The Professional by EGEA
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The Professional 

Volume  23                           January 2016

CalSTRS & You

As certificated public school employees we pay into the California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS).  This retirement pension system guarantees you a defined benefit after you retire. It is important for you to know how this system works so you can make informed decisions about your retirement.

CalSTRS is no longer sending a yearly Retirement Progress Report to your home address; you must access it on their website. Start by registering on (click on "Register Now" under the "Set Up Your Account" heading off to the right) and accessing your Retirement Progress Report. Each year this is updated with information about your most current year of contributions. Check to make sure everything is accurate, such as the amount of service credit.

The CalSTRS program provides benefits to your survivors whether your death occurs before or after retirement. Therefore, it is important to name a beneficiary for your CalSTRS Death Benefit. You can name or change your beneficiary online.

The Death Benefit is different than choosing a Beneficiary Option, which provides lifetime benefits. At the age of 55, you have the option to elect an Option Beneficiary in order to provide this lifetime benefit to someone after your death. It might be advantageous to do this earlier (at age 55) if you decide to select this option. This will modify your monthly retirement benefit. Click HERE to read more about Survivor Benefits.

It is never to early to think about and plan for your retirement. Check out the CalSTRS Retirement Checklist to see what next steps are appropriate for you.

If you would like to learn more about your STRS retirement, you can attend a CalSTRS Group Workshop at the EGEA Office. Meetings are the first Thursday of every month from 3-5pm. Contact CalSTRS directly to sign up by calling 1-800-228-5453 (choose option 3). If you are nearing retirement, you may want to make an individual appointment with a CalSTRS representative. Individual appointments also take place at the EGEA Office on the first Thursday of the month.

Other CalSTRS resources:

Parent Meeting Guidelines

Parent participation is encouraged as part of their child's education. Parents have a right to meet with the teacher, visit the student's classroom, be informed regarding their child's progress, as well as to examine the materials used in the classroom. There is a Guiding Document regarding Parent Meeting Guidelines that outlines the procedures for such a visit or inquiry. 

  • The parent makes a request for a classroom visit or meeting with the teacher.
  • If possible, the teacher is notified on the same day.
  • Within 24 hours of the request, the teacher will make an effort to schedule a meeting or visit with the parent.
Urgent requests may be handled by the Principal. In addition, the teacher has the right to request an administrator be present at any meetings or visits with the parent.

Read more details of the Parent Meeting Guidelines HERE.

Evaluation Deadlines

The deadlines for probationary teachers' second evaluation is approaching. (See dates below.) After the two required evaluations are completed, a final evaluation is due in April or May, depending on your calendar.

Second Required Evaluation Dates for Probationary Teachers
Traditional: Feb 5, 2016
Modified TraditionalFeb 12, 2016
A TrackFeb 26, 2016
B TrackMarch 4, 2016
C TrackMarch 4, 2016
D Track: January 29, 2016

If you would like to read more about evaluations, including frequently asked questions, you can access our previously published article HERE. You can also refer to the EGEA/EGUSD Collective Bargaining Agreement, section 13.3 HERE

FREE Magazines!

NEA provides two free magazine subscriptions for members. Each year there is a new link to subscribe. You must be a NEA/EGEA member and registered on the website to subscribe. Click HERE to access the site.

Dues Information for the 2015 Tax Year

Click HERE for a printable version of this information.

Pilot Transfer Process

The state of California, as well as the country as a whole, is in the midst of a teacher shortage that is forecasted to grow more and more severe in subsequent years.  Together, the EGEA and the EGUSD have agreed to pilot a new means of facilitating the current transfer process that will position the District to offer contracts to external candidates earlier in the spring in an effort to compete more effectively with neighboring districts, but at the same time preserve the opportunities of existing staff to apply for available positions.  Read the SUMMARY and the SIDE LETTER of AGREEMENT to learn more.

For tips about participating in the transfer process, refer to our handout HERE
Union Code of Conduct
EGUSD EGEA Collective Bargaining Agreement
Weingarten Rights: The Right of Representation
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