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EDFT Newsletter

East Detroit Federation of Teachers
October 10, 2006

THE BIG MOVE: The EDFT is in their new digs. We've been setting up computers, phone lines, fax lines, etc. and trying to get everything that we've moved over to fit in. Thank you for being patient. Special thanks to members John Costandi, Larry Ricard and Mark Weigand who lent their muscles and energy to help three very weary women (not to mention our exhausted Roseville prez) and One Man's Moving Company, solely owned and operated by Tom Mazur (Wanda's other half).

Our new address is 18223 Ten Mile Road, Suite 200, Roseville, MI, 48066. We are in the Pointe East Center, which is on the north side of Ten Mile and about 3 blocks west of Kelly Rd. Our office is in the first building on the left. If you're in the area, stop in and check out our new office.

WELCOME TO OUR NEW MEMBERS: We have received notice that we have some additional new members. Please join us in welcoming Julie Stocker (Art-Oakwood), Donna McCollom (Health Occupations-High School), Robert Johnson (Resource Room-Oakwood), Kelli O'Connell (Biology-EDHS) and Jerry Kaminski (Para-Media Tech-Oakwood/Kelly), Elizabeth Hubbell (Chemistry/Physics-EDHS) and Edward Caughell (Math-EDHS).

SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY: The Union Plus Scholarship is available to all AFT members. The children of 10 AFT families will be selected to receive scholarship awards from $500 to $3000. Applications for the 2007 Union Plus Scholarship program are now available. The deadline for the 2007 awards is January 31, 2007. To obtain more information and to download an application visit: http://www.unionplus.org/benefits/education/scholarships/up.cfm. The application is an Adobe Acrobat PDF file.

PARAPROFESSIONAL OPPORTUNITY: AFT PSRP is holding their Conference next year, April 19-22, at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas, NV. Our local would like to send two paras to this conference. If you are a paraprofessional and are interested in attending this conference, please submit your name to the union office by school or e-mail on or before Nov. 15, 2006.

SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHER LOAN FORGIVENESS INCENTIVE: The President has signed new legislation that allows the availability of loan forgiveness of up to $17,500 for individuals who are now or who are seeking to become highly qualified special education teachers. For more information, see the letter from the Secretary of Education, Margaret Spellings, at: www.ed.gov/policy/highered/guid/secletter/060301a.html.

CONGRATULATIONS! The East Detroit High School Band attended the Michigan School Bands and Orchestra Association District XVI Marching Band Festival on October 4, 2006. EDHS was awarded the highest rating-Level 1. The bands performed a series of marching techniques and musical numbers. Kudos to Jim Ohrt, Band Director, and the hard working musicians who made it possible.

K-16 PROPOSAL: If you are able to contribute to the campaign to get proposal 5 passed, please send a check now! The campaign needs to purchase TV time before all the available time is gone. Checks can be made out to AFT Michigan or Citizens for Education. Mail to AFT Michigan-2661 E. Jefferson Ave., Detroit, MI 48207. EDFT Executive Council approved a $2,500 donation to the K-16 Coalition at their Sept. 27th meeting and the national affiliate has offered $100,000 in matching funds for this ballot proposal. It should also be noted that the National AFT has contributed $1,000,000 to the campaign to re-elect Jennifer Granholm.

BOARD POLICY: The East Detroit Board of Education, in their Policy and Procedures Manual, does require a 60-day notice when resigning from this district. Depending on circumstances, administration can and has held members to this policy. If you are thinking of job-hopping, please keep this policy in mind and submit your resignation within the proper time frame.

MORE THANKS to Diane Molitoris and Norm Petersimes who, along with Dara Knill, attended a Saturday workshop at AFT Michigan entitled, "Enforcing the Contract." This training was designed to enhance the skills needed to effectively enforce contracts. Training focused on the grievance process, Weingarten Rights, communication and mobilizing members in support of work issues.

NEGOTIATIONS UPDATE: Negotiations were postponed in early September due to the moving of our office. We are scheduled to meet in an all day session on Friday, October 27. Work on the new contract has been slow but steady.

BUDGET COMMITTEE MEETING: The Budget Committee will hold a public meeting next Thursday, October 19th at 4:00 p.m. at our new office. Anyone who is interested may attend.

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18223 Ten Mile • Suite 200 • Roseville, MI 48066 • (586) 778-3309
© 2006 EDFT