our organization depends on all of us. Let’s all play our part and commit ourselves to making NCAE the best that it’s ever been.”
NC Retired Educators Share a Vision for “A Whole New World” At NCAE’s Summer Leadership Training, NCAE President Rodney Ellis informed members that “It’s a Whole New World,” his theme for 2012-2013. North Carolina Retired School Personnel participates in the vision for a new world by “Sharing the Vision— Daring to Dream.” Though we are retired educators, we continue to share John Hoffman common concerns that all educators NCRSP President face during the coming years. Our mission coincides with that of NCAE. We want to join with you collaboratively to advance retirement and health care benefits and to support the communities we serve. Recent actions of the General Assembly have caused us to embark on a different course for recruitment of members and collection of dues through electronic funds transfer (EFT), but we will be stronger together by doing so. Membership can be strengthened also by encouragement of those who have never been members of NCAE to join with us as we move forward together.
Achievement of continuous membership from student members to active membership and continuing into retirement years will assist in the development of capable leadership and promote alignment of goals at the local, district and state levels of our Association. Working together for improvements in retirement and health care benefits, as both active and retired educators, will be an asset to all educators now and in the future. This is not an issue reserved for retirees as it affects all educators who are currently employed as well. All educators contribute countless hours in educational and service programs within the communities they serve whether at the local, state, or national level. The volunteer hours of our Association members save millions of dollars for the State of North Carolina each year and often help ensure that our students are prepared to learn when they enter the classroom. Service projects of our individual members, as well as group projects that are joint efforts between NCAE and NCRSP, provide materials for students and teachers as they strive for successful educational experiences. Let us remember also the Foundation for Public School Children as we seek to enhance the preparedness of students in pursuit of a quality education for all children. Collectively, NCAE and NCRSP members hold vast influence in this “Whole New World” as we “Share the Vision while Daring to Dream.”
…that staff members from the NCAE Instructional Advocacy Center monitor all State Board of Education meetings? In addition, the NCAE president, vice president, executive director and associate executive director spend time working with legislators. Finally and most powerfully, NCAE helps its members stay in constant touch with legislators, providing opportunities for members to interact with political leaders and have their voices heard by elected officials.
It’s a Whole New World!
The scope of this year’s Summer Leaders Conference was broadened to include a larger base of participants. Training was specifically geared to ensure that an entire leadership team -- presidents, vice presidents, secretaries, treasurers and Association Reps -- can work together as a cohesive unit to grow and strengthen locals.
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B U L L E T I N
Positions stated in this publication do not necessarily reflect the official position of NCAE unless so identified. The NCAE News Bulletin, a journal of the Association, is published by the North Carolina Association of Educators, 700 S.Salisbury St., Post Office Box Box 27347, Raleigh, NC 27611, 1-800-662-7924. Linda Powell-Jones, Editor/Designer