NEW Who can Santa Rosa EA represent and who is covered by the master contract?
Per Article 1, Sections A & B of your contract, all instructional employees and all educational staff professionals (clerical and paraprofessionals) are guaranteed the rights in the Master Contract. Section 447.401, Florida Statures permits a certified bargaining agent to decline representation of an employee who is not a member of that organization in the processing of grievances arising under a collective bargaining agreement. If a certified bargaining agent does so, the employee has the right to representation by anyone he or she chooses, including a representative from Santa Rosa Education Association.
Per Section 120.62(2) of Florida Statutes, “Any person compelled to appear, or who appears voluntarily, before any presiding officer or agency in an investigation or in any agency proceeding has the right, at his or her own expense, to be accompanied, represented, and advised by counsel or by other qualified representative.” Per Section chapter 447.301 (4): “Nothing in this part shall be construed to prevent any public employee from presenting, at any time, his or her own grievances, in person or by legal counsel, to his or her public employer and having such grievances adjusted without the intervention of the bargaining agent, if the adjustment is not inconsistent with the terms of the collective bargaining agreement then in effect and if the bargaining agent has been given reasonable opportunity to be present at any meeting called for the resolution of such grievances.”
What type of professional liability coverage do members have if they joined SRPE after September 2015?
The short answer is none. When SRPE stopped transmitting membership data to FEA there was no way for FEA to know any information about the new members. This is why those SRPE members have not received any letter from FEA that their insurance and member benefits will stop as of March 15, 2016. Basically, the SRPE leadership left these members and their professional lives in jeopardy for the last six months because they misled them about liability coverage. The only way to have the professional liability coverage and comprehensive legal services of the FEA, NEA and AFT is to be a member of Santa Rosa EA.
1. Who is the Santa Rosa EA?
Santa Rosa Education Association was started by members of SRPE who were concerned with the lack of information and notice about SRPE’s proposed disaffiliation with its state and national affiliates. These members sought assistance from FEA to facilitate a resolution with SRPE to remain affiliated. Santa Rosa EA is affiliated with the state and national associations — Florida Education Association (FEA), National Education Association (NEA) and American Federation of Teachers (AFT). The FEA alone has more than 140,000 members statewide.
Over the last several months members of Santa Rosa EA and FEA staff have held hundreds of one-on-one conversations with teachers and education staff professionals throughout Santa Rosa County. A large majority of them want a local association that is affiliated with FEA, NEA and AFT. Santa Rosa EA members say they want an organization that is transparent, led by members, driven by issues, where members have a voice in the decisions made by the local, and is affiliated with FEA, NEA and AFT.
2. What are the membership dues for Santa Rosa EA?
Annual earnings of $30,000 or more — $46.16/month
Annual earnings of $29,999 or less — $23.00/month
Dues will be collected either by payroll deduction, cash, or Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT auto deducted from your bank account).
3. Is the Santa Rosa EA affiliated with Central Panhandle Service Unit (CPSU)?
Yes, Santa Rosa EA has joined other locals in the Panhandle and will be providing staff, member representation, resources and financial assistance. That was the same offer that was made repeatedly to SRPE Leadership.
4. How long will it take for my SRPE dues to stop and my Santa Rosa EA dues to start?
It will take no longer than 30 days to cancel (upon receipt by the district payroll office) and there will be no loss in coverage if you sign up to become a member with the Santa Rosa EA.
5. Can Santa Rosa EA represent members locally?
Yes. Santa Rosa EA is fully staffed by the Central Panhandle Service Unit and FEA.
6. Do members of Santa Rosa EA work under a collective bargaining agreement?
YES. According to Article 1, Section A of the Master Contract with the Santa Rosa County School Board all employees of the bargaining unit are covered by the Master Contract. Per Article 1, Section B, all education staff professional (clerical and paraprofessionals) are also covered.
7. Does a Santa Rosa EA member have Educator Employment Liability coverage and what is it?
8. Will a Santa Rosa EA member still receive benefits from FEA, NEA and AFT?
YES, with no lapse in coverage as long as you join our organization.
9. Who are the leaders or officers of Santa Rosa EA?
YOU DECIDE! Per the Santa Rosa EA Constitution, a general membership meeting will be held once Santa Rosa EA has become the certified bargaining agent or sooner if the general membership decides to do so.
**If you are interested in becoming involved, please contact the Santa Rosa Education Association.
10. Can we belong to both Santa Rosa EA and SRPE?
11. Can Santa Rosa EA be the bargaining agent?
In 2016, the Santa Rosa EA can initiate a representative election which, if successful, will recognize Santa Rosa EA as the sole bargaining agent with the district and state of Florida.
12. What information will new members receive after joining?
New members will receive new member packets with all pertinent info (including Educator Employment Liability Policy, comprehensive life insurance, etc.). These packets will be distributed during school visits and/or will be mailed upon joining. New members can also look forward to being contacted by other Santa Rosa EA members and staff to orientate them to our organization.
13. When was SRPE notified of the potential loss of local service unit status?
Communication from FEA to the SRPE president began as early as June 2013 and formal notification via certified mail was made in February 2014.
14. What is AAE and why is SRPE becoming partners with them?
The Association of American Educators (AAE) is the organization SRPE is going to contract with for liability insurance. This organization is an extreme group with ties to an anti-public education agenda and takes positions that are threatening to public school teachers and collective bargaining. SRPE is looking to partner with them because as of March 15, 2016, SRPE members will no longer have Educator Employment Liability insurance through the FEA/NEA/AFT.