USEP
United School Employees of Pasco

 

Election UNITER 2020
 /  Election UNITER 2020
UNITER title
A Publication of the United School Employees of Pasco
March 11, 2020

SPECIAL USEP ELECTION EDITION

Following the close of nominations for USEP elections on January 16, 2020, the positions of USEP Vice-President of the Instructional & SRP Units, Instructional and SRP Delegates for FEA, NEA, and AFT were uncontested. These candidates are deemed elected by acclamation in accordance with USEP election policy. Funding for paid Delegates will be determined by budgetary considerations as the conventions get closer.

UPDATE: USEP is returning to the paper balloting system used in earlier years coordinated through the Pasco Co. Supervisor of Elections Office. This system will work as follows: In early April, USEP will provide paper ballots and instructions in sealed envelopes to USEP Building Reps for distribution to union members in their schools/worksites. These sealed envelopes will then be given to each eligible union member who will acknowledge receipt of their envelope by signing a list held by the Building Rep. The positions for the office of USEP President, Secretary Treasurer, SRP and Instructional Executive Boards are up for election. The Exec Board seats will initially be “staggered” in their terms. Members will complete their ballots by filling in their choices on the actual, paper ballot, and then returning the ballot to the Supervisor of Elections in prepaid return envelope. Instructions will be included in the sealed envelope. USEP intends for the voting to take place from April 1st—April 30th. To ensure your vote gets returned timely and is counted, please return via US Mail no later than Friday, April 24th. If you have any questions, please call the USEP Offices at (813) 996-2119. Candidates or selected “observers” may visit the Pasco Co. Supervisor of Elections offices in Dade City to observe the counting of ballots on April 30th after 5:30pm.

Candidates were provided the opportunity to submit a campaign statement for publication in this special Election UNITER. Statements are printed as submitted. Candidates who did not submit statements are noted as well.

 

Candidates for USEP President
All USEP Members May Vote for this Office

Don Peace

RE-ELECT DON PEACE PRESIDENT OF USEP
Three years ago, I ran on a platform to put USEP first. What that meant was that I would prioritize this organization above all else. New legislation has come about that makes this more paramount now than ever. We are constantly trying to manage our density to a level that will allow us to remain the Bargaining Agent for Pasco County School Board employees.

We have met our density requirements from statute for two years now with strategic campaigns to organize new members into our organization. In doing so, we have recruited more new members than in the last several years combined. We have also invested in our Building Reps. First, we created a new level, Specialist, and then created the new Personal Mastery courses to go with this rank. It is important Rep training stays current with contract and member need.

When I took office, our relationship with the District and Superintendent was in shambles. We were at odds and consequently struggled to get meaningful language negotiated and collaboration to resolve employee issues. My approach was to restore a professional relationship, which we have done with the Superintendent and senior staff. We have also established a profound relationship with all five School Board members. Our collective goal is to address issues before they become insurmountable. I have educated the Board on the concerns of our students and employees and have found favor from them when addressing those issues. This year, the Board put employee salaries first in the budget with prompting by your President. Board members regularly converse with me to get perspective on decisions to be made. Staff is working with us in several school contractual issues currently, and I have no doubt will help us derive outcomes beneficial to all.

Teacher Evaluations were finalized using a collaborative workgroup. Process was defined, guidelines were created and put into language. This is the biggest piece of language gained since 2011. We also protected seniority and accrued leave in language. We gained respect for “Grandfathered” teachers in salaries.

Our Rep Council meetings have been streamlined to deal with union business. We revised our Constitution & By-laws, which reflect more accurately how we operate. We “pushed in” our Business Reps to a more active role in worksites to address problems in their infancy. We are active politically in Tallahassee and here in our own District with our legislators. As an organization, we’ve restored some of the respect missing from our profession.

I HAVE A PROVEN RECORD OF GETTING THINGS DONE! WHY START OVER? TOGETHER WE CAN CONTINUE TO MOVE THIS DISTRICT FORWARD TO MAKE PASCO THE BEST IT CAN BE!
VOTE FOR DON PEACE, PRESIDENT!

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Lisa Mazza

Organize. Samuel Gompers, the founder of the AFL-CIO, stood before the crowd at the 1913 AFT Convention, and said simply, “If you get together, something is going to happen.”  As union members, we have a progressive history of recognizing the need to fight for workers’ rights, women’s rights, and human rights. Organizing is at the center of these actions and their ability to bring about change. We are the voice for education reform and we continue to shape the discussion on how best to educate our students for the future. Working together, as professionals, the goal of securing a positive environment for students and teachers alike is attainable. As we organize and prioritize our efforts we will establish relevancy to the communities we serve. The focus of community partnerships is essential. As union members, you bring with you the connections to other groups that have important roles in our citizenry. Championing those relationships within the communities that we serve, gives us access to present what we, the professionals, know most about; educating children. We must build formidable community-school ties and involve parents and local activists. We will be able to advocate for our students, whether it is working with our allies, or in our schools, or in the forum where we can be heard, at our school board meetings.

USEP needs to elevate its Futures Program to include the sharing of valuable information to its members that impacts our workplace. The leaders of this organization have a major task ahead of them to bring their knowledge and talents to design a framework that is relevant, urgent, and timely. We will narrow our focus to three main committees: Negotiations, Member Engagement, and United Schools and Communities. The voices of our members will be heard and empowered, we can offer strong ideas and foster change. Building Reps are the unmistakable, tenacious stewards in our worksites. We need to tap into their success and amplify those outcomes. USEP will grow positively with our collective hard work.

Advocating for education demands that we become the source of information for those that have ideas on reform. The second initiative is to grow the Target Tallahassee program to its former status. Our mission of advancing the professional status, working conditions and well-being of all Public Education professionals, requires that we be vigilant of policies and changes in law that affect our jobs. We can improve the working conditions of those that assist us every day; our school support personnel. It is critical that we end the atmosphere of negativity. USEP must be involved at this level because Public Schools are the promise of America.

I hope I can count on your vote.

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Message from the USEP Election Committee

The USEP Elections Committee is made up of 5 members consisting of 2 Instructional, 2 SRP, and 1 USEP-Retired. We have been working diligently with USEP staff, candidates, and the Supervisor of Elections to ensure a professional and smooth process for all persons involved in the Officer & Delegate Elections this April. There have been a few changes to the E-board officer elections and terms in office, The President, VP’s and Sec/Treasurer will serve 3 year terms while Exec. Board members will serve staggered 3-year, 2-year, and 1-year terms dependent on how you vote. Next year, those who have been elected to 1-year terms will be up for re-election and the winners will serve a 3-year term. The year after that, the E-Board members who were elected to 2-year terms will be up for re-election and the winners will serve 3-year terms. The end result will be that all E-Board members will serve staggered 3-year terms.

We encourage you to take time and familiarize yourself with each candidate by reading their statements in this issue of the UNITER. Each and every one of you has the opportunity to take part in deciding who will serve on the USEP Executive Board in each capacity (SRP and Instr), President, Secretary Treasurer, and Delegates. Please remember that the outcome of this election and persons you vote for will affect each one of you in the workplace and all USEP related business for the next three years. You each have a voice in this election to select leaders who will determine the direction of this organization for the next three years. So please make it count!

- USEP Elections Committee

 

REMINDER!
TO be eligible to vote in the USEP Officer and Delegate Elections, you must have joined USEP on or before December 6, 2020. If you have any questions regarding your status or your join date, please use the contact form or call 813-996-2119

 

USEP Instructional Vice President Elect
Elected by Acclamation

Christine Goddard

I am proud to have this opportunity to serve as the Instructional Vice President of the United School Employees of Pasco.

In service to USEP, I am actively engaged as a building representative, a member of the Injury-in-the-Line of Duty committee and a member of the instructional negotiations team.

As your Instructional Vice President, I will focus my efforts on fostering a culture of unionism among young educators because they are the future of this organization and have yet to find their collective voice in our organization. To accomplish this, I will work tirelessly to make our recruitment message relevant to young educators as well as build a sense of community and belonging. It is my belief that every educator, whether they are working on an annual contract or a professional service contract, needs to feel valued and like they belong in USEP. I will also unlock the potential of social media platforms as tools for organizing and messaging not only within bargaining units but with the general public.

I am a unionist that believes in this professional organization and all that it can do to benefit our staff, students and community. I welcome the opportunity to serve and to enact positive changes to help foster a lasting culture of unionism in Pasco County for years to come.
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Candidates for Secretary/Treasurer
All eligible members may vote for Secretary/Treasurer

Cheryl Vinson: For the past six years, I have been privileged to serve you, our members, as your Secretary-Treasurer, under the leadership of two presidents. During my tenure, our organization has experienced many positive changes within my duties. Locally, our organization has made changes that include a tracking system for all expenses to stay within our budget, alignment of our bookkeeping to follow  September 1 fiscal year, and effective, efficient intake and disbursement of money coming and leaving USEP. Legislation at the state level has required me to keep track of our membership so that we can maintain the required density to continue as a certified organization. This has allowed me the opportunity to assist in our drive for new members as well maintain careful stewardship of our current treasury. In addition, I have remained an impartial and unbiased member of the Executive Board  whose sole responsibility is fiscal decisions and record-keeping.  I WANT to continue the financial policies that have been put in place and allowed our organization to safeguard YOUR dues. If you want sound fiscal responsibility, vote for Cheryl V.
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Kenny Blankenship: Over the years our union has faced many challenges and the last few have been no different. We cannot anticipate every challenge. We can elect leaders who will effectively lead us into the future. We still need representatives who possess the DEDICATION, EXPERIENCE, AND VISION needed to lead USEP.

DEDICATION:
I’ve dedicated countless hours serving at all levels of USEP leadership, also serving FEA on the Governance Board, Government Relations Committee, FEA Dues Structure Sub-Committee, and Executive Cabinet.

EXPERIENCE:
My twenty three-year career and USEP leadership proves I’m deeply committed to USEP’s success. I have an impeccable financial history and am eligible to sign off on ALL USEP accounts.  My experiences include:

  • Instructional bargaining teams;
  • Representing USEP before state and local boards and agencies, news media, state legislature, committees, and state and national conferences;
  • All levels of USEP leadership, including secretary-treasurer, vice-president, and president. I have represented members locally, statewide, and nationally;
  • Understanding the structure and leadership of USEP, its affiliates, and the Pasco School District.

VISION:
Working together, we must:

  • Create consistent, and realistic budgets that meet the needs of members and the organization.
  • Create and implement a budget team that focuses on retention of members and recruitment;
  • Budget to create opportunities to train members as leaders/activists.

Vote to elect Kenny Blankenship as USEP Secretary-Treasurer.
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USEP UNITER banner

SRP Executive Board
Only SRP Employees May Vote for SRP Executive Board Members

 

Ginger Blomeley: My name is Ginger Blomeley and I have been with Pasco County Schools since 1998. As an SRP, I have had the opportunity to work in various ESE classroom settings including ASD, DHH, IND, and EBD. I am currently an IA in an ILS classroom. I became an SRP Building Representative so I could listen to, speak up for, and help find solutions to issues when needed.

I am running for E-board to help ensure fair and equal opportunities/working conditions for all staff. I would be a great choice to have as part of E-board for several reasons. I have a good working relationship with staff and administration. I take time to look at situations from all angles before deciding the best direction to go. I value others’ views and always welcome new ideas. As part of the E-board, I will represent all staff to the best of my abilities.
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Ed Garza: My name is Ed Garza. I am running for re-election to the executive board representing the SRP. I have been in the executive board now for about 8 years and I wish to continue the work representing all members. While I am an SRP, I do feel a responsibility to represent ALL members. Please help me remain on the board to continue this important work. I need your vote to do this.

Thank you and let's stay
UNION STRONG.
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Jim Jennings: No Statement Provided
Cindy Van Zandt: No Statement Provided

 

Candidates Elected by Acclamation

Officers:

Instructional Vice President
Christine Goddard

SRP Vice President
Maryann Brini

NEA Delegates

Instr
Cheryl Vinson
Gloria Mouw
Kenneth Blankenship

SRP
Marvin Coleman

FEA Delegates

Instr
Cheryl Vinson
Gloria Mouw
Kenneth Blankenship
Renee Marsella
Annette Armstrong

SRP
Marvin Coleman

AFT Delegates

Instr
Cheryl Vinson
Gloria Mouw
Kenneth Blankenship
Annette Armstrong

SRP
Marvin Coleman

 

Important Dates

Official Campaign Period:
2/5/2020 - 4/30/2020

Candidate Speeches at Rep Council:
3/24/2020

Candidate Speeches Available for Viewing Online:
3/26/2020

Voting
4/16/2020 - 4/30/2020

Instructional Executive Board
Only Instr. Employees May Vote for Instr. Executive Board Members

Annette Armstrong: Improving the quality of education and enhancing the teaching profession have been top priorities throughout my career. Joining USEP was among the first things I did to accomplish these goals and found USEP provided many great opportunities.

I became a USEP Building Representative 23 years ago and have continued to be elected Building Representative at my schools. Through union activism, I learned Teachers and SRP need trained representation. To improve my skills, I trained as Basic Rep, through to current level of Specialized Representative. My dedication to USEP and its members is reflected in the years I’ve assisted others. I serve on several USEP committees, attend school board meetings, sign waving rallies and been an Executive Board member for six years.

Due to my extensive background and prior experience on the Executive Board, I would appreciate your vote so that I may continue to serve you on the Executive Board.
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Gina Coley: Hi, my name is Gina Coley, and I am running for a seat on the USEP Executive Board. I am a teacher at Seven Springs Middle School and have been a USEP building representative for over ten years out of my twenty years of USEP membership. This year, because of our president Don Peace, I am one of two USEP members that represent teachers on the Grading Practices Committee in the district Secondary Leaning Design Committee as Don wanted to make sure that TEACHERS had a voice. I want to continue to be a voice that represents teachers at USEP and at the district level, so please vote for Gina Coley to Executive Board. Thank you!
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Christopher Gray: I have been teaching in Pasco County for 8 years, 5 at Hudson Middle School and the past 3 at Wiregrass Ranch High School. In that time, I have been active with the Union at the school level as well as participating in several demonstrations and making public statements at School Board meetings and participated in the negotiation process for the 2018-19 school year. Outside of the classroom, I will be finishing up a master's program in political science this August. I want to bring the knowledge I have gained to the decision-making levels of our organization. We have a membership problem, especially among the younger, annual contract teachers. If we want to remain viable, we need to recruit more dues-paying members. If elected, I plan to look into, and develop, ways to boost membership to ensure our union stays strong and continues on into the future.
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Fai Fai Ho: Hello, my name is Fai Fai Ho. I am proud to be USEP. I have served the past 4 years on the executive board. Even though I am instructional, I have always supported the goals of a wall to wall union, we are all in this together. I would appreciate your vote in having me serve again, and to continue the goals of USEP. My teaching experiences in Pasco County include: elementary, middle, and high school. I have been a behind the scenes voice with our school board members, and our elected officials in Tallahassee. I have also been active in going to school board meetings, negotiations, sign waving, and Target Tallahassee. Coming up with solutions, using resources, and getting things done, are things I have done, and will continue to do. My goal is to continue the engaged professional goals of USEP. Please vote for Fai Fai Ho.
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Maureen Jett: I thank you for your support and confidence in electing me to represent you on the Teacher Executive Board as a Member at Large. It has been a joy to attend monthly meetings and to be a part of the decision-making process to ensure that your best interests are being served. I ask for your vote and continued support to serve as a Teacher Executive Board Member at Large. Vote for Maureen Jett.
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Michael Liptak: My name is Michael Liptak and I am USEP!

I wasn’t always Union, but I joined when the legislature kept adding test after test, micromanaging my classroom, and doing damage to the profession I love.

Chris Page, fellow dropout prevention teacher, encouraged me to become a building rep and after attending a rep council, I joined. Pasco High has a great team with each rep serving a specialized function. My role was the mediator, moderator, and peace maker. I listen well and try to come up with reasonable solutions while prioritizing care for the individual.

I was asked to serve on E-board a few years ago and have continued my role as a centrist, moderator and someone who cares about people way more than rules and conventions. I have enjoyed teaching at Rep Rallies, waving signs, getting out the vote, attending schoolboard meetings, and attending membership drive conferences.
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Jeneane Maddaloni: Hi, I’m Jeneane Maddaloni, and I’m running for a seat on the Instructional Executive Board (E-Board). I have been an USEP member for all 15 years I have been in the District. I believe in Unions, always have. I have been a Building Representative for 11 years and counting. I work at Pasco High School as a Science Teacher. I am looking forward to contributing more to the Union that I feel is so important for all instructional and support staff of our District and in the state of Florida.
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Renee Marsella: In a society having a period of great prosperity why are Pasco County School Board Employees underpaid, underappreciated, and retrained excessively? Shouldn’t the relationship between the Pasco County School board and its representatives, our administrators, be positive, supportive and provide compensation at the school level rather than the district level? I feel the need to get more involved in the Union as a former Entrepreneur, Instructional Technology Specialist, and current Teacher of Gifted, because I have seen the culture between the district and its employees move in the wrong direction. I have extensive knowledge on both classroom and institutional norms. I am qualified to represent USEP from many perspectives. I want to be at the table to challenge some of the philosophies that divide us, and work to strengthen the Union and the bond we have to social growth of Pasco County citizens.
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Gloria Mouw: I thank you in advance for your support and confidence for electing me to represent you on the Teacher Executive Board Member at Large. It has been a joy to attend monthly meetings and to be a part of the decision making process to ensure that your best interest is being served. I ask for your vote and continued support to serve as a Teacher Executive Board Member at Large. Vote for Gloria Mouw. I am a dedicated fighter for you, some of the ways are: negotiating the contract, traveling to Tallahassee twice a year to reason with the elected officials, attending rallies, making our schools a priority, and attending monthly representative council meetings, and as master certified building representative.
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Marla Granger: No Statement Provided

 

Contact Info

Benefits

If you are an employee of Pasco County Schools and not already a member of USEP, consider joining today! Members are eligible for a wide range of benefits through our affiliates and benefit partners. USEP also provides members with professional development opportunities and representation for member issues.