Executive Director’s Report

Congratulations to our new REAM President Jennie K. Hanson, who became President after the Annual Meeting at Jackpot Junction in Morton on September 25! Congratulations to Paul Ehrhard who was installed as REAM’s President-Elect! He becomes President in the Fall of 2020. Also, newly elected was Karna Brewer as REAM’s Vice President. She will continue as REAM’s Secretary until someone willingly steps up to take that position. Gordon Wagner is still REAM Treasurer but he would like to step down, so we need a new Treasurer. If you would be willing to serve as REAM’s Secretary or Treasurer please let me know at 507-301-3609 or Jennie Hanson at 218-357-2385 or Paul Ehrhard at 651-319-0777 or Karna Brewer at 763-427-8595 or Gordon Wagner at 320-249-2719 or Lonnie Duberstein at 651-429-8009.

Our 2018 REAM Conference at Jackpot Junction ran quite smoothly and there were lots of good comments. In 2019 we will be at Prairie’s Edge Casino and Resort at Granite Falls, Monday and Tuesday, September 30 – October 1. Mark your calendars and join us!

Those of you with dental/vision insurance through AMBA, the dental rate will increase by 2.4% ($1.32/month) on January 1, 2019 with the cost guaranteed for two full years. The vision insurance will increase $1/month for an individual member but will now include standard progressive lenses as a covered service and will include Walmart.

Beginning January 1 TRA Members COLA is 1%. That passed into law last May with the passing of the Pension bill which took three years to finally pass in the Minnesota Legislature. As an Executive Director I receive REAM newsletters from around the U.S.
Kansas has not received a COLA in 19 years. I know our COLA’s have not kept up with inflation in the past 19 years, but we have had COLA’s most years. Several states besides Kansas have to go to their state legislatures to receive a COLA increase every year. Of course that isn’t decided until the final days of the legislative session and there isn’t money for that COLA. We are lucky in Minnesota that we don’t have to go to the Legislature each year for a COLA increase.

The National Council on Teacher Certification has a monthly update and states that there is a new study by the Economic Policy Institute that finds that teachers now earn 11.1% less than comparable professionals. According to the U.S. Department of Education teachers are earning almost 2% less than they did in 1999 and 5% less than in 2009. According to the National Education Association the national average starting salary for a teacher is $38,617 while the average salary for recent college grads is $50,400. Watch for more strikes by educators in 2019.