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It's about time - summary of interim negotiations around time - May 2010

As we previously reported, the Board and the Union entered interim negotiations regarding the modification of the student instructional day at all levels: High School, Middle Schools, and Elementary Schools. After several weeks of exchanging proposals and contract language, our Union and the Board have reached a tentative agreement which we present to you here. We have summarized the key elements of the negotiations below and we have attached the drafts of the Letters of Understanding and addenda to our Negotiated Agreement. 
The tentative agreements were presented to our CHTU Executive Board met on May 6th for consideration.   After much discussion and debate, our officers and stewards unanimously voted to recommend acceptance of the tentative agreement to the membership.
Since the agreements call for changes in our contract , we need to conduct a vote of the membership. We have called for a membership meeting on Thursday, May 13th, 4:00 p.m. at Lutheran East High School (3565 Mayfield Rd. across from Severance Towne Center) to discuss the tentative agreements and conduct a vote. Balloting will take place at the membership meeting and continue through May 18th for absentees.
The Union and Board have agreed to the following items in Letters of Understanding and Addenda to the Negotiated Agreement
Elementary Instructional Day.
  • No change in teacher work day (8:15-3:45)
  • Elimination of the early Tuesday dismissal
  • Student Day begins at 8:45 and ends at 3:15
  • Planning/release time: Current time reduced by 10 min./day in the afternoon; elimination of a.m. recess; gain 47 minutes/ week in specials (one added special / week)
  • Limit of one PLC meeting per week during planning time
  • Equal planning time for all teachers (205 minutes per week not including time before and after school)
Middle School Schedule.
  • Keep 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. teacher work day remains as is
  •  All teachers assigned 6 classes or the equivalent if teaching in blocks
  • Daily 42 min. planning period and daily 42 min. team planning/collaboration period
  • Student day 8:05 a.m. – 2:50 p.m.
  • Introductory French and Spanish to be structured as semester classes-students assigned 1st and 3rd or 2nd and 4th grading periods
  • Future schedule modifications to follow TAP consensus process
High School 8 Period Day
  • Union representation on scheduling committee to set guidelines for EOS period which are subject to Board and Union approval. Scheduling committee will reconvene to assess impact of the 8 period day.
  • Early release days may be used for EOS planning; teachers reserve the right to use their own judgment re: the use of their planning periods for collaboration.
  • Small School TAP committees to be put in place
  • Intervention Specialists to have 5 assigned teaching periods and a period assigned for case management duties, co-teaching planning or other special ed. duties.
  • School-wide issues to be addressed by stewards and principals in a joint administration-union forum.
  • Upon agreement of all items Union will withdraw ULP and grievance.
Additional Agreements.
  •  Added compensation: STRS Pickup paid by Board: Employee STRS deduction will be reduced from 10% to 9%   equivalent to a 1% increase in take-home pay.
  • Recall rights in the event of layoff.
  • Added day of Professional Leave for Intervention Specialists.
  • Increase in summer pay & time for elementary teachers to prepare classrooms (3 days at in-service rate currently $129 per day).
These negotiations began in an atmosphere of contentiousness because of the administration’s plans to push through changes that added instructional time and student contact time at every level without negotiations or meaningful teacher input.   After numerous meetings, surveys of our membership, the initiation of grievances and unfair labor practices, and appearance at Board of Education meetings,   Union leadership and central office decided to do our best to seek common ground. At the elementary level, a joint Union-Administration team worked through a plan to add instructional time to the student day. Ongoing discussions with the Superintendent and central office administration led to tentative agreements regarding the high school eight period day and the move to instructional blocks at all three middle schools. 
Time has value and it is a precious resource in our work, especially in this climate of standards, accountability, and testing. Quality instruction requires quality planning, and meaningful teacher collaboration can occur only if there is a commitment of time to make it happen. 
We believe this tentative agreement sets forth precise contract language regarding instructional time and teaching assignments and it supports the need for planning and collaboration which has been lacking in our contract language. In addition, these new agreements recognize that teacher time is a valued resource.     
Tom Schmida, President

Click below to see the draft of each tentative agreement

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