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November 2018


ARC (Appraisal Review Committee): Nothing new.

DISCIPLINE: Next meeting December 5.

DLT (District Leadership Team): Next meeting November 28

ER&D (Educational Research and Dissemination):  ER&D instructors presented snapshots of their courses at the November 6 PD day.

GRADING TASK FORCE:  Last met October 7.  Reviewed objective of the task force, conducted a webinar with Doug Reeves on good practices, will be creating a grading survey.  Meeting November 14.

INSURANCE:  We are still under the Express Care Online pilot through December.

MASTER TEACHER: nothing new

MOBILIZATION: around 90 members and allies showed up to the November 5 Board meeting to support kindergarten teachers’ brave efforts to describe how the testing culture in our District has permeated even our youngest learners.  7 members and 2 community members used the public comments time to respectfully voice their concerns.

OFT (Ohio Federation of Teachers): nothing to report

POLICY TASK FORCE: met November 13 to look over BOE policies to be adopted.

PTA: Council meets November 29.  The next speaker is December 13.

RETIREMENT: The cost of living increases are still non-existent for retirees even though the cost of living has increased.  For example, social security will increase 2.8% next year.  The STRS Board continues to be cloaked by not publically publishing their contact information.  Next meetings November 15-16 and December 12.

SOCIAL:  investigating venues for our spring social May 3.

SUMMIT: Met November 9.  We discussed the kindergarten teacher concerns from the past Monday’s Board of Education meeting.  It was decided to bring all the K teachers together for a full day on November 27 to determine which assessments should be used throughout the year (or as much as could be accomplished).  We discussed middle school promotion/retention practices and a few other topics.

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 are scheduled for October 29 and 30.  The Board has asked to call rebuttal witnesses, which will be December 17.

            b) Hiring Practices:  Our union filed a grievance on September 6 over missteps that we believe administration has made in their hiring practices.  A member was given a commitment of work the week before orientation, attended new hire orientation, then reassigned to a long term sub position on Thursday, August 20. A letter of understanding has been signed and the member now has a limited contract through the end of the year with all rights of membership.  The grievance is resolved.

            c)  Subcontracting – the union filed a grievance on September 26 over sub-contracting of a position at the high school. The union sent a notice to negotiate this issue when it first arose several years ago, but we did not move forward.  We had a step 2 hearing October 11. The grievance was denied on October 18.  The union filed a notice with the State Employees Relations Board for bargaining unit clarification for this position. Nothing new.

            d) Changing Salaries – the union filed a grievance on September 21 because the letters of intent given and signed by two members listed them as 200 day employees with the corresponding salaries.  Three weeks into the school year administration called the members to tell them of the clerical error – they are really 192 day contract employees and will be making 10% less than promised.  A Step 2 hearing was held on October 4.  On October 11 the grievance was denied because the administration believes that it is allowed to make clerical errors – even if people have left their previous employment based on erroneous information.  We moved the grievance to Step 3 – Grievance Mediation, which will be held November 28.

            e)  Waiver of Coverage – The union filed a grievance on September 21 based on the denial of payment for waiving medical coverage because administration falsely believes that dental/vision/prescription/skilled nursing must be waived as well.  The step 2 hearing was held on October 4 where the union showed how the 2013 renumbering of the contract mistakenly added the additional benefits into the waiver language when it was never negotiated. The district denied the grievance on October 19. We move the grievance to Step 3 – Grievance Mediation which will be held November 28.

            f)  Administration Union Concern over Payroll – On Wednesday, October 24 we will  file a formal concern over the problems many people have experienced from payroll this year, including; pay stubs not documenting work, personal balances not being updated  teachers not being paid the correct amounts, and more.  The meeting took place November 7.  We met for almost 2 hours.  The administration shares many of our concerns and has already started to address some issues.  They will prepare a written response to respond for each issue.

            g)  Long-term Substitutes – The union will file a grievance 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 will be held November 13.

2. Fact-Findings:

            a)  A member was in a fact-finding on August 24 because the parent of a student accused the teacher of being insensitive based on the student’s religion in the first minutes of the first day of school.  Our member’s story differs vastly from the few student accounts.  An outside advocacy organization has filed a complaint with the district in this case.  Still awaiting a disposition.

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

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

d) A member was called to a fact-finding on October 16 over concerns of “patterns of absences” even though the member has a known condition that indicates intermittent FMLA is needed.  Awaiting disposition.

e)  A member was called to a fact-finding October 26 over a confrontation in front of students that an administrator provoked.  Awaiting disposition.

3.  Heights Coalition for Public Education

The Election Is Over.  Now What?  On November 15 @ 7 PM at Wiley, participants will practice how to advocate for public education in several different environments (a neighbor, a state or local school board member, an elected state representative or senator).  Learn the best techniques for getting your message through.

Save the Dates:  February 6 and 13 for a community book discussion on “The Testing Charade: Pretending to Make Schools Better” by Daniel Koretz.


4.  Fairfax Air Quality – after several members showed concerns over air quality issues at Fairfax the union leadership requested air quality testing from the district.  Administration asked for more specific information, so we surveyed the membership and forwarded the results to administration.  We are awaiting a response.

5.  Negotiations – our contract expires June 30, 2019.  Please start having conversations within your building about identifying our most important issues for negotiations.  We will be polling and having discussions starting right away to learn from you.

6.  Time Reminder -  every level has guaranteed planning time in our contract as well as a duty free lunch.  If you are not getting the minimum amount of time for your level then please talk to your steward about how the regular schedule needs to accommodate this time.  For irregular interruptions to your time you should fill out a yellow payment form for the time missed. 

7.  CHTU Polo Shirts – please order an embroidered CHTU 50/50 polo shirt for $20 through our office.  Call Monica 216.321.002 or send a check in interoffice mail letting us know what size you want.  Medium – 3XL.

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