Today, we met with Summit leadership, and Unite Summit brought an alternate proposal that would allow us to reopen schools quickly but give us time to continue negotiating. We proposed that each school open up on March 31st (Phase 1) only with teachers who volunteered to go back as a pilot program while we continue to bargain for Phase 2 and Phase 3.
The spirit of the pilot program is to hit the ground running with teachers who are volunteering so we can serve some students as soon as possible. It would allow sites to see what reopening would look like on their campuses and allow teachers more time to get vaccinations. US and SPS agree that if Phase 1 goes well, it would help set an example for our community and raise our collective spirits.
Summit leadership accepted the voluntary nature of Phase 1 BUT said they would stand by the mandatory return of teachers in Phase 2 and Phase 3 by lottery or of ALL teachers, with the exception of those with legal exemptions, Because Summit would not agree to a voluntary Phase 1 without a mandatory Phase 2 and Phase 3, we were not able to reach an agreement today that would have opened our schools on April 1. We are disappointed that we weren’t able to come to an agreement that would have allowed volunteers and students to return to buildings on April 1 while we continued to work on Phases 2 and 3.
We believe that mandatory return to schools is inequitable. Thank you for sharing openly with us about your circumstances. Because you all responded so quickly, we were able to accurately demonstrate to SPS that we teachers need the choice to return to be voluntary. As a union of teachers who love their students, we trust that families, teachers, and administrators could find an equitable, compassionate solution if we were to begin working on voluntary site reopening plans.
Summit leadership stated that they would explore their managerial rights in regards to reopening. We will continue to fight for the safety of our members, students, and families.
Please reply to firstname.lastname@example.org to give us your input. We need to hear your voices to make informed decisions and to equitably represent our members!
CBA Bargaining March 17, 2021
In addition to negotiating reopening schools, Unite Summit and Summit reviewed several proposals related to the CBA. Below are highlights of what was presented:
Leaves (Unite Summit Proposal)
Unite Summit’s proposal guarantees all teachers be provided with four weeks of paid family leave. Our proposal also guarantees teachers who have already accrued weeks of leave to not lose those weeks. We believe we are largely in alignment with Summit on this article!
Hours of Employment, Work Year, Job Duties (Unite Summit Proposal)
Unite Summit presented our proposal on “Hours of Employment, Work Year, Job Duties” including changes to weekly schedules and Education Specialists’ job duties.
For work week schedules, Unite Summit proposed a mandated work week of 40 hours on site including a 30 minute duty free lunch period. Sites will have discretion over what the specific schedule and meeting time will look like within those parameters. Our hope is that each site will come up with a schedule that works best for their staff.
For Education Specialists, Unite Summit proposed that Education Specialists have the option to be mentors or co-mentors but shall not be assigned other duties unrelated to Special Education services. Education Specialists shall also be granted a minimum of ten hours per month for IEP preparation. Additionally, each member will be offered compensatory minutes, self-directed preparation time, or compensation at the hourly rate if meetings related to administration of an IEP or 504 plan deprives self directed preparation time.
Technology, Resources, and Curriculum (Summit Proposal)
Summit presented their proposal on “Technology, Resources, and Curriculum” with very few changes to their position from their last proposal, other than a change to the timeline for providing missing/inadequate technology or materials.
CBA Bargaining March 3, 2021
We’d also like to report on our CBA bargaining session from March 3.
Summit presented a package proposal on Employment Status, Discipline and Dismissal, Evaluation. This proposal had some positive forward movement. Summit management’s team is finally starting to respond to our opposition to at will employment and our need as teachers for stability, job security, and respect. They have proposed a five year probationary period, which is three years longer than all district teachers and almost all unionized charter teachers. We believe our proposal of a two year probationary period gives our site admin more than enough time to determine if a teacher is a good fit for Summit. We will continue to push for employment status, discipline and dismissal, and evaluation proposals that ensure our teachers are supported, treated fairly, and held accountable. Summit also made a proposal on Effect of Agreement (basically the length of the contract.)
Unite Summit Proposals:
Our proposal increased the mentor size and case load size for Education Specialists to 27 students, a one student increase from our previous proposal.
We also combined our health and welfare benefits and compensation articles into one, and made some adjustments to come closer to Summit’s position.