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1990
MEA President Eric Feaver and MFT President Jim McGarvey hold the state lottery accountable for deceitful claims that lottery revenue improves teachers' retirement.

1991
In response to the Clyde Park/Wilsall school consolidation, MEA and MFT successfully lobby HB 470 through the legislature, guaranteeing hiring preference for teachers and classified employees in school annexations and consolidations.

1992
Joint MEA-MFT candidate forum leads to joint endorsement of pro-education, pro-public employee candidates for federal and statewide office.

1993
First MEA-MFT legislative reception in Helena provides an opportunity for members to lobby their local legislators on issues of concern to public schools and public employees.

MEA and MFT lobby the Pension Security Act and Constitutional Amendment 25 through the legislature and a vote of the people (1994) to protect public employee pensions.

MEA and MFT lobby SB 15 into law, mandating a grievance procedure ending in final, binding arbitration in all public school employee collective bargaining agreements.

First MEA-MFT Classified Conference (professional development for classified members of both organizations)

1994
MEA and MFT form Montanans for Constitutional Principles to defeat anti-tax, anti-government constitutional initiatives CI-66 and CI-67.

First MEA-MFT Educators’ Conference enlarges and enhances teacher-driven professional development.

Five MEA locals and an MFT local merge into one bargaining unit with one contract forming the Merged Missoula Classified Employees Organization, a working model for merger.

1995
MEA-MFT joint lobbying passes state employee pay increase. It also defeats efforts to: repeal steps and lanes; repeal binding arbitration of grievances; repeal school accreditation standards; and create charter schools without accreditation, teacher certification, and right to organize.

MFT President Jim McGarvey addresses MEA Delegate Assembly. MEA President Eric Feaver addresses MFT Officers’ Convention.

American Federation of Teachers President Albert Shanker and National Education Association President President Keith Geiger make unprecedented joint appearance at MEA-MFT Educators' Conference in Missoula.

1996
MEA and MFT form the Montana Professional Teaching Foundation to sponsor Montana Teacher of the Year, Montana Teacher Forum, and National Board Certification scholarships.

MFT Executive Council resolves “The Montana Federation shall pursue full merger with the Montana Education Association.”

MEA and MFT defeat ballot initiative to abolish constitutional power of Board of Regents.

1997
MEA-MFT merged legislative effort successfully sponsors legislation that guarantees an annual benefit adjustment for retirees in the Public Employee Retirement System. In addition, MEA and MFT lobbying increases state employee pay; defeats public employee right to work; defeats school tuition tax credits; and defeats charter schools without accreditation, teacher certification, and right to organize.

MEA Delegate Assembly declares it is “MEA’s goal to pursue full merger with MFT.”

AFT President Sandra Feldman is keynote speaker at MEA-MFT Educators’ Conference in Billings.

MEA-MFT Merger Task Force develops constitution and merger transition document for the new merged organization. Task Force members determine the name of the merged organization will be “MEA-MFT.”

1998
MEA-MFT Today, a joint newsletter, is created and published.

Montana Labor Institute, fostered by MEA and MFT to develop educational programs for and about union leadership, holds its first class.

Delegates at MEA Delegate Assembly and MFT Officers’ Convention vote to approve MEA-MFT constitution and merger transition document.

Delegates at AFT’s annual meeting vote to approve merger with NEA. However, delegates at NEA’s Representative Assembly vote against national merger following hot debate, but they also vote to allow state mergers – provided state affiliates follow NEA-developed guidelines.

NEA and AFT both begin developing guidelines for state affiliate mergers.

1999
MEA and MFT boards of directors begin meeting together.

MEA-PAC and MFT COPE, the political action committees of MEA and MFT, likewise begin meeting together.

MEA-MFT Transition Task Force is appointed to tackle the nitty-gritty details of merger, including governance districts, staff structure, and dues structure for the new merged organization. The task force presents recommendations to the MEA and MFT boards of directors for approval and further recommendation to the joint MEA-MFT Representative Assembly, meeting March 31-April 1, 2000.

MEA and MFT continue joint activities such as working to defeat CI-75, sponsoring the 1999 MEA-MFT Educators’ Conference, and lobbying for a joint MEA-MFT legislative package during the 1999 Legislature.

The MEA-MFT lobbying team enjoys a near clean sweep in the '99 session, succeeding in all four priority goals: 1) Increased funding for K-12 schools; 2) a pay increase for state employees; 3) Guaranteed Annual Benefit Adjustment (GABA) for retirees in the Teachers’ Retirement System; and 4) stopping bills harmful to public services, public employees, and children and public schools.

MEA-MFT staff are merged, with a single executive director.

2000
February and March: In separate votes, NEA and AFT determine that the merged MEA-MFT will meet their national guidelines for state mergers.

March 31-April 1: First annual MEA-MFT Representative Assembly meets. 400 delegates of MEA and MFT vote to approve dues structure, governance districts, and budget for the new merged organization: MEA-MFT.

May: MEA-MFT members vote for state officers (president, vice-president, secretary-treasurer, NEA director, board of directors).

June 15: MEA-MFT state officer terms begin.

Sept. 1, 2000: NEA and AFT officially recognize MEA-MFT merger