Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Collective Bargaining Works - HB 5354

HB 5354 - Collective bargaining works!
In January 2006, Holland teachers were involuntarily switched to a non MESSA health care plan. A few months later, the teachers NEGOTIATED a contract that switched their insurance back to MESSA. Because the teachers switched back to their NEGOTIATED MESSA, the Holland School District has SAVED over $700,000 to date. HB5354 takes away the ability and right for public employees to collectively bargain what is best for the local association and their needs. Contact your legislators and tell them to stop wasting time on HB5354 and focus on fixing education funding by creating new revenue sources and closing tax loopholes!

Imposed non-MESSA plan cost vs. Negotiated MESSA Plan cost

2006-2007 $4,087,629 $3,996,565
2007-2008 $3,875,729 $3,673,836
2008-2009 $3,979,08 $3,651,437
2009-2010 $4,083,624 $4,003,128

TOTAL $16,026,063 $15,324,966

Three year savings from negotiated MESSA plan vs. district imposed plan = $701,097

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Our work isn't done yet!

Thank you teachers for all the work you have been doing to communicate with legislators on school funding and other important issues that impact K12 public education. Our work is not over yet. Please continue to contact your representative and tell them;

1. It's time to pass a K-12 budget for this year. We are a quarter through our fiscal school year with no budget passed. It is time to get this done for our schools.
2. Pass a budget that contains no reductions over last year's revenue.
3. Don't tie up this process with all sorts of unneeded and added amendments that only confound the problems our schools now face without an approved budget for the year.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

HEA helps sway House vote on K-12 cuts!

There’s no way to fully thank the lobbying efforts of HEA members. You had an impact!

However, our work isn’t over yet. We must continue the fight to make sure a budget that invests in students is passed as soon as possible.

Continue to contact your legislators from your home phones or cell phones after school because the calls are making a difference. Ask them to give us a balanced budget without cuts in school funding. Urge your elected leaders to oppose efforts to slash education funding, and instead support tax reforms and other means of raising revenue so we can invest in the schools that will prepare students for the jobs Michigan needs.

Also, HB 5345 is not dead. The Dillon Plan only creates big government. We have been able to keep our insurance costs down in Ottawa county by bargaining at the local level.

Dave Agema - 74th State House

Arlan Meekhof – 89th State House

Joseph Haveman – 90th State House

Senator Wayne Kuipers

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Health Insurance Under Attack

Our bargaining rights, our health care benefits and even another attack on the local control of our public schools is in the headlines every day. The Andy Dillon idea of a state wide health care plan for all state employees simply can not be allowed to happen! Please go to: and become familiar with the Andy Dillon health care plan. While you are on the MEA web site please write your representatives and voice your opposition to the Dillon plan. The two major aspects to focus on are: 1.) bargaining rights....we wish to maintain our legal right to bargain our health care benefits at the bargaining table 2.) local control of our school district....we do not wish for the State of Michigan to control our health care benefits as we view this as an attack on our ability to control our schools locally. If you have not sent letter(s) to your representatives please do so. For more information, watch the following videos taken at a rally on the Capitol steps this summer. Click here to watch the videos.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Protect your health insurance rights

House Speaker Andy Dillon proposed a statewide health insurance pool for all public employees--including school employees. Regardless of the health care coverage you bargained with your school district, you would receive benefits that the state determines you should have.

To learn more about the negative impacts on your rights, go to

Contact your representative and tell them that you oppose this proposal.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

HEA Scholarship

On May 28, 2009 the HEA awarded its 10th Annual Holland High School Scholarship. Our 2009 Scholarship winner is Caroline Meyer. Caroline is the daughter of HEA member Gloria Meyer. Next year Caroline will be using her $500.00 scholarship at Ohio University. Congratulations Caroline Meyer.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Letter to the Holland Sentinel

Thank you Patti and to the many other HPS teachers who dedicate their lives and work to the children of Holland. We all strive to achieve what Mrs. Patti Arndt has accomplished over her career. To read Mrs. Arndt's letter, click here.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Above and Beyond #10

The staff at Van Raalte is always checking the pulse of their clientele. During this past year many things were done to support and help the many wonderful Van Raalte families. Staff have donated money, gifts and time for many needy families during holiday times as well as supplied the clothing closet with items for various ages of children.

Another aspect of being a teacher is honoring the teaching profession and taking time to mentor new teachers. This year, many Van Raalte staff members chose to be a part of the Grand Valley Cohort Program. This is a program in which a college student progresses from an assistant to a student teacher, but is allowed to stay in one classroom throughout the year. This is certainly a benefit to college students to develop a close relationship with an experienced mentor as well as seeing the growth of a classroom and students throughout most of a year.

Many of the teaching staff at Van Raalte are seasoned veterans and chose to take on a cohort this year. The college students began in September and left in mid-April, for graduation. During the entire year, staff members spent time training these students daily to address the many aspects of running a classroom. College students are expected assume full responsibility for a classroom at the end of this experience. In addition, mentors make recommendations to continue or possibly leave the teaching profession. This is not a role lightly assumed.

Looking forward to the future will ensure we have many potential great new teachers for our future in Michigan. Way to go Van Raalte Staff!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Above and Beyond #9

On April 1, the Holland High School staff truly went above and beyond by holding a luncheon for Megan Wilson's daughter Natasha. The luncheon raised $2,300 to help the Wilson family and Natasha's battle with Leukemia.

Natasha was diagnosed on October 10, 2008. In an email to staff, Megan wrote, "Thanks again to all the support my family has received. I do believe that my support system has gotten me though the tough times I have already faced. Natasha’s treatment has been going on for about 6 months now and has just less than two more years left. Today showed me my support system is much bigger than I ever knew. It makes me look at the next two years with an even bigger smile…take that cancer!"

You are very welcome Megan and Natasha and like you said, "Take that cancer!"

Monday, March 16, 2009

Above and Beyond #8

Lynn VanLente- Hoover is just one of the many great teachers we have here in Holland Public Schools. She goes above and beyond the call of duty on a regular basis for our staff and students at Maplewood School. As a part of our second grade teaching staff, she has volunteered to serve as our Math Academy representative. She has attended many training sessions at the ISD and has returned to Maplewood to train her staff in the strategies learned in her trainings. She has risen to the challenge of teaching a split classroom which included a new grade. In addition to meeting the demands of teaching her second and third graders she has taken on the role of district coordinator of the Big READ Bus. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Big READ Bus, this offers reading opportunities to our students throughout the summer. It’s a literacy program on wheels! The bus runs on a weekly basis and makes various stops throughout the district. Students are able to check out books to read with their families. It’s Lynn’s hard work throughout the entire school year and summer that allows our district to provide books to our students all summer long. Lynn also serves as our H.E.A. secretary and is a member of our H.E.A. executive board.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Every Member Should

Monday, February 23, 2009

Above and Beyond #7

Did you know a Lakeview teacher did home visits during Christmas break? Another did them after school so she could meet with parents at a time that was convenient for them! And another teacher regularly decorates the tree in the courtyard that was dedicated to Michael Eastman, a former student at this school who died as a young man. His mom was an HPS teacher. She takes pictures of the tree and sends them to her sometimes. Another teacher spends a little extra time after school daily with a hearing impaired student to increase his signing and communication. These are just some of the amazing things Lakeview teachers are doing to make HPS great.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Above and Beyond #6

On a beautiful Halloween Day, Jefferson School held its first Walk-A-Thon. A Walk-A-Thon is simply students walking around the Holland High track and collecting pledges for each lap walked or one pledge for the entire walk.

Our purpose was two fold. One, to promote a healthy lifestyle, and second, to obtain extra money for field trips. With the blessing of our PTO, the Walk-A-Thon was planned and Jefferson School was able to collect $6,000 extra dollars for 4th and 5th grade field trips to the Outdoor Discovery Center, skiing at Bittersweet or any other location.

All the children had a wonderful time and a great time was had by all.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Comment from the HEA to the Holland Community

“ The teachers of the Holland Public Schools wish to assure the citizens of Holland that the excellent delivery of education will continue on a daily basis within each school building. To all students and parents: you can rest assured that all students will be safe, nurtured and cared for by our highly qualified and veteran teaching staff. The care that all students have received will continue and all parents can rest assured that their child's/children's teacher(s) will be there for them."

Charles Bullard
Holland Education Association

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thinking of retirement?

Annually the MEA sponsors several Pre-Retirement Workshops during each school year.

The next workshop is scheduled for:

Saturday, January 24, 2009 (9:00 a.m. until Noon)

Location: Muskegon Community College

This is a free workshop and if you are planning to retire within the next couple of years you should attend this workshop.

To register for the workshop please call: 1-800-458-9213 and provide your name and school district that you teach in.
Spouses are welcomed as long as there is room.