Current Executive Board Update

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Septemeber 2016



ARC (Appraisal Review Committee): Met August 29 to discuss SLOs, finalize OTES handbook, and review proposed Board policy around the new Counselor evaluation system.  Our goal was to simplify SLO pre-assessment so that they align with curricular tools, covered a few number of general concepts, and were not lengthy.  Educational Services were slated to send out possible questions and get feedback before finalizing for K-8.  Seems as though most SLOs are still being created.  We next meet September 21.


DLT (District Leadership Team):  First meeting will be Friday, September 16.


ER&D: Over 80 participants took either the winter class and four 4 different ER&D classes in the summer.  Our new team of George Gee and Monica Rogers taught English Language Learners for the first time.


INSURANCE: No meetings scheduled.  The Wellness Committee continues to be held after work hours for most of our members with no compensation.  Although Wellness is a wonderful component it is work for the District and should be paid or release time given if it is to be viable.


MASTER TEACHER:  The committee will be convening October 13 to create a calendar for the school year.


MOBILIZATION:  Our local will be volunteering for The Heights Heritage Home Tour on Sunday, September 18, coordinated by Tina Reynolds.  Thank you in advance to the many members who are participating.  Generating positive PR by CHTU will help advance our support in the community.

We need your help to pass the school levy.  Canvassing/lit drop opportunities are going to be:  September 17, October 8, and November 5 (or take material and do it within a few days).  Sign up on the website with a private email.  This is important.

We also recommend phonebanking with the Hillary Campaign from the Shaker Square office and will publish times to work at the Cleveland Teachers Union office.  Get involved in a campaign and help.


RETIREMENT:  an additional 1% is being taken out of our pay, making our contribution 13% (with 1% of our part being paid by the Board). 


SOCIAL:  Look for TUSH dates in October.  Planning ahead? We are trying to reserve a location for our Spring Social for May 5.

SUMMIT: Met September 9.  Created a protocol for reviewing and responding to TAP notes.  Discussed many beginning of the year issues like hot classrooms, class size, communication, interruptions to planning time, end of year principal evaluations, and more.  Next meeting October 14.



  1. Negotiations – We met 6 times between June 14 and July 18.  Then the Board could not find another date available until August 24 and 25.  At the last session, where we were presenting our comprehensive proposals it was mutually decided that because we were not close to a resolution that it would be better to work jointly on passing the school levy and resume at the end of November.  Before our next session we will be publishing some of the areas of agreement and disagreement.


  1. Heights Coalition for Public Education – Met August 9 to plan for the year.
    1. ESSA Stakeholder meetings – we have encourage people to attend and given talking points (on the Coalition website).  September 19 is the only one in Cuyahoga county being held.
    2. October 6 Walk In – we will be holding walk-ins at our 10 main schools 15 minutes before entering the building there will be a rally, then we will walk into school with parents, students, and our colleagues.  More info will soon be available for those of you who volunteered to help organize your building.
    3. October 19 -  next meeting at the Main Library on Lee Road at 7 pm
    4. January/February  - we will host a forum night
    5. Charter Walk -  we would like to talk to families that have chosen to send their students to charter schools and give them information so they will consider attending our schools next year.  Teachers partnered with other community members would be ideal for this project.


  1. Payroll – the first payroll of the new school year on September 2 did not include any step increases.  VP Rego and President Klein discussed the issue with payroll where they agreed to cut checks and deliver them to members on Tuesday, September 6 if the discrepancy was more than $100.  Over 100 members got a check.  Over 100 more will see a correction in the September 16 pay.  There were other members who were overpaid – the return of this money will be spread out over the 25 remaining pays.  The Board will act on increases due to education increases at their October 4th meeting, so those increases will not be seen until the pay after the Board action.  It is important to know how much you should be earning and to ensure that you are not only paid correctly, but that taxes are being deduced properly.  Do not assume that payroll has it correct.


  1. Listening Project 2016-17  - Last year CHTU held listening projects at 8 of our schools.  This year we would like to do it again and partner with the Greater Cleveland Congregations, probably starting after winter break.


  1. Personal Days – as published last week there is a new procedure around personal days taken adjacent to a vacation period.  See the FAQ on our website if you missed it.


  1. Grievance:  Summer Training – Teachers were asked to attend a summer training and were not paid for their time.  ALL training offered by the District shall be voluntary and compensated.  Mandatory training (called “Essential” in our contract) is mandatory and compensated, but has limits around how many days and how much notice must be given prior to attending.


  1. District Level TBTs for Elementary – We have discussed with Assistant Superintendent Gould that in the current plan that planning time is lost for our elementary teachers if they attend a monthly District Level TBT in lieu of a building based meeting.  She has indicated she will discuss options with the Ed Services Team. 


  1. Fact-Finding  - A teacher has had two fact-finding meetings since school started over concerns around attendance on the first two days of school.  No disposition yet.


  1. Staffing  - By our count, of the original 52 member laid off in April, only 13 are still on our recall list.  Of the original 57.5 positions lost, we believe that 45 positions have been lost (some have been restored and 2 positions have been created).  Of the original 52 people, 24.6 have accepted recall and 12 have refused a position.


  1. OFT – several officers will be attending various meetings and training sessions on September 23 and 24 in Columbus. 



  1. Heat – hopefully we have all survived the excessive heat in our classrooms.  If you have suggestions (outside of the obvious air conditioning that we need) that could make these rooms more bearable please let your TAP team know.  Perhaps there are things that can be done to make it more bearable when it will next be hot.

June 2016



ARC (Appraisal Review Committee): Met May 16.  Discussed SLO and MAP testing with Allison Byrd.  There were many students who were tested more than once per cycle.  This is only acceptable under a few limited circumstances.  Updating the handbook will happen over the summer between Lombardo and Klein.  Guidance Counselors will have an OTES-like evaluation system next year.  This year we had 6 teachers on intervention plans. 3 are fine.  The other 3 will be offered a chance to continue with a coach until December.  Dr. Dixon relayed that she is open to proposals from ARC around a peer review plan.  ARC wanted a year to plan and implement the 2017-18 school year in a limited way – for teachers not needing a full OTES cycle.


DLT (District Leadership Team): nothing new


ER&D: 5 Classes start after school is out.


INSURANCE: nothing new


MASTER TEACHER:  All submissions for either renewal or new application qualified.  Congratulations to new Master Teachers:  Amy Bloomberg and James Miller.  Renewals for Master Teacher: Sarah Adair, Brad Hallam, and Kim Boehm.  Amazing job considering everything else going on for all of us professionally!


RETIREMENT:  STRS is looking at revisions for disability eligibility.  Tim Myers won the STRS Board seat with only 4.23% of membership voting.  He won by 46 votes.  STRS CEO Neph has added healthcare to STRS's strategic goals in 2016. 


SOCIAL:  nothing new

SUMMIT:  Met May 6.  Got an update on the strategic plan and spent time on TAP minutes.  Discussed privatization issues and how we can combat them; call/visit parents of charter school students and see if they will return to their home school, mailings, getting former charter school parents involved to help, robo calls.  Discussed need for more transparency in the summer school staffing procedures.  Distributed the Middle School IB survey and discussed.  Summit lunch June 17.


UNRESOLVED:  Member with ADA claim, Substitutes for SAT, modified Teacher Growth Plans



1.  Heights Coalition for Public Education –There will be an organizational meeting in May or June to determine our structure and set goals for next year.


2.  Elementary Report Card – The report card committee is meeting again to review and recommend revisions.


3.  SuperKids – Notes were finally distributed from the April Administration Union Concern meeting including next steps to those who attended.  There was training in May and more offered in early August.


4.  Fact Findings:  A teacher was called to a fact-finding on April 13.  Administration was concerned about possible testing procedure violations.  The teacher was given a 3 day unpaid suspension since they were concerned about a similar issue last year.


A teacher has been accused of harassment by an administrator.  A statement was made and a response given.  A meeting was held May 3.  The teacher was cleared of all charges.


Two monitors were called in for a fact-finding May 23 for questions around attendance.  The meetings were both productive and were closer to problem solving sessions.  Dispositions will be presented June 1.


A teacher will had a fact-finding May 26 around concerns that professional responsibilities are not being completed.  Disposition pending.


A teacher will have a fact-finding May 27 around concerns about the planning for students’ safety during an activity.  Disposition pending.


5.  Negotiations – 5 Dates were set from May 27 to July 6.  The district has cancelled the first two because the superintendent has a family emergency.  President Klein has sent an extension offer to the board team and an explanation why this is a good choice which was promptly rejected suggesting that concessions would be needed for raises.  Negotiations begin June 14.



6.  Sub-contracting – A grievance was filed April 23, 2016 on subcontracting because 2 CHTU positions were eliminated so that the work could be done by administration.  This should have been a mandatory subject of bargaining.  A step 1 hearing was held May 9.  Denied May 16.  CHTU response to take to Step 2 May 19.  The step 2 hearing will be June 6.


7.  Hire Date – A grievance was filed April 19 based on decisions made by administration to RIF two members even though three members with the same licensure had the exact same date of hire.  Administration made up a rubric for deciding who should be let go instead of negotiating a method.  A Step 1 hearing was held April 26.  Denied May 18.  CHTU response to step 2 May 19.  Step 2 hearing scheduled and then canceled for June 3. Since administration was unable to have a hearing in a timely fashion we requested the grievance go to step 3, mediation.  The mediation will occur on June 8.


8.  Non-Public IEPs – a grievance was filed April 19 because Intervention Specialists have been assigned IEPs for Non-Public students.  We believe this work is above and beyond their normally assigned duties and does not fit in their job description.  A step 2 hearing was held on April 28.  We have agreed to waive the 5 day timeline for a disposition until we have surveyed our teachers to determine if there are teachers interested in doing this kind of work on a voluntary and compensated basis since this is  administration’s biggest concern.  At this point there is a half time person dedicated to this work along with administration picking up some of the overflow.  Even with that, there have been approximately 30 IEPs assigned to teachers across the district.  Denied May 17.  CHTU response to Step 3 May 25.  Grievance Mediation will occur on June 8.


9.  Extra Assignment Pay – a teacher who routinely works at multiple buildings, scheduled lunch around student and facility availability, and who routinely is eligible for extra assignment pay was denied the appropriate level of compensation for the work she does.  The teacher has a schedule that allows for 50 minutes of planning per week and should get a 12.4% is earning a 9.2% differential (based on 115 minutes per week).  A grievance will be filed June 1, 2016. We have waived our step 1 rights so the grievance will start at step 2.


10.  Tenure -  On April 5 two members were granted tenure although they were not eligible using the updated 7 year rule for people initially licensed after 2011.  The district went digging to see if there were more mistakes and found another person who will have their tenure rescinded in June.  We will ensure that nothing will appear in personnel files showing that these members were not the cause of the revocation.  We would like a public announcement or proclamation at a Board meeting where administration takes responsibility for this error so the Board minutes do not reflect poorly on the members.


11.  Staffing –There are still 45.5 positions eliminated and 40 people not rehired to work in the CHUH.


12.  OFT –  Committee assignments and delegates to the OFT Executive Council have been determined.  There will be a large campaign to inform members and the general public about the opportunity to change some of Ohio’s horrible education laws through the adoption of the new federal law, Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).  Many members took the ESSA survey that President Klein sent through email for OFT President Cropper.


13.  Personal Days Denied –  a member request the first 5 days with students off using personal days and was denied.  We apologized for asking since we do not need permission for days not right after a vacation.  These 5 days are after the teacher returns to work.  Have not heard anything since we told administration we did not need permission.


14.  Preschool – teachers have approached us with several programmatic and staffing concerns for preschool.  We are trying to determine if we should ask for a meeting with administration or present it as an Administration Union Concern.


15.  ULIs:  Josephine Shelton-Townes and John Boris will be attending the OFT Union Leadership Institute in Columbus for a workshop on “building reps”.  We will be represented at the Great Lakes ULI in Wisconsin by Karen Rego (Grievances 101) and Kristi Glasier (Union Leadership).  Thanks for spending part of your summer gaining skills to use for our Union.


16.  Levy – President Klein and VP Schaner met with the levy committee on May 31.  We will be discussing our support and endorsement for the levy at the Executive Board meeting on June 2.


17.  HS Schedule – The teacher members of the HS scheduling committee walked out of the May 25 meeting because administration refused to discuss their interest in imposing a new schedule for next year.  President Klein reported out to the HS membership May 31 after trying to make sure that administration understood that they would be violating the contract.  President Klein will meet with assistant superintendent Gould Wednesday, June 1 and will report back to the high school staff.