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Executive Board Update - 10/21/2021

Dear Colleagues,

Tomorrow will have our second virtual Executive Board meeting of the year.  The meeting will begin at 4:30 on Zoom.  Please consider joining us as we discuss so many important issues that all of you are working through every day. We continue to work through the concerns that our staff and students are dealing with this year more than ever before.  Friday is our virtual happy hour from 5-6.  Congratulations to all the winners of the raffle.  The names of the winners were notified via email yesterday.  We have more prizes to give away including a grand prize that you need to be present for at the virtual happy hour!  

In Union,

Karen Rego

CHTU President


ARC (Appraisal Review Committee):  We met on Wednesday, September 29 to discuss some changes to the OTES 2.0 one-cycle evaluation process.  ARC is very well aware of the current workload and additional responsibilities this COVID year has placed on all of us.  Based on less frequent Evaluation Cycles from ODE, ARC has agreed to change the one-cycle evaluations for the 21-22 school year to less frequent cycles.  Dr. Lombardo sent out an email earlier this month to explain the changes.

DISCIPLINE (SCOC):  We met on Wednesday, October 13.  President Rego and Vice President Underhile brought sample referrals that were problematic and asked members for troublesome referrals from all schools.  Concerns include consequences issued to some students not being issued to other students for the same or similar offenses. In addition, some students who committed  sexual-based offenses received  consequences such as “conference.”  Reggie agreed to meet with us at a separate meeting and to bring more referrals to continue this discussion.  We have followed up with Mr. Williams (?) to schedule this meeting as soon as possible.

INSURANCE: The insurance committee met on October 7.  We discussed the cost of Covid tests and vaccines to our plan.  If your doctor orders a Covid test there is no co-pay.  If you get a test without a doctor’s order your deductible will apply as will the  90/10 coinsurance.  We asked for an update on the potential premium share change ASAP. Since we now pay a percentage for premium share there could be a change beginning in  January.  

MOBILIZATION: We have been raining money for Make-a-Wish again this year.  Our goal is to raise $10,000 so that we can grant the wish of our Wish Child, Ruby.  Ruby is a student at Shaker Heights Middle School.  She has not selected her to wish yet, but the people at Make-a-Wish are working with her.  We have currently raised  $3775.  You can visit our CHTU team page to make a donation.

The Heights Halloween Festival is Saturday, October 23 from 4-7pm.  This festival is presented by Dobama Theatre and is a free event.  CHTU will be passing out candy, pencils, and books to trick-or-treaters.  Visit the event webpage for more information.

OFT (Ohio Federation of Teachers) - There is very exciting and helpful news for many people that have student loan debt.  If you have followed the news on this topic, you are aware that 98% of those applying for student loan debt relief have been denied.  However, last week the U.S. Department of Education announced major changes to the Loan Forgiveness Program that will forgive loans for over 500,000 teachers and others. This has been a struggle that AFT took on, led the fight, and ultimately won. We know this is such great news for so many of you.  AFT is currently revising its script for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness workshops to include these new changes.  Once the script is complete our local Union will conduct a workshop for you to attend.  If you want to know more about this week’s announcement you can click here.

PTA - 3rd Vice President Pavel attended PTA Council on October 12.  There will be a fall PTA fundraiser with funds going to cover the cost of a carnival and grants for the PTA scholarship.  Heights Family Academy is going to continue at building sites to provide locally needed services in line with the CLC’s.  Fundraisers are happening at the High School and elementary schools.  Superintendent Kirby reported that greater academic and SEL supports are needed with the return to in-person learning after so many months of being remote and that equity training will continue in the district on PD days.  

SUMMIT:  - Met on October 8.  We also approved a change in language to the TAP charter, which will now read “TAP Committee level decisions shall be made by consensus.  Building level decisions by consensus are encouraged.  In the event that consensus is not reached, a minimum 75% of the voting staff is required to support a decision.”  This means that a window for voting on building issues will be given, and after that window, 75% of 795 voting members will determine the outcome of the vote.

1.  Grievances and Unfair Labor Practices

An Administration-Union Concern was filed on behalf of the school psychologists. They are short-staffed, and even if the Board fills the open positions caseloads are still problematic.  The meeting was held on Tuesday, September 14.  Dr. Lombardo agreed that we need more school psychologists, but stated that we have positions posted for which no one is applying.  A follow-up meeting is scheduled for October 20.

 A step 2 grievance was held on July 13, 2021 for a member that received a suspension regarding virtual attendance.  We received an unfavorable response. and filed for a Step 3 mediation on August 25, 2021.  Mediation is scheduled for December 15, 2021.

A step 2 grievance was filed by CHTU on September 21, 2021 over the Board’s failure to properly provide substitutes.  President Rego and 1st Vice President Underhile met with Dr. Lombardo on October 12.  We expect a response on October 22.

2.  Fact-Findings/Discipline

a) A member was called into a fact-finding on October 5th for alleged inappropriate, abusive or offensive comments.  We are waiting on a disposition.

b) A member was called into a fact-finding on October 13th for alleged inappropriate, abusive, or offensive conduct and lack of teamwork.  We are waiting for a disposition.

3. Court of Claims
CHTU filed a complaint with the Ohio Court of Claims regarding the Board’s failure to properly respond to our public records requests. A mediation was held on October 6, 2021. Both parties agreed to have a more open discussion to resolve denied public records requests.

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