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SEA | Frequently Asked Questions

What is SEA?

The Shakopee Education Association is a union and professional association of over 600 classroom teachers, learning professionals, and health assistants working in concert with the Shakopee Public Schools (MN ISD 720 - to bring a world-class education to the students living and/or attending school in Shakopee, Minnesota. We encourage and support excellence in professional practice, advocate for professional compensation and working conditions, work to protect our members’ rights, and seek to inform our members about current educational issues.

What does SEA do?

The primary purpose of the SEA is to support, encourage, and protect our members by negotiating professional compensation in the form of salaries/wages, benefits, and work rules and then policing those agreements.

Additional critical activities performed by the professional educators serving as leaders within the SEA include:

  • Encouraging and supporting high-quality professional practice.
  • Conducting and/or sponsoring professional development and training.
  • Establishing and maintaining relationships with leaders in the community, as well as in the various levels of government, education, and the labor movement.
  • Protecting, maintaining, and enhancing members’ professional rights.
  • Advocating for members’ interests on non-contractual issues.
  • Fostering communication with and among the SEA membership.

Who belongs to SEA?

Our membership includes over 600 Pre-K through Grade 12 classroom teachers, teaching specialists (art, music, physical education, English learners, gifted & talented, etc.), special education personnel, content area facilitators, instructional coordinators, nurses, and many other licensed, professional educators eligible to be in the teachers' bargaining unit as well as the nurses serving as health assistants in the district.

Who can help me if I have questions or concerns?

SEA Building Representatives are drawn from the membership at each work site. In addition, SEA Negotiators and Officers are spread throughout the District and are available to members to address their questions and/or concerns regarding the contract or other work-related concerns.

What are the benefits of joining the SEA?

Most importantly, when an individual joins the SEA, they are acknowledging the benefits of a contract built on more than 50 years of hard work by SEA negotiators and leaders. The compensation, benefits, and working conditions in the collective bargaining agreement are the direct result of those years of effort, and when combined with leadership’s initiative and work to build a collaborative, proactive relationship with the District, members find they have a great place to work.

Additionally, members are eligible for all the benefits provided by Education Minnesota (EdMN), the National Education Association (NEA), the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), and the American Federation of Labor/Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL/CIO). Each of these organizations has programs designed to help meet the needs of as well as to advocate for professional educators. Members are offered liability insurance as outlined in the Educators' Employment Insurance certificate of insurance. These are member-only programs. Education Minnesota also provides legal assistance for members in employment-related issues, such as grievance arbitration and terminations of continuing contract teachers.

What if I choose not to join?

Minnesota law requires the exclusive representative (SEA in the case of Shakopee Schools) to fairly represent all individuals in the bargaining unit during contract negotiations and any local grievances. However, no other benefits, such as free CEU training sessions (through SEA and our partners such as South Suburban United and Education Minnesota), representation on  non-contract issues, access to legal help as needed, participation in union-sponsored events and activities, will be provided to non-members.

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