What will we continue to advocate for in our contract?
Unite Summit was organized and approved by the teachers of Summit Public Schools to address major issues facing our staff and students alike. We believe in our schools and are advocating to improve upon current systems because we want what is best for our students and families. While we have come to agreement in six areas (or “articles”), there are vital differences in our positions on 19 other articles.
Some major highlights of what we are continuing to advocate for in the CBA:
Job Security – We believe that after an initial phase teachers need reasonable job security to continue to grow, experiment, and contribute to school communities. We want Summit to recognize the dedication of teachers who have stayed and value their contributions as experienced educators.
Work year (196 days) – SPS continues to advocate for an additional 16 days of work to the teacher work calendar (to a total of 212) when Summit teachers already work additional days when compared to other schools. We firmly believe this will hurt teacher morale and desirability of SPS to new hires.
Support services for ELLs, students with disabilities, and mental health – SPS refuses to respond to our requests for increased supports for our English language learners, students with disabilities, and mental health. We believe that SPS is neglecting these mandatory obligations to our students. With millions of new dollars coming in from the federal and state governments, much of it specifically earmarked to provide greater support for students as we recover from the pandemic, we know that Summit can afford to invest in these vital services.
Class size caps and compensation for large class sizes – We believe that teachers need class size and mentor group caps to be effective teachers, especially with the skills-based project-based-learning approach integral to the Summit model. Summit’s proposal has voluntary caps, which can’t actually be enforced.
Shared governance – We are advocating for increased teacher voice in making decisions in order to create better, personalized school decisions for PD, school schedules, and other school-based decisions. We believe that each school site has different needs and the one-size-fits-all model goes against the founding principles of Summit’s individualized learning model.
Fair performance evaluation – We believe that teachers need clear parameters of performance evaluation to know whether they are or are not meeting the criteria to be a Summit teacher with opportunities and documentation to receive feedback and improve.
Discipline with due process – The lack of clarity in Summit’s proposed disciplinary procedures allows too much latitude for discriminatory and unfair treatment.
Non merit-based pay – Within their evaluation article, SPS is proposing that teachers needing the highest level of support in their teaching practice do NOT move up the salary schedule if they are being brought back the next year. Merit-based pay has been proven to not work and opens the door to discriminatory and biased practices. We vehemently reject this proposal.
You can read about the rest of our issue by issue breakdown here.