JUNCTION CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

 

LICENSED BARGAINING MEETING

May 17, 2005 6:00 p.m.

 

MINUTES

 

Recorder: Stephanie White

Location: Boardroom

 

Attendance:

 

Patty Turley

Madeline Jorgenson

Darbi Haffner

Cindy Bandow

James Sundell

Barb Coolman

Mary Jo Husiman

Kate Gillow-Wiles

Janet Dunham

Judy Croce

Mike Brotherton

Brian Hungerford

Wanda McClure

Denise Pratt

Kathryn Hedrick

Tom Endersby

Kathleen Rodden-Nord

Stephanie White

 

Cal Fagan and Galen Carpenter were absent for the association.

 

Article 21 Mid-Year Early Retirement, and Article 31 Re-Employment of Retirees.

 

Brian At the last bargaining session, you proposed the current language in article 21, with the addition of a new article 31. We are willing to sign off on article 21, as written in our last proposal, without section C. We still need section B because if someone took the lump sum and was re-employed, we would have to pay their PERS, by law. We are interested in your proposal to have a separate article on re-employment of retired employees.

 

Brian I did have some questions about your proposed article 31, in A2. Was it your intention that an employee who was rehired after retirement go back to ground zero on the seniority list, or do they keep their seniority? Janet No, it was just the salary schedule; that would be the same as if an employee came to the district from another district, they would be placed on the salary schedule where appropriate. Brian Someone who is rehired, what would their new seniority/hire date be? Would it be the new hire date, or their original hire date? Janet We will need to discuss that. Brian Our concern would be that if the district were to need to have mid-year RIFs, a rehired teacher would have more seniority than a four-year teacher, and the rehired teacher may only plan on being employed for a short amount of time, whereas the four-year teacher would probably plan on being around a lot longer than that, and the district wouldnt want to lose that teacher. Patty That is a good question. Brian In A5, this would be the same concerns we had in article 21, whereas if the employee took the lump sum with PERS, and was rehired, the district would have to pay PERS, by law. Patty We would have to change that. James If we need to spell that out, we could do that. Brian In A3, carrying forward their sick leave; under current contract, an employee would be allowed ten days sick leave when they come back for a year after retirement. Our concern would be that if a teacher is rehired and they are gone the majority of the year using their sick leave, that would defeat the purpose of the district saving money because they would have to pay for a sub as well. Patty It would be just as if we were treating them like a new employee coming to this district from another school district, they are allowed to carry forward their sick leave. Brian If someone used the PERS formula and cashed out their sick leave, the district wouldnt be obligated to carry forward that sick leave. Janet We could address that. Brian Getting the insurance as well as the stipend is still an issue for us and we are still discussing that. Janet We are really close on 21, and we will need to discuss the proposed changes.

 

Brian During the last session, the work year came up and I didnt feel comfortable talking about it without Kathleen there. We are prepared to have a conversation about article 7 tonight. Janet There have been days for grading and conferences in the past that have not been designated specifically in the calendar because they differ between the elementary and middle and high schools. Those days have been described as PA Days. Brian Have the number of grading days changed from year to year? Janet Only when we went from four quarters to three trimesters. Brian Can you explain small b in your proposal? Janet It is so nice to be able to have a prep day after a change in unit or a vacation period like winter break and spring break. Patty Sometimes we teach all new classes after a unit and we need time to prepare for that. It is especially nice for new teachers. Barb The time to prepare is so much more enriching. Brian Subsection C, are those days in addition to the four that are in a? Darbi There would be two consecutive days in the fall (one recordkeeping and one conference) and the same in the spring. The elementary days are stipulated in c, not a. Brian The biggest concern is the board having discretion over the calendar, your proposed changes would eliminate that. The other concern is when I add up the days, it comes out to only enough for 173 student contact days and the board has made it clear that they want the days to be along the average in Lane County, which would be 175 days. James I come up with 15 days.

 

There was a long discussion about what B and C meant in terms of the total number of PA days. There are 8 at the secondary level and 9 at the elementary level. Brian Is it your belief that this proposal is what has been practiced? Patty The prep day following the grading day and the prep day after winter break and spring break would entail a change in practice. All of the others are the same. Darbi JCEAs proposed calendar that went to the board, the holidays were left at 4 and the student contact days were left at 171. Brian The one uninterrupted day for preparation at the beginning of the year, is that one continuous block of time, or 8 hours total? Cindy One interrupted day, a whole day. Brian That helps me understand a little better. Darbi In the past, the elementary schools only had one day at the end of May; we could change c to say one day in May and that would bring the totals to 8 at elementary and 8 at secondary. Janet Are you willing to give that day up? Darbi No, I was just pointing out where that day was. Brian For evening conferences, do you usually get to trade that time for comp time? Patty No, we usually dont. Brian Is it necessary to have the uninterrupted time all in one day? Janet It is nice to have it all as one uninterrupted block of time so teachers are not getting their room ready, having to stop for a meeting; its not nearly as productive. Brian What about the days after winter and spring break? Janet Other districts are doing this and it helps the teacher prepare for the transition to a new unit and group of kids. Barb At Territorial we need that day to put our rooms back together because we need to get all of our stuff up off of the floor so they can clean and they dont have enough custodial time to put the rooms back together so teachers do it. Kathleen There is probably another way to remedy that instead of having a PA day. Brian Obviously the board wants to add more student contact days. How do these days fit into that calendar? This makes the district hesitant because putting this in the contract kind of sets it in stone and doesnt leave room for flexibility. If it has been fairly consistent practice, whats the need to put it in the contract? Janet We wont all be here forever and it would be nice to have it written down for the next group of people who come into the district. Brian I understand that, but the difficulty is to make this work with the boards goals in mind. Janet Isnt this a bargaining issue? Brian Not the number of instructional days. The contract only calls for 191 contract days and 4 holidays. Barb I want to make sure that you know that about six years ago we bargained to add one day to our contract, without an increase in pay, and the condition was that it be an instructional day. Brian Right now the board is looking at 175 instructional days. I dont want to get into a legal discussion, but the board has instructed us to add instructional days. The board may adopt a calendar this month, and if that calendar changes as a result of bargaining, then it will change. Janet Isnt it a change in working conditions to change PA days to instructional days? Brian Not necessarily. James Brian is right; we can bargain a lot of things, but this is one that the board has the control over. Patty I dont see the point in adding more instructional days just to make us average with other districts when we are above average in instructional hours. Kathleen That is not necessarily true.. It is really hard to calculate with the information that was submitted to the ODE. We dont know which schools use conference days as instructional hours and which ones dont. With all the concerns surrounding AYP, the board feels one of the best ways to address those concerns is to increase the amount of instructional hours, actual seat time, the students receive.

 

Denise The board had a work session back in January where we set some district goals that were later adopted. I hope you all understand that we take those goals very seriously. (Denise read the districts goal.) Our purpose in increasing the number of student contact days is to meet these goals. Our budget is based on these goals. We believe that in order for these goals to happen, we need to increase the number of student contact days. It isnt a matter of being average, its a matter of meeting our goals. Patty I agree with those goals, but to add four student contact days takes four prep days away from teachers. Kathleen I also think that the board is at a point where they are willing to look at late start and early release days so teachers have different time to plan/prepare. The board and administrators are interested in scheduling more time with the kids. Cindy As a newer teacher, there is no time for me to prepare, in this proposed calendar, after October. Brian We can debate all we want on the wisdom of adding days, but I dont think that this is the forum. This team was directed by the board to add more instructional days and that is what we are proposing.

 

Caucus 5:15 p.m. 5:30 p.m.

 

Janet We are ok with the districts proposal on article 21, dropping C. Brian Are you ok with B as we proposed, or are there suggested changes? Janet With the suggested changes, This article shall not apply to members who retire under PERS and who are precluded from re-employment for a period of time following their retirement date.

 

The District and the Association signed off on Article 21 Mid-Year Early Retirement.

 

Janet Article 31. We agreed that the rehire date would be their new seniority date. You had some concerns about someone using the PERS option where the exhausted their sick leave, we agree to put language in there that states they will get the 10 days if they use this option. Kathleen Wanda, how much information do we get back from PERS? Wanda We dont know what option they choose, PERS doesnt tell us. Patty Unless you asked them in the interview. Janet We didnt have time to look at A5, so we will look at that and get back to you next time.

 

Brian We spent the caucus discussing the work year, and we still havent reached an agreement. Janet We strongly feel that it does make a difference for kids that teachers have adequate prep time. The concern with this calendar is that there is not enough time for conferences after October. Brian How has the calendar been done in years past? Patty Different ways. Denise In the 6-7 years I have been on the board, we have never had a calendar that everyone liked. Kathleen You have seen the proposed calendar; if you have any other options, with the same number of instructional days, please bring them to your administrator for the board to consider Monday night.

 

Brian Are there any other articles you would like to discuss?

 

Janet Article 9 Complaint Procedure. Again, we feel strongly that the complaint form have the complainants signature on it; we feel this is really important to have. Brian I understand what you are saying, but I would like you to put yourself in the shoes of the administrator who is taking the complaint. They may get a complaint from a person who doesnt think it is very important, but the administrator feels it is something that needs to be addressed. They dont want to feel restricted due to the contract.

 

Brian The problem we see with your proposed C, adding that first sentence, is that if the complaint involves a student, we dont want the teacher to have two days to try and persuade the student to change their story. We also dont want the opportunity for scripted answers to complaints. Janet We can certainly talk about the number of days. The current board policy requires a signature on all complaint forms. Brian The policy applies to the public. Policy also doesnt state that if a complaint isnt signed the administrator cannot pursue it. We generally want all complaints to be signed, but what this is saying is that if the complaint isnt signed, the administrator cannot pursue it any further. Kathryn At the last meeting I asked you how this could be re-written so that I could pursue a complaint without a signature. I cant allow for less than professional behavior just because I dont have a signature. Patty Thats what evaluations are for. Kathleen But you couldnt include this in an evaluation because of what the contract says. If a student complains to an administrator about a teacher, they may be afraid of retaliation so they wont sign their name to a complaint. We want the administrator to be able to put this complaint into writing and sign it, take ownership of the complaint. The teacher would still have the option to grieve it. Patty If their less than professional behavior affects their day to day teaching, and the administrator sees it, then they wouldnt need a complaint. Kathryn Yes, but this is for those select few that I dont see, and that I just hear about. Janet You feel like your hands are tied if there isnt a signature? Kathryn Yes, because a record of this cant be included in an evaluation without a signed complaint. Patty Who is making the complaint then, the person or the administrator? Kathryn At that point, I would assume responsibility of the complaint. Patty Isnt this what we have the policy for though? Kathleen Yes, and we have utilized that policy a lot, but there are those rare instances where we cannot get a signature, and our hands are then tied because of the contract. Brian Kathryn asked a good question; how would we address this concern? Barb This is assuming you have tried to get a signature, but could not? Brian Yes. Maybe we address the associations concern of an administrator filling out a bogus complaint to get at the teacher by having another administrator come in to investigate the complaint. Janet Thats something to think about. Mary Jo Nowhere in the districts proposal does it say that a complaint cannot be anonymous. Brian That was not our intent. We do not wish to accept anonymous complaints. James At what point would the teacher get a copy of the complaint? Brian It would be presented at the meeting. Tom The specific topic is not mentioned in the notice of meeting letter. James A teacher should have some idea about what the complaint is about before they go into the meeting.

 

The next meeting will be on May 31, 2005 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the District Office. The meetings are open to the public, and minutes will be posted on the district website at www.junctioncity.k12.or.us. (Just click on Board Info, and then click on Meeting Minutes Archives; there will be a link for Licensed Negotiation Minutes.)

 

Adjourn 6:03 p.m.