How Do I…(FAQ)

Membership FAQs

  • How do I update my address/phone/email?
    You can send an email to MCEA’s Membership Coordinator, Jackie Thompson, at jthompson@mceanea.org.
  • How do I join MCEA?
    You can download an MCEA Membership Form here.  Complete and sign the form and forward it through the pony to MCEA’s Membership Coordinator, Jackie Thompson, at MCEA. Are you a substitute or Home and Hospital Teacher? Use this form.
  • How much are dues and are they tax deductible?
    If you itemize miscellaneous deductions on your federal income taxes, your membership dues in MCEA, MSEA and NEA can qualify as a deductible business expense (see http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p529.pdf ). The combined dues (MCEA, MSEA, & NEA) for full-time members for the full calendar year 2016 were $698.80. If you are part-time, or were not paying dues for the full calendar year, you can contact MCEA’s Membership Coordinator, Jackie Thompson, at jthompson@mceanea.org, to find out your specific dues payments. MCEA members may also be eligible to deduct up to $250 in out-of-pocket expenditures for classroom supplies. See http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc458.html, for details or consult with your tax advisor.
  • How do I join the Sick Leave Bank?
    If you were hired after July 1, 2013 you were automatically enrolled in the Sick Leave Bank, unless you specifically opted out. If you were hired prior to July 1, 2013 you needed to submit an enrollment form. Contact Mary Neal at 301-294-6232 or mneal@mceanea.org if you have questions about your status.
  • How do I apply for Sick Leave Bank benefits?
    Contact MCEA’s Sick Leave Bank Coordinator, Mary Neal, for a sick leave bank request form and physician’s statement form, at 301-294-6232 or mneal@mceanea.org.  More information can be found here.
  • How do I sign up for Long Term Disability insurance?
    Contact Adam Ashby at American Fidelity, for information on the different types of coverage available.  Contact Adam at 434-996-4719 or email adam.ashby@americanfidelity.com.
  • How do I run an ad in Tradewinds?
    If you are an MCEA Member, you submit your ad to :  Tradewinds@mceanea.org. We require your full name, school, and contact phone number.  PLEASE NOTE:  If you send us an ad from any non-paid subscriber such as YAHOO, HOTMAIL, etc., it goes directly to SPAM.  SPAM is automatically deleted before it gets to Tradewinds, so to be on the safe side, please use your MCPS e-mail.
  • How do I reserve classroom or meeting space at the MCEA Conference Center?
    To make a reservation contact MCEA Conference Center Coordinator, Debra Mackall, at dmackall@mceanea.org, 301-294-6232. Click here for information.

Member involvement

  • How do I run to be a delegate to the annual convention of the Maryland State Educators Association (MSEA)?
    The statewide MSEA Convention is traditionally held in October in Ocean City. If you would like to represent MCEA at the Convention please complete the Nomination Form and return it to Kiwana Williams-Hall at the MCEA office, via pony.  First-time delegates are especially encouraged to run. It is also MCEA’s policy to strongly encourage the participation of minorities.  MCEA provides a stipend which covers most travel, room, and food.
  • How do I run to be a delegate to the annual convention of the National Education Association (NEA)?
    The National Education Association Representative Assembly establishes the NEA’s general objectives and legislative agenda, adopts a budget, sets annual dues, elects national officers an at-large NEA directors, and directs the national association’s activities through new business items.  Delegates to the NEA Representative Assembly will be elected by the MCEA membership in an all-member vote.  MCEA is entitled to approximately 75 delegates (based upon membership estimates).  MCEA provides a stipend which will over most travel, room, and reasonable food expenses.
  • How do I get discount movie tickets?
    Members may purchase these tickets at the MCEA Conference Center in person. Tickets are available for AMC (tickets are $8.00 and there is a 10 day waiting period for new releases) and Regal ($8.00 and there is no waiting period) theaters. Tickets may be purchased between 8:00 am and 4:30 pm. Members may purchase tickets in person or they may send a family or colleague to pick up tickets at the MCEA office. Members may purchase 20 tickets per day. We only accept checks, NO CASH, thanks for your understanding.
  • What are the responsibilities of being an Elected Faculty Representative (EFR)?
    The EFR position was established by the 2004 contract negotiations between MCEA and the Board of Education. It is an outgrowth of many years of work by MCEA and the Board to improve labor-management relations within local schools and provide for faculty involvement in school-level decision-making.   “As a full member of the school’s leadership team (the core leadership group involved in local school decision-making), the Faculty Representative works with other leadership team members collaborating with school administrators. In this role, the Faculty Representative, along with other leadership team members, serves as a communicator and liaison with the school’s faculty. The Faculty Representative helps to facilitate and solve problems through the leadership team”.
    In addition, the Faculty Representative shares responsibility for ensuring effective communication between the administration and the faculty and for increasing faculty involvement in, and ownership of, local school improvement. Faculty Representatives are selected annually by the faculty, and receive a salary supplement and summer planning day(s), in accordance with the Agreement between the Montgomery County Education Association and the Board of Education.
  • What are the responsibilities of being a MCEA Building Representative?
    MCEA Building Reps are the heart and soul of the Association. They are grassroots leaders, selected by colleagues, to represent them in the creation of an effective organization that advances the interests of educators and public education. MCEA Reps are leaders, organizers, and problem-solvers.  Each school/worksite is entitled to at least one MCEA Rep, and additional Reps on the basis of 1 for every 15 MCEA members (or major fraction thereof). The primary responsibility as a Rep is to provide union leadership for MCEA members at the school or worksite by:

    • helping them solve problems arising from their work as educators in their school/worksite
    • advocating for and representing their collective interests and needs as education employees
    • mobilizing collective action when necessary, and
    • getting other members involved in the work of the union

    The most effective Reps develop a core of colleagues to share in the many tasks involved. The ability to recruit volunteers can be the most valuable skill for a Rep to develop.  There are many tasks involved in developing an effective building level organization. No one person can do it all. That’s why developing a core of volunteers is essential.  A well functioning team of Union Reps shares the responsibility for:

    • Ensuring that their school/worksite is represented at every Rep Assembly
    • Promoting communication about issues
    • Helping members solve individual and school-wide problems
    • Organizing MCEA membership meetings in your building as needed
    • Promoting involvement in decision-making at your school
    • Distributing MCEA materials
    • Conducting MCEA elections
    • Involving members in Association activities
    • Recruiting new members to the Association
    • Promoting involvement in political action
  • How do I make a political contribution to the Fund for Children and Public Education?
    The Fund for Children and Public Education is MCEA’s political action fund. Contributions are used to educate the public about pro-education candidates who have been recommended by the MCEA Representative Assembly after a detailed screening process. Contributions may be made through payroll deduction .  One time donations by check may also be made.  Send the form, or contribution,  to MCEA, 12 Taft Ct. Rockville MD 20850.
  • What exactly is the Union Community Fund and how can I donate to it?
    The Union Community Fund, like the United Way, pools individual contributions and then makes grants to charities.  However, it is different in that representatives from SEIU Local 500, MCAAAP and MCEA participate, along with the representatives of other Washington area unions, community, and religious organizations on the UCF Board in grant-making decisions, thereby increasing the representative voice we have in those decisions.  As educators, we see how poverty affects our students.  While we work to mitigate its impact in the classroom and level the playing field, we must strive to change the conditions that create the poverty our students’ experience.   MCEA proudly joins with others in the labor movement to fight for the right to organize, for a safe workplace, for health care, childcare, and self sufficiency.  The Union Community Fund disburses funds to organizations that provide direct service and advocacy.  If you would like to donate to the UCF, you may print and send the form back to MCEA.  You may donate through payroll deduction or by check made payable to the Union Community Fund.

Contract FAQ’s

  • How do I determine my hours and planning time as a part-time employee?
    See the attached chart which delineates the duty hours and minimum planning time guaranteed for Part-time employees.
  • Do I have to sign an  observation report that I don’t think is accurate?
    You should sign the report, as signing it only means you have seen the document and have been given a copy. You should submit a written response to the document.  Call MCEA if you would like assistance writing your response.
  • How do I know what’s in my file?
    You have a right to view your school or Human Resource file.  Make an appointment with the principal’s secretary in order to view your school file.  Call the file room in MCPS at 301-279-3344  in order to make an appointment to view your HR file.  You may have a representative present.
  • Why don’t we get snow days back if we don’t use them?
    There is a lot of misunderstanding and confusion out there about snow days. We are paid to work 195 days (Article 16 Section H of the Contract). Two of those days are “unscheduled professional time” – the 16 hours of flexible time – so the scheduled work year is 193 days. This includes 184 student instructional days. If we have (up to 4) snow days, they are essentially paid days off. The state sets a minimum number of student instructional days – currently 180. Since we have 184 days in the calendar, we can absorb 4 snow days without reaching the point that we have to make them up in order to meet the state minimum. So there are two fundamental problems with advocating that we should “get the snow days back” if they aren’t used. The first is that we would essentially be arguing that we should be paid for days that we don’t work, since our pay is based on the full 184 instructional days (plus 9 professional days plus the 16 hours of unscheduled time). The second problem is that we would be advocating that MCPS should only provide the minimum number of instructional days required by the state. As educators, it would be problematic to be arguing that our students need less instructional time, rather than more. To argue that we should only provide the minimum of 180 days would look to the public as if we were not interested in the needs of our students. There are other school districts in Maryland that only schedule 180 student instructional days. But it is important to remember 1) those districts pay their teachers less than MCPS does, in part because they work fewer days and 2) those districts have to schedule make-up days for every single snow day of missed instruction. That also raises the bar on the district when it is making a decision on whether to call a snow day or not. It is much easier for a school district to err on the side of caution and call a snow day when it doesn’t automatically mean they have to schedule a make-up day.