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March 2019


ARC (Appraisal Review Committee):  Met March 18 to discuss pre-conference standardization as well as to be looking ahead to determine if we want to participate in the OTES pilot for 2019-20

CCES (Cuyahoga County Educators Summit).  The January 24 meeting was with State School Board members.  The April 11 is a social gathering.

DISCIPLINE:  Next meeting April 3.

DLT (District Leadership Team): Next meeting April 24.

ER&D (Educational Research and Dissemination): Registration has begun online (link) and can be paid by check or paypal.

GRADING TASK FORCE:  Middle School grading task rescheduled since it was cancelled due to a BLT meeting scheduled on the same day. Still awaiting for a new date.

The March 6 District Grading Task Force meeting was cancelled and rescheduled for April 11th.  The April meeting is on April 17th.

INSURANCE: No date set for next meeting.

MAKE-A-WISH: Megan is still awaiting her service dog.  We will send an update when we have one.  Save the date October 5 for the next Walk for Wishes.

MASTER TEACHER: Next writing session will be March 21 then April 30 at Delisle from 4-5:30. Profiles due May 6 to the BOE.

MOBILIZATION: Parma’s Summit academy voted to accept their first contract after a 9-day strike.  

CHTU members and public school advocates showed up en masse to a public meeting being held by School Choice Ohio and other Koch funded organizations.  We made up at least 80% of the audience and our presence was felt by presenters.

Look for ways to help lobby the state legislature around the state budget and in support of HB127 that will stop state takeovers of local school districts.

OFT (Ohio Federation of Teachers): We are looking to send people to summer learning opportunities.

POLICY TASK FORCE: Next meeting April 9.

PTA: Next Council meeting March 21.  The last council meeting was well-attended.

RETIREMENT:  Continued concern over no cost of living increases for retirees.  Former CHTU 1st VP Dan MacDonald is helping organize retirees to go on a bus to the April STRS board meeting in Columbus to protest.

SOCIAL:  Boss Dog was a great place to have a TUSH on March 1.  May 3 is our Spring Social at Nighttown.  We will have a basket raffle with each school participating to raise money for a scholarship for a CHHS senior going into education.  Good food.  Good music.  Good company.

SUMMIT: The March meeting was canceled due to administration’s schedule conflicts.

1.  Grievances:

            a)  Unfair Discipline: A grievance involving a member who we believed was disciplined unfairly will be heard by an arbitrator September 25.  Additional dates were October 29 and 30 and December 17.  We still await the arbitrator’s decision.

            b)  Subcontracting – the union filed a grievance on September 26 over sub-contracting of a position at the high school. It ended up with the union filing a notice with the State Employees Relations Board for bargaining unit clarification for this position. We met for mediation in Columbus on February 7.  We had a follow up phone conference on February 28 that led nowhere. The issue now goes before the SERB board where we hope they will give an advisory opinion that this is work that looks like it belongs in the CHTU bargaining unit.  SERB cannot force the district to accept their opinion since we had a contract in place before SERB existed – making us a “deemed certified unit.”

            c)  Long-term Substitutes –A grievance was filed Friday, October 26 over a dispute over the reading of the long-term substitute language.  We believe that long-term is not necessarily a minimum of 60 days if the substitute is properly licensed and doing all the work of the teacher.  The Step 2 hearing was held November 13.  The Union waived a deadline for the Board’s response for purposes of clarification.  Some language has gone back and forth, but there has been no resolution.  Grievance Mediation got rescheduled from March 6 until April 4.

            d)  Administration Union Concern - Related Service Providers:  An Administration Union Concern was filed January 14, 2019 on behalf of our Speech Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists based on workloads.  A meeting has been rescheduled for February 19 since our original date ended being a calamity day.  We received a letter from administration outlining the items we agreed upon at the meeting.

            e)  Caseload Compensation:  member filed a grievance because students who take two different classes in the same period at the high school are not counted on each teachers’ caseload even though they are two separate curricula.  A step 2 hearing was heard on January 11 and denied on January 23. Grievance Mediation got rescheduled from March 6 until April 4.

            f)  Unwarranted Discipline:  a member filed a grievance February 13 concerning a written warning she received for videotaping a student.  Administration did not consider the destructive and violent outbursts the student had before he attacked the teacher to be an “emergency,” therefore she was issued discipline.  A step 2 hearing was held on March 5, 2019 and denied on March 12.  We advanced the grievance to step 3 – Grievance Mediation.

            g)  Abuse of Discretion:  a member filed a grievance on March 6, 2019.  After 2 adult and 2 students wrote statements in support of the teacher and the video of the non-incident showed that nothing untoward occurred, administration held a fact-finding anyway.  Administration dropped the issue soon after, but the member should never have been subjected to the stress involved in having a fact-finding in the first place.  The Step 2 hearing will be heard March 20.

            h) Harassment – member filed a notice (not a grievance) to the Human Resources Department on March 11, 2019 of allegations of workplace intimidation by the member’s supervisor, which is a possible violation of the Employee Code of Conduct.  HR is starting an investigation and will meet with the member after spring break.

2. Fact-Findings:

a) A member was called to a fact finding on October 1 over concerns that deadlines were not being met.  Awaiting disposition.  

b) A member was called to a fact-finding on October 16 over concerns of untimely response to parent communications. Awaiting an untimely disposition.

c) A member was called to a fact-finding on October 15 over concerns of “patterns of absences” even though the member has a known condition that indicates intermittent FMLA is needed.  Awaiting disposition.

            d)  A member was called to a fact-finding December 11 for concerns over statements supposedly made about a student.  Awaiting disposition.

            e)  Two teachers were called into fact-findings February 14 for “inadequate supervision” issues.

            f) A security monitor was called to a fact-finding on February 14 over concerns that the monitor did not respond to a situation properly.  Awaiting disposition.

            g)  A teacher was called to a fact-finding on February 22 over IEP concerns. A written warning full of inaccuracies was given March 13, 2019.  The member will attach a response and grieve the discipline if the warning is not removed.

            h) A teacher was called to an investigation regarding allegations of harassment by a co-worker on February 27, 2019.  A mediation was agreed upon to determine if the problems can be resolved.

            i) A teacher was called to a disposition meeting for a fact-finding that we thought had been concluded in November. Words escape any plausible reason for this extended delay.

3.  Heights Coalition for Public Education

The Coalition is encouraging people to support HB127 eliminating state takeovers of local school districts.  As the state budget becomes clearer there will be more action steps.  Link to the Coalition Advocacy Page (link)

4.  Negotiations –Our first session was March 13.  We meet again March 20, April 10, 23, 25.  Unless there is tentative agreement we will not be publishing specifics until May 13.

5.  CHTU Red Shirts – have been ordered.  Limited sizes and styles are still available.  Call our office or email Ari or Karen to find out specifics.

6.  Alternative Assessments – we are in the process of gathering information from our intervention specialists about time spent outside of class giving alternative assessments.

7.  MS SPED concerns – VP Rego is meeting with middle school intervention specialists over changes that have occurred this year and to determine if an action is warranted.

8.  Reaching Heights Spelling Bee – Be the first to volunteer to head up the Union Spelling Team.  The Bee is May 1.  Contact VP Rego if interested.

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