August 2008 FEA Stateside UpdateDear Colleagues,
It has been a fast and furious start for everyone. (Well, Dahlgren has just started, so they'll catch up soon!) Your Association leaders have been very busy trying to ensure a smooth start of the school year. Some items of note:
Support MLA: Several provisions of the MLA for the Support personnel were declared non-negotiable on Agency head review, so until these issues are resolved by the FLRA, it cannot be implemented. We cannot predict how long this will take. This is not the answer we want; but it is, for now, the only answer.
MOU Gradespeed: During the summer the MOU was signed affecting the implementation of Gradespeed for grades 4 -- 12. The Association worked very hard to include wording that allows a teacher the autonomy to choose how often to post grades. This is supposed to make things easier for the teacher, not create more work. Please let your local Association representatives know if you have concerns about how the MOU is being implemented.
Teacher Moves/Reassignments: The MLA was clarified in a separate MOU about the compensation or release time for teachers when they have had a room change and/or grade level/subject reassignment. If you did not receive compensation or release time for your change (1.5 days for each!), please let your faculty/building rep know so they can add your name to the list!
DRA Subs: The intent of the MOU after the first year was to have face-to-face discussion locally to plan for the needs of the teachers. This has been a miserable situation, and I am sorry to say it does not seem to be improving. Local presidents are to request in writing to meet and discuss with the superintendent the possible need for substitutes for DRA assessment. If there is not an agreement to at least meet and attempt to discuss, the Association will be filing a grievance.
Support Changes: The changes brought about by the reduction of hours to the Support professionals have triggered a backlash of misunderstandings. We have had to file a grievance about the loss of a duty -free paid lunch at some locals, and there is also trouble brewing about a possible reduction in leave accrual for the Support professionals. Do not assume we have received all the information about these changes. Please keep your local Association leaders informed of your concerns!
Websites: Dr. Beraza has stated clearly that teacher websites are not required. If your administration has directed you to do a website, please let your faculty/building rep know so we can correct that misunderstanding.
Mediations: We were able to meet and attempt mediation on a number of grievances in July. We are currently awaiting a response on a couple of situations before we are willing to go forward and sign an agreement.
I hope you can now settle in and have a wonderful school year. Your students are so lucky to have you! Have a restful and relaxing Labor Day Weekend -- you deserve it!