Executive Director's Column: Spread the word about PSEA

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Executive Director's Column: Spread the word about PSEA

Voice: September 2017

Do you know them all yet? The names of your students? By now you are a few weeks into the 2017-18 school year. I’m sure you do.

Do you know the names of your new colleagues? The ones who have just joined the staff. Maybe in their first assignment. They are both exhilarated and nervous about the prospects for their year.

The beginning of the year is always a busy time. But I hope you’ll take a few minutes – or maybe more – out of your schedule to welcome new employees where you work, and ask them to join us as PSEA members.

You’ve read and heard a lot about how important it is for us to organize, grow our membership, and strengthen PSEA as an organization.

Organizing is a key tenet of unionism, of course. That’s because there is, and always has been, strength in numbers. Strength that means better working conditions for you and your students.

Organizing is about relationships. Connecting with people. Talking to colleagues – one-on-one – and telling them what we already know about the benefits of belonging to PSEA.

Organizing is about listening, too. It’s so important to ask both new and experienced members what they think about our Association. That’s why we’ll ask every PSEA member five brief questions in a survey this fall. So, look for that survey when you receive your new PSEA ID card, and please send it in as quickly as you can.

Whether you’re building relationships, talking about the benefits of membership, or just listening, you’re all part of something important – an organization that protects you, fights for you, and speaks out for you.

You’re also part of a community of PSEA citizens who share ideas, ideals, and aspirations. You’re a member of an Association of like-minded, committed professionals who help each other every day.

That unity of mission is what makes PSEA powerful.

So, please reach out to your new employees. Tell them how great an organization PSEA is. Remind them that it really does pay to belong. And sign them up.

If you have any question about the influence you have as a PSEA member, look no further than Gov. Tom Wolf’s recent announcement about the PSSA exams. Last month, he told Pennsylvanians that many of our students will spend 20 percent less time on the PSSAs.

This is a real victory for our schools, students, and professions. PSEA has been pushing for standardized testing reforms for years, because we know that too much testing gets in the way of teaching and learning. We’ve even proposed a comprehensive standardized testing reform plan.

Now, as we start the new school year, let’s work together to make sure that there are even more of us – even more PSEA members – to speak out for what works for our kids.

I hope you have a great start to a great year. 

Email Jim Vaughan: jvaughan@psea.org