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October 2018


ARC (Appraisal Review Committee): Nothing new. October 24 was set aside as a meeting date, but there is no reason to meet at this time.

DISCIPLINE: The Student Code of Conduct should be rolling out sometime during this school year.  The district is awaiting approval from the Office of Civil Rights. The first Student Discipline meeting was held October 3 to get back on track.  Next meeting December 5.

DLT (District Leadership Team): Next meeting Wednesday, October 24.

ER&D:  Instructors are giving input into when courses will be offered.  We are looking to offer a course this spring. Instructors will give overviews of their courses at the November 6 PD day during one of the sessions.

GRADING TASK FORCE:  Met October 17, 2018 – although teachers may not have been told about it ahead of time.

INSURANCE: We are currently in a pilot to use Cleveland Clinic Express Care Online.  Through December 31 members can try using this telemedicine service for simple medical issues 24/7 with no appointment needed.  For Medical Mutual members the service is free.  We are trying to determine whether the cost of this service saves the district money in terms of office visit costs and substitute services.  You must register to be able to use Express Care Online.

MAKE-A-WISHWe raised over $10,361, enough so that Megan’s wish can be granted.  They have narrowed done the breed (likely a Labrador Retriever) with a litter expected in November.  After the dog is picked, it will need to undergo about 5 months of training before being placed in the family’s home, hopefully before the end of the school year.  The family is very thankful for our work.

MASTER TEACHER: Nothing new.

MOBILIZATION:  Kindergarten teachers have met and been stymied by administration’s insistence they administer unnecessary and unhelpful assessments that usurp their ability to establish relationships and teach.  These teachers have unified and will present their case at the Monday, November 5th Board of Education meeting.  Please come and show your support for this brave act of advocacy for our profession and our students.

OFT:  A conference call was held Tuesday, October 16 with our national and state presidents with governor candidate Rich Cordray.  Mr. Cordray fluently addressed all questions in a way that shows he values educators and public education. 

POLICY TASK FORCE: Met October 9 to look over policies that the Board will be updating this year.  Next meeting November 13.

PTA:  The speaker series started October 23.  The topic was “Parenting with intention: Discovering and practicing what matters most to you, every day.

RETIREMENT:  If you are in year 28, 29 or 30 with STRS, then keep an eye out for the annual statement so that you can submit it to HR with the letter stating you are eligible for the Retirement Enhancement of $1,150.  You must submit info each year by mid-November.

SOCIAL:  We had a TUSH on September 27.  Ten members volunteered for at the Heritage Tour. 

SUMMIT:  - Met Friday,  October 12.  The main part of the discussion centered on Kindergarten testing with the teachers being asked to meet again and look over how they think things should be done.  Among other discussion we were updated on the role of Instructional Coaches, the Gifted program continuum of services, large class sizes at Rox El 1st and 2nd grade and possible relief.  We were introduced to the new HR processes for hiring.  We were told that the HS would be in an exploratory year for IB consideration.

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 scheduled for October 29 and 30.

            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. Although we had a few false starts for solving the problem we now believe that we will be able to work out a solution through a letter of understanding that should give the member security in a position for the school year and all rights and benefits as a member going forward.

            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.

            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 shifted their employment based on erroneous information.  We moved the grievance to Step 3 – Grievance Mediation.

            e)  Waiver of Coverage – The union filed a grievance on September 21based on the denial a member received to get paid 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.

            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 done, personal balances not being updated  teachers not being paid the correct amounts, and more.

2. Fact-Findings:

            a)  A member was in a fact-finding on August 24 because the parent of a student in the first minutes of the first day of school accused the teacher of being insensitive based on the student’s religion.  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) On September 26 a member was called into a fact-finding over concerns about not following safety procedures in his classroom. Awaiting disposition.

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

d) A member was called to a fact-finding on October 16 over concerns of timely response to communications with parents. Awaiting disposition.

e) 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.

f)  A member was called to a fact-finding October 19 over a confrontation in front of students that an administrator provoked.

3.  Heights Coalition for Public Education –Next meeting October 23 at CHTU offices at 7:00 PM.

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 20 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.  Accommodations – a member was given a “compressed schedule” for an accommodation requiring a “reduced load.”  We were granted our request for another meeting where we agreed upon a reduced load.

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