This Week at MCEA: 2/5/2024

Feb 05, 2024
  1. Have You Voted? 
  2. Be Part of the Process! Join the Apple Ballot Candidate Interview Team 
  3. Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action
  4. Get an Early Start on Early Voting 
  5. MCEA Members: Making Our Voices Heard! 
  6. Enforcing Our Union Contract: Long-Term Substitutes  
  7. Inspire and Empower! MSEA IPD Conference Call for Proposals 


1. Have You Voted?

See your site’s voting % and how many more votes you need to enter our contest!  

It’s time to select the next MCEA President! Brandy Reazer (Northwood HS) and David Stein (Blair HS) are each seeking your vote. 

Now is the time to choose new union leadership for MCEA, MSEA and NEA! Last Monday, January 29, ballots were sent to all members non-work emails (many went to spam folders, so check there if it’s not in your in-box).   

You can also read about the state and national candidates and access the ballot at You will need your member ID# and the last 4 digits of your SSN to cast your vote. MCEA candidate bios are available here.

The MCEA Representative Assembly endorsed Paul Lemle, a teacher and past president of Howard County Education Association, to serve as MSEA President, and our own Nikki Woodward, current MCEA Vice President and an MSEA/NEA Director, to serve as MSEA Vice President.   

If you need your member ID#, contact your building rep or Jackie Thompson at [email protected]. 

Get Out the Vote & Win Breakfast

Every site that reaches 50% voting participation will be entered to win a free breakfast. A winner will be chosen at each level (ES, MS, HS & NSB)! Help your site win!

2. Be Part of the Process! Join the Apple Ballot Candidate Interview Team  

Ensure we are endorsing the candidates who best represent our voices at the local and state level. Join the Apple Ballot Candidate Recommendation Interview Team to interview candidates and determine whose names will appear on the educator-approved Apple Ballot: 

  • New Date: Sunday, March 3, 2024. 
  • Mandatory Training starts at 10am sharp. Candidate interviews will likely last until 6pm.

Sign up here.

3. Black Lives Matter at School Week Of Action

February 5-9, 2024 is Black Lives Matter at School Week. Show your support everyday next week:  

  • February 5th: Learn about the 4 Demands of BLM  
  • February 6th: Identify a book with black characters to read and discuss  
  • February 7th: Wear clothing that is red, green, black, and Black pride and expressions
  • February 8th: Support and uplift an African/African American student group  
  • February 9th: Include an African/African-American role model in your lesson 

For more ways to incorporate actions into your classroom, visit here. 

4. Get an Early Start on Early Voting 

Take action to get our Apple Ballot recommended candidates elected!   Early voting starts Thursday, May 2, 2024, and runs through Thursday, May 9, 2024. We need your help passing out Apple Ballots at the early voting sites each day of early voting. There are early morning, morning, mid-day, afternoon, and evening shifts available at multiple locations throughout the county.    

Please sign up for your Apple Ballot shift here!    

For more information, please contact Alicenne Passavanti at [email protected]

5. MCEA Members: Making Our Voices Heard!

Wheaton Woods Educators wear Red for Ed to support school equity

The Building Action Team at Wheaton Woods ES has had striking success organizing for a clear and equitable coverage plan, ever since their sign-on letter delivery to their admin on Dec 6.

Coverage is needed daily, often causing confusion and inequitable impacts. After the team delivered their letter, the principal asked them to bring the issue to ILT. The BAT team requested significant agenda time in advance of the ILT and leveraged that discussion into a sub-committee meeting focused on their demands.

They did intensive prep before the meeting, and brought a thoughtful coverage plan proposal, based on their experiences and conversations with coworkers. The school then sent a survey to staff based on the team’s proposals, which was widely voted on, with strong support. Administration accepted the survey results, including the BAT team’s most important ideas. There’s still some work to be done implementing the plan, but the team is proud of the fruits of their organizing!

Since December 6, 2023,  over 25 schools and worksites took action to address climate concerns. Through our organizing efforts, we are making bold demands to MCPS administration, imploring them to work with us to improve working conditions and students’ learning conditions.  Let’s continue amplifying our collective voice: get involved and join other sites in our workplace climate campaign. Reach out to your MCEA Building Representatives, your assigned MCEA Uniserv Director, and/or learn more about how to take action at

Special thanks to Highland Elementary EFR Jonathan Dehart for recently hosting an “MCEA Meet and Greet” with MCEA UniServ Director Dawn Moretz. Members gathered to learn about the current actions they as union members can be taking: voting in the MCEA/MSEA election, supporting MCEA’s Budget Campaign, and most importantly discussing how to organize around specific issues that matter to them.

Educators at Garrett Park ES wear Red for Ed 

We celebrate Red for Ed every Wednesday! Don’t forget to wear your red this week, Wednesday, February 7, to build union solidarity and awareness at your school or worksite. We love to share our actions with each other, so please email [email protected] with pictures or videos of your action.

6. Enforcing Our Union Contract: Long-Term Substitutes  

 A critical component of protecting educator rights is reading and becoming familiar with your union contract; the MCEA-MCPS Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), which includes the Substitute Teachers’ Contract (pp. 75-78). In one recent case, a long-term substitute was wrongly denied appropriate compensation in accordance with the agreement. After looking at the facts of the case and examining relevant contract provisions, the MCEA representative discovered that MCPS was in violation of language that entitles long-term substitutes who work 45 days in the same assignment to be paid 10 percent higher than the regular long-term rate for the remainder of the assignment (Substitute Teachers’ Contract, Article 7 D.). In addition, the long-term substitute qualified for a bonus of four hundred seventy-five dollars ($475) at the conclusion of the semester (Substitute Teachers’ Contract, Article 7 J.). Reading and becoming knowledgeable about the codified rights of educators ensures our collective ability to identify violations where they occur and hold MCPS accountable to the negotiated agreement. 

7. Inspire and Empower! MSEA IPS Conference Call for Proposals

Are you passionate about education, collaboration, and innovation? Do you have valuable insights to share with the Maryland educators? We invite you to be a part of our upcoming 2024 IPD Conference on the theme: “Collaborate, Celebrate, Connect: Making a Difference Together.”  This is your chance to showcase your expertise and ideas to a diverse and engaged audience. MSEA is seeking proposals from MSEA members that align with three session strands: >Turning Pages, Forging Paths: Career Transitions In Education >Transformative Discipline: Shaping Future Learning Environments >Making Connections, Building Relationships: Inclusivity  Proposal Submission Deadline: February 9, 2024  This is your opportunity to contribute to a dynamic conference that celebrates collaboration, innovation, and the transformative power of education. MSEA cannot wait to hear your ideas and insights.  Don’t miss out! Submit your proposal and be a part of something extraordinary. Together, we can make a difference! For submission guidelines, more information, and to apply, visit here.

Jump to Content