Health and Safety MOU reached

We’re pleased to announce we’ve reached an agreement with Summit on a memorandum of understanding (basically a “mini contract”) about health and safety for the 2021-22 school year.

Here’s a link to the full agreement.

A few highlights:

  • At least 25% of unvaccinated staff and students will be tested for COVID each week. 
  • All classrooms will have an air purifier and all HVAC systems will be updated
  • Right now, according to Summit’s COVID technical manual and in line with county health guidelines, everyone is required to wear a mask indoors (with specific medical exemptions). You may request masks, including N95s, from Summit.
  • Visitors to campus will be limited, and remote alternatives to meetings will be pursued whenever possible.
  • Summit will improve ventilation in areas where people eat and drink. We know every campus is different, but whenever possible, encourage your site leadership to have meals outside. 
  • If the public health guidelines in Contra Costa, San Mateo, or Santa Clara county are different, Summit will adhere to the guidelines that are most robust. This seemed especially important for Expeditions teachers, most of whom work in multiple counties.
  • Unite Summit and Summit admin will meet regularly to communicate over COVID safety concerns

Please notify your site reps or Unite Summit leadership of any concerns at your school site. 

Issue by Issue Breakdown of Negotiations

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.
  • Cost of living based compensation – Summit’s proposal of a 1.08% increase in pay for the next school year along with no increases in SY23 and SY24 is far below the standard increases in cost of living due to inflation and is counter to Summit’s current practice.
  • Layoff procedure – We are advocating for greater specificity in who and how SPS will conduct layoffs and what rights teachers have to return to their positions. Coming out of the Rainier closing, we are committed to protecting teachers with clear and equitable systems for layoffs. 
  • Health and Safety – We want all Summit schools to be sanctuary schools in order to protect the basic safety of our staff, students, and community.  This is critical for any organization advocating anti-racism.
  • Facilities – SPS continues to ignore our calls for gender neutral facilities to protect our gender non-conforming students and staff.
  • Management Rights – SPS wants the ability to suspend our contract for up to 90 days if there is an emergency. As an example, if this provision was in place, parts of our contract could potentially have been suspended for three months when the COVID-19 pandemic began.
  • Union Rights – SPS does not want to give our Union time to meet with members without Admin presence and wants to limit access to Union training and organizing.  
  • Effect of Agreement – Summit wants to limit our ability to bargain over anything not specifically listed in our contract. 

Tentative Agreements:

Here are the articles that we have made tentative agreements on (a “tentative agreement” is an article that we have agreed to, but isn’t final until our members vote to approve the whole contract). 

Negotiation Procedure; Assignment and Transfer; Assignability; Organizational Security; Savings and Modifications; Technology, Resources, and Curriculum

Moving on to mediation

Dear Unite Summit family,  

Yesterday, we began the process of requesting a mediator to help our union and Summit’s bargaining team continue to find common ground in agreeing to our first contract.  The Public Employment Relations Board trains and assigns mediators to support contract negotiations and help employers and unions come to agreements. We have requested a mediator because we believe we cannot make any more progress in bargaining at this point — this is called “impasse.” We all want a first contract as soon as possible, but we also need a quality contract that reflects Summit teachers’ most important values and needs. We are hopeful that, with your support and the support of our broader community, we will make progress during this next stage of negotiations.  In this newsletter, we outline the major values and items we will continue to advocate to have in the contract.

Why mediation?

We sincerely believe that having the assistance of a mediator will be helpful; at this point, we are simply not making substantial progress towards an agreement. Mediators are trained to help unions and employers find common ground and come up with new solutions that we can both agree to.  We are optimistic and hopeful that mediation will help us reach a suitable agreement. 

We are requesting a mediator now due to a stall in negotiations. We have been in negotiations for over fifteen months and have met 28 times —  well over 90 hours.  Our bargaining team has met for dozens of hours outside of this time to gather information and priorities from our entire Summit community and craft proposals that reflect that input. There are many core values and items that Summit teachers want, but that Summit administration’s bargaining team has not agreed to and in some cases has not responded to (see our issue-by-issue breakdown here).  Because mediation is designed to help both bargaining teams understand each others’ values and help us explore solutions, at this point it is common and appropriate to bring in an outside presence to help our two parties come to an agreement. 

Yesterday’s meeting illustrated that it is time to move onto mediation. 

For example, the Summit Public Schools negotiating team presented an Hours of Employment, Job Duties, and Work Year proposal on April 21, 2020 which contained a substantial increase in work days (212 vs the current 196). Unite Summit countered on May 22, 2020. There were subsequently 11 more counters on this article between the parties, and while some movement was made on both sides, Summit continued to stick to its position of 212 work days. As another example, during Wednesday’s bargaining session, Summit presented a counterproposal on the Grievance Article which merely contained non-substantive formatting and language adjustments. It is clear that progress has stalled and that more bargaining sessions will not result in the settling of the collective bargaining agreement. 

For an issue-by-issue breakdown, please click this link.


Stay tuned for next steps and ways you can support settling a strong contract!

CBA Update #27

We are now fourteen months into negotiating our contract!  And while we have not agreed to a final contract, we continue to work for what we believe is most important: a contract that meets the most important needs of our Summit educators, seeks common ground with Summit’s bargaining team, and makes the concessions necessary to move forward.  Today we met with Summit to present three proposals which are part of the CBA. Those proposals and highlighted points are found within this newsletter update. Summit’s bargaining team argued that the following proposals presented by Unite Summit did not consist of significant movement or concessions on our part.  We know that we are setting boundaries around what Summit teachers need as well as following the bargaining process defined by state law. 

Below is our response to Summit’s concerns as well as the proposals themselves:

With the idea of concessions, Summit is presenting this as a “quid pro quo”, “you give so we give”, and both must move proportionally. This is not how bargaining works according to the EERA or PERB decisions. Good faith bargaining in no way requires each party to make equivalent concessions on any particular item, article or issues.  It does require that the parties be willing to negotiate, and in the overall context of an entire Collective Bargaining Agreement, be able to make movement towards an agreement. Each of our proposals has taken years of time from multiple perspectives and multiple points of view. We have bargained as close to our bottom line as we can while representing the views and experience of our members. There are places where a party may not want to move and that is okay. There are things that one party will give more on and things in which that party may not make any movement at all. As we have stated before, we value the conversations and us coming together to understand each other’s perspectives. At the end of the day, we may have the same goal- making the best educational communities we can possibly offer students so they may lead successful and passion driven lives. We are making steps, and what we feel are big steps, to meet you closer while holding true to what is important to teachers.  We respect that we may not agree at the end of the day. These thoughts apply to all three of our proposals today.  They each represent movement–some larger movement and some smaller, but taken together they involve concessions on important items.  Especially with Grievance and Technology–the bargaining history shows movement from both sides, and the possibility of coming to agreements within the context of the CBA.  

Unite Summit Proposals

Today, Unite Summit presented our Grievance and Arbitration proposal, which defines the process to resolve disagreements about how the CBA is carried out.  We included an additional step in the grievance and arbitration process. If a grievant is not satisfied with a decision made at level 2  which includes a site administrator or Chief Executive officer, then a decision can be decided upon by a Grievance Committee composed of 2 members appointed by Unite Summit and 2 members appointed by Summit. If the union is unsatisfied with the final decision, the grievance can be submitted to arbitration for a final decision. 

Unite Summit made this movement, along with the removal of mediation, to meet the needs and wants expressed in Summit’s last proposal. This proposal is meant to find resolution within any grievance in a fair way that considers cost and timeliness. 

In Calendar, Work Year, and Hours of Employment, Unite Summit proposed a decision process in regards to each site’s bell schedule.  We are still asking for a work day of 8 AM – 4 AM. Each site will use LT meetings to decide by consensus a bell schedule for the upcoming academic year no later than May 1st. If consensus cannot be reached, a ⅔ majority vote will decide the next year’s bell schedule. The COO will look through the agreed upon schedule and approve it, unless the schedule does not meet instructional minute requirements or does not meet facility agreements based on local district requirements.

Technology, Resources, and Curriculum was the last proposal presented by Unite Summit today. In an effort to make significant concessions in favor of Summit Public Schools, our proposal relinquishes a unit member’s ability to choose any technology that they deem necessary for their work with the promise that Summit will provide adequate technology, curriculum, and resources to perform teacher duties. 

Also, Unite Summit decided to remove our interests in regards to “transparency on student data usage” and “teacher created materials” with the promise that Summit will allow teachers to use their individually created resources and curriculum elsewhere. 

Again, these changes were made in order to make significant movement that our unit members felt strongly about in order to come closer to an agreement with Summit that still protects the interests of both Summit and our unit members.

We are waiting on word from Summit on whether they can make more movement and if so will schedule another bargaining session.

CBA Update #26

Back at Bargaining!

SPS came back to the bargaining table with these proposals (all are in this document).

Recognition – Summit Public Schools made movement in this article to align with California law and automatically include any potential new Summit schools in our union. However, SPS still wants to maintain the right to use subcontracting to fill unit member (teacher) positions for “purely economic reasons.” Unite Summit believes that our work should not be subcontracted — our positions should only be held by teachers.

Grievance and Arbitration – SPS previously had resisted the inclusion of Binding Arbitration as the final step of any contractual grievance process for unit members. With their last proposal, they acknowledged the necessity of an independent body to settle rare contested grievances. While we are ironing out the differences to protect your rights to grievance and arbitration for contractual disputes, we remain optimistic by the movement we are making towards an agreement. 

No Strike/No Lock-out – SPS presented a proposal that no longer included a “No Strike/ No Lock-out” section. Unite Summit believes that this is a positive change that now reflects our legal rights as a Union. We recognize the ability to strike as a great responsibility and while we hope to never use this right, we will always fight for what is best for our schools and our students. 

Next week we will meet again to present our  counter proposal. We are determined to stand in solidarity with our teachers for what is best for our sites and our students.

Congratulations to our newly elected Unite Summit leadership! 

President: Janine Penafort
Vice President: Eric Jones
Treasurer: Justin Kim
Denali HS: Rhody Kaner
Denali MS: Allison Lee
Everest: Dean Caudill
Expeditions: Hannah Creutzfeldt
K2 HS: Kai Eckenrode
K2 MS: Jay Herington
Prep: Miles Bennett-Smith
Shasta: Emily Ryan
Tahoma: Marcus Kevorkyan
Tam HS: TBD
Tam MS: Morgan Allen

And a huge thanks to our outgoing leadership: President Fuchsia Spring (K2 HS); Vice President Sarah Rivas (Denali HS); Treasurer Morris Shieh (Tahoma); and site reps Kennan Damon, Miguel Gravelle, Alyssa Montantes, April Carrera-McGuire and Ernesto Umana. Not only was this the first elected leadership of our union’s history, but these folks also started their positions in the middle of a pandemic. We appreciate all of their hard work and extra time they put in during this difficult year and look forward to building on the solid foundation they laid this school year. Thank you! 

Summit Board Meeting 
Summit is holding a special board meeting on May 27 from noon-1pm at this zoom link. The agenda is here — the main topic is Summit’s plan for the Extended Learning Opportunity Grant, which is part of the substantial amount of money coming from the state and federal governments. This spreadsheet lays out how the money has been spent so far and how much more Summit is expecting to receive. We encourage you to attend and share your perspective with the board if you are able to.

Possible Schedule Changes, COVID-19 Relief Money

Information on potential schedule changes

On Thursday, Diane Tavenner notified us that site leaders may begin talking about potential schedule changes for next school year in the coming weeks. In August of 2019, Unite Summit and Summit created this document that essentially lays out Summit’s existing process for making schedule changes (we believe everyone has an interest in getting this figured out before the end of this school year, so the dates in this document might not be relevant).

We encourage you to engage in discussions about how we can change the schedule next year to best meet the needs of our students and ourselves as we work to recover from a very challenging year and a half. 

As a reminder, once we have our union contract in place, the schedule will be determined by the contract. In our last proposal, we laid out a process for sites to have autonomy (with some parameters, like meeting instructional minutes requirements) in making decisions about schedules. We also proposed ending every day at 4pm, which is also in Summit’s last proposal.

COVID-19 Relief Funding

On Friday, representatives from Unite Summit met with Diane Tavenner and Joyce Montgomery (Summit’s CFO) to get a financial update. 

We focused particularly on the large amount of COVID-19 funds from the state and federal governments. Some of the initial money has already been spent (on things like air purifiers and technology for students and teachers). However, an estimated $4.9 million has not been spent yet and is to be used over the coming years (the amounts of money may fluctuate slightly based on a variety of factors, and different pots of money have to be used on different timelines).  This spreadsheet lays out how the money has been spent so far and how much more Summit is expecting to receive. 

We know that even before the pandemic, our students needed more supports, especially our English Learners. COVID-19 has only exacerbated these issues, which is why the government is giving schools so much additional funding over the next few years. Our last support services proposal in bargaining contained a pilot project for temporary positions (which could be paid with by COVID relief funds) to provide extra support for our students. Each site would have the ability to determine what types of position would best support their students — English Learner teachers, mental health professionals, intervention teachers, etc. 

We encourage you to talk with your EDs about what your students need in order to recover from the pandemic. Knowing that Summit will receive a significant influx of money is important context — we can be creative and think big because we are not limited by our normal budget constraints. 

Summit Board Meeting 

Summit is holding a special board meeting on May 27 from noon-1pm. We believe that the Board will be voting on Summit’s plan for what to do with a specific pot of money — the Extended Learning Opportunity Grant. The ELOG plans are due to the state by June 1. 

We continue to be disappointed by Summit’s practice of holding board meetings at times that are inaccessible to students, staff, families, and other stakeholders. We will share the agenda and zoom link to the meeting as soon as it’s published — we encourage you to attend if you can and make your voice heard.

Union Elections

Union Elections!

We are holding elections for Unite Summit leadership! Our elected Bargaining Team will stay in place through contract negotiations, but all of our other union positions are up for re-election; they have one year terms. 

A huge shoutout to all of our site reps and officers who have been working hard to build our union during this truly unprecedented year. We are proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish and look forward to continuing to grow!

Here is the timeline for elections:

  1. Nominations: 5/6-19. Please nominate yourself or your coworkers using this form. Nominees will be notified of their nomination on a rolling basis. You can nominate as many people as you want!
  2. Acceptance of Nominations: 5/20-21. Nominations must be accepted or declined by Friday, May 21; short candidate statements are also due on May 21, if a candidate wants to submit one. 
  3. Voting: 5/24-25. Ballots will be released on Monday, May 24. Voting will be open through Tuesday, May 25 at 11:59 pm. (Voting will be virtual.) Results will be released on May 26.

Responsibilities and Time Commitment for Positions up for Election

Site representatives from each building/team:

  • Attend one hour-long virtual Rep Council meeting once a month. 
  • Meet in-person 1-2 times per year. 
  • Keep their sites informed and involved in our union and bring any site concerns to our union’s leadership.

President, Vice President and Treasurer:

  • Attend one hour-long virtual Rep Council meeting once a month.
  • Attend one hour-long Executive Board meeting once a month.
  • Meet in person 1-2 times per year. 

President:

  • Act as the chief spokesperson of our union.
  • Prepare agendas for meetings.
  • Conduct other duties as necessary.

Vice President:

  • Step in if President is unavailable.
  • Keep updated and accurate list of members and their contact info.
  • Distribute information (newsletters, etc.).

Treasurer:

  • In charge of the union’s finances. 
  • Since we won’t be collecting dues (and thus won’t have any money) until we ratify our first contract, the Treasurer’s duties are minimal right now. You will have plenty of training and support once we actually start collecting dues.

Please nominate yourself or your coworkers by May 19 using this form.

Bargaining Update

On Wednesday, we sent our comprehensive proposal to Summit (see here for the main proposal and here for the appendix). This is our proposal for our entire union contract packaged together. We expect the next step will be for Summit to take time to consider our proposal and let our team know if they are able to make movement from their last proposal that would move us closer to an agreement.  We will keep you informed as we hear more. 

CBA Update #25

Bargaining Update

On Wednesday we had our 25th bargaining session with Summit. A summary of our and Summit’s proposals are below. 

We notified Summit that we will be sending them a comprehensive proposal for the full Collective Bargaining Agreement by close of business on Wednesday, May 5. If Summit is able to make substantive movement then we will welcome that and will be happy to set up another bargaining session.  If Summit is unable to make substantive movement, then, based on the proposals Summit gave us on Wednesday, we believe it is time to move on to mediation. 

Mediation is another step in the negotiations process. If we move forward with mediation, a mediator from the State will be sent to help us try to reach an agreement. A mediator has no power to make SPS or US agree to anything; they are a neutral party whose goal is to help facilitate the bargaining process. Almost every first contract for union charter schools ends up using mediation; it can be helpful to have a neutral person from outside our organization offer a fresh perspective and new ideas — especially since we’ve been at the bargaining table for over a year. If we move to this step, Unite Summit looks forward to working with SPS and a mediator to come to agreement on the proposals we could not fully align on at this time.


Unite Summit Proposals

Grievance and Arbitration

Unite Summit’s proposal on Grievance and Arbitration outlines a clear and transparent process for filing and resolving grievances in the workplace. Summit communicated concerns around the duration and resources needed throughout the process outlined in our proposal. Unite Summit made movement to address these concerns by adding language that clearly states the intent of both parties to resolve every grievance at the lowest possible level so that each grievance is resolved fairly, quickly, and resourcefully. 

Employment Status

For Employment Status, Unite Summit’s proposal outlines discipline and dismissal requirements for probationary period and non-probationary period unit members. For probationary period members, the proposal explains that unit members are not guaranteed employment for the next school year; communication of non-renewal for the next academic year must be provided no later than April 15. In addition, if a unit member who is still within the probationary period is let go without cause, they will be ensured a severance in the amount of 2 months salary and benefits.

Discipline and Dismissal

Within Discipline and Dismissal, Unite Summit continues to prioritize just cause and progressive discipline. Our proposal has clear and specific conditions for discipline and dismissal. 

Evaluation

Unite Summit’s Evaluation proposal continues to present a clear and transparent process for coaching and evaluation of teacher performance of all unit members. Our proposal aligns with much of Summit’s views in regards to a multi-tiered process, clear communication and supports, and the basic expectations that each unit member may be evaluated on.

Summit Proposals

Summit proposed this document. There were two major changes from their last proposal. 

  • Calendar/Work Year: Summit agreed to Feb PD being remote, but is still sticking to 212 work days. After a year of negotiations, we are still baffled as to why Summit wants to add almost three weeks to our work calendar. 
  • Class size: stronger language that holds Summit to class size averages, though some schools/content areas can go above those averages

High Tech High Organizes!

Congratulations to charter educators at the High Tech High schools in San Diego who filed for union recognition last week! The High Tech Education Collective will represent over 400 teachers at 16 schools.

CBA Update #24 and COVID-19 Relief Funding

SPS Proposals

Summit’s team presented all of their proposals again in a big document — look for the words in blue to see changes in their proposals. 

Assignment and transfer

We have reached a tentative agreement with SPS for Assignments and Transfers! Summit has agreed that there would be no involuntary transfers and has created a system to allow for teacher advocacy and input into teaching placements. Before May 1st, EDs should notify teachers of which courses will be offered and teachers will know by the last day of instruction what they will be teaching for the following school year. 

Evaluation

SPS proposed a tiered system of evaluation where a teacher with a poor evaluation may have compensation withheld. We fundamentally disagree that evaluation should be tied to compensation. However we do think that both Summit and our union agree that there should be a fair and clear process for teachers to be let go for poor performance. We are continuing to work on the details of that process. 

Discipline and Dismissal 

SPS streamlined their list of actions that would result in discipline. SPS also proposed that a teacher receive at least a written warning before being fired except in egregious circumstances 

Unite Summit’s Proposals

Compensation and Class Size Package Proposal
We are mostly aligned with Summit on class size, though we are still advocating for smaller mentor group sizes. We also want a mechanism to enforce class sizes, whereas Summit’s proposal is really just a guideline. We agreed to Summit’s proposal for a 1.08% across the board salary increase for the upcoming school year, but believe that the school years after that should include raises that reflect the rising cost of living in the Bay Area. 

Hours, Work Year, and Job Duties
We made significant movement on this proposal today and added four extra work days by adding back in February PD.  We asked that February PD follow a similar format to what happened this year, offering remote and diverse PD options. We agreed that the work day should last until 4pm but want to continue to allow sites to have autonomy on creating bell schedules. 

Support Services

Did you know that Summit will receive substantial federal and state funding which must be used to address the extra supports students need as a result of the pandemic?  We proposed that for the next two years, every campus is given funds for mental health clinicians, English language development teachers, or other certificated staff depending on the needs of the school (2 new positions for high schools, 1 for each middle school). 

We think this is a sensible use of the money, which the government has designated to spend on things like mental health counseling and mitigating learning loss of homeless and other heavily impacted student groups like English Learners. Even before the pandemic, teachers expressed frustration with Summit’s bare-bones staffing and the lack of student supports. Now, as we prepare to return to in person school next year after 18 months of being virtual, we know these needs will be even greater.  We believe it’s extraordinarily important to invest this additional federal and state money into more staff so that our students can have more caring adults in our schools. 

CBA Update #23

Bargaining Update

Today we had our 23rd bargaining session with Summit. Summit’s team presented a document with all of their proposals, which you can view here. They made movement on the below three proposals. 

Summit Proposals

Class size

Summit’s most recent proposal aligned with our proposal for class sizes in most areas. Core content courses: 27 students. Electives, Expeditions, and others: 29 students. Educational specialist caseloads: 27 students. The only area we are not aligned is for mentor group size. We will continue to negotiate to reach an acceptable number for our unit members.

Compensation

Summit’s compensation and benefits proposal added a 1.08% increase for the second school year (the 2022-23 school year). Additionally they have added commuter benefits and full coverage of life and disability insurance. SPS continues to push for teachers to receive raises based on performance but we will continue to push back on this practice which has been shown not to work. We also believe this goes against our collective philosophy that teachers always need to be improving. 

Work year 

Summit continues to propose extending the work year to 212 days, up from the current 196 days with no additional pay (an 8% increase in days!). This would take us all the way to the end of June (students would end earlier). Summit’s reasoning was that teachers work over the summer regardless — with planning, meetings, etc. — so they would like to formalize it. We are holding firm that the increase is not acceptable and will lead to increased turnover and burnout. We will continue to fight to maintain the current calendar obligations

Our Proposals

Evaluation

Today, we presented our proposal on Evaluation including a more specific outline of the coaching/assessment process. Our proposal discusses a collaborative goal setting process between the unit member and their coach that informs a unit member’s observation and feedback process. This proposal included a clear and transparent tier system that requires several levels of teacher observations, coaching supports, and process documentation between the coach and unit member.  

Discipline and dismissal

We also presented a proposal on teacher discipline and dismissal. Unite Summit is advocating for transparent, clear, and progressive discipline to provide due process to our members. SPS wants “flexible discipline” which we do not believe is transparent, clear, or equitable. We remain hopeful of a movement towards a compromise with steps that include investigation and timely action for the safety of staff and students. 

Assignment, Transfer, and Re-Assignment

Our goal is for teachers to be assigned a course which aligns with their professional goals and skills, and have time to prepare for their course before the school year starts so that teachers are prepared for students.  We have proposed that there is a consistent process every April for teachers within each content area (English, Math, Sciences, Social Sciences, Expeditions/Electives) to agree on course assignments for the following year.  EDs would have the final decision.  Summit seemed to believe that this would limit the ability of EDs to change a teacher’s course assignment over the summer, and we’re waiting to hear back about what timeline and process for course assignments they believe are reasonable given that if a teacher likes their assignment and has time to prepare, they can teach better. 

Legal Update

This week, the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) dismissed part of Summit’s Unfair Practice Complaint (UPC) that was filed against our union in August of last year. The PERB attorney found that our union has the right to communicate with our charter authorizers about Summit’s actions. This is an important decision and acknowledges that our union has free speech rights and that we can communicate with our democratically elected officials. Unfortunately, the PERB attorney did allow part of Summit’s UPC to move forward – this included allegations that our team bargained in bad faith by caucusing excessively, among other things. We are confident that we have followed the law and bargained in good faith and that Summit does not have sufficient evidence for these allegations. As we stated when the UPC was first filed, we believe the UPC is unfounded and suspect Summit filed it in an attempt to distract us from their own possible violations of the law. We will keep you updated as this issue moves through the legal process.