As the 2017-2018 school year approaches ( I know, it went too fast), I felt like it might me time to take another crack at using the blog feature on our website to get some basic information and thoughts into a forum that is accessible to our members.
For starters, I'm going to be working with ACEA leadership and Association Reps to launch ACEA's first ever Building Blitz. The Blitz is pretty simple. We're going to be attempting to get to every building within the first two months of school to hold brief 10 minute meetings.
**Update- August 10, 2017**
Still Just as important as when it was originally posted!
What is the first thing a you should do when confronted with almost any issue for which you feel like you might need ACTA representation? The first thing is to seek out and talk with your building rep and, if you can't do that,call the office and speak to me or Debbie ASAP. But after that, the most important thing after that is to document your side of the story.
If you've had a run-in with a parent? Document.
If you've had an uncomfortable talk with your supervisor? Document.
If you have an incident with a student? Document.
When in doubt? Document.
Documentation is very simple. Just remember to record the who, what, where, when, why and how and try to be as unemotional in your description as possible. Do not make judgements or accusations of the others involved. Simply tell your side of the story. Be concrete and use as simple language as you can. Save your documentation in such a way that you can access it at all times- even if you can't get to school.
Also remember that you have a right to representation in any administrative meeting, but, unlike Miranda rights, you have to ask for it. If an administrator requires you to attend a meeting, you must or risk being insubordinate. If that is the case, you are within your rights to say, "I'd be happy to discuss this matter further once I have union representation."
The position of UniServ (Short for Unified Service Model) Director was developed by NEA as a blanket title for field staff of primarily state affilitates like MSEA. The idea was to create staff positions that would provide direct service to members of a bargaining unit as it related to contract issues, evaluation appeals, legal matters and grievances. The UniServ position was also created to provide advice and to act as a liason between local education associations, their state affilitates and NEA.
While UniServ Directors still function in these capacities primarily, the job has also broadened in scope to include organizing, public advocacy and building organizational capacity.
Simply put, a UniServ Director works with and on behalf of Association members to fight for public education. As your UniServ Director, I will be there with you advocating for what's best for our schools and the professionals that work in them.