I want to give a big THANK YOU to everyone who attended the PACOE Annual Meeting in Lancaster PA this year. Now that the frantic pace leading up to the meeting and the holiday weekend has slowed some, I wanted to take a minute and give a run down on what was discussed at the meeting.
The meeting kicked off with a legislative update. We noted the Farm Bill is passed and we briefly discussed the circumstances leading up to the 2015 budget. This included a discussion on what we know and don’t know (which is most everything) about CBS and what NASCOE is doing in response. Take a look at the NEA Legislative Update. Also keep your eyes peeled for some exciting news on the legislative front very soon.
Michelle Smeal gave a verbal report on what was discussed at the NEA Rally in WV at the end of April. All of the NEA chair reports were provided for attendees. These reports are NEARally 2014 Reports 1 and 2014 Neg Items. We discussed the upcoming NASCOE National Convention in Oklahoma City the week of August 11. PACOE needs to send two delegates. No delegates were selected at the meeting, so please let us know if you are interested. The Executive Board will need to make their selection soon.
We discussed the proposed Bylaw amendments. After a brief discussion, both amendments were voted on and passed. Those are now incorporated into our bylaws and constitution Here. Now that we know the Secretary and Treasurer positions are separate we will be scheduling an Executive Board Conference Call soon to elect officers for the 14-15 year.
The treasurer’s report (PACOE TREASURER REPORT2012-13) for last year was provided to the members as well. As the PACOE balance is currently robust, there was some discussion on ways we can benefit membership. Some suggestions include a membership drive with a cash incentive, a PACOE scholarship, and funding a trip to the National Convention for a member who has never been before. On the note of membership, PACOE must maintain a 50% membership rate for all eligible employees in the state to maintain NASCOE affiliation. We are currently at 55%.
As the last order of business before lunch we discussed old and new business. With regard to old business, we were looking to see if we improved on our communication front. Whether it is communicating vital information during the furlough or sharing upcoming management changes, we try to get the information we have out to you as soon as it’s available. In addition to this meeting in Lancaster at the eastern side of the site, we are considering having a meeting in the fall at the western side of the state. It was also suggested we have a conference call open to all PACOE members to share information. We’ll be looking to schedule something soon.
With regard to new business, we shared efforts that we have taken to increase transparency in PA with regards to the TOA award process. We have been engaged in discussions with the STO in order to clarify the methods that supervisors are to request and process TOA awards. The STO issued a memo to PACOE, PACOE – TOAs, and we have requested further clarifications. The SED has indicated he will look into it and follow up with a response.
After lunch we had a good hour long Q/A with SED Bill Wehry. Notes from that session are here: SED Comments to PACOE 5-17-14. STC Member Greg Hostetter also attended. We appreciate their taking the time out of their schedule to be available to us.
Finally, our own John Lohr came and provided us with some retirement training on behalf of Dillard Financial Services. His brochure is here: Dillard. If you have any questions about retirement or need some financial assistance; I’m sure he would be happy to hear from you.
All in all it was a very full meeting. Once again, our thanks to all who attended. If you were not able to attend than hopefully you will be able to make a future meeting. Also, don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any questions or concerns. All of your officers and executives volunteer their time because we feel that PACOE and NASCOE provide an important service to all employees and in turn our producers. We hope you feel the same.
Your PACOE Officers
Dan, Dave, and Rick.