Today the Reynolds Education Association (REA) and the Reynolds School Board (RSB) would like to jointly announce that they have reached a tentative agreement on a one-year contract for the 2020-2021 school year. Both parties met in a small group side bar to hammer out a packaged proposal for ratification. The package incorporates acceptable compromises in order to protect direct services to students while maintaining a viable standard of living for members.
NEXT BARGAINING SESSION:
4:30-8:00 P.M., April 2, 2020
Woodland Elementary School Library
BREAKDOWN FROM SESSION OF 3/5/20:
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.
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
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
Bruce Marsh, Chair at RMS
Molly Frye, Member at RMS
Eve Thompson, Member at Woodland
Joyce Rosenau, Member at Glenfair
Jason Larson, Member at RHS
Brian Jay, Member at RHS
Katherine Alexander, PSO at the Uniserv
The RSD Team:
Danna Diaz, Superintendent
Jennifer Ellis, Director of Human Capital
Nicole MacTavish, Chief Academic Officer
Lisa McDonald, Principal at Glenfair
Adam Swientek, AP at RMS
Gerardo Ibarra Elola, AP at RHS
Valerie Tewksbury, RSD Board
Brian Hungerford, RSD Lawyer
1/30/20 from 5:30-7PM at PDC Edgefield --- Dinner & Ground Rules
2/20/20 4:30-8Pm at Woodland --- Initial Exchange
3/5/20 4:30-8PM at Woodland --- Session #3
4/2/20 4:30-8PM at Woodland --- #4
4/16/20 9-3PM at the Uniserv --- #5
4/30/20 4:30-8PM at Woodland --- #6
5/14/20 9-3PM at the Uniserv --- #7
5/28/20 4:30-8PM at Woodland --- $8
6/4/20 4:30-8PM at Woodland --- #9
Bruce Marsh, REA Bargain Chair
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