WEA Mission Statement
The Winchester Education Association is the voice of more than 500 members who are employees of the Winchester Public Schools. We are teachers, psychologists, counselors, nurses, administrative assistants, teaching assistants and special education administrators. The WEA includes four units:
- Unit A – Teachers Bargaining Unit including psychologists, counselors, nurses,etc.
- Unit B – Administrative Assistants Bargaining Unit
- Unit C- Teaching Assistants Bargaining Unit
- Unit D – Special Education Administrators Bargaining Units
Who Does What in the WEA
Building Representatives: Each school elects people to represent them in the union and with the administration. These Building Representatives (Reps) are there to help members answer questions about the contracts we negotiate with the school committee, make sure those contracts are followed, and advocate for staff with administrators and supervisors and within the union itself. Your building reps are your “go to” people for all questions and concerns, especially about the contract. Members should always feel free to draw on this resource by asking questions and inviting Reps. to come as another pair of eyes and ears when meeting with an administrator or supervisor, especially if you have concerns about the outcome of the meeting. When meeting with administrators and members, Reps help by taking notes and making sure the contract is followed and the member’s rights under that contract are respected. This is a fantastic resource that people in non-union jobs do not generally have access to, as no WEA member ever has to “go it alone” in a situation where they worry about facing disciplinary actions on the job.
Our “Rep. Council” is made up of representatives elected from each school based on building numbers. Everyone in the bargaining unit is represented in this council, including teachers, special educators, counselors, teaching assistants, administrative assistants and nurses. The purpose of the Council is to act as a two-way conversation between the union leadership and membership of the union. Important issues related to our contracts, new and ongoing district initiatives and MTA business are all discussed on the Rep Council and actions taken or committees formed to deal with any issues of concern to the membership.
The Rep Council also appoints teams to negotiate each contract with the School Committee. This negotiating team plays a key role in proposing contracts that govern our work responsibilities and benefits with the town. Teams are formed each time we need to negotiate a new contract and can be made up of any union members.
Rep Council is our way to join voices with everyone in the bargaining unit, work out challenging situations, and initiate actions if need be. If members have a concern that a building rep can’t resolve, ask them to raise it in the Rep Council so that we can draw on our collective experience and knowledge to solve the problem or work on the issue.
Officers: Officers include the President and Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary, Grievance Coordinator, Membership Chair and Representative to the MTA. The President and Vice-President are responsible for organizing the business of the union, including setting the agenda at Representative Council meetings, appointing committees to pursue union goals, and meeting with leading district administrators to discuss issues that affect the membership. They serve on negotiating committees. Like the Rep council is to the members, the officers are the main liaisons to our statewide organization the Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA).
Grievance Committee: this group, headed by our Grievance Coordinator, deals with any grievances or breaches of contract brought by the membership to the administration or School Committee. They play a huge role in making sure that the contracts we approve are enforced and that members’ rights are respected.