PSEA Mideastern Region

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Region Newsletter - February

PSEA's 8th Annual Special Ed. Conference

"BEE" THE CHANGE!

Look how much we've grown!

Join us in Hershey for PSEA's 8th Annual Special Ed Conference

April 12 & 13, 2024

View the Flyer

View the Schedule

MER Executive Committee Meetings

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Our Executive Committee meetings offer time and space for our local leaders, committee chairs, and PSEA staff to collaborate, conduct the business of the region, and support our members. All meetings are held in person at 5pm at our office in Montgomeryville.

  • Feb 28
  • March 27
  • May 22 – Social

MER Coordinated Bargaining

Our Coordinated Bargaining meetings offer time and space for local officers, bargaining teams, and PSEA staff to work together towards our goal of attaining quality salaries, benefits, and working conditions for our members and their families. All meetings are held via Zoom with the exception of the opening social.

  • March 4 – Virtual
  • April 8 – Virtual
  • May 6 – Virtual

MER Pre-Retirement Workshops

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Is Retirement on your horizon? Let PSEA help you with your planning!

As your retirement nears, it's time to consider which PSERS monthly income options to choose, as well as how to handle your contributions and interest account. You may even have tax-free benefits headed your way!

The Mideastern Region will be offering In-Person and Virtual options for PSEA members to attend. Registration is required to attend either option. Please click the Learn More to view all available dates. 

MER ESP Division Meetings & Workshops

2023-2024 Meetings & Workshops

Dinner is provided to all registered attendees and starts at 5:30pm. Division Meetings will begin prompty at 6:00pm with workshops following on or around 6:30pm.

  • March 13th, 2024 - Annual Spring Division Meeting/Elections & Workshop: Conflict Management, presented by Nathan Greenawalt, PSEA Director of Special Field Programs

  • April 17th, 2024 - Division Workshop Only: Positive Attitude in the Workplace, presented by Judith Petruzzi, PSEA Director of Ed. Services

Continuing Education Hours are available with District Pre-approval

All ESP members of the Mideastern Region are invited to attend any Division Meeting & Workshop. Pre-Registration is REQUIRED to attend these meetings/workshops. Registration opens 3-4 weeks prior to each meeting.

(Workshop topics, dates, and times are subject to change)

March 23, 2024

MER Movie Matinee

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When: Saturday, March 23rd, 2024 at 1pm

Where: Collegeville Movie Tavern

What: Kung Fu Panda 4

Who: EA and ESP members and guests are invited!

Tickets: $6 each and general admissions only

Celebrating Retirees of MER

Do you know a PSEA Mideastern EA Region or ESP Division member who has retired in the 2023-24 school year? If so, we’d love to recognize their years of service and honor them on our social media accounts. Simply fill out the form here and we will do the rest!
 
We also have these yard signs available at the region office. A nice surprise for your retiree to find in their yard. Contact the Mideastern Region Office at 215-853-2100 to secure your member's sign. 

PSEA Center for Professional Learning

PSEA offers a wide array of in person and online professional learning opportunities in both synchronous and a-synchronous formats. Members can earn Act 48 credit (PSEA is an approved Act 48 provider by PDE) and Chapter 14 verification to submit for district consideration toward the fulfillment of annual hours for HQT.

PSEA offerings:

Micro-Credential offerings:

NEA Micro-Credentials Offerings

PennWest-Edinboro Mirco-Credentials

View additional offerings or other opportunities at the Center for Professional Learning by clicking the box below. 

Featured Event: Will & Healthcare Documents

Attorney A. Martin Herring, Esquire is the official provider of will preparation services for Mideastern Region members. Make an appointment to meet with him to create a will or update your current will.

Click on the Learn More box to view upcoming dates and for scheduling information. 

MAC Committee

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The Minority Affairs Committee (MAC) is a BIPOC-led space where allies are welcome. We explore the unique experiences and priorities of our members of color and work in concert to improve cultural responsiveness and representation in our unions.

The Mideastern MAC meets every other month on or almost on the second Wednesday in the Mideastern Region Office at 5pm. Members unable to come to the office may join virtually. 

Additional MAC Info 2023

Upcoming Meeting

Bucks & Montgomery County Schools Healthcare Consortium Meeting Dates

Trustees of this health care consortium meet will meet on:

HCC Labor Meetings will start at 5pm (all virtual)

  • March 26
  • April 23
  • May 21
  • June 25

Full Trustee Consortium Meetings will start at 9am – see locations below

  • March 28 – Virtual
  • April 25 – Bucks IU
  • May 23 – Mideastern Region Office
  • June 27 – Bucks IU

PEARL - Professional Education and Resources for Learning

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PEARL is PSEA’s hub for our online learning programs.

PEARL (Professional Education and Resources for Learning) is a Moodle-based learning management system that will allow us to greatly expand PSEA’s asynchronous learning opportunities. On PEARL, members can find videos, documents, and presentations packaged into clear, easy-to-follow learning progressions and courses in an array of new formats.

Whether you’re a teacher, education support professional, student, associate, or any other category, your membership gives you exclusive access to this resource so you can start exploring and taking courses immediately. 

PEARL Learn & Review Challenge

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Mideastern Region Professional Development Opportunities

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Mideastern Region and Division members have the opportunity to earn Act 48/Chapter 14 credit at our events in Bucks and Montgomery Counties this school year. Click the link below to view all available opportunities!

*These events are open to Mideastern Region Members ONLY*

Montgomery County PSEA-Retired Susan K. Castle Memorial Scholarship Fund

The retired educators in Montgomery County (PSEA-Retired) annually offer scholarships to rising college juniors or incoming seniors who have graduated from a Montgomery County public high school and plan to earn an education degree and teaching certificate. For additional details and to complete the application, please click on the Learn More box below.

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PSEA MER CAPS Student Art Gallery

The Mideastern Region of the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA/MER) and the Council for the Advancement of Public Schools (CAPS) proudly sponsor the annual “Touch the Future” juried art exhibition, an exhibition that features select works of art from across 24 local high schools in Pennsylvania. We celebrated the 35th anniversary of the show this past February.

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Each year, the PSEA Mideastern Region purchases pieces from these shows to hang and display in their headquarters. The work featured in this collection is diverse and expansive, now spanning over decades of shows.

To celebrate our anniversary, we have had the PSEA-MER Student Art Collection curated. All the works that we have purchased over the years have been cleaned, restored and/or reframed, if necessary, photographed, and catalogued for continued display at our region office. In addition to the physical gallery, a digital gallery lookbook was created. For mobile devices, access the gallery on the CAPS website here.

Special Program: PSEA Personal Legal Services

PSEA has a Personal Legal Services Program for members and their families. The program provides discounted rates and two 30-minute consultation sessions free during each membership year with the designated law firms below. The areas of concentration are:

Please take advantage of this special program.

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Information on Clearances

Act 153 of 2014 requires school employees to provide or renew State Police/FBI record checks and child abuse clearance statements. Additional changes to the law went into effect July 1, 2015. PSEA wants to ensure that all members understand how this policy affects them. Updated clearances are required every 60 months from the date of the oldest clearance. If you obtained your clearances when this law went into effect, you are approaching the end of the 60 month term. Please reach out to your HR department or visit this website for more information.

Is Retirement in Your Near Future?

If you are retiring at the end of the school year or calendar year here are steps that you should be taking with your district and PSERS:

  1. Carefully read your contract for information about when you need to provide notification to your district.
  2. Request a retirement estimate from PSERS. You can ask for up to two different scenarios (ex: retirement date of June 2022 or December 2022.)

  3. Call the Southeast Regional PSERS office in Warminster (215.443.3495) to schedule Exit Counseling.

You can also sign up to be a PSEA-Retired member if you are in year one or year 35 of your career - or anywhere in between! The earlier you sign up, the more money you will save on dues. You can enroll in PSEA-Retired FOR LIFE with a one-time dues payment of $790, or break that into four payments of $197.50 over a two-year period. This is a great way to continue to stay involved and engaged with the work of the association as well as continued use of our member benefits. For more information and to enroll, visit this website.

Save on your Prescriptions

No matter what type of insurance you have or who provides it, this group has the potential to save you and your family money! Give it a try... this will go one of two ways:

  1. You enter your information, discover that there's a savings, and use the coupon

  2. You enter your information, discover that the prices listed are not less than your current copay, and continue to use your insurance for the prescription as you have in the past.

In short, you can use one method, but not both, to get the lowest price available. GoodRx operates this website as well as an app.

PSEA Health & Welfare Fund

Why Choose the PSEA Health & Welfare Fund?

The PSEA Health & Welfare Fund is a separate legal entity with the focus of providing benefits to Pennsylvania school employees. It is our goal to provide an opportunity for school employers and employees to purchase competitively priced programs.   We understand that both school district and employee budgets are tight. The Fund can provide a tremendous opportunity for significant savings.

The Fund puts customer service as a top priority, and we believe in providing employers and employees with the same high level customer service. The Fund does not get involved in labor/management issues such as negotiating labor contracts or grievances. Our sole purpose is to provide benefits to Pennsylvania school employees.

The Fund works to customize plans to meet specific district needs. The dental, vision, life and disability plans offered by the Fund can be tailored to match the specifics of each district even if they have multiple plans covering multiple groups. Additionally, the Fund can cover all employees including administrators, bargaining unit employees and non bargaining unit employees.

By choosing the PSEA Health & Welfare Fund, districts can optimize savings through the Fund's large purchasing pool, gain the ability to cost out benefit changes, choose self-funded or fully-insured programs, ease the burden on district staff with billing and enrollment functions and receive a high level of customer service including help with potential carriers and/or coverage issues.

NEA Center for Social Justice

NEA’s Center of Social Justice (CSJ) represents the intersectionality of the Association’s racial, social and education justice values. CSJ advances NEA’s vision of great public schools for every student through professional supports, partnerships and activism that equips educators to be powerful advocates for teaching, learning and living conditions students and members deserve. We provide guidance and support efforts to build capacity and take strategic action to disrupt and eventually eradicate all forms of oppression in our schools and beyond.

Click here to learn more

Council for the Advancement of Public Schools

Be sure to check on the website and Facebook page of CAPS! Help us spread the word about the amazing things happening in our public schools, thanks to the hard work and dedication of PSEA members. If you have a PR item that you'd like us to feature, please send photos and a brief description to Danielle Gross at dgross@clearpointpa.com

Delaware Valley Consortium for Excellence & Equity

The Delaware Valley Consortium for Excellence and Equity currently serves 38 school districts in Greater Philadelphia along with three county intermediate units and the Pennsylvania State Education Association. They are part of a regional network of school districts in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware committed to working together to enhance the achievement, well-being, and future success of their struggling diverse students and close the districts’ pervasive and long-standing opportunity and achievement gaps.

Working intensively over the past fifteen years they have developed a unique, cost-effective and self-sustaining regional school district consortium model for addressing priority areas, all of which are focused around inter-district collaboration and shared learning for continuous improvement in closing the preparation, opportunity, and achievement gaps observed for disproportionate numbers of students of color and/or students coming from economic disadvantage.

CAPS applauds these districts in Bucks and Montgomery Counties that are working with this Consortium: Abington, Bensalem, Colonial, Centennial, Cheltenham, Council Rock, Hatboro-Horsham, Jenkintown, Lower Merion, Morrisville, Neshaminy, Norristown Area, North Penn, Spring-Ford Area, Springfield Township, Upper Merion, and Wissahickon.

If you are a member in any of these districts, please take a moment to thank your school board for their commitment to eliminating achievement and attainment disparities defined by race/ethnicity, economics, gender, or (dis)ability.

For more information about the programs and opportunities available to participating districts, please visit this website.

PSEA Member Benefits

Did you know your PSEA membership can help you save money on things such as contact lenses, Verizon Wireless, and even Home equity loans?

Take a minute to check out the full line up!

PSEA-R Bucks & Montgomery

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Retiring from your job doesn't mean you should retire from PSEA and the important activities of your union. PSEA-Retired offers a wealth of programs, activities, and benefits, while keeping you connected to the people and the profession that are so important to you. 

Pension Advisory

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If you are within your first weeks of employment in a public school in Pennsylvania, you have an important decision to make. Please read the document below, consult your financial advisor if necessary, and contact PSERS with any further questions.

NEA Member Benefits

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Did you know that you have $1,000 complimentary life insurance from NEA? All you need to do is name your beneficiary – there is zero cost involved. This, and other discounts on travel, appliances, and much more are available through NEA Member Benefits.

Upcoming Events

Join us on Facebook

Join the PSEA Mideastern Region or Mideastern ESP Division Facebook group to find information and updates on region events, education policy, and legislative happenings in Harrisburg and Washington.

PSEA Mideastern Region Facebook Group

PSEA Mideastern ESP Division Facebook Group

Resources

For members

 

Executive Committee

Information for members of the PSEA Mideastern Region Executive Committee.