NEXT BARGAINING SESSION: 4:30-8:00 P.M., April 2, 2020 Woodland Elementary School Library
BREAKDOWN FROM SESSION OF 3/5/20:
Ground Rules: The teams reviewed the ground rules which include, "Attempt to keep teams intact." The District team continues to be in transition with the leave of Human Resources Director, Jennifer Ellis, and the additions of outside consultants Jack Laughlin and Rob Neu. At this session Mr. Neu sat at the table and last session it was Mr. Laughlin. Superintendent Diaz confirmed that she is a full member of the team and not there to merely listen. The District also had two expert witnesses at the table for the entire session, Matt Bennett (Director of Special Education) and Chris Ortiz (Executive Director of Student & Family Services). While the District has the right to determine who sits at their table, so far this transition process has not been conducive to consistency and stability.
Tentative Agreements: The Association and the District were able to reach tentative agreement on Articles 2, 6, 10, 16, 17, 25, and 29. These were articles neither side had opened and therefore they will be included in the contract with "current language."
District Counter Proposals:
Article 4 --- Association Rights and Privileges The District accepted the Association's initial proposed language regarding the district's obligation for provision of member roster information. The District accepted REA's initial proposed language regarding REA attendance at meetings with new hires and the opportunity to provide relevant Association materials and information to new hires. The District continues their attempt to change all references of Human Resources to "Human Capital Management." REA resists this attempt. In section H, Right to Speak at Meetings, the District continues to try and limit REA's ability to meet and speak with members to only once per week. REA will resist this. In section K, Association Leave, the District denies REA's request for an additional 25 release days during a bargain year as they believe that the new House Bill 2016 affords plenty of opportunities for needed Association leave. REA will research this.
Article 26 ---Student Services and Special Education The District rejects REA's proposal to include ELD language in Article 26. There was some discussion as to "why" since the District just recently placed ELD under the direction of the Student and Family Services Executive Director, Chris Ortiz. There was some discussion as to whether there should be a separate article for ELD. The District rejected REA proposed language referring discussions regarding inclusion of of SPED students to the Student Services Committee. In fact, the Distract proposes to eliminate the Student Services Committee and replace it with "something different, a District committee, involving all stakeholders, of which teachers should certainly be a part." at a later date. Despite numerous questions, the District could not adequately or succinctly respond. Their rationale for this rejection is far from satisfactory to your bargain team. The District did accept some of REA's language about responding to or with behavior plans within five working days, but they wish to limit this to special education students only. The District rejected REA's proposal to increase the special education stipend from 2.2 to 3.0%. Lastly, the District rejected REA's proposal to include the work of the ELL Student Instruction and Services Structure Committee in Article 26. In fact, the District proposes to eliminate any language regarding the ELL committee from the contract. Once again, "something different, a District committee, involving all stakeholders, of which teachers should certainly be a part of" at a later date will be formed by the District. Multiple questions regarding ELL and ELD were asked. Many of the answers were, In your bargain team's opinion, less than adequate.
Your REA Bargain Team will be countering on both Article 4 and Article 26 on April 2nd.
Association Counter Proposals:
Resolution Regarding Human Capital Management REA brought forward a resolution from the REA Representative Council & Executive Board strongly objecting to the District's re-naming Human Resource to Human Capital Management. Included in the resolution was, "The description of public employees as Human Capital is offensive to many members and conjures images of servitude, subjugation, and dehumanizes the educator/student relationship." The Association vigorously opposes any attempts at renaming the RSD Human Resources Department as Human Capital Management, and your Bargain Team will reject any attempts to rename the department as mentioned in the contract. The resolution asserts, "that REA members are not capital needing management but are human beings that require resources and respect."
Article 3 -- Miscellaneous The District and Association did tentatively reach agreement on this article. We agreed that any changes to the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) would be electronically posted on the District website. We agreed that members must check their emails daily, but only on contractual days. Both sides agreed that Federal and State Laws may impact the CBA but that before implementation their will be collaboration on any changes that may impact members terms and conditions of employment.
Article 5 --- Employee Rights REA provided a correction to the listed OAR in Section D, Evaluation of Pupils, which should read OAR 584 210-0020. REA rejected the RSD proposal to eliminate plans of awareness. Their proposal would have expedited the path to plans of assistance, which are a very serious mater for our members who might be experiencing challenges. REA is in the business of making sure members are given every opportunity to improve their craft and overcome challenges. REA agreed to RSD's language in Section H, Procedures & Timelines for Evaluation, #3 Evaluation Procedure b, post observation conferences will be held within 5 days, "or at a time mutually agreed upon by the administrator and member." However, this article is not tentaviely agreed to, and so this is an agreement for this piece only at this time. We agree with RSD's desire to strike language limitting options under C: Procedure for the Resolution of Program of Assistance Status, ii, "If a third year probationary unit member has failed to be removed from the Program of Assistance by March 1 of that year, the only resolution is termination." Both sides felt this language was too restrictive. REA did not agree to any of the District's other initially proposed language in Article 5.
Article 7 --- Employee Work Year REA continued to push for adding two work days to the calendar year with commensurate pay. REA also continues to push for use of 2 late start Mondays for member use. REA rejected all the language RSD had proposed in Article 7 including attempts to: extend the contract year at the sole discretion of the Board and the elimination of the Calendar Committee,
Article 9 --- Teaching Hours REA proposed language stating, "In order to facilitate the best possible learning and teaching environment, the District shall align all school start times to current scientific-based research on students' developmental stages and their needs for appropriate sleep." REA is pushing for five minute passing times either side of 30 minute prep times at the elementary level. REA also proposed language requiring the District to bargain preparation times should the District go to block schedules in any of its schools. REA listed examples of extra duty that counselors might be asked to perform. so as to protect counselors from true extra duty assignments such as extended supervision of students at lunch or covering preps for other educators as has their time been misused in the past. REA absolutely resists the Districts attempts to eliminate the Friday early release clause (a 50 year tradition of respect to the work of educators, not only in RSD, but region-wide), Finally, REA resists all attempts to put "Human Capital Management" into the contract.
Articles to be Opened on 4/2/20: REA will bring: the Preamble, 1, 4, 8, and 26 RSD will bring: 5, 18, 19, and 21
REA has also requested detailed financial information regarding the contract for outside surveys from the Urban Collaborative (SPED Survey), PCG work (including the ELD survey), and the contract details for Jack Laughlin and Rob Neu. REA wants RSD to show us the money trail.
We thank you for your support.
Your Bargaining Team
Eve Thompson, Molly Frye, Jason Larson, Brian Jay, Joyce Rosenau and Bruce Marsh