I hope everyone is busy enjoying his/her summer break. After a school year filled with challenges, a time to pause and refresh is needed.
There is both good news and bad news for our members this summer. The good news is that most of the people laid off have either found new jobs elsewhere, or have been called back to employment in Parchment. There will be many transfers and reassignments as the District copes with changing enrollment numbers at the various levels. But the good news for the PEA is that our membership number is not as low as we once feared.
The bad news is that negotiations have been going very slowly. Obviously, given the state of the economy nationally and in Michigan, bargaining increases in salary and benefits has become even more difficult. The bargaining team has met three times with the administration, and another session is scheduled for July 29. It is our desire to have a settlement to share with you when school resumes September 1st. If we do achieve an agreement, you’ll hear it here first!
Other news: a number of our members have or soon will welcome new babies to their families, several have earned continued certification and/or advanced degrees, and others have pursued hobbies and educational experiences that will enhance their teaching skills for years to come. Summer may be time out of the classroom, but is not time wasted!
Coming up: the District is planning a big “ribbon-cutting” event for the opening of the newly remodeled high school. PEA would like to organize something to coincide with that event, possibly as a fund-raising opportunity to help with the scholarships we offer Parchment students. More details on this event will be posted here and sent via email as they are finalized. The district event is tentatively scheduled to begin at 5:30 on September 1st — just an hour or so after our General Membership meeting that afternoon. A big turnout of PEA members will let our community know that we care about Parchment and are a valued part of the entire team effort.
Come back to this site in a week or so for additional updates, and enjoy your summer!