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Executive Board Minutes - 10/23/2021

Cleveland Heights Teachers Union

Executive Board Meeting

Thursday, October 21, 2021

4:30 P.M. Zoom


  • Officers:  K. Rego, T. Underhile, T. Gray, C. Pavel, D. Frost, T. Reynolds, D. Lausche, J. Bennett, J. Shelton-Townes
  • High School (HH):  V. Larkins-Forte, Q. Tucker,  G. Nachman (HH), Haethum Rasul, Gary Wroboleski, 
  • Middle School:  M. Searcy (M), L. Lorek (M), B.Ammon (M), M. Friedman (R)), W. Ward, 
  • Elementary:   N. Davis (C), G. Gee (F), S. Malek (G), T. White (N), K. Hodson (O), D. Hirsch (RE), 
  •  K. Cooper (Delisle), A. Klein, T. Schmida, , M. Mazzone (St.Serv)

Absent: J. Boris (HH), S. Austin (R),  , S. Glenn (Monitors), M. Johnson (Monitors), D. MacDonald (Ret)

  1. Call to Order - Meeting began at 4:03 PM 
  2. Secretary’s Minutes
    1. T.underhile moved to accept the Secretary’s minutes from the September Board of Education Meeting.
    2. J.Bennett  seconded
    3. Motion passed by voice vote 
  3. Officers’ Reports:
    1. Treasurer
      1. ER&D higher in 1st quarter because funds come in the summer
      2. Life Insurance is higher because they were making past payments.
      3. High on furniture for office supplies for new chair
      4. We are not over on any expenses
      5. Postage might be used depending on negotiations
      6. Advertising is higher than normal ($373) for printouts at the beginning of the year.
      7. Legal fees are high right now
      8. COPE is now a PCE account.  Starting balance $19,741.  We piped to AFT and got back $4,238.  Had a deposit made in error (rent).  Kept in account just in case, but were directed to take the money out by AFT.  Balance is now $2,290
      9. Franklin is doing well at $27,546
      10. Questions
        1. D.Frost inquired about COPE.  Wanted to know if it is usually that high.  J.Bennett said that it is higher than normal because we didn’t make as many donations last year.
    2. Divisional Vice Presidents
      1. Elementary - T.Reynolds
        1. Inquiries regarding the ESSER funds.
          1. Membership wants to know how it is being spent.
        2. Concerns regarding timing of report cards and how it affects timing of conferences and benchmarks.
          1. Elementaries are overwhelmed because the transition to quarters from trimesters.
          2. K.Rego is going to tell them that elementary teachers need two weekends, because the report cards are time consuming.
        3. 3-5 Gifted Cluster Book Study
          1. Has been addressed by K.Rego with Toia.
          2. Toia is working on a plan because she understands that it violates our contract.
          3. K.Rego will publish to these members tomorrow.
      2. Middle - D.Frost
        1. ADA Accommodations are not being followed at Monticello
        2. Lack of security
          1. Monitors are being hired (one for each middle school)
          2. Schools that do not have security are not getting security.
        3. Teachers being injured breaking up fights
        4. Lack of subs.
        5. Contact tracing - kids are being called down to the office in large groups and are being told to get all of their things.  They were all dismissed because they were close contacts.  There was an 8th grader who tested positive.  Teachers were not notified of the positive case being in their classrooms.
          1. All staff should be notified of contact tracing because they may encounter students that they aren’t scheduled for.  
          2. Intervention specialists aren’t being notified of students in their small groups for example.
      3. High - C.Pavel
        1. Severe absence crisis and sub crisis.
          1. Emails start around 6:00 am for help with coverages.
          2. Teachers need prep time more than ever, and cannot cover classes every day.
        2. Serious fights and break-ins are occurring.  Have been featured on the news.
          1. Too many kids in the hallways and not enough supervision
          2. Not enough monitors
          3. Administrators are in auditorium during lunches
          4. Plan to address this at TAP
          5. H.Rasul sent a form out to teachers for ideas to help the adults take back the building.
        3. Member who had a crisis and needed medical attention.  
          1. Was not in a mental state to communicate needs and contacts.
          2. A form was sent out yesterday asking teachers for emergency contact information.
          3. G.Nachman and T.Underhile came to the building to assist with the member.  G.Nachman has also attended meetings on behalf of the member.
    3. Vice-President
      1. Make A wish photos are on the website. $2775 for Make a wish so far.  Big shout out to Marilyn Bruening for a large amount and Fairfax and Monticelo and BOE with large numbers.
      2. Virtual Happy Hour raffle.  Tush money used to buy prizes. LOcal establishments were supported.
    4. President
      1. Committee Reports
        1. Look at ARC.  You should have received an email if you were skilled or accomplished you can go as low as a walkthrough.  Two-cycles are still two-cycles.
          1. Principals were on board with this because that takes a lot off of their plates.
          2. N.Davis stated that her principal has said that she is deciding whether to do a walk-through, formal holistic, or formal focused.  Wanted to know why principals are deciding this.  K.Rego is going to re-examine the language.
          3. Evaluators can choose based on language from ARC.  That language came from ODE.
        2. SCOC meeting.  All present agreed that referrals are showing heighted behaviors, and are worrisome.
          1. Some referrals are very concerning.
          2. Girls are being groped and boys are getting away with it.
          3. Coding is done incorrectly because of lack of training, and principals are not disciplining appropriately.
          4. Principals are taking words of students over words of teachers.
          5. K.Rego and T.Underhile will be meeting with Reggie to show these exact referrals.
            1. We are worried that this is going to be a growing problem.
        3. Student debt relief
          1. Big changes have occurred and there is a new script coming from AFT, and when they come out we will have a new debt clinic.
  4. Old Business
    1. Make-a-Wish- How do we make our goal? We were paired with a wish child.  No child in CHUH so the shaker child was chosen.  Ruby attends middle school.  OUr goal is $10,000.  We hit our goal by the walk in previous years? 
      1. Reaching out to Shaker?
      2. Put a name and face to the student
      3. Publish how much we have with benchmarks
      4. Raffle- Old Apparel 
    2. SCOC Concerns and Actions
      1. Addressed in President report
      2. Actions around behaviors
      3. Are teachers writing referrals for all behaviors that are referral-worthy?
      4. We will be putting out some actions for help.
    3. Virtual Happy Hour- Push the Virtual Happy Hour with the members.  Everyone went for the gift cards first.  
    4. School Psychs
      1. We had a follow-up to the AU Concern meeting held on September 14 yesterday.
        1. The meeting was unsettling.
        2. Two psychs are going on maternity leave.
          1. They found two hires, but they are only filling in for maternity leaves.
          2. They got a 0.5 position too, but for non-publics.
      2. Psychs are short staffed.
      3. There is a full-time position that is posted that still is not filled.
      4. Our Psychs have larger caseloads than surrounding districts, so Psychs are not choosing our district.  
      5. The Psychs are going to meet to decide their next action.
      6. We are looking at a potential LOU around sub-contracting language to hopefully get them some relief.
        1. District is using our contract as a way to blame the work overload.
  5. New Business
    1. Nurses/Guidance Counselors
      1. Meeting with guidance counselors next week.
      2. Counselors are being pulled to sub regularly.
      3. We are sure we will find that their meeting is similar to the ones held with Psychs and Nurses.
    2. ESSER Funds
      1. Superintendent finally shared the ESSER plan, and it has all been earmarked to be spent.  
      2. K.Rego shared the plan on her screen and explained.
        1. There is a caption that says that this plan is flexible.
        2. We believe they are moving some funds to hire a nurse.
        3. $17 million is what is on the sheet.  This is ESSER 2 and 3.  ESSER 1 was $7 million.
          1. $4 million is earmarked for Tiger Summer Camp
            1. Last year had a lot of staff, but not a lot of students
        4. Success Coaches at middle and high school are paras, which is why they are not paid well.
        5. Social Worker was hired
        6. There are some very questionable items on here (TVA, Literacy and Math Curricula, PPE, Transportation Safety, Seminar Teacher, Academic Coordinator)
      3. Questions
        1. T.Reynolds asked if there is some planned communication on this plan to explain what all of these things mean?
          1. K.Rego stated that she hopes it happens at a Board Meeting
          2. T.Reynolds stated that this might be a Board meeting we want to make a presence at.
          3. J.Bennett said she would like to compare this to the 5 year forecast to see what they moved.
          4. K.Cooper inquired about the $5,000 for each building.  
            1. Members are stating that this is ridiculous
            2. Gould makes many comments to counselors about not spending the $5,000.
              1. Administrators are saying that $5,000 is for PD, and are encouraging them to go to a PD.
              2. Counselors are being told to pick something that is SEL based.  Most SEL trainings are free or low-cost because they are online.
            3. K.Cooper said that it would have been nice to pull those monies together and hire another counselor, social worker, or psych.
    3. Banquet
      1. K.Rego, T.Underhile, and T.Reynolds are looking for a venue for an in-person event.
    4. Apparel Sale- 
      1. Union made shop.  
      2. Prices we are going to see will not be the ones we pay.  
      3. We will do a presale.
      4. T.Underhile showed a variety of options.
      5. M.Mrazek suggested waterbottles.
    5. Heights Halloween Festival
      1. CHTU is parking in front of the CLE Urban Winery
      2. Saturday 4-7 on Lee Rd.
      3. Bring your children and go trick-or-treating 
      4. We will be handing out books, candy and CHTU pencils
      5. Please come help us pass out goodies if you can.
    6. Other new business
      1. New membership cards are printed and going in school mail tomorrow.
        1. Use this as an opportunity to talk to members.
      2. Make sure that you are putting in for coverage payment when you take on the responsibilities of another teacher.
        1. Many elementary teachers are not putting in.
        2. Do not let the district get away with not securing coverage and not getting paid.
        3. N.Davis asked about gifted pull out and ela support pull out.
          1. The contract says that when you cover the responsibilities of another member, you get paid.
          2. If you put in for payment and it gets denied, send a copy to K.Rego and T.Underhile, and we will grieve it.
          3. T.White said she was told it was for those that co-teach only.  This is not true.  This is Lombardo’s interpretation, but our contract is very clear.
      3. PD day on November 2.  N.Davis asked if  there has been any discussion about being virtual from home?
        1. It is definitely something that we will look into, but whatever happens it needs to be the same for all members.
      4. M.Searcy asked if there will be input from staff for what the 11/2 PD day will look like.
        1. K.Rego is meeting with Kirby tomorrow.  She will ask Kirby tomorrow.

       6.  Action Items  

  1. Nurse LOU
    1. LOU was sent late because it was agreed upon today.  It cannot wait because the nurses need relief.
    2. We had a conversation with Kirby and she said that our contract language prevented her from hiring a nurse.
      1. Our contract language says they cannot lay off any nurses until they have laid off all of the nurse’s aides.
      2. We believe this language exists to keep admin from laying off all nurses and just using aides.
    3. The nurses are in a crisis.  This is not a normal year.  Nurses are being required to be contact tracers and school nurses.  
      1. Contact tracing has deadlines that cannot be extended.
      2. The deadline is 24 hours and is set by the county board of health.
    4. We wrote this LOU and had a ULP ready to go for a change in working conditions.
      1. The nurses have told us that they need a nurse to do the contact tracing.
      2. K.Rego told Kirby that we have a ULP stamped and signed and ready to go.
        1. Kirby said not to send it because they will hire a nurse.
    5. LOU details
      1. The new nurse will be on a limited contract.
      2. The new nurse will most-likely be RIF’d at the end of the year. 
      3. If one of our nurses resigns or retires, the new nurse would be on the RIF list and would be called back.
      4. This LOU ensures that we will keep our 6 nurses, and we will not go below 6 nurses.
      5. It also allows the district to lay off that new nurse without having to RIF the nurse’s aides.
      6. T.Underhile “I move to accept the LOU for the nurses.”
      7. Seconded by M.Friedman
      8. Discussion.
        1. M.Friedman asked if it affects the nurses aides.
          1. It does not.  It actually protects the nurse’s aides because it means they do not have to get laid off to RIF the new nurse.
      9. Vote by voice
        1. Approved unanimously.
        2. K.Rego will sign it and get it to Lombardo tomorrow morning,

7.  Meeting adjourned at 6:03 PM


Respectfully Submitted,

Tiffiny Underhile, 1st Vice President

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