Skip to main content

May 2019


ARC (Appraisal Review Committee):  Three ARC members will be attending a training session at the ESC in late May to learn more about being part of the pilot for the new OTES for 2019-20.  This new system, going into place in 2020-21 will not have a separate 50% of teacher evaluation made from Student Growth Measures, but will incorporate SGMs into the other half of the rubric.

COMMUNITY IN SCHOOLS: We sent School Social Worker Josephine Shelton-Townes and District Supervisor of Community Schools Partnerships Nancy Peppler to Washington DC on May 13 for a national meeting to discuss Community in Schools.

DISCIPLINE:  May 1 meeting was cancelled.

DLT (District Leadership Team): April 24 meeting looked at discipline data, BLT report, and grading task force work.  Next meeting May 15.

ER&D (Educational Research and Dissemination): 5 classes will be running this summer.  George Gee will be attending training in Baltimore 

GRADING TASK FORCE:  The committee met April 11.  The group will present their findings to the Board of Education at one of the May meetings.

INSURANCE: No date set for next meeting.

MAKE-A-WISH: Save the date October 5 for the next Walk for Wishes.  A dog is being trained for our Make-A-Wish recipient, Megan.  She has named him Piper.  We will report out once they are paired this summer.

MASTER TEACHER: Tiffany Jordan Shaw has served on the Master Teacher Committee for three years – Thank you!  Dani Copeland has accepted an appointment to the committee. 3 portfolios were submitted for renewals for Master Teacher.  Congratulations to Lia Radke, Yolanda Harris, and Lorna Askew!


Saturday, May 18.

June 20 – Attend the STRS Board meeting in Columbus. This is the only meeting of the year that active teachers can attend and speak up about the exorbitant pay raises STRS employees receive at the same time that retirees have NO cost of living increases planned…..ever.  See retirement report below.  This affects all of us.


OFT (Ohio Federation of Teachers):  The Ohio ULI is June 11-13.  Tiffiny Underhile and Mikia Searcy will be representing our local.

PTA: PTA council meets Thursday, May 16.

RETIREMENT:  STRS staff members are slated to receive a 4.8% pay increase while retirees get NO cost of living increase.  Additionally, bonuses for the top ten staff at STRS range from $250,000 to $416,000.  If this seems wrong to you then consider joining us in Columbus on June 20 – the only STRS Board meeting that active members can attend in a year.  Also, consider calling for a copy of the 2020 Performance-Based Incentive Plan Policy – 614.227.7877.  Go to for many of the Public Participation speeches.  It is a wealth of information for actives and retirees.   

SOCIAL:  The spring social was held May 3.  Tiffiny Underhile was the recipient of the Tom Schmida Award.  Josephine Shelton-Townes received the Ellen Krebs Award.  Over $1,250 was raised for our Glen Altschuld Scholarship through members efforts in the raffle baskets.  We were all amazed again at how wonderful the baskets were this year.  Thanks to everyone for a successful event and fundraiser. 

STRIKE:  The 795 Strike Committee met May 13. Next meeting is scheduled for June 4.  Contact Darrell Lausche or Josephine Shelton-Townes.  Each building needs to be represented.

SUMMIT: Met May 10 and discussed Middle School Team Leader selection, the need for an FAQ around yellow additional pay forms, OTES pilot for 2019-20, set a date for our summer retreat, and ancillaries being used as substitutes, We agreed to draft a letter clarifying the team leader issue and will put together a yellow sheet FAQ.  We receive written reports about the conference night brainstorming meeting and summer PD needs, but did not discuss.

1.  Grievances:

            a)  Unfair Discipline: A grievance involving a member who we believed was disciplined unfairly will be heard by an arbitrator September 25, October 29, 30 and December 17.  We received the arbitrator’s decision that reduced the suspension retroactively and discounted most of the assertions administration tried to pin on our member.

            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. On May 8 we participated in a pre-hearing telephone conference and decided to go to hearing – scheduled August 9.  We were surprised that a SERB hearing could result in an order to the district to add a position to our bargaining unit.  At our mediation we were led to believe SERB would, at best, give an advisory opinion.

            c)  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.  The Step 3 – Grievance Mediation will be May 17.

            d)  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.  A step 1 hearing was heard May 8 and we are awaiting a response.

            e)  Accusations around SPED non-compliance – a member  filed a grievance on April 10, 2019 after receiving a written warning stating the member March 13, 2019.  A step 1 hearing was held on April 15, 2019 that was denied.  The Step 2 hearing is scheduled for May 15.

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.  Awaiting disposition.

            f) 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. A disposition meeting was held April 11 and the situation was dropped.

            g) A teacher was called to a fact-finding April 18 for lack of teamwork, inappropriate conduct and inadequate preparation for employee responsibilities.  A disposition was held April 30 where the member received a written warning.

            h)  A teacher was called to a fact-finding May 3, 2019 for inadequate preparation for job responsibilities. There was no dispute that some parts of the job had not been accomplished, but there were extenuating circumstances that were shared.  Awaiting disposition.

3.  Heights Coalition for Public Education

The Coalition has been pushing advocacy around the state education budget.  A drop in letter writing meeting was held May 7. (link to advocacy page).

4.  Negotiations –We have had 7 sessions with several more scheduled – May 20, 22, June 4, 18, and possibly 25.  A federal mediator has been attending since session 4.  We started publishing updates May 13.

5.  CHTU Red Shirts –We have finally received our red shirts and will start distributing.  We got yellow lettering instead the white we ordered and are trying to figure out how to make this right with the printer.

6.  MS SPED concerns – VP Rego has received information from most middle school intervention specialists over concerns they have had this year.  A meeting was held to discuss with administration on April 26.  The meeting seemed productive.

7.  Reaching Heights Spelling Bee May 1 – Thanks to our spellers; Laura Lorek, Tamara Heldman, and Diana Neal.

8.  Conferences for 2019-20 – Assistant Superintendent Gould met with teachers April 30 to brainstorm creative ways to set up the parent conference schedule for next school year.  We do not know what the next step is going to be.

9.  Principal Evaluations – look for a link to the union’s principal evaluations soon.  We are looking into sending these links to personal emails instead of school email if possible.  We would like to test our ability to send emails to personal emails for summer updates, if any are needed.

10.  Facebook – connect with us on Facebook.  We prefer members connect with us on our closed group. Search for Cleveland Heights Teachers Union, AFT Local 795 or link (here

Share This