May 2020

Share This

Dear Colleagues,

The May Executive Board report is below.  We will hold an Executive Board meeting on Thursday, May 21 at 3:30 using Google Meet.  Before the meeting begins we will be honoring individual members through our Tom Schmida and Ellen Krebs awards.  We will also take this opportunity to swear in newly elected officers for the 2020-22 term starting July 1.
 
All members are welcome to the meeting to observe.  If you use your phone you will be asked to identify yourself.  
 
In Union,
Ari Klein
CHTU President
 

COMMITTEE REPORTS

 

ARC (Appraisal Review Committee): Arc met virtually and made recommendations on how evaluations would be finished for the 2019-20 school year.  Any members who only needed a post-conference or were finished for the year would receive their evaluation provided their SLO was finished or they had Value Added scores from last year.  Everyone else would be exempt due to the COVID-19 pandemic and would start the next school year on the same cycle they were on this year.

 

DISCIPLINE (SCOC):  Our concerns around the Student Code of Conduct became less urgent than when we were in session.  We will have to start up conversations on how to proceed next year.

 

ER&D:  Two of our summer offerings are moving to an electronic format this summer.  Foundations of Effective Teaching and School Family Connections have enrolled 25+ members. 

 

MASTER TEACHER: Congratulations to Marian Stephens and Kennethian Green who earned Master Teacher Designation this year despite the challenges of finishing portfolios remotely.  Thanks also to Kathy Lawrence who has served the committee for the last 3 years. We welcome Courtney White to the committee, who will join Dani Copeland and Melissa Garcar,

 

MOBILIZATION:  Thanks to everyone who wrote letters and called elected officials in our last call to action around the cuts the state of Ohio made to education funding. 

 

OFT (Ohio Federation of Teachers):  The OFT joins a coalition of advocates in litigation around the legality of the Ohio Voucher programs.  We will be watching closely to see how this plays out.

 

POLICY TASK FORCE:  Next meeting June 19, 2020.

 

PTA:  Next PTA Council meeting is May 28, 2020, we believe.

 

RE-ENTRY COMMITTEE: Members are represented on both Elementary and Secondary Re-Entry Committees that are tasked with determining options for opening school in the fall and what it might look like.  AFT has published a guide that is a helpful resource:  https://www.aft.org/reopen-schools. Additionally, the state of Ohio is preparing guidelines for re-opening.

 

RETIREMENT:  For members looking to retire at the end of the school year we can meet to discuss details and write retirement letters.  Contact President Klein.

 

SOCIAL:  The spring social was cancelled due to the pandemic so we randomly selected 36 members to win $25 gift cards from 10 different CHUH merchants.  Congratulations to all our winners.  Additionally, our local contributed $400 to the Heights Emergency Food Center and another $400 to purchase equipment for our OFT Ohio Nurses (of which there are 12,000)

SUMMIT:  The April summit meeting was cancelled due to all of the other meetings we were all having.  The next meeting is May 20.

 

1.  Grievances and Unfair Labor Practices

            a) Assault Leave – Administration has applied the new assault leave language limit of 2 years to a member who has been on partial assault leave.  A grievance was filed on October 29, 2019.  A step 2 hearing was held on November 12 and the grievance was denied on November 19, 2019.  A step 3 Grievance mediation was held January 6, 2020 and was not successful.  We have filed notice with the American Arbitration association for a hearing at step 4.

 

            b) Excessive Discipline – a member filed a grievance March 6, 2020 because a 5-day suspension was issued for a first offense without the contractual obligation for progressive discipline.  A virtual hearing is set for May 21.

 

            c) Long Term Subs IPA Day – We learned from one of the long-term subs who joined our union that long-terms subs are not paid for the Independent Professional Activity days despite the fact they have all rights and benefits of the contract.  We filed a grievance and step 2 hearing was held on May 15.  Awaiting a response.

 

 

2.  Fact-Findings/Discipline

            a)  A member was on paid administrative leave from August 29, 2019 to January 10, 2020.  An investigation was conducted over concerns that we thought had been resolved last year.  President Klein represented our member at the Department of Children and Family Services on September 25.  All charges were found to be “unsubstantiated” on October 9.  A private investigator, hired by the district, met with our members on a voluntary basis. The private company interviewed our member on October 30.  A report was submitted to the Superintendent mid-December.  The superintendent issued a letter to our member on the last day of school before winter vacation stating that the investigator found insufficient evidence to support the charges.  The investigator had two concerns that were not violations of board policy. The member has returned to work and has been required to attend training in two areas.  The member was called in for a fact-finding, with charges based on the investigator’s report, on January 29, 2020.  A meeting was held February 6 to allow for comments on the investigator’s report.  A disposition was given on May 1 calling for a 3-day suspension.

 

 

 

            b)  A member was placed on paid administrative leave starting January 30, 2020 for allegations that the member pushed a student. A fact-finding was scheduled for February 6 with an additional charge of offensive comments being made by the teacher during a December 2019 lesson.  While awaiting a response, the administration wanted to ask additional questions after gathering more student statements at the end of February. The fact-finding was held on April 30 over our protests that we would not be able to properly represent our member remotely.  CHTU legal counsel attended the 4.5 hour fact-finding.  Much of the time was spent over disagreement based on the procedures that administration used to “gather facts” and ask questions with the new student statements that did not bring any new information to bear on the issues.  Awaiting a disposition.

 

            c)  A member was subbing on January 22, 2020 when a student injured herself.  The member will be called into a fact-finding when she returns from sick leave.  A remote fact-finding was held on May 7.  Awaiting a disposition.

 

            d) A member  was called into a fact-finding January 28, 2020 because the member is being investigated by the Ohio Department of Education for possible misconduct.  Awaiting a response.

 

3.  Heights Coalition For Public Education – Advocacy for public education is never more important than it is right now.  If you have not endorsed the Coalition’s position statement go to http://chuh.net/coalition and like the group on faceboook at https://www.facebook.com/heightscoalitionforpubliceducation/

 

4.  Negotiations – President Klein and Vice-President Rego met with Supt Kirby, Assistant Supt Lombardo and CFO Gainer to discuss how to approach negotiations this year.  We suggested that we could limit items to around 6 or 7 language items and a pay raise to try to hammer out an extension of the current contract.  We were told that if they were offering an extension of the contract with no language items, no raise and no step increases.  After discussing this with our officers we let the administration know that we would be putting together our negotiations team and offering dates.  Although we are sympathetic with the financial crisis that is going on right now we cannot sacrifice our newest and lowest paid teacher through a step freeze.  If the district is unable to grant even the smallest cost of living increase, then they should be willing to consider working on language issues.  If there is no agreement before school starts than all current provisions of the expiring contract will be in place.  We will be publishing throughout the summer as negotiations proceed.