Friday, November 22, 2013

Session #11, Thursday, November 22nd

The meeting began with the district updating their responses to open items.

They responded that in general, they are not interested in adding items that are not mandatory subjects of bargaining. These types of items they are saying no to include:
  • Defining planning time, like the time we have on the planning days at the end of each trimester, as time teachers control to do independent work.
  • Adding three days per year of planning time
  • Capping the number of sections an elementary specialist teaches
  • Including class size and caseloads limits in our contract
They responded “no” to the following items as well. They assert that they have an economic impact and would rather put any costs toward pay and benefits:
  • Elmininating “sub deduct” days (days next to breaks when teachers need to pay sub costs to be absent)
  • Increase the number of personal days by one by changing one sick day into a personal day
There were some items they planned to say no to, but after further explanation from us, plan to take another look at. A common theme in the discussion was that they believed the current approaches to these issues were working well. We described concerns and specifics examples where they aren’t to justify why we want the following changes:
  • Adding six days of sub relief or pay for special education teachers to complete due process paperwork
  • Eliminating duties for traveling teachers
  • Adding grandchildren to be part of the immediate family for whom teachers can use sick leave
  • Allowing mothers to take parental leave, in the same way fathers can in our contract
Items on which we are still trading language back and forth:
  • Family Communication Time: Instead of our proposal to give elementary teachers working in dyad or triads ay for extra days or substitute relief, they offered to give each of those teachers a flat $200 stipend each trimester for the extra time they put in for parent communication.
  • Substitute Leave: They did not agree to our proposal to go to a capped hourly rate to compensate those who sub during their prep time, but may look at changing their hourly amount. In their description we heard that they intend to include the idea of “trade time” (teachers who work out coverage of each other’s classes so they do not have to use personal leave on an hourly basis) from a past memorandum of understanding in the contract. We need to review that and respond.
  • Extra Service Agreements and Leadership Pay: We are waiting to hear back on their response to adding Continuing Education Committee representatives and technology coordinators at non K-12 sites. Also, we asked to move Comp Ed building leaders to Level E for pay.
  • Leadership Pay / Extra Service Agreements / Appendix B Task Force: The district side said they don’t think they will be opposed to this task force, but were not ready to say yes or offer specific parameters on the task force.
Our response to their latest economic offer was that until we can agree to maintain current health insurance benefits, we don’t see the value of changing our proposal.  The district is proposing freezing current contribution rates. That would effectively end the current practice of 100% single coverage and increasing district contributions to family coverage by the same amount as the increase in single premiums.  Teachers would then pick up all premium increases from here on out.  Protecting our health insurance benefits is one of our members’ top priorities and we cannot agree to going backward.

Our next meeting will be at the Educational Service Center (ESC) on Wednesday, December 4th, at 4:45 pm.