On Wednesday, February 3rd, we had our 19th bargaining session with Summit. We discussed the following items:
Proposals From Summit
- Union Rights: The main challenge is that Summit wants admin to be present in union meetings during orientation. It is standard for unions to have time alone with members during orientation; this allows teachers to discuss and understand all contract components and processes and ask questions privately, without managers present.
- Leaves: We are closer to an agreement. We are almost in alignment on the TWYN policy for one day of leave, and both the SPS and US team discussed the potential of having a process to track TWYN requests to ensure it is implemented well. One of the major sticking points continues to be parental leave. We believe only providing two weeks of fully-paid parental leave in a teacher’s first year at Summit, when the industry standard for charters in the Bay Area (and many district schools) is six weeks puts Summit at a competitive disadvantage. The landscape has shifted since Summit first created its parental leave policy, and we hope to work with Summit to make the changes necessary to be in-line with the current landscape. (Notably, Summit’s parental leave for long-serving employees goes beyond what most schools in our area offer, which continues to be a very positive aspect of Summit’s policy.) We sent a counterproposal on this article to the SPS management team via email on Friday.
Proposals From Unite Summit
- Student Support Services: Unite Summit members formed a new committee to strengthen our rationale for English Learner recommendations! Read all about it below.
- Professional Development: We had a helpful discussion about Summit’s current PD practices and are continuing to explore ways to provide greater teacher voice in the topics and design of PD.
- Health & Safety: The main sticking points remain remain that 1) we want Summit schools to be sanctuaries for students and faculty. This issue is critically important to us and 2) we want privacy and hygienic areas for nursing parents, while Summit wants to provide only the minimum state requirement for employees.
English Language Learner Status Report and Recommendations at Summit
In November, a group of Unite Summit members formed the English Learner Committee, in order to do a deeper dive into Summit’s current EL policies, data, and best practices. Our very first contract proposal — Support Services – addressed providing better supports for English Learners. The EL Committee put together a comprehensive English Learner Status Report & Recommendations and presented it to Summit during negotiations this week.
The committee’s research turned up findings that reflected our own experiences at Summit:
- 70% of EL students are not making progress in their English Language Development
- EL students are behind in almost every academic priority indicator by a difference of 10% or more
- EL students face disproportionate disciplinary action
The committee’s work formed the basis for our new Support Services proposal. While Summit only wanted to discuss these important issues for the last 20 minutes of bargaining, we hope that future bargaining dates will allow us to give these issues the time and attention they deserve.
We sincerely hope that Summit shares our value of providing strong language development programming and curriculum. We ask Summit to recommit to our students and provide the language supports that they need. We want the training and expectations to support our students. We must ALL work together for this goal.
In closing, we want to appreciate the English Learner Committee. The members of this committee had a breadth of strengths — ELD teaching experience, seniority at Summit, and knowledge of California standards around English Learner supports — and put in substantial time and energy to create this 20+ page report. We also want to thank all the teachers who provided input on our English learner survey; your participation gave the committee valuable insight. We want to extend a special appreciation to the members of the committee who joined us during bargaining to present the report:
Justin Kim: K2 Grade 8 History
Miles Bennett-Smith: Prep AP Gov
Eric Jones: K2 Grade 9 Math
Meryl Kravitz: Everest Spanish