On 10/7 and 10/14, Unite Summit met with Summit management to bargain our overall union contract. Here’s a short summary of those bargaining sessions.
Increasing Classroom Support for Students
On the very first day of bargaining, back in March, we presented our Support Services proposal that would provide our students — particularly English Learners and Diverse Learners — with more supports. 11 bargaining sessions later, Summit has still not responded to this proposal. It is disappointing that they have so far been unwilling to engage on an issue that is so important to teachers — and to our students and their families.
Summit also made a counter proposal on class size, which we believe still does not adequately address mentor group size and does not have a mechanism to enforce class size limits.
Reducing Teacher Turnover and Improving Job Sustainability
Hours of Employment, Work Year, and Job Duties continues to be a major sticking point. While Summit’s last proposal reduced the number of workdays to 212 from their previous proposal of 216, Summit management continues to insist that our school year should run through the end of June. This does not make sense to us logistically, nor pedagogically.
Both sides continue to make movement on Leaves (US, SPS), though Unite Summit continues to push for expanded parental leave. We are also making progress on Health and Welfare Benefits (US, SPS); one of the main sticking points is allowing part-time employees (who work less than 75%) to be able to have access to health insurance through Summit.
Unite Summit and Summit management also made movement on compensation, though Summit’s latest proposal does not contain a yearly across-the-board cost of living raise (unless you are at the top of the salary schedule), nor does it guarantee that you will move up a step in the salary schedule each year.
Increasing Teacher Voice in Decision-Making
Our Assessments and Curriculum, Technology and Resources proposal provides important protections and flexibility for teachers in their curricular choices and use of teaching resources. It also increases student accountability to deadlines, provides more teacher voice in revision plans and allows for teacher flexibility with curriculum and teaching resources. Summit’s proposal continues to contain vague language that promises access to curriculum and technology.
As always, you can check out the bargaining page of our website to see Unite Summit and Summit management’s latest proposals in full.
On October 14, we met with Summit management to bargain about virtual school. Here is our proposal. The proposal is based on our virtual school survey — we still are looking for survey responses to gather more feedback from teachers about their priorities for virtual school. If you have not already done so, please fill out our VS Survey before our next bargaining session regarding virtual school on October 27.
Our understanding is that Summit management’s team continues to dispute that changes in working conditions have occurred despite us repeatedly sharing our direct experiences of differences between the conditions of virtual school version 2 and virtual school now (such as the change of Office Hours to Habits and Content).
The next Summit board meeting is on 10/22 (this Thursday) at noon — you can join at this link. While the meeting is during the school day, teachers can attend during their lunch or the prep period. We encourage teachers to speak on the sustainability of virtual school and their needs that have not been met by Summit during the public comment period at the start of the meeting.
According to the agenda, at 1:35, the Board will be discussing “Schools Update 1. Current school experience 2. Future expectations.” Agendizing a “schools update” during a time and day in which the people with the most direct, on-the-ground knowledge of what is happening in our schools (students, teachers, parents) largely cannot attend raises serious questions about how our Board can effectively govern given an almost total lack of community input at Board meetings. Despite the fact these important stakeholders have asked for board meetings to be held at a more accessible time to increase participation and transparency, this ask has been repeatedly ignored.