What we think about our jobs - 

 

Kelli Bradley, Mount Pleasant High School - Vice President

Job Description - My role is to support the President and stand in his/her place when needed, perform such other duties as the President may direct; receive the names of the Representative Council delegates and alternates and provide necessary credentials for the delegates; receive nominations for delegates to the DSEA Representative Assembly and supervise the election of delegates to the DSEA Representative Assembly.

 

What made being an active part of the union important to you?

I have always reached out to befriend, help, and guide people. The Union was a natural next step for me in being a teacher.  

What is the most important part of your union job?

The most important part of my job is helping to guide BEA toward the future while helping teachers do the best job they can in their specific environments.

 

What do you get the most satisfaction from about your union job?

Resolving issues for teachers in a fair equitable resolution.

 

What would you say to encourage members to be more active?

Even if you are overwhelmed with work we are in this together. We are colleagues Together we can achieve so much more. Even if you only have a little time please give it for others.

 

Jennifer McKelvey, Concord High School - Secondary Grievance Chair. 

 

I file grievances for teachers in the Middle and High Schools when there has been a violation of the contract.  I also assist in filing complaints when a teacher feels “wronged” in some way and it’s not a contractual issue.

 

What made being an active part of the union important to you?

I became an active member of the union because I feel it’s important for teachers to be treated fairly.  It started with an interest in protecting the teachers in my own building and then blossomed when Mary O’Connell told me that she felt I could be an important part in more than just building BEA issues.  Once I saw what Kristi Grant did at the elementary level I was interested in doing more.

 

What is the most important part of your union job?

I feel that the most important part of my job is making teachers feel like their concerns are valid while still bringing a voice of reason to the issue.  It’s important that someone be there to represent the teachers when all the other people with a stake in education may NOT be looking out for the teachers.  Sometimes teachers are new and don't know the contract or they just need to be heard and don't feel comfortable approaching their admin.  I am very lucky to have an amazing administration but not everyone has that and that's what the union is for..

 

What do you get the most satisfaction from about your union job?

When a teacher thanks me for helping them or guiding them through an issue or situation they have…whether it was a grievance or a question that they didn’t know the answer to, it’s good to hear I was helpful in some way.

What would you say to encourage members to be more active?

I understand that we are all busy; I have two teenagers and I coach in the Spring so I get it.  However, if we, as educators, don’t stand up and have our voices heard and protect our members than who will?  As I mentioned before, all the other stakeholders are representing themselves and without a union the teachers will not be represented.  It’s our responsibility to make sure our issues are considered and heard at all levels of education.  I choose to be active locally but there are many opportunities out there for anyone who wants to be part of an important organization.  Changes in education appear to be coming more frequently and with less teacher input every year.  The union works to represent teachers and that's a good cause.

Jeannette Wilt, Brandywine High School – Membership Chair

Job Description – I am responsible for maintaining the membership roster for our local. In addition to organizing the New Teacher Hire luncheon and other events during the school year, I also keep in touch with the building representatives about staff changes in their buildings. I work with DSEA to keep membership counts current.

What made being an active part of the union important to you?

When I started at Brandywine in 2004, I realized immediately that being active was the best way to stay informed and to improve working conditions. I became a building rep in my second year, and was asked by Dave Bradley to be the Legislative Chair in my third year. In 2011 I increased my involvement by joining the DSEA Executive Board.

 

What is the most important part of your union job?

As membership chair, I believe that reaching out to new and current members and helping them to understand the importance of our union on the national, state, and local level is vital.

 

What do you get the most satisfaction from about your union job?

I derive satisfaction knowing that I can resolve an issue for a member or can direct him/her to find a solution. That helps take the stress off my colleagues so they can perform their job better, which ultimately benefits the kids as well.

 

What would you say to encourage members to be more active?

Being active in our union in any capacity is helpful. As teachers, we already know the value of education. We should educate ourselves on the issues affecting our careers. We spend a huge part of our lives at our jobs, and we need our workplace to be a pleasant and safe environment. That’s why even one hour a month can help. Start small – attend a Board meeting; come to a Rep Council meeting (they’re open to all members!); help out a new colleague in your building. These are small ways to gain knowledge and be active in BEA!

Rachel Herskowitz, Mount Pleasant High School - Secondary Cluster Rep

 

What made being an active part of the union important to you?

I was asked by a fellow colleague my first year teaching if I would be interested in serving as the Professional Development Chair for BEA. As a new teacher I felt it was important to get involved so I took the position and have been on the Executive Committee since 2003. It is important to me to represent our teachers and to make sure everyone is being treated equitable and that the same rules apply to all individuals.

 

What is the most important part of your union job?

The most important part of my job is to ensure that all teachers are being represented and that building reps are working with their administration to follow the contract and to make sure our teachers are fairly represented.

 

What do you get the most satisfaction from about your union job?

Knowing that teachers are being treated fairly and actively working with teachers not only in my building but across the district.

 

What would you say to encourage members to be more active?

I would like to see some new faces get involved in BEA even if it is starting off as a building Rep or coming out to an event we may be hosting. I understand time is valuable and teachers are overworked and overloaded with extra things to do already, but without an active membership and committees we cannot continue to best serve our teachers.