Statement from Presidents Michelle Wiese and Shaun Laden
We are at the close of the first week of distance learning and our third week of providing essential support services. There have been many great moments, challenges, and accomplishments.
Many have shared the joy of reconnecting with students and families as we navigate our new circumstances and settle into distance learning.
At the same time Teachers, RSPs, and ESPs are confronting new and familiar challenges as we seek to do our best to educate and support our students. We share the frustration that many of of you are feeling as disparities that exist in our city are presenting themselves in new ways; the digital divide, homelessness and high mobility, economic insecurity, challenges faced by our undocumented community, the struggle to provide equal educational opportunities for those who receive special education services, and persistent disparities experienced by communities of color.
Our union is working to confront these challenges and help find solutions at a systems level so that we can get the most out of this time for our students and families. Your communication about your situation is appreciated and helps inform our work as we work to advocate for all.
Finally, we know there is meaningful teaching and learning happening now and want to congratulate and thank you for your work, accomplishments, and perseverance. Together, we will make it through these challenging times. Your everyday work is an inspiration to our communities and to us.
Thank you for all you do.
Michelle Wiese Shaun Laden
MFT Teacher President MFT ESP President
Comprehensive District Design
The school board has moved its vote on the CDD to May 12, 2020. Public comments for the April 12th meeting are being taken until noon tomorrow via telephone. You can call and leave a message with your comments at 612-668-1229. For more information about board meetings and how to make a public comment please go to: .
MFT also put out a petition around the CDD this week. Please check it out and fill it out here:
Elections Timeline (Teacher and ESP chapters)
MFT internal union elections will take place via email and an in-person option is being organized by the Election Committee.
Candidate bios/videos are scheduled to be published on-line next week.
Union members will receive official materials from the Election Committee in the coming weeks. Balloting will occur May 6th-May 13th. Look to your district email for electronic ballots.
While no layoffs have occurred as a result of COVID-19 for MFT members, some members have seen a reduction in hours and many have lost second or third jobs. The Minnesota AFL-CIO has helpful resources available on their website. Here is a brief statement from the Minnesota AFL-CIO about unemployment insurance:
If you have experienced loss of employment or reduction of hours due to COVID-19, including being quarantined, told not to come into work, or are impacted by school and childcare closures, or are caring for someone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, you may be eligible for UI. The one-week waiting period has been waived for all applicants. Recent federal legislation adds $600 per week to the state benefit, adds 13 weeks of additional benefits, and includes benefits for workers traditionally ineligible for UI, including self-employed, independent contractors, part-time, and gig workers. (https://www.mnaflcio.org/covid19)
Apply online at www.uimn.org. Here is DEED’s FAQ page.
MPS is still distributing devices to students and families. MPS’s goal is to get all devices out to students by April 17th.
MPS has purchased 3,000 internet hotspots for distribution to families without internet access. These hotspots are in the process of being procured (with delivery to MPS expected early next week), set up, and distributed to families in April.
An initial survey of administrators has identified an initial group of ESP who will receive devices to support distance learning early next week. After this first round of device distribution is complete, MPS will work with administrators to identify a second group of ESP who also need devices to support distance learning. If you need a device to fulfill the expectations that were given to you and you do not receive a device next week, work with your administrator to request a device for the second round of device distribution. Distribution of devices to staff is subject to availability.
If you encounter issues because you do not have a device and are therefore not able to meet expectations laid out by your supervisor email for assistance.
Teacher Chapter Interview and Select
Positions will be posted for Interview & Select on Wednesday, April 15th (see key dates below). One adjustment that was made was to allow 1 week for interviews to be completed due to the current circumstances. The I&S webpage (Department - Human Resources - Staffing) has the full calendar, and resources including the resume template, FAQs, and the link to the e-bidding portal (which won’t be live until positions are posted).
The next step to take is to prepare a resume using the resume template on the I&S webpage and to compose your cover letter..
Here are key dates:
4/15 - 4/22 - Interview & Select positions posted - View and Apply for positions
4/24 - School/Sites reach out to ranked applicants to schedule interviews
4/27 - 5/1 - Interviews conducted virtually via Microsoft Teams Video
Matching and Placement will occur during the following two weeks
Please watch for an email from Human Resources with further details that will come out shortly (Monday at the latest). It will have additional details about the interview platform and contact information if assistance will be needed along the way.
ESP Job Posting and Interview and Select
The following is the tentative timeline for ESP Job Postings and Interview and Select. These dates are subject to change. Any changes will be communicated as soon as possible.
April 22-28 Job Postings will go live for the 20-21 school year
April 30-May 7 Interviews will occur for the 20-21 school year
May 4th MFT ESP will email Excess Placement Preference forms for 20-21 school year
May 8th Job offers will be extended for the 20-21 school year
May 11th ESP Excess Placement Preference Forms are due
May 13th ESP Excess Placement Session for the 20-21 school year