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Negotiations Update #1 December 1, 2016 Agreements

Dear Colleagues,

Negotiations started up again on Monday, November 26 and Wednesday November 30.  We learned a lot at these two sessions and will start publishing specifics about where we stand.  Unfortunately, we are not finished.  We next meet January 5 and 11.

During the course of negotiations there are several items that the Board and our Union have agreed upon.  As we reach agreements we sign tentative agreements that usually deal with specific content language that we hope will solve some problems.  Until a final full agreement is recommended by our bargaining team and our Executive Board and ratified by our membership and adopted by the Board of Education none of these tentative agreements are in place.

Here are some examples:

  • The supplemental contracts committee has been charged with meeting before the expiration of the contract in the future to make recommendations for the new contract. 
  • We changed the name of elementary “Challenge Choir” to “Honors Choir” to help clarify these groups. 
  • We moved the High School Labor Management Committee language to be included in the TAP section of the contract and renamed it High School TAP. 
  • We simplified the Curriculum Writing language in the contract around the different lengths of time that courses are written. 
  • On district in-service days we now require dates to be published within the first two weeks of the school year and for all 795 members to have the same 8:15-3:45 work day.

We have also made dozens of “housekeeping” changes where there were mistakes in the contract after it was reorganized in 2013.

We worked hard on clarifying and organizing our ancillary language so that it better reflects similarities and differences between our media ancillaries and alternative learning environment ancillaries.

We have also come up with many consensus statements with which we and the Board agree.  In 2013 we adopted these types of statement for the record which cannot be grieved, but show a common understanding of how things should work.  We have new consensus agreements  dealing with;

  • The need for ancillaries to have targeted professional development to help them in their jobs
  • Our Union will have input into member appointments to district level committees,
  • Professional development should be meaningful and well planned
  • There should be an organized method of scrutinizing student assignments to ALC and that student behavior plans should be widely shared if they are to be successful
  • Teachers who move assignment frequently have a right to share their concerns about their preference for the following year being honored
  • Individual teacher planning time should be respected and that when this time needs to be used for a meeting that there should be advance notice as far ahead of time as possible
  • TAP should discuss and bring proposals around before/after school duties at the elementary school so that assignments are equitable and in everyone’s best interest.

We have another set of consensus statements that focus on community interests. 

  • One is about our interest in involving parents in school activities and having orientation for parents new to the community. 
  • Communication in a variety of ways with parents about mastering material taught, student progress, and standardized test results. 
  • We should organize how wrap-around services are going to be implemented and organized. 
  • We have agreed that mandatory testing is using up too much instructional time and that we need to work at finding solutions to protect it. 
  • We agree that parents and guardians need to be better informed of the purpose and use of any district level assessment not mandated by the state, that these tests should be used to inform instruction, and that these are kept to an absolute minimum.

All of these tentative agreements and Consensus Statements were preceded by much discussion.  You will undoubtedly recognize that these items have nothing to do with compensation and benefits.  That is why this work was completed first.  Things get much more contentious when we talk about money and member’s time.  Look for our next publications on evaluations, time, money and benefits.

In Union,

Ari Klein, President

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