Today we had our twentieth negotiating session. We have come closer to an agreement and had helpful discussions about family leave, training and professional development, and concept / cognitive skill grading policies.
- Leaves: Summit offered this proposal and because we are closer to an agreement, we offered a verbal counterproposal later in the day (we will update our website with a written version soon). Notably, we are asking for Summit’s family leave policy to provide more leave time for newer employees. Our proposal is that during a teacher’s first four years at Summit, they will receive four weeks of fully-paid family leave (the current policy is two weeks during the first two years and starting in year three a week is added each year with a cap of 10 weeks). This improves teachers’ ability to afford and support families earlier in their career and incentivizes teachers to stay a fifth year. We are very close to a TWYN policy for personal days, and data about requests and approval will be reported to our union so that we can support with fair, non-biased implementation across campuses.
- Training, Supports and Professional Development: Summit listed topics that PD “may” include, which is a step towards our proposal. We will continue to negotiate for a protected system of including a teacher voice in yearly decisions about PD.
- Employment Status: We continue to propose that, after a two-year probationary period, teachers would continue to be employed (you would automatically be able to come back every year), with the provision that teachers would still be subject to the discipline and evaluation articles of the contract. We had previously proposed that teachers in their probationary period could only be let go for “just cause” during the school year or executive directors could choose not to ask the teacher back after their first or second year. We have now also conceded that during the probationary period, a teacher may be let go without just cause during the school year as long as they are provided with a three-month severance package.