JUNCTION CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

LICENSED BARGAINING MEETING

September 19, 2005 – 6:00 p.m.

MINUTES

Recorder:              Stephanie White

Location:              Boardroom

Attendance:

Darbi Haffner

Cindy Bandow

Kate Gillow-Wiles

Jean Phifer

Barb Coolman

Galen Carpenter

Mary Jo Husiman

Madeline Jorgenson

Janet Dunham

James Sundell

Lucia Hardy

Mike Bonner

Nancy Hungerford

Mike Brotherton

Kathryn Hedrick

Denise Pratt

Tom Endersby

Kathleen Rodden-Nord

Wanda McClure

Stephanie White

Cal Fagan was absent for the association, and James arrived during caucus.  Brian Hungerford and Judy Croce were absent from the district.

Nancy – Brian brought me up to date and I had a chance to meet with the district’s team prior to this session.

Article 7 – School Work Year – In your packet, you proposed to use your proposal from May 31.  At this time, you have seen the calendar that the board adopted and at this point we are prepared to include a guarantee of one (1) day after each trimester for recordkeeping.  This has been past practice.  Our proposal would be to keep current contract language with the guarantee of one (1) recordkeeping day at the end of each trimester.  That leaves us with the number of holidays and the number of student contact days.  The board feels that since those days change from year to year that they remain board-approved and not dictated by the contract.  Board meetings are public meetings and can be attended by the association.  Darbi – Are those days in addition to what we already have?  Nancy – No, this just writes into contract that teachers would be guaranteed one (1) day of recordkeeping after every trimester, they are not three extra days.

Article 31 – Re- Employment of Retirees – Your proposal from June 13, 2005 looks ok to us. We would be ready to TA that one.

I would like to double check Article 15 – Educational Improvement Leave – was that TA’d on August 23, 2005?  Janet – Yes, that was.

Nancy – Article 14 – Professional Development and Educational Improvement – The language we proposed on August 23rd is acceptable to the association.  You do wish to include something on special education teachers and a stipend, and we are willing to discuss that in the compensation article.  We are prepared to TA this with the agreement that we will discuss special education teachers with the compensation article.

Appendix C – Extra Duty Schedule – It is my understanding that we would change the high school athletic director to the district athletic director and eliminate the middle school athletic director.  It is also my understanding that it was agreed to discuss the special education teachers’ stipend in the compensation article discussion.  Janet – I am not sure we are ready to TA this now because some things have come to light since our last meeting.  Nancy – Ok.

Nancy – The remaining articles we are not ready to agree to.  Article 9 – Complaint Procedures and Article 10 – Teacher Discipline, we still have concerns with.  Article 11 – Sick Leave – we are not ready to come to a resolution on this article based on the Association’s last proposal of May 31, 2005.  Article 12 – Paid Leaves of Absence – we are willing to discuss this article, but feel that we need to have some controls over when personal business leave can be used and using it consecutively.

With the sick leave, we have a concern with a teacher using 60 days of accumulated sick leave for an immediate family member.  We don’t have the obligation to approve that.  We do have the obligation, under FMLA, to allow unpaid leave for an immediate family member who has a serious medical condition.  Our concern is that we could have three teachers out at one time using this 60 day accumulated leave, which would be a benefit to those employees, but the cost of bringing in substitutes equals one teacher’s salary and that concerns us.

Those are the majority of the non-economic articles that you proposed last time.  You did have a proposal on Article 23 – Miscellaneous Provisions – we attempted to address some of those concerns in our proposal for Article 14 by doubling the size of the funds and to allow special education teachers to access those funds, as well as to use them for receiving highly qualified status.  Do you know how many of your teachers are highly qualified?  Janet – No.  Cindy – No one has contacted me from TSPC to let me know if I am highly qualified or not.  Have they contacted anyone else?  Kathryn – Yes, I have been contacted by them.  They also tell you when you renew your license whether or not you are highly qualified.  Nancy – The concern is mostly for middle school teachers and special education teachers.  There is a matrix that TSPC has that lets you know if you qualify for HQT status.  If you have 8 years of teaching experience in a block class and only have a language arts endorsement, you would only need to take 8 credit hours to get your social studies endorsement.  You can also request that TSPC look at your transcripts and tell you if you are or are not highly qualified, and what it would take to become highly qualified.  The district is open to helping teachers find out whether or not they are highly qualified.  It’s not something we need to put in the contract since it is a one-time thing.  TSPC doesn’t contact you until the renewal of your license.  They would have too big of a task to take on if they had to contact every Oregon educator to let them know of their status.  Janet – Would the district be willing to put that agreement into writing?  Nancy – We could talk about it.

Nancy – What is the issue with your schools this year?  Kathleen – AYP was not met at the high school for economically disadvantaged students two years in a row.  Nancy – That isn’t a Title I school, is it?  Kathleen – No, but we still have consequences if we don’t make AYP again.  They could take away state funding, replace the board and take over running the district.  We are considered a Title I district.

Nancy – Wanda is passing out a Consumer Price Index sheet.  The cost of living increase is underlined for the past few years.  (We use the Urban Consumers Price Index.)  What we can see here is that the licensed cost of living increase has surpassed the average in 03-04 and 04-05.  It is real interesting to me that increases have been higher than the cost of living increase in times of a financial crunch.  To figure out the cost of living, we use the previous calendar year.  So, for example, the 04-05 increase is based on the 2003 Consumer Price Index.  Janet – It would be interesting to go back a few more years and see what those would be.  Mary Jo – If you go back further, we did not get those big increases, and with the loss of days, the last one is not accurate.  Nancy – Understand that the revenue that the district receives is not tied in with the CPI.  So, if the CPI goes up but the revenue does not, the district just wouldn’t have the money to give those increases.  Janet – Do you have a counter proposal on this?  Nancy – No, I see us as being fairly far apart on the economic items.  We came in tonight to see if we could get somewhere on the non-economic items.  We understand that you came into the school year without a salary or benefit increase; we have made an offer.  The board feels strongly about starting the increases at the date of settlement, that they would not be retroactive and this was specified in the district’s opening proposal.  Barb – What was the increase for the other groups?  Wanda – Cost of Living.  Barb – Which was?  Wanda – 2.6%.  Janet – This district is looking at no retroactive increases?  That sure seems like a good deal for the district if we don’t settle soon.  Nancy – The board is concerned about not having a settlement and hopes to wrap this up soon.  Cindy – The district has given us no counter proposal on salary, is the district still offering 1%?  Nancy – Yes.  Each beginning proposal is what is on the table.  The Association hasn’t made a counter proposal either.  Yours is 3.5% for multiple years?  Darbi – One year with 2-4% and then the CPI after that.  Nancy – Ours is 1% each year.  What about insurance?  Wanda – Our proposal is $775 this year, $815 next year, and the third year is open.  Cindy – Ours is $830 the first year and $960 the second.  Nancy – I understand that your insurance will increase by 4% this year.  Janet – I think it is more like 7%.  Kathleen – I believe James said 4%, but he is not here and I don’t want to quote him.  Darbi – We were told that the following year would be about a 30% increase.  Nancy – What is your deductible?  Darbi- The base plan’s deductible is $250 and the buy up in none.

Nancy – We would like the association to consider our proposal on work year.  Mary Jo – You said that you would guarantee a work day at the end of each trimester; is that in addition to what we have now?  Nancy – No.  What the district is willing to do is put those three days into the contract.  The problem with your proposal is that it restricts the board’s ability to produce calendars in future years when changes may need to occur.  How much of the rest of your proposal are we willing to write into contract?  That is where the concern comes in.

Nancy – With the Complaint Procedure, you proposed to use your May 4th, 2005 proposal.  You indicated your willingness to modify your proposal on August 23rd, 2005 to delete C.  “The teacher shall receive a copy of the signed complaint two (2) working days prior to the initial conference.”  A major area of concern for our team is that you want the complaint to be signed by the complainant.  Our concern is that there are folks who make a complaint, and it may be a serious complaint, but for whatever reason they don’t want to put their signature on the complaint.  Is your concern that the administrator will be able to make up a complaint?  Janet – No.  Kate – Maybe the administrator could misinterpret the complaint.  Making sure that it is signed by the complainant makes sure that the account is accurate.  Nancy – There has to be good faith efforts on both sides in this.  There are a lot of people who do not like to sign anything.  Or there may be people can’t read or write well.  Janet – Isn’t it the responsibility of the district to make sure that the person understands?  Nancy – Yes, but we are talking about two different societies.  Kathryn – The last time I posed the question; what should I do then if I had a serious complaint, but no signature?  You seemed to understand at that time what I was talking about.  A complaint doesn’t mean indictment, just an investigation.  Darbi – If someone refused to sign, but they made an oral complaint, the offense would probably happen again, so the district could evaluate the teacher.  Denise – What happens if what happened could cause harm to a student or students?  Do we just wait for it to happen again and hope that the next time someone will sign the complaint?  Darbi – There are other avenues to consider.  Nancy – If it is a complaint, it has to be put into writing to investigate it.  Janet – Can it be investigated without having it in writing?  Nancy – It could, but the district then would be violating other parts of the contract, and they don’t want to do that.  Janet – If someone feels strongly about a complaint, shouldn’t they feel strongly about signing it?  Mike Brotherton – If I worked in Corvallis,  Cindy – We’ve already heard this before and we have discussed it already, so thanks…….  Mike Brotherton – Can I talk here?  Or should I just leave?  Kathryn – We should all have the right to talk here.  We had an issue two years ago where a student was not willing to sign their name to a complaint.  Luckily there were other students willing to sign their names, but if this were the only student, I wouldn’t have been able to investigate.  I have a big concern with this.  Nancy – We have to investigate by law, but this language puts us in the position of not being able to.  Kate – Does the contract trump federal law?  Kathleen – What I think Nancy and Mike Brotherton are getting at are the issues that don’t rise to the level of a criminal violation and a student won’t put their name on the complaint, or their parents won’t let them; we then could not look into the complaint.

Caucus 7:05 p.m. – 7:45 p.m.

James joined us at caucus.

Janet – Thanks for waiting for us.  Thank you for looking into the special ed stipend.  We are extremely disappointed, however.  If you think of how the morale of the staff will be when we go back to them tomorrow and tell them that the district only offered a 1% increase and that it wouldn’t be retroactive.  Our job is to advocate for teachers.  I do want to thank Kathryn for giving the example of a student not wanting to or not being able to sign a complaint, we appreciate that.  As a result of all of this, we are requesting mediation services.

Nancy – We’d be glad to have further discussion if requested.  We will join you in requesting mediation.  I don’t think we are that far apart on some of these issues and even on some of the economics issues.  We are not adverse to further meetings prior to getting a mediator.  I would not be available next Tuesday.

James will email the district with the request to go to mediation and the district will respond in kind.

James – I was not here at the beginning of the meeting, but we proposed a package at the last meeting.  Does the district not have a counter?  Nancy – We did that orally.  (Nancy went over those counter proposals briefly.)  Nancy – We had some discussion during caucus regarding highly qualified teachers and the district thinks it would be a good idea that if a teacher has a concern or is unsure whether or not they are highly qualified, the district would be willing to help that teacher look into whether or not they are highly qualified.

James – There is no meeting on the 27th?  Nancy – No.  Janet – Kathleen, are you willing to meet without Brian or Nancy?  Kathleen – Are you willing to meet without James?  Yes, we would be willing to meet with a small group if you would like to.  Janet – I will let you know tomorrow.

All 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 7:53 p.m.