President Phil Murray welcomed delegates and leaders to the MNEA Spring Representative Assembly on Sat., April 22, at the Lodge of the Four Seasons. Delegates from across the state gathered to celebrate MNEA’s 50th anniversary and accomplish Association business.
During the two-day meeting, delegates approved the MNEA budget, MNEA Resolutions revisions, and received reports from several MNEA programs. Elections were held for several Board positions and Andy Slaughter was re-elected as NEA Director. DeeAnn Aull, MNEA Executive Director, received the Friend of Education Award. Becky Pringle, NEA President, addressed the Assembly and recognized MNEA’s growth and success since 1973.
President Murray’s message to delegates was one of opportunity for the future as he reflected on the history and achievements of the Association. He recognized some of MNEA's founders that were in attendance at the RA – Bobby Baylor (Parkway NEA), Rob Meyer (Poplar Bluff NEA), and Peggy Cochran (past Executive Director). To help celebrate, a book, filled with pictures, summarizing the history and timeline of Missouri NEA, will be available this summer on the MNEA website for the cost of shipping (while supplies last). President Murray congratulated and thanked delegates, leaders, and staff for their service to MNEA.
Deeann Aull, MNEA’s Executive Director, shared the following:
- MNEA is on solid financial footing with a balanced budget and clean audit report.
- Spring membership enrollment is underway, MNEA-R and Aspiring Educator memberships are both up, Active membership is up almost 700 members since September 2022
- Bargaining is underway in numerous locals – the RA congratulated Northwest EA, Meramec Valley NEA, North Kansas City NEA, and 4 Springfield locals for being recognized as exclusive representatives and bargaining contracts.
- MNEA locals elected 83% of recommended school board candidates in the April elections.
- Executive Director DeeAnn Aull announced her retirement at the Representative Assembly. DeeAnn Aull joined MNEA in 2000 as teaching and learning director and has served MNEA as assistant executive director, managing government relations, communications, and education services for 10 years. She became MNEA Executive Director in 2016. DeeAnn's 45-year career in education includes experience as a kindergarten teacher, a leader in gifted education, computer and technology coordinator with the Kentucky Department of Education, and education software marketing and development for IBM.
Tune into MNEA Connects – the podcast for MNEA members
Samantha Hayes, Director of Teaching and Learning, updated delegates on MNEA’s podcast, MNEA Connects. Subscribe and share.
It is critical that our members are actively involved in their local elections. Donations to the Missouri NEA political action committee (PAC) can be made here and help support your local’s recommended candidates. Delegates to the RA donated over $6,000 to MNEA PAC at this RA. MNEA Government Relations resources can help or contact Liz Zerr, MNEA political director.
MNEA HOPE Fund - continuing to support our students and members
Delegates and MNEA locals donated $15,000 to the HOPE fund at RA. HOPE volunteers collected over 500 pairs of socks and undergarments for students. The MNEA HOPE fund provides relief to victims of natural disasters; relief to the poor, distressed, or underprivileged; financial assistance for supplies to support students; and research and implementation of projects that address critical needs in education. Your tax-deductible contribution can be made here.
Women’s Issues Committee – do your students need supplies?
MNEA WIC continued their period supply and toiletry drives to help educators supplement their student bathrooms and nurses' offices. At the Fall and Spring RAs this year, MNEA WIC has collected and distributed more than 75 bags of supplies. Contact your UniServ director if your students or nurses’ offices need feminine hygiene products or toiletries.
NEA Directors, Paul Guess and Andy Slaughter, and NEA Directors At-Large, Carmen Hill and Dennis Tabb, have been working at the national level, representing Missouri NEA members on the NEA Board of Directors. They met with the Missouri congressional delegation in February. Topics included Community School Grants, and Title 1/IDEA funding, and Social Security GPO/WEP.
The Government Pension Offset (GPO) reduces Social Security spousal or survivor benefits by two-thirds of a public pension. Nine out of ten people lose their entire spousal benefit. GPO impacts 695,000 people, most of whom are women, low-income earners, and often, ESP members. The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) affects 1.9 million people who worked in multiple jobs covered and not covered by Social Security. WEP reduces retirement, disability, spousal, or survivor benefits by up to 50 percent. NEA is working to move two bills that have strong bipartisan support - Missouri representatives Graves, Cleaver, and Luetkemeyer have co-sponsored. Martha Karlovetz and Andy Slaughter will lobby in D.C. on GPO/WEP again in May. You can contact your representative and ask them to support the Social Security Fairness Act.
More RA business:
- Laura Mullins, Springfield NEA, received the Soar with the Eagles Leadership Award.
- Dorothy Walk, MNEA-Retired, received the Lorna Bottger Award for Individual Excellence in Political Action.
- Ritenour NEA, Columbia MNEA, Special District NEA, and Special Education Employee Association were recognized for their commitment to BIPOC involvement activities.
- Wanda Malin, Diane Livingston, and Chuck Howard were elected to the Heritage House Board of Directors.
- California Casualty announced the winners of the Thomas R. Brown Athletic Grants. Hillary Taylor, Poplar Bluff NEA, and Summer Young, Marshall NEA, each received $1,000 grants to support their athletic teams.
Outgoing members of the MNEA Board of Directors were recognized for their service to MNEA:
Stephanie Hasty – Governance District 2
Christopher Renner – Governance District 6
Connie Steinmetz – Governance District 7
Thomas Greene – Governance District 7
Taylor Edwards – Aspiring Educator Director
Elections were held for the MNEA Board of Directors:
Governance District 2 Director Amanda Perschall, Lebanon NEA
Governance District 3 Director vacant
Governance District 6 Director Scott Dean, Columbia MNEA
Governance District 7 Director Dennis Tabb, Ferguson Florissant NEA
Aspiring Educators Director Faron Haase, Missouri State University
For Your Calendar: MNEA Committee volunteer forms are due July 15, 2022. These working teams are how our members shape the work of MNEA. You can complete the form online to choose an area of interest.
- Kansas City, June 12-13, Argosy Casino Convention Center.
- St. Louis, June 15-16, Hollywood Casino Convention Center.
MNEA 2023 Fall Representative Assembly, November 18, Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark, St. Louis
RA delegates and local leaders: Please share your feedback and suggestions for improving the RA experience here.