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  • 1.  Get involved!

    Posted 03-06-2024 12:17 PM

    I highly recommend getting involved in your school union!   I'm from a very small PK-8 district (530 students) but I'm in my 6th year as President of my union because I think it is vitally important that special education is represented. When I hear people say "They don't do anything for me" it is incredibly frustrating because THEY is YOU.  If we don't go to meetings and know how things are going, or even negotiate for our bargaining agreements, it sure will be a lot more difficult for others to see what our needs are, what our working conditions are and what we need to help students be successful. It is also a way to help increase pay or at least understand why the payscale is where it is at.  In Montana, the larger union needs WAY more educating about special education in general, and I'm working on that, too.  We are going to lose a lot more SpEd people and SLPs if we don't advocate for better.    :)  NOthing new. Just a little mid-week soap box.   Happy Hump Day!

    Shelby Midboe

  • 2.  RE: Get involved!

    Posted 03-07-2024 08:12 AM
    I agree…if you have a union…get involved. I was Secretary, building rep, Vice President and chairman of negotiations (I did negotiations for 12 years as chair). Learning about your district needs, the funding, and being a presence yourselves can only benefit the SLPs in your district.

    Also adding, there are lots of things that benefit ALL folks working in the schools…those working conditions…and these can be negotiated into contracts in some states. We had provisions in our contract for the length of the workday, summer compensation (which was an hourly rate based on the SLP per diem because of the need for licensure), what could be asked of you absolutely and what was considered volunteer and could be refused, compensation for giving up your planning period to work with student, adequate room with locked storage for personal items, how transfers to different schools/grade levels were handled, money to help fund registration for attending one conference a year, etc. These benefited everyone.

    In my many years of experience, more people left jobs in my neck of the woods because the working conditions were not tolerable than because of salary (disclaimer, our district paid well).


    Sent from my iPad

  • 3.  RE: Get involved!

    Posted 03-07-2024 09:02 AM
    Couldn't have said this any better!  "THEY is YOU"...love this!!!

    Thank you for the midweek soapbox!

  • 4.  RE: Get involved!

    Posted 03-07-2024 10:44 AM
    BRAVO on being a leader within the union! It is imperative that we are involved. It is through our involvement that we can impart change. I am the immediate past president of my state affiliate, Arkansas Education Association. I am the current Vice President of the Association. (I know - it seems backwards and it is, however, I was asked to run to support a President). 
    There are many opportunities for us to become involved. Consider being a building representative/association representative (depending on what your affiliate calls the position). Get involved in state committees. Run for a position on the NEA Board of Directors. I was the first SLP to serve on the NEA Board of Directors. 
    There are many ways to be involved. I hope you will consider stepping up and being part of the change we need in our schools. 


    Carol B. Fleming, MS, CCC-SLP, ASHA Fellow
    Speech Language Pathologist
    Vice President - Arkansas Education Association