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CHTU Summer Update #5 -

Dear Colleagues,


You may have received a letter at your home address from Superintendent Kirby inviting you to Convocation.  Convocation will be in-person this year, and will take place at Heights High at 8:30.  

The second-half of Convocation day is an Independent Work Day.  This means that you can work as needed on the work of your choice from the location of your choice.  No meetings or Teacher Meet-and-Greets can be called during this time, and you do not have to report back to an administrator.

“Voluntary and Compensated”

It is that time of the summer where you are probably getting invited to a lot of “voluntary and compensated” meetings at your building.  We believe that your summer break is yours to do what you want with, and that you should not feel pressure to work outside of your 192 day contract.  

Years ago, as a young new teacher,  I remember my reaction when a principal would announce and schedule an after-school, evening or summer event “inviting” the staff to attend.  Some of these were social or “meet the teacher” events, others were professional development opportunities, data retreats, and so on.  

I was aware of the “voluntary and compensated” provisions of our contract, but there was an underlying fear of repercussions if I didn’t show up. I also worried about how parents would view me as an educator if I was not present but other colleagues were.  Looking back on those days now, it’s evident that what was happening was that the principal was packing my bags for a guilt trip. This practice continues in our district, and I’m sure it occurs in others.  Teachers may feel pressured to attend, or that they will not be considered “team players”, or that they may miss out on some valuable information.

In truth, these events invented by administrators attempting to control our personal time end up devaluing all of us. Many of our colleagues have family commitments, or events in their personal lives that are far more important than additional school related events after the normal work day.  Unfortunately, some of our members feel co-opted and attend despite the hardships. 

In every round of contract negotiations the administration tries to add more mandatory  time and  events beyond the normal workday.  We have resisted effectively, but it becomes more and more difficult to do so when some of our members buy into the “guilt trip.”  

As we have done in the past, we encourage you to use your out of office response on district email after the workday and during holidays and breaks.  Our administrators add out of office responses, so we should too.  This is a simple task that protects your personal time and might prevent some stress. We are well aware that  some of these post workday or summer events may appeal to some of you (beyond the $23 per hour).  However,  we encourage you to place great value on your personal time as our workloads seem to become more and more demanding.

Open House vs. Curriculum Night

Curriculum Night is required as a part of our contract.  The dates for Curriculum Night at each level are:

Aug. 30 - Elementary

Aug. 31 - Middle School

Sept. 1 - High School

We have been informed that some buildings have scheduled an Open House in addition to Curriculum Night.  Open House  is not in our contract, and you cannot be required to attend.  In the event that you choose to go, it is voluntary and compensated.

In Union,
Karen Rego
CHTU President

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