NEA Board of Directors Virtual — Dec. 4, 2013

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Illinois Directors attending online/by phone:  Jim Grimes, Eric Brown, Joyce Bailey, Tom Tully, Alex Wallace, Vickie Mahrt, and Rainy Kaplan.

President Dennis Van Roekel welcomed the Board to the virtual meeting and outlined the agenda.

Presentations:

Secretary-Treasurer Becky Pringle

Financial Update—

NEA maintains a healthy assets to liabilities ratio despite continuing membership losses.  Membership stands at more than 3 million.  NEA also received a clean unqualified audit report.  NEA continues to analyze membership trends.  The NEA Budget Committee will be taking input and meeting through March 2013.  A budget proposal will be presented to the Board of Directors at their May meeting.

Director of Government Relations Mary Kusler

Legislative Update—

Kusler discussed the Lame-Duck Congressional Session and potential Sequestration—cuts to domestic and defense spending and automatic tax increases.  She urged members to continue to lobby their Members of Congress in their home districts.  Talking points and report forms are available at http://educationvotes.nea.org/.

Presidential Inauguration Information—

A limited number of rooms in Washington, D.C. were available to states and NEA board members.  The contact for a potential room, no later than Dec. 12th, is Lisa Robillard at:  lrobillard@nea.org.  As of this meeting, NEA did not yet have information on other Inaugural events.  Members are urged to contact their Congressional Representatives or political parties for Inaugural tickets and other Information.  Numerous groups will have websites for the various balls and events.  NEA will be hosting a reception at its headquarters on the evening of Sunday, January 20th.

Vice President Lily Eskelsen

Union Solidarity Working Group Report—

NEA representatives met with teams from SEIU and AFSCME at the NEA headquarters Dec. 2-3, to draft documents dealing with union solidarity and relations among the unions.  The Working Group will be sharing the draft documents with Board members and will host a virtual webinar in January to review the documents and answer board questions.  Action is anticipated at the NEA Board’s February meeting.  The NEA representatives were:  NEA Vice Pres. Lily Eskelsen, Jim Grimes (NEA Dir. Illinois), Pat Frost-Brooks (Pres. Ohio Ed. Assn.), Alice O’Brien (NEA Gen. Counsel), and Michael Edwards (NEA Chief of Staff).

The NEA currently has similar agreements with AFT and its affiliates in many states.

Reports:

Proposed 2013 Amendments to the Constitution, Bylaws, and Standing Rules—

The following amendments are being proposed for action at the 2013 Representative Assembly:

Standing Rule Amendment 1—to return to the procedures set forth in Roberts Rules of Order in regard to motions to object to consideration.

Standing Rule Amendment 2—to make an amendment to the Legislative Program subject to a motion to object to consideration.

Standing Rule Amendment 3—to postpone consideration of new business items that are moved for referral as a group until the following day unless the motion to refer is made on the final day of the RA.

Standing Rule Amendment 4—to limit the text of new business items to one hundred (100) words or less.

Standing Rule Amendment 5—to require whatever possible the inclusion of the email address of the contact person when a proposed RA action is published.

Standing Rule Amendment 6—to make available to the makers of new business items an explanation of the cost estimates as well as the guidelines for determining those costs.

Standing Rule Amendment 7—to provide for the election of the Internal Editing Committee by the Resolutions Committee at an in-person winter meeting and with the subsequent consent of the NEA RA.

Standing Rule Amendment 8—to require two in-person meetings of the NEA Resolutions Committee separated by at least sixty (60) days.

Constitutional Amendment 1—to change the percentage of classroom teachers required on NEA committees from seventy-five (75) percent to the percentage of classroom teachers within the NEA membership, with certain exceptions.

Constitutional Amendment 2—to remove the classroom teacher percentage requirement for NEA committees.

Constitutional Amendment 3—to change the percentage of classroom teachers required on NEA committees from at least seventy-five (75) percent to at least sixty (60) percent.

Constitutional Amendment 4—to allow NEA to provide the text of proposed amendments to the Constitution or Bylaws to all members through NEA printed or electronic media.

Bylaw 3-1g Implementation Plans—

NEA Bylaw 3-1(g) requires state affiliates to submit to the Executive Committee by December 1st of each year a legally permissible plan for achieving ethnic-minority representation at the NEA Representative Assembly (RA) that is proportionate to their state’s ethnic-minority population.

For purposes of Executive Committee review, any state affiliate that did not meet its respective Bylaw 3-1(g) numerical goal in any of the last three years must submit a written plan on an annual basis until it has achieved its numerical goal for three consecutive years. Thirty-four (34) state affiliates were required to submit plans for the 2013 RA; these plans are divided into Groups I and II. The eighteen (18) state affiliates that comprise Group III have achieved their numerical goals for three or more consecutive years.  State associations have been advised of the transition to new Bylaw 3-1(g) numerical goals based on the 2010 U.S. Decennial Census. The 2013 RA will mark the second year in which the recently released 2010 data from the U.S. Census will be used for purposes of Bylaw 3-1(g).  Thirty (30) state affiliates in this category did not meet their numerical goals at the 2012 RA and are required to file their Bylaw 3-1(g) plans for the 2013 RA.

Fourteen (14) of the affiliates in this group have not met their numerical goals for three or more consecutive years, making them eligible for NEA implementation activities; Illinois is among those states.

Annual Report on Reduced Dues—

Proposals were presented for continued reduced organizing dues including for SIUE Faculty Assn. and UIUC Assn. of Academic Professionals in Illinois.

Council of Chief State School Officers Report—

This month, the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) will be releasing Our Responsibility, Our Promise – a Task Force Report on Educator Preparation and Entry into the Profession.  Pres. Van Roekel shared highlights of the report.  Information on CCSSO can be found at their website:  www.ccsso.org.

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