HISTORY

 

 

After 30 Years, Our History is Our Future

 

2010 marked the 30th anniversary of the first Minnesota School Employees Association (MSEA) Delegate Assembly. As MSEA reached this important milestone, we are reminded to look to our history for guidance on the challenges yet to come.

 

MSEA is a union of classified public school workers, which traces its roots to the Minnesota Association of Auxiliary Personnel (MAAP). MAAP was created by the Minnesota Education Association (MEA), a forerunner of today’s teachers union – Education Minnesota. MAAP originally represented only teaching assistants and secretaries.

 

In 1980 the decision was made to include all school workers and MAAP left MEA and was renamed the Minnesota School Employees Association.

 

During the next four years, MSEA experienced rapid growth. This growth spurt was accompanied by increasing financial difficulties. By 1984 MSEA’s Delegate Assembly elected to affiliate with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

 

Following affiliation, MSEA turned from organizing new units and focused on providing better representation and service to existing MSEA members.

 

In the summer of 1989 MSEA’s Board of Directors and staff drafted MSEA’s mission statement which has been MSEA's guiding light for the last 20 years.

MSEA MISSION STATEMENT

The Minnesota School Employees Association is a growing union which recognizes the dignity of the individual worker and the power of the organized body. It is a democratic union directed by its membership, and it is fiscally responsible to that membership. Through an empowered membership and a professional staff, MSEA provides the highest level of representation and service in the State of Minnesota.

In the early 1990s, MSEA began actively organizing new bargaining units. In 1995 the Delegate Assembly voted to leave SEIU and MSEA became an independent union once again. By the end of the 1990s, MSEA’s recently empowered members were experiencing their first serious strikes and contract campaigns.

 

In the past decade, MSEA has faced new challenges from without (attempted raids by the Teamsters, Operating Engineers and Education Minnesota) and within. In order to prepare ourselves to meet these new challenges, we must direct our focus to the core ideals contained in our mission statement – Growth, Dignity, Member Empowerment, Democracy, Fiscal Responsibility and Professionalism. By understanding our past, we are better able to shape our future. By adhering to our mission statement, the next 30 years will be as successful as the last 30 years!

 

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MSEA's Brief History

 

The Minnesota School Employees Association (MSEA), is a union representing classified public school employees. MSEA was founded in 1980, due in large part to the efforts of Mike Pirsch, who was named as MSEA’s first Executive Director in 1981.

 

In November of 1977, eight female employees went on strike against the Willmar Citizen’s National Bank after filing a class action sex discrimination lawsuit and unfair labor practice charges against the bank.

 

These eight brave women, known as the "Willmar 8", were on strike for almost a year, confronting community hostility, Minnesota's brutally cold winters and hot, sticky summers. Mike Pirsch then hired Glennis Terwisscha, one of the courageous "Willmar 8", as one of the first field representatives for MSEA. Glennis went on to become MSEA's 2nd Executive Director in 1985.

 

 
msea leadership history

YEAR

PRESIDENT

EXEC. DIRECTOR

1980

Erika Polansky &
Bev Dahlgren, Austin

 

1980-81

Bev Dahlgren, Austin

 

1981-82

Bev Dahlgren, Austin

Mike Pirsch

1982-83

Bev Dahlgren, Austin &
Lynette Miller, Rochester

Mike Pirsch

1983-84

Lynette Miller, Rochester

Mike Pirsch

1984-85

Lynette Miller, Rochester

Mike Pirsch

1985-86

Lynette Miller, Rochester
Glennis TerWisscha

1986-87

Gayle Morehouse, Centennial

Glennis TerWisscha
Nancy Crippen

1987-88

Sue Ezell, St. Cloud
Nancy Crippen

1988-89

Sue Ezell, St. Cloud
Nancy Crippen

1989-90

Sue Ezell, St. Cloud
Nancy Crippen

1990-91

Sue Ezell, St. Cloud &
Merldeen Feuerhak, Austin
Nancy Crippen

1991-92

Merldeen Feuerhak, Austin
Nancy Crippen

1992-93

Merldeen Feuerhak, Austin
Nancy Crippen

1993-94

Merldeen Feuerhak, Austin
Nancy Crippen

1994-95

Merldeen Feuerhak, Austin
Nancy Crippen

1995-96

Donna Michaelis, Willmar
Nancy Crippen

1996-97

Donna Michaelis, Willmar
Rose Roach

1997-98

Donna Michaelis, Willmar
Rose Roach

1998-99

Donna Michaelis, Willmar
Rose Roach

1999-00

Candy Richards, Moorhead

Rose Roach

2000-01

Diane Chapa, Eden Prairie
Rose Roach

2001-02

Diane Chapa, Eden Prairie
Rose Roach

2002-03

Diane Chapa, Eden Prairie
Peggy Byrne (Interim)

2003-04

Diane Chapa, Eden Prairie

Peggy Byrne

2004-05

Les Schermerhorn, Moorhead
Kevin Fahey

2005-06

Les Schermerhorn, Moorhead
 

2006-07

Evan Mapes, Thief River Falls
Mary Kearney

2007-08

Evan Mapes, Thief River Falls
Mary Kearney

2008-09

Evan Mapes, Thief River Falls

Gary Johnson (Interim)

Christina L. Clark

2009-10

Evan Mapes, Thief River Falls
Christina L. Clark

2010-11

Evan Mapes, Thief River Falls
Christina L. Clark

2011-12

Evan Mapes, Thief River Falls
Christina L. Clark

2012-13

Sue Ames, LaCrescent
Mark Spangler, Mankato
Christina L. Clark

2013-14

Deanne Glynn, Shakopee
Christina L. Clark
Gary Johnson (Interim)
2014-15
Deanne Glynn, Shakopee
Tee McClenty

MSEA was once part of MAAP (Minnesota Association of Auxiliary Personnel) which was originally organized in 1968 for secretaries and teacher aides under the Minnesota Education Association (MEA) banner. Prior to this time, a category for secretaries only had existed.

 

In 1978, through the efforts of MAAP President Ericka Polansky, Larry Wicks, Rochester MEA Uniserv Director and other MAAP board members, it was decided that broadening the organization to include all classified personnel in a school district was desirable and necessary.

 

In order to achieve this goal, a new relationship with MEA was developed and MAAP was removed from direct MEA membership. Through 1984, under a new name, MSEA affiliated with the Public Employees of Minnesota (PEM), an "umbrella" structure which included MEA and MAPE (Minnesota Association of Professional Employees).

 

At the 1984 Delegate Assembly, MSEA elected to affiliate with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), AFL-CIO. Delegates at the 1995 Delegate Assembly voted to disaffiliate from SEIU, giving MSEA independent status effective September 1995.

 

The first MSEA Delegate Assembly was held in 1980 at the Normandy Inn in Minneapolis. The Delegate Assembly is the governing body of MSEA. Delegates selected from MSEA's membership convene yearly to determine budgetary matters and the overall direction of MSEA.

 

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