On Thursday, 2/20/20, your bargain team met with the district team to exchange initial proposals. The session was cordial and professional. REA would like to say a big, "Thank You!" to the members & guests who attended this important first meeting. Following are the articles your REA Bargain Team opened:
A #1: Association Rights & Privileges--- REA asked that an electronic data base be provided by November 1st of each year providing accurate and pertinent information about each member including their work location, their placement on the salary scale and necessary identifying information. REA are also asking this same information be provided for each new hire within 30 days of the hire. The district has been quite lax in providing accurate and timely information on our members. REA also asked to be able to attend any new hire orientations so as to provide support, materials and information about new hires rights under the contract. REA also asked to increase release days during a bargain year from 25 to 50.
A #5: Employee Rights--- REA inserted language to accommodate the changes in the law regarding complaints of sexual misconduct, which are now handled exclusivity through OTSPC.
A #7: Employee Work Year-- REA asked for adding 2 days to the contract to increase work days, 1 at the start of the year, and 1 at the end of the year.
A #9: Teaching Hours--- REA is asking for a 5 minute passing time either side of preparation periods. This is mainly to protect the 30 minute prep times at the elementary level which are often impacted by the need to transition students.
A #18: Student Discipline--- REA is asking for multiple changes in this article to clarify, strengthen and streamline the process for keeping all staff and students safe. REA also offered extensive language around restorative practices, what they should mean and really be for. In many building discipline and restorative practices are merged when they should be separate systems that work in tandem to support a positive community culture.
A #19: Tuition, Project and/or Workshop Reimbursement--- REA proposed language clarifying the tuition reimbursement process, the process for credit towards movement on the salary schedule, and the use or reimbursement for tuition vouchers.
A #21: Dues and Payroll Deductions--- REA is asking to place in the contract the language already negotiated in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding the Janus Decision.
A #22: Employee Compensation--- REA proposed salary increase over the next 3 years of 12%, 8%, and 6%. REA also proposed striking langue allowing the district to pay less than each member's per dium for work outside of contract time. REA is also asking that members who serve as substitute administrators be paid at 1.5% of their usual hourly rate for the duration of their service. Also, REA inserted the MOU language already negotiated around placement on the salary scale for members who work in the CTE departments. In addition, REA added new paragraph O, Class & Caseload Size Relief, which provides for salary increases for member who's class or case load guidelines are exceeded by more than 10%. It also provides for addition of an Educational Assistant if guidelines are exceeded by more than 20%. If guidelines are exceeded by more than 30% then the district would need to provide additional FTE to create new classes or caseloads. REA also added new paragraph N, Mentor Compensation, which provides a stipend to members who serve as mentors for new hires at a rate of 5% of base salary.
A #23: Fringe Benefits--- REA requested a place holder for this article to allow for insurance rates to be officially published and for the short session of the legislature to be completed.
A #26: Student Services and Special Education--- REA proposed language defining ELD services and moving them under the umbrella of Article 26. This also included language about the responsibilities of the ELD Student Instruction and Services Structure Committee, previously in Article 27. Language for additional joint meetings of ELD & Student Services committees was put forth. REA also asked to increase the stipend for special education staff who must perform federally-mandated duties outside of contract time from 2.2 to 3%. REA also proposed new language placing a time limit for disseminating information about plans for students who exhibit behavior regulation issues and their placement in classes.
A #27: Class and Case Workload---REA proposed case load limits for case managers, counselors, social workers, school psychologists, child development specialists, and speech language pathologists. Guidelines for class and case load were tied to compensation (10% or more excess), addition of educational assistants (20% or more excess), and/or creation of new classes or caseloads through adding more FTE (30% or more excess) as stipulated in Article 22 new section O. REA struck the language regarding ELD committee work as it is moved to Article 26.
A #28: Mentor Program--- REA added language referring to compensation for mentors as laid out in Article 22 new section P.
A #30: Duration of Agreement--- REA is calling for a 3 year contract.
Here are the articles the district opened along with with some brief highlights and comments:
Preamble--- Deletion of language on Application.
A #1: Recognition--- RSD wants to add substitutes to the paragraph on exclusion.
A #3: Miscellaneous--- RSD wants to put changes to the contract on the district website. RSD wants employees to check their email daily.
A #4: Association Rights and Privileges--- In this article the district first inserts language to change any mention of Human Resources to the new title of "Human Capital Management." RSD wishes to make this change throughout the contract. They believe this is a more accurate and up-to-date title. REA strongly disagrees. Also in this article RSD wants to limit ten minute union meetings to once per week.
A #5: Employee Rights--- In this article RSD introduces language regarding grades, dismissal of teachers, timing of post-observation meetings, and more Human Capitol Management title changes. The district also proposes eliminating plans of awareness. They wish to increase their ability to search the personal property of members if they believe such a search will provide evidence of violation of district rules or policy.
A #7: Employee Work Year--- The district wants to reserve the right to lengthen the school work year. RSD wants to shorten the timeline for submission to the board of a new school calendar.
A #8: Emergency Closure--- The district wishes to reserve the right to make up as many closure days when and how they so desire.
A #9: Teaching Hours--- The district proposes to eliminate language allowing buildings to adjust their schedules for special circumstances. RSD wishes to eliminate language prescribing prep time if buildings go to a block schedule. The district wishes to require that all members work an 8 hour day on Fridays. The district wants to be able to hold IEP and other meetings on Friday afternoons. REA opposes this proposal.
A #11: Professional Development--- Mostly more Human Capitol Management changes.
A #12: Grievance Procedure--- Replaces "Level three and end there." with "the applicable board policy."
A #13: Academic Freedom--- Eliminates all language referring to the Academic Freedom Committee.
A #15: Unpaid Leaves of Absence--- More Human Capitol Management changes.
A #18: Student Discipline--- The district proposes a uniform referral form. They do not delineate between the referral from and the behavior incident form. These forms serve very different functions. RSD does believe all forms should be electronic and available to fill out online. RSD puts forward a lot of language around "School Climate Plans & School Climate Teams." REA has some concerns about this particular acronym and what it may mean. Finally, the district strikes all language pertaining to Restorative Practices. As an explanation, RSD says the RJ committee will continue to do its work and put forth plans and policies to the administration and to the school board, but not in direct collaboration with REA.
A #19: Triton, Project and/or Workshop Reimbursement--- The district wants to make sure they can collect money back from any member who has received reimbursement for course work that borrows into the next contract year and subsequently leaves employment.
A #20: Strikes & Lockouts-- Strikes language, "relating to this bargaining unit."
A #21: Dues and Payroll Deductions--- More Human Capitol Management. Strikes all language referring to local levies.
A #22: Employee Compensation--- Offers raises over the next 3 years of 1% (but not until January of 2021), 1%, and 2%. This offer is highly problematic. RSD does offer to eliminate the 12 year cap on experience credit for placing hires of experienced teachers on the salary schedule. More Human Capitol Management changes.
A #23: Fringe Benefits--- RSD offers to raise the insurance cap from $1,300 to $1,330 for the duration of the contract. The district offers to make an annual contribution of $350,000 to the insurance pool for each year of the contract. The district proposes to eliminate all use of extra cap funds by members. Instead, any and all extra cap funds will be contributed to the pool. RSD does propose to raise the amount of term life and accidental death and dismemberment insurance from $50,000 to $150,000 for each member.
A #25: Reduction in force--- More Capitol Management.
A #26: Student Services--- More Capitol Management. RSD proposes eliminating the Student Service Committee. Dr. Ortiz will appear as an expert witness to explain at the next bargain session on 3/5/20.
A #27: Class Workload--- More Human Capitol Management. RSD proposes eliminating the ELD Student Instruction and Services Structure Committee. Again, Dr. Ortiz will make a guest appearance as an expert witness to explain.
A #30: Duration of Agreement--- The district also proposes a three (3) year agreement.
Bruce Nasser-Marsh, REA Bargain Chair
Your bargaining team would like to thank all REA members for their insightful responses to the bargaining survey. Our members concerns are what drives the bargain and guides the team in crafting meaningful new language for our contract. The following is a list of the top twelve concerns members rated as important and/or very important:
97% Improve Staff and student social/emotional and physical safety
96% Increase behavior supports (EA's, SMT's, noon assistants, etc.)
91& Have whole child curriculum (recess, art, music, etc.)
91% Establish firm class size and caseload limits
89% Have a clear protocol for placing students in self-contained behavior classrooms
87% Increase salary that recovers previous losses in salary
85% Have a clear process for student discipline which is shared with teachers, counselors, and appropriate support staff
83% Have a diverse selection of available electives (including CTE and languages) at the middle and high school level
82% Have collaborative meeting time with teachers and support staff
75% Have sufficient amount of training time for new curriculum technology
74% Restore new teacher mentor-ship program
74% Have a clear and transparent process for tuition reimbursement and subsequent column movement
Please plan to attend the February 20th initial exchange meeting at Woodland Elementary starting at 4:30. This is where you will see member concerns directly addressed through new contract language proposed by your bargaining team.. This is also when and where you will see the districts approach to our concerns.
At your service,
REA Bargaining Team