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November 2019

November 2019


ARC (Appraisal Review Committee): The first ARC meeting was held September 24. The new OTES 2.0 was discussed that will be implemented statewide next year.  We are gathering as much information on the changes as it becomes available.  The November 12 was cancelled since nothing new has come out about the pilots running this year throughout the state.  Next meeting January 14, 2020.

CALENDAR COMMITTEE: Recommendations will be sent to the board for the 2020-2022 calendars.  No major shifts except that both years include Easter Monday as a day off.

COMMUNITY IN SCHOOLS TASK FORCE:  Not sure what our next steps are.  The district is concerned about funding.

CCES (Cuyahoga County Educators Summit) –First meeting in January.

DISCIPLINE:  Next meeting is December 4.

INSURANCE: First meeting was October 22. Changes to benefits do not occur until January 1, except Express Care Online, which has been available since we held a test run last year.  The cost of our insurance package to the district will rise 5% for 2020.  This will not change our negotiated premium share.

MAKE-A-WISH:  nothing new

MASTER TEACHER:  Candidate recruitment is ongoing with an informational meeting held November 14.  Letters of intent for participation in the program this year is November 28.  Master Teacher candidates earn 60 PDUs toward license renewal, not for salary credit.

MOBILIZATION:  We are wrapping up our COPE drive this month.  Responses have been great.

OFT (Ohio Federation of Teachers):  OFT sent an action alert to encourage members to send a letter to their state reps about our concern over voucher funding.  State committee meetings will be held December 7.

POLICY TASK FORCE: Next policy review meeting is November 19

PTA:  PTA council meets November 26.

RETIREMENT:  The pension continues to grow, but the cost of living increases are 0.  STRS is in the beginning stages of searching for a new director as Mr. Nehf will retire in June 2020. 

SOCIAL:  We hosted a TUSH/Open House here at our office October 18 after the PD day.  We will also gave away candy and pencils at the candy crawl on Lee Rd the same day.  Looking into arranging a social for January 31.

SUMMIT: At the October 25 meeting we discussed conference nights and if there should be changes for secondary, if some buildings need more support than others, communication issues around the student code of conduct, clarification on the work of the grading task force and a concern that administration never gives a disposition of “no finding” instead of “non-disciplinary counseling,” Next meeting November 22.

1.  Grievances and Unfair Labor Practices

            a) Unfair Labor Practice – the Union filed an Unfair Labor Practice charge against the District on July 22, 2019 over the District’s refusal to bargain over changes in terms and conditions of a member’s job.  A mediation in Columbus was held September 6 where it was not resolved.  On October 31, 2019 the SERB Board dismissed the case after their investigation found no probable cause.  We disagreed with the dismissal and on November 11 filed a Motion for Reconsideration laying out the flaws with the findings.

            b) Assault LeaveAdministration is trying to apply the new assault leave language limit of 2 years to a member who has been on partial assault leave.  We have asked our legal counsel to investigate whether this application of new language is legal to try to reverse this unjust decision. A grievance was filed on October 29, 2019 for assault leave denied.  A step 2 hearing was held on November 12 and was denied on November 19, 2019.

A second related grievance was filed November 12, 2019 based on Article 1B, the unlawful discrimination of the member based on the hours the member is able to work for a supplemental contract.  A Step 2 hearing will be held December 3.

            c) High School Dutiestwo grievances were filed October 4, 2019 concerning high school duties.  The first was based on administration’s belief that teachers filling out a preference form constituted assigning duties.  The second because the preference form stated that TAP would assign duties for those who did not make a preference, which is not TAPs function, and that there was a duty choice that was not agreed upon in TAP.  Step 2 hearings took place on October 15.  Both were denied on October 22. A Step 3 Grievance Mediation is scheduled for November 26.

d)  A member received an official reprimand on Friday, October 25 for several alleged offense. The Union filed a grievance on November 7, 2019 because the teachers was disciplined without just cause.

e)  Administration Union Concern – Monticello Special Education – An AU concern was filed October 17, 2019 over issue that are occurring at Monticello.  Caseload sizes for Intervention Specialists, serving 2 grade levels with no common planning time, large co-taught classes with a high percentage of identified students, Non-IS teachers assigned to do interventions with students, and more.  A meeting was held with the superintendent and many central office administrators on November 7, 2019.  The Superintendent will prepare a response.

f) Administration Union Concern – Oxford – an AU concern was filed October 29, 2019.  There are a myriad of issues that brought the Oxford Union leadership and the whole TAP team to file.  A meeting will take place on December 9.

g) Right to representation grievance – A teacher filed a grievance November 15, 2019 based on requesting union representation at a meeting with the supervisor, having the meeting delayed a month, then while meeting over another matter without representation having the supervisor bring up the content of the original meeting.  There was no opportunity to get union representation at that point.  A step 2 hearing is scheduled for December 4.

2.  Fact-Findings/Discipline

            a)  A member is still on paid administrative leave since August 29, 2019 pending an investigation over concerns that we thought had been resolved last year.  President Klein represented our member at the Department of Children and Family Services on September 25.  All charges were found to be “unsubstantiated” on October 9.  The private investigator hired by the district is scheduling meetings with our members on a voluntary basis. The private company interviewed our member on October 30 and stated they are close to the end of the investigation and will submit a report with recommendations to the Superintendent.

            b)  A member was called to a fact-finding for October 21, 2019 for alleged misconduct based on complaints from two students who believe that even though they were in the wrong place at the wrong time that our member should not be able to ask them questions nor give them answers that they do not like.  An official reprimand was issued on November 15, 2019.

            d)  A member was called to a fact-finding on October 21, 2019 over concerns about testing irregularities for students eligible for Read Aloud accommodations.  A disposition meeting was to be held November 12, but was rescheduled.  An official reprimand was issued November 19, 2019.

            e)  A member was called to a fact-finding on October 23, 2019 over alleged falsification, attendance, and dishonesty.  The member was asked about how FMLA paperwork was filled out and turned in among other attendance concerns.  Awaiting a disposition.

            f) A member was placed on administrative leave on October 15, 2019 over concerns about how a situation was handled with students who were playing with a football in a school lunchroom.  The fact-finding was held on October 23, 2019.  The Department of Children and Family Services interviewed the member on October 31.  A disposition meeting has been scheduled for November 19, 2019.

            g)  Three members were called for a fact-finding on November 1 and 4, 2019 – all accused of inadequate supervision of a student.  Awaiting dispositions.

3.  Heights Coalition For Public Education – The Coalition Steering met October 17, 2019 to discuss our slideshow presentation around state funding and how vouchers are impacting school districts.  Our goal is to train people to show this slideshow to a variety of audiences so more people are prepared to lobby for fair legislation.

4.  Therapist classification – as reported earlier Occupational and Physical Therapists are not considered Special Education Teachers when it comes to the $500 differential that all SPED teachers earn as part of their salary.  This year our OTs and PTs were told they would not get their 15 hours of curriculum writing and 3 days of IEP writing the same way that SPED teachers are entitled.  After a few phone calls and emails this situation was resolved that OTs and PTs are eligible for this time………at least this year.  They are not recognized in the contract for these rights because they are not classified as SPED teachers.

5.  HB164 – Academic integrity of our public schools.  We oppose recent proposed legislation in the Ohio House that makes vague the boundaries between religious expression and separation of church and state.  Especially, the “…shall not penalize or reward a student based on the religious content of a student’s work” language. 

6.  Paying for lost laptops – two members were informed by administration that they must pay for the school issued laptops that were stolen out of their cars.  This is the first time we recall employees being charged like this.

7.  Class sizes - we are looking at the extent of the problems of class size, especially at the secondary level, where there are many classes over 28 students, including in co-taught classes.


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