EP Negotiations
View the tentative agreement

Historic agreement
provides major improvements
to salary, planning time

More than half of teachers to get 5% raise,
$2,000 increase for teachers at top

In a landmark tentative agreement settled in the early morning hours on April 26, 2017, Broward Teachers Union and Broward County Public Schools hammered out perhaps the highest raises for teachers in the state for the 2016-2017 school year as well as numerous wins for teachers in planning time and evaluations. 

The BTU negotiations team, led by BTU President and Chief Negotiator Anna Fusco, reached a 3 year contract with economic re-openers for year 2 and 3. The tentative agreement will be voted on by the BTU bargaining unit members on May 4. After both BTU and the School Board have ratified the contract, increases will be added to paychecks with retroactive pay to July 1, 2016. 

The teams agreed to return to the bargaining table within 2 weeks of ratification to work on the 2017-2018 raises, with the intent to reach agreement on increases for the 2017-18 school year before classes start in August. 

Highlights of the tentative agreement:

Economic Wins:

  • 3 % for teachers on levels B through D

  • 5 % for teachers on levels E through M
  • 4 % for teachers on levels N through S
  • A $2,000 raise for teachers at the two highest levels, T and U

  • 5.1% for Annual contract (AC) teachers rated Highly Effective
  • 3 % for Annual contract (AC) teachers rated Effective

Planning Time Wins:
  • Two of the five preplanning days will be devoted strictly to teacher planning without any scheduled activities
  • 27 hours of professional development has been reduced to 24 hours
  • Teachers now have 2 work days to produce lesson plans when asked
  • Lesson plans may now be submitted electronically
  • Principal discretionary time has been reduced which allows for more planning time

Improved Evaluations:
  • Evaluations cannot be conducted during personalization period for high schools
  • In addition to highly effective annual contract teachers, those rated effective will now be placed on a priority list if surplussed from their school at the end of the year
  • Administration must submit evaluations within 10 working days of observation and educators have 25 working days to grieve and/or object to rankings
  • Teachers in block schedule will only be responsible for taking attendance and keeping order, with no instructional activity during personalization period
  • Final decisions for evaluations will now be made by the Broward Teachers Union President and the Superintendent instead of school district administrators.
  • All formal evaluations require a notice of two working days
  • New provisions have been added to the PDP implementation to protect educators.

More Wins...
  • Creation of a labor management Collaborative Education Project to address case loads for school social workers, SLPs, ESE specialists, school psychologists and school counselors as well as to address interruption to teacher planning time and prep time
  • Stewards maintain super-seniority for summer school
  • School social workers, school counselors, school psychologists, SLPs and ESE specialists are now guaranteed a substitute when it is known that an employee will be absent for at least 20 consecutive days.
  • More than 200 pages have been updated to remove outdated programs, update job titles and to strengthen language to benefit members





04.17.2017

BTU began the session by proposing the following Economic Offers:

Article 19 Professional Compensation

  • Section G-2 Extra period pay
    Teachers who teach an extra period will receive a 6% increase for the extra period to $6,360.

  • • Section K Special Activities
    Payment of $75 per assignment for assignments working with students beyond normal work hours without supplement will be extended to all bargaining members

  • • Section R Voluntary Inservice/Stipend Rate
    Compensation for attending District sponsored inservice workshops during non-work hours will receive a 6% increase to 15.90

Appendix E Teachers Salary Schedule

Outdated salary schedules and associated explanation language are replaced with:

  • Chart A Pay for Performance Initial Placement, all Levels (A through H) increase 4.9%

  • Chart B Grandfathered Salary Schedule, all levels increase between 4.9% and 7.35%

  • Teachers on Pay for Performance Salary Schedule will receive the following salary adjustments based upon 2016-17 overall evaluation ratings:   Highly Effective: 7.36%   Effective: 3.68%

Appendix F Supplementary Pay Schedule

  • Increase all current supplement amounts by 6%
  • Add supplements for ESE , Head Bowling Coach B/G, Vocal Director (HS), Orchestra Director (HS), JV Flag Football
  • School Social Workers shall be offered 10 additional contract days per year to be chosen by the social worker

BTU Proposed the following Changes to Article 36 Terms of Agreement

  • Updated to reflect new dates August 2016 - June 30 2019
  • May be reopened for 2017-18 for negotiating salary, economic increases, and insurance (except health)
  • May be reopened for 2018-19 for negotiating salary and economic increases, and up to two additional articles

The District did not comment on BTU's proposal, but proposed the following Economic Offers:

  • No change to the existing levels A-H (up to 13 years) the Pay for Performance Initial Placement Chart
  • Addition of six new levels of Pay for Performance Initial Placement (up to 19 years of experience). No provisions would be made for existing teachers who had more than 13 years when hired but were only given credit for 13
  • 2.75 % across the board for Grandfathered Salary Scale

BTU immediately REJECTED the offer of 2.75%

The District then made a new offer:

  • 3% across the board for Grandfathered Salary Scale
  • No change to the existing levels A-H (up to 13 years) the Pay for Performance Initial Placement Chart
  • Teachers on Pay for Performance Salary Schedule will receive the following salary adjustments based upon 2016-17 overall evaluation ratings:    Highly Effective: 4.5%   Effective: 3%
  • SBBC will pay Cobra (gap insurance) for annual teachers who are let go at the end of the school year and rehired for fall

BTU REJECTED the 3% offer and made a verbal offer to mirror the initial offer proposed but with lowering the overall package from 6% to 5.5%

The session ended with the District promising to study the new BTU proposal.

Next Session
The next session will be Tuesday, April 25 at 10:00 AM at a location to be determined. All members of the EP bargaining unit are welcome to attend.



03.29.2017
BTU opened the session by requesting that the final two Open non-economic Items: Article 18 and the Education Empowerment Project MOU be settled. In addition, BTU announced they would offer an overview of their proposed economic package with specifics to be proposed at the next meeting.

The following were discussed and tentative agreement reached:

  • Agreement for Collaborative Education Project
    This provides for the establishment of a task force to focus on teacher preparation and planning time, number of class preps for secondary, and caseload for school social workers, SLP's, school counselors, and school psychologist.

  • Article 8 Curriculum and Instruction – E. Submission of Grades
    Elementary teachers will submit final grades two days prior to the end of the school year.

The following is still being reviewed by a joint committee:

  • Article 18 Due Process / Personnel Files / Employee Evaluation

The following articles were discussed and will be included in the economic proposals in the next session:

  • Article 3 Definitions
    Will be opened if necessary

  • Article 19 Professional Compensation – A. Salary Schedule
    Last sentence (Implementation of such schedules will take place once it is determined by both parties that additional and sufficient funding exists.) will be deleted.

  • Article 19 Professional Compensation and Appendix E. Salary Schedule
    BTU's proposal will include an increase for all bargaining unit members.

  • Article 19 Professional Compensation and Appendix F. Supplements
    BTU's proposal will include an increase in all supplements.

  • Article 19 Professional Compensation – G Extra Pay
    BTU's proposal will include an increase in extra period supplements.

  • Article 19 Professional Compensation – K Special Activities
    BTU's proposal will expand the current practice of providing $75 compensation for teachers who accept assignments to work with students beyond the normal work hours without a supplement to all members of the bargaining unit.

  • Article 19 Professional Compensation – N Salary Payments
    Definition of Paid Days will be updated to match current calendar.

  • Article 19 Professional Compensation – R Voluntary Inservice/Stipend Rate
    BTU's proposal will include an increase to the current $15 hourly stipend for attending inservice.

  • •Article 36 Terms of Agreement – A (Duration)
    BTU's proposal will specify this is a 3 year contract that may be reopened in year 2 for economics and in year 3 for economics and up to two articles

Next Session:

The next session has not been set. The session originally scheduled for April 3 will be a caucus session for both teams to finalize specifics of the economic proposals that will be offered at the next session.

Future Sessions:

TBA


 

03.27.2017

BTU opened the session by introducing Jewell Gould, an experience expert labor economic consultant from our national affiliate American Federation of Teacher (AFT) who will be assisting with analysis of available funds, etc as we prepare to begin the economic portion of negotiations

The following were discussed and tentative agreement reached:

  • Article 6 General Employment Practices – F Summer School Employment
    Stewards holding superseniority at the summer school site will be hired. Up to 30% of the openings will be filled by other stewards. 20% of the remaining positions will be based upon seniority.

  • Article 8 Curriculum and Instruction – E. Submission of Grades
    Elementary teachers will submit final grades two days prior to the end of the school year.

  • Article 10 Employee Preparation, Conference, and Training – (three sections: B. Elementary Preparation/Conference Time, C. Secondary, D. Block Schedule, E. Optimal Time Usage)
    There was a reduction in the amount of planning time taken away from teachers for meetings/conferences. In Elementary Schools, there will be a max of 120 minutes per calendar month in 3 increments (two up to 45 and one up to 30) with no more than one per week. In Middle and Senior, including those on a Block Schedule, there will be a max of 30 minutes per week.

  • Article 25 Transfers and Reassignments – A. Reassignment
    The definition of reassignment will include "at an employee's currently assigned work location."

  • Article 34 Grievance Procedures – L. School Board Policies
    Availability of Policies may be electronic.

The following proposal were withdrawn and will remain as listed in existing contract:

  • Article 23 Leaves – M. Returning Early from Leaves

  • Article 23 Leaves – R. Sick Leave Bank

  • Article 6 General Employment Practices – A. Physical Examinations

  • Article 25 Reassignment and Transfer – D. Involuntary Transfers

The following proposal were withdrawn from negotiations but will be discussed/decided by BTU and District attorneys:

  • Article 4 Professional Qualifications and Assignments – E. Professional Services Contract

The following were proposed by the union as additions to the contract, but rejected by the District and are tabled for now:

  • Article 7 Health and Safety – K. Room Capacity
    This would require that the room capacity as set by state regulations and local fire marshals be posted in each classroom

  • Article 7 Health and Safety – L. Partnership on Health and Safety
    This would require the district to provide reports to BTU and other groups of health and safety issues including code violations, injury incident reports, building health, mold and mildew complaints, police reports, and more.

The following were proposed by the union and the District has been unable to respond satisfactorily, so BTU has proposed a Memorandum of Understanding entitled Education Empowerment Project that forms a joint task force to settle these issues

  • Article 5 Conditions of Employment – K. Faculty Meetings.

  • Article 10 Employee Preparation, Conference, and Training – E.
    Optimal Time Usage


  • Article 10 Employee Preparation, Conference, and Training – G. Special Subject Teachers

The following were proposed by the union and being reviewed by a joint committee:

Article 18 Due Process / Personnel Files / Employee Evaluation

Next Session:

The next session will be held at Cypress Bay High School on March 29 at 10:00 am. All members of the bargaining unit are invited to attend. BTU is hopeful that economic items will be introduced at this meeting.

Future Sessions:

April 3 9:00 am @ BTU


03.20.2017
BTU opened the session on a hopeful note believing that the remainder of the non-economic issues could be closed out so that the next session could open the economic package. Unfortunately, the District was not prepared to close out a number of items. BTU remains hopeful for completing the items at the next session providing the District does their homework.

The following were discussed and tentative agreement reached:

  • Article 6 General Employment Practices L. Back to School Night
    Changes made were cleaning up language and titles. Discussion followed regarding the intent of the language regarding compensation for attending a second "back to school night." The District will clarify the language.

  • Article 15 Accountability – K. School Schedules
    Under the listing of "options," the 4x4 A/B Block Schedule was added, with the specification that the number of periods and preparation/planning will be determined prior to the vote.

  • Article 29 Union Rights – D. Conduct Business
    Language was deleted requiring approval by the principal for BTU representatives to transact union business on school property.

  • Article 29 Union Rights – J. School Visitation and Meetings
    Language was also deleted requiring approval by the principal for BTU representatives to visit schools to investigate teaching conditions, complaints, etc. Prior notification is required, but the principal approval is no longer required.

The following were proposed by the union as additions to the contract, but rejected by the District and will need further negotiations:

  • Article 7 Health and Safety – K. Room Capacity
    This would require that the room capacity as set by state regulations and local fire marshals be posted in each classroom

  • Article 7 Health and Safety – L. Partnership on Health and Safety
    This would require the district to provide reports to BTU and other groups of health and safety issues including code violations, injury incident reports, building health, mold and mildew complaints, police reports, and more.

The following was previously proposed by BTU and discussed, The District stated they were not ready with agreement/counter proposals.

  • Article 5 Conditions of Employment – A. Teacher's Primary Responsibility
    BTU is seeking to eliminate all non-professional supervisory and clerical duties for teachers.

  • Article 5 Conditions of Employment – K. Faculty Meetings
    BTU is seeking to keep faculty meetings from impacting planning time.

  • Article 10 Employee Preparation, Conference, and Training – (three sections: B. Elementary Preparation/Conference Time, C. Secondary, D. Block Schedule, E. Optimal Time Usage)
    BTU is seeking a reduction in the amount of planning time taken away from teachers for meetings/conferences and the number of preps for middle and high.

  • Article 10 Employee Preparation, Conference, and Training – G. Special Subject Teachers
    BTU is seeking limitations on caseload for SLPs, school social workers, school counselors and psychologists. In addition, limitations are proposed on teaching responsibilities for secondary media specialists and counselors.

The following was previously proposed by the District and discussed. BTU was ready with agreement/counter proposals but postponed discussion since the district was not prepared to discuss above BTU items.

  • Article 8 Curriculum and Instruction – E. Submission of Grades
    The District proposed that Elementary teachers submit final grades two days prior to the end of the school year

  • Article 23 Leaves – M. Returning Early from Leaves
    The District proposed a change that would require an employee returning early to ask the superintendent instead of informing the superintendent.

  • Article 23 Leaves – R. Sick Leave Bank
    Proposed changed focus on number of sick leave bank days that may be used before disability payments begin.

  • Article 25 Transfers and Reassignments – A. Reassignment
    The District would like the definition of reassignment to include "at an employee's currently assigned work location."

The following was proposed by District and discussed but no agreement signed:

  • Article 6 General Employment Practices – F. Summer School Employment
    The District backed off of their previous proposal that would have impacted Super Seniority priority for summer school opportunities. In their revised offer, 1/3 of open positions would go to stewards with Super Seniority, with the other 2/3 open to the rest of the bargaining unit.

The following were proposed by the District, but now put on hold so that the District's new legal counsel can have more time to research them

  • Article 4 Professional Qualifications and Assignments – E. Professional Services Contract
    District would like this removed from the contract since PSC's do not now exist.

  • Article 6 General Employment Practices – A. Physical Examinations
    Discussion focuses on the number of examinations and who selects the physician, psychologist, or psychiatrist.

  • Article 35 Inclusion – (Three sections) A. Training Plan, B. New Student to District, C. Students Placed with Volunteer Teachers
    All deal with placement of students on IEP's

The following was previously "TAed" but may be reopened.

Article 5 Conditions of Employment – L3. Professional Development Days
BTU would like it to be specified that teachers not needing points may opt out of PD that is not needed for job performance.

Next Session:

The next session will be held at BTU on March 27 at 2:00 PM All members of the bargaining unit are invited to attend. BTU is hopeful that non-economic items will be finalized at this meeting.

Future Sessions:

March 29 10:00 am TBA
April 3 9:00 am @ BTU


03.15.2017
BTU opened the session by reviewing the following previous actions with the District: 1) the list of items that had received temporary agreement, and 2) The list of articles that still remain open. Both sides agreed to this. BTU requested that the open items be addressed ASAP to continue to move forward.

The following was discussed and tentative agreement was reached:

  • Article 5 B Materials/Storage
    Recognizing that not all textbooks are in hard copy, it was agreed that a hard copy of the teacher's edition would be provided if available. In the portion stating if storage space was an issue, teachers would be provided with an alternative as agreed upon in writing.

  • Article 5L(3) Teacher Planning Days
    The current allocation of 27 hours per year of the total time available for professional development is reduced to 24 hours.

  • Article 5 O Interruptions to Teaching
    The paragraph related to District Personnel visiting a class was replaced with: "Observations for evaluation purposes shall be governed by the provisions of Article 18 of this agreement. Observations for other purposes shall occur only after the employee has been notified in advance by the principal." (Note: This "TA" is contingent upon completion of Article 18).

  • Article 5 S Lesson Plans
    Teachers with less than 3 years of experience may be required to submit lesson plans to the principal on a regular basis with two work days' notice before the schedule starts.

    Teachers with more than 3 years of experience shall not be required to submit lesson plans to the principal on a regular basis. However, any time the principal does request lesson plans it is with two work days' notice.

    The words "All lesson plans may be submitted in hard or electronic form" have been added.

  • Article 6B Substitute Notification
    If the employee does not receive a substitute job number when contacting Sub Central, the employee shall notify their school's sub coordinator prior to the start of the employee work day.

  • Article 9 C Professional Development Network (PDN)
    Article deleted from contract since the Professional Development Network no longer exists.

  • Article 30 G Advanced Degree Stipend Committee
    Article deleted from contract since the Advanced Degree Stipend Committee no longer exists.

  • Article 30 H Contract Administration Committee
    Name changed to Labor Management Committee.

The following articles were discussed and are still open:

  • Article 35 Inclusion (A, B, C)

 

Next Session:

The next session will be held at the Pompano Beach HS Admin Center - OSPA (610 NE 13 Ave Pompano Beach) on March 20 at 1:00 PM. All members of the bargaining unit are invited to attend.

Future Sessions:

March 27 2:00 pm @ BTU

March 29 10:00 am @ TBA

April 3 9:00 am @ BTU


03.10.2016 The District presented a number of articles for tentative agreement that had been "cleaned up" by a joint effort of members on the District's and BTU's negotiations team. All will result in updated language to reflect name changes of departments and positions.

The following were tentatively agreed to:

  • Appendix A II — Degrees and Course Work Areas Defined As In-Field

The following was discussed and tentative agreement was reached:

  • Article 5 T – Starting Time
    The District asked to eliminate this since Transportation controls starting times of schools.
    ______________________________________________

The following were discussed and are still open (no agreement reached):

  • Article 6 B – Substitute Notification
    BTU rejected the District's previous proposal which would require the employee to notify the District in addition to contacting Sub Central if their absence was called in after midnight. The District asked if BTU has any suggestions. BTU has issues with the teacher having to make multiple notifications, that it places an undue burden on the teacher when a system is in place. BTU does not believe District's proposed additions are needed.

  • Article 6F – Summer School Proposal
    BTU previously rejected District's proposal that would alter the current policy of Steward Super seniority priority for summer school. This proposal stated that would result in only one Steward at the school where summer school is held being offered summer school, but stewards at other schools would not be guaranteed a summer position. BTU wants eligibility to be available to all designated stewards. The District brought it up again and stated that with the reduction in summer school locations there are too many stewards and therefore not fair to other individuals. When BTU asked how many stewards taught summer school in 2016, the District responded that out of approximately 700 positions, only 54 were stewards were hired.

  • Article 8 E – Submission of Grades
    District would like Elementary teachers for the last marking period only to submit grades 2 days prior to the end of term.

  • Article 9 C – Professional Development Network
    District proposed removal of this since none of this processes and programs described in article exist any more.

  • Article 15 K – School Schedules
    District wants to Add 4x4 AB Block Scheduling as a listed scheduling option instead of it requiring a waiver.

  • Article 23 M – Length of Leaves
    District wants to require employees who wish to return to work from prior to leave ending receive approval from the superintendent. Currently it only requires notification of from the employee.

  • Article 25 A – Reassignment
    District offered language to change definition of reassignment to include a change in grade level at the current location.

  • Article 4 E – Professional Service Contracts
    District was concerned that current statute may be conflict with state statute and would like to revise.

  • Article 23 R – Sick Leave Bank
    District proposed change in number of days that may be withdrawn relative to disability provisions.

BTU asked the District when we will be able to have serious talks about significant differences (beyond name changes) in Article 5 – Conditions of Employment. The District promised this would take place at the next meeting.

Next session: Negotiations will resume Wednesday, March 15 @ 10:00 AM @ BTU. All members of the bargaining unit are invited attend.



03.02. 17 The District began the meeting declaring that they came to the table to reach agreements with the teachers and that this round of bargaining is the start of trying to rebuild the relationship with the union. They realize that we will not be 100% in agreement with everything, but the hope both management and the employees will consider a fair contract on both sides.

A number of "open articles" were "TA-ed", meaning that BTU and the District reached "Tentative Agreement". This is a good sign as this progress moves the process closer to the economic discussions.

The following items were "TA-ed" after language was clarified, old titles of personnel deleted, and new ones added:

Agreement was also reached on:

  • Article 5, Section D - Duty-Free Lunch
    The District specified that "Duty Free Lunch means Duty Free Lunch". Teachers may not be asked to complete any other duties including taking students to and from the cafeteria during that 30 minutes.

  • Article 5, Section L - Teacher Planning Days (Number 1)
    There will be five days days of pre-planning at the beginning of the school year.

Discussion continued, but no agreement was reached on the following:

  • Article 5, Section B - Materials Storage
    There was discussion regarding hard-copy vs electronic versions of teacher textbooks. In addition BTU is insisting on the need for providing lockable space to teachers. The District is still looking at this section.

  • Article 5, Section L - Teacher Planning Days (Number 2)
    The two sides are close in the discussion of the number of days during the five pre-planning that will be reserved strictly for teacher planning. Agreement will likely occur at the next session.

  • Article 5, Section L - Teacher Planning Days (Number 3)
    The two sides have differences in the allocation of hours dedicated for Professional Development activities during the school year. BTU feels the current number of 27 is excessive. The District cited statistics about credits earned and the value of the workshops to teachers. President Anna Fusco gave examples of teacher-driven vs. administrative-driven PLC/workshops and inquired if there a standard of how many in-service points can be earned for PLCs? The District answered that it depends on the school. President Fusco then gave examples that there are many ways teachers can earn in-service points and that they need authentic planning time to work on improving their students' scores. The district agreed to consider a compromise on this article.

Discussion with Board Members

BTU asked for clarification regarding the legality of conversation with School Board Members related to negotiations. The District agreed that it is not illegal to do so, but the District's legal counsel, Doug Griffin, stated that they have encouraged board members to refrain from doing so.

The schedule was established for the next four meetings:

  • Friday, March 10, TBA 1PM
  • Wednesday, March 15, BTU 10 AM
  • Monday, March 20, TBA 10 AM
  • Monday, March 27, BTU 2 PM




2/24/17: The BTU-EP negotiation team met with the school district on February 24, 2017 at 10 am at the BTU office. At this session, the district did not submit any counterproposals and spent a majority of the time discussing BTU-EP proposals addressing employment practices and general conditions of employment. The parties did agree to several minor name changes and clean-up language for various articles.

BTU-EP will be submitting its economic proposals in the near future in solidarity with the other BTU negotiating units.

Article 5, Section D - Conditions of Employment
The district has agreed that all teachers are entitled to a 30-minute duty free lunch during which employees will not be required to deliver or pick up their students, have conferences, answer emails, attend meetings, ins-service or professional development courses or other duties.

Article 5, Section K - Faculty Meetings
The district has agreed that faculty meetings will be scheduled in a manner that does not impact teacher planning.

Article 5, Section L - Teacher Planning Days
The district and BTU have not agreed on the number of pre-planning days that will be held without the scheduling of any other activities or meetings. BTU has proposed that three of five preplanning days be devoted strictly to teacher planning without any scheduled activities, while the district is asking that only two of the five days be for uninterrupted teacher planning.

The district has agreed that a teacher may opt out of all or part of the 27 hours of the total time available for professional development each year.

Article 5, Section O - Interruptions to Teaching
The district has agreed that employees will receive a minimum of two days' notice from the principal when district personnel plan to visit their class for observation.

Article 5, Section S - Lessons Plans
BTU and the district have not yet agreed on how many days' notice is required for requesting submission of lesson plans. BTU would like teachers to receive 10 days' notice while the district is asking for two days' notice.

Article 6, Section C - General Employment Practices
With the district citing the difficulty of finding substitutes with experience in such specialties as speech-language pathology, ESE or social work, BTU asked the district that employees be compensated when their workload increases due to the absence of another employee. The district said it would come to the table at a later date with their compensation proposal.

Article 6, Section L - Back to School Night
The district is still discussing BTU's proposal that any employee who is required to attend more than one back-to-school night be paid for three hours at their hourly rate.

Next session: The next BTU-EP negotiating session is scheduled for Thursday, March 2 at 9 a.m. at Fort Lauderdale High School. All members are invited to attend.


2/13/17: This negotiation session was the district’s opportunity to begin bringing forth proposals and responding to BTU’s proposals. Many of the district’s proposals dealt with updating language to reflect current department names and job titles.

The district did conceptually agree in whole or in part with previously submitted BTU language in some articles, but also offered changes to several BTU proposals:

Article 5 (Conditions of Employment), Section L, Teacher Planning Days:
The district countered BTU’s proposal to have five, not four of the 10 planning days occur at the beginning of the school year, and proposed that no other activities except teacher planning take place on two of the five days. In the event a staff meeting is needed on one of those two days, it may not exceed one hour. President Anna Fusco said BTU would not agree with that and will offer make a counterproposal.

Article 5, Section S, Lesson Plans:
The district questioned BTU’s proposal that teachers be given 10 days to propose their lesson plans, stating that it seemed like an excessive amount of time. BTU gave examples of why some teachers may need 10 days to provide their lesson plans and also pointed out that while some principals demand that plans be printed out and on their desk rather than on the computer, teachers sometimes do not have access to printer paper or a printer to be able to print out their lesson plans. The district stated it may be able to work with the language in this article.

Article 6 (General Employment Practices), Section B, Substitute Notification:
BTU said it does not agree with and rejects the district’s request that language be added to the contract requiring teachers to notify the designated school site administrator of an intended absence at least one hour before the start of the regular workday in addition to notifying the sub locator system if the employee notified the sub locator system after midnight on the day of an absence.

Article 6, Section F, Summer School Employment:
BTU said it does not agree with and rejects the district’s desire to replace section 4, Steward Super-Seniority with language offering one union steward of a school hosting summer school the right to be granted super-seniority as determined by BTU and be given priority consideration at the summer site at their own school. Stewards at sites not hosting summer school would be placed in the regular summer school pool. The district explained the logic behind the change is to open the opportunity to more teachers and to first employ summer school teachers with a Highly Effective rating before opening positions to teachers rated Effective, a move BTU President Anna Fusco said pits teachers against one another.

Article 8 (Curriculum and Instruction), Section E, Submission of Grades:
The district proposed adding language to the section requiring elementary school teachers to submit end of year grades two days prior to the last student attendance day. No other changes were made to the section. BTU will be countering with language that will assure teachers will ample time to get the grades done.

Article 23 (Leaves), Section M, Length of Leave:
To allow adequate processing time for leave requests, the district proposed adding language that an employee may request a return to active employment before the expiration of a leave subject to the approval of the superintendent, and that if approved, the district shall place the employee in a vacant position within their choice of certification and geographic area, as the contract currently states. There would be no change to the contract provision that if the employee rejects the position offered by the district, s/he may not return to work until the leave expires.

Next sessions:
02/24, 10 a.m. @ BTU
03/02, 9 a.m. @ Fort Lauderdale High School


 

1/23/17: BTU negotiations team keeps up pressure on district to restore teaching and planning time
In attendance for BTU: Melanie Birken, Laura Clark, Anna Fusco (BTU president/co-chief negotiator), Jim Gard, Nympha Girard, Doug Green, Richard Judd, Joan King, Hall Krantz, Mark Richard (chief negotiator), Robin Rothman, Henry Sergey, Lisa Yurkin, Andy Ford. Not present: Nathalie Lynch-Walsh, Libby Navarrete (counsel).

In attendance for the district: Melinda Cunningham, principal; Dorothy Davis, chief negotiator; Oleg Gorokhovsky, budget director; Doug Griffin, SBBC counsel; Horace Hamm, principal; James Hayes, co-chief negotiator; Jennifer Hodder, department secretary; Heather Parente, director of employee evaluations; Priscilla Ribeiro, principal; Susan Rockleman, director, talent and acquisition, instructional; Alan Strauss, HS dcadre leader. Not present: Diego DeRose, employee evaluations; Michael Gleason, principal.

Article 5, Conditions of Employment (click to view)
Both sides returned to the bargaining table on Monday, January 23 for a robust discussion of Article 5, Conditions of Employment, sections A, B, D G, J, K and L.

BTU argued that the extra duties forced on teachers at all levels—such as lunch duty, playground supervision, walking students to and from specials, the bus or lunch-- are severely impacting teachers' planning and teaching time.

BTU strongly questioned whether the district is adhering to Article A of the contract, which states "every effort shall be made to relieve employees of all non-professional supervisory and clerical responsibilities," which in addition to the above could include money collection or transmittal. The district said that relieving teachers of escorting students to and from classes or the bus, for example, could cause a safety issue, since schools do not have adequate personnel to take on those duties.

BTU countered that PLCs, team meetings, collaborative planning and other items being mandated by principals can all be taken away without impacting student safety. The district promised to examine what and how responsibilities could be trimmed without causing any negative impact to students.

The district questioned BTU's request to alter section B of Article 5, Materials and Storage. At the last bargaining session, BTU's team asked that teachers be provided with hard copies of all textbooks they use, per current contract language. The district pointed out that in some cases the textbook is only produced in e-book format and no hard copy exists. As for our request that per contract language, educators and itinerant workers such as social workers and speech language pathologists be provided with a lockable space to secure valuables, the district said it would be willing to ensure that such space does exist at every work site.

Section D, Duty-Free Lunches, was also brought up by BTU, with the district agreeing that educators are entitled to a duty-free lunch as long as it begins after the teacher drops their students off at the cafeteria.

BTU reminded the district of the language in Article 5, Section K, Faculty Meetings, emphasizing that faculty meetings should impact teacher planning time as little as possible. However, the district pointed out that sometimes faculty meetings will impact planning time, as it isn't always possible to hold meetings only on teacher planning days or between the limited time teachers report to work and school begins. The district requested to leave the article open so they can amend contract language to satisfy what BTU is requesting.

The district also responded to BTU's proposal to reduce the amount of professional development time educators use during the year, which BTU has proposed be reduced from 27 to 10 hours (Teacher Planning Days, section L, number 3). The district said that It believes that educators are using the 27 hours for recertification courses. BTU asked the district to provide data to prove that and said it believes that professional development hours should be more self-directed and flexible.

The district requested to leave two sections open for further discussion: O, Interruptions to Teaching; and S, Lesson Plans.

Article 29, Union Rights (click to view)
BTU gave the district its proposed language changes to section D of article 29, asking that the contract be amended so as not to require advance permission from the principal for a BTU employee to transact official union business on school property so long as it does not interfere with or disrupt normal school operations. The district will take it under advisement and report its decision at the next negotiations session.

Article 6, General Employment Practices (click to view)
BTU presented the district with several language changes to section A 5, allowing employees who are asked to submit to a physical or psychological evaluation after employment to seek a second opinion at his or her expense and a third opinion, at the district's expense, should the two opinions be contradictory. BTU also asked that employees continue to be paid throughout the examination process.

BTU also proposed language changes to section C, Substitutes, to include school social workers, school guidance counselors, speech-language pathologists, school psychologists, media specialists and ESE specialists as employees eligible to have a substitute appointed if s/he will be absent for at least 20 consecutive work days.

In section L, Back to School Night/Open House, BTU has proposed to the district that all employees who must attend any more than one such event be compensated for three hours at their hourly rate; and proposed deleting language that high schools on a 4 x 4 block schedule may plan a second back to school night.

Next meetings

  • 1/30: both sides to caucus separately
  • 2/13: 1:30 p.m. at BTU
  • 2/24: 10 a.m. at BTU
  • 3/2: 9 a.m. at location TBD



01.09.2017 First negotiations session highlights upgrading working conditions, planning and teaching time

The EP negotiations team held its first contract bargaining session with the District on Monday, January 9, presenting impassioned and strong arguments about aspects of the contract focusing on workload and working conditions.

The District's Chief Negotiator, Dorothy Davis, expressed the District's gratitude and respect for educational professionals, acknowledged the Board's increasing awareness and willingness to respond to workplace issues, and pledged to "collaborate" with BTU in order to negotiate the "best possible contract." "There is no great divide" between the district and teachers, Davis said, and assigned blame for current conditions to federal and state policies.

While the District's stated willingness to begin a "new day with new possibilities" was an encouraging opening to contract talks, the EP negotiations team will test the sincerity of the District's position.

The School District's team heard negotiations team members describe first-hand dangerous working conditions, such as mold and mildew, that are creating such serious health hazards that teachers and students are unable to enter the school building. Team members highlighted the contract articles that address planning and teaching time and workload, all of which currently are causing unnecessary stress and forcing teachers to work without pay well beyond their contract hours.

Among items our BTU negotiating team asked for were:

  • For educators to be relieved of all clerical duties
  • For educators to be provided with a hard copy of the teacher editions of all books
  • To be provided with a lockable storage space in every classroom
  • Private office space and district cellphones for guidance counselors and social workers

They also asked that faculty meetings be scheduled so as not to interrupt teacher planning, and that teachers receive one additional planning day at the beginning of the school year, with the only permissible interruption to teacher planning be limited to one one-hour staff meeting.

To address pervasive mold and mildew issues in our schools, the BTU negotiating team asked the district to provide health and safety inspection reports on code regulation charges or complaints, member injuries, mold, mildew, building health, progress reports, school site repairs and RFPs for people who inspect for mold and mildew.

One negotiating team member, a school social worker, addressed the fact that social workers, guidance counselors and speech and language pathologists have such an extreme workload of multiple schools and hundreds of students that they can do little more than put bandages on gaping wounds that require far more attention than they are able to provide, and asked that the district address the extreme need for more professionals in these areas.

Future negotiations sessions will deal with other aspects of the contract, including compensation. The next negotiations session will be held on Monday, January 23 at 3:30 p.m. at BTU. All educators are invited to attend and observe any or all negotiations sessions. Future session dates will be announced on btuonline.com.



12.12.2016 Bargaining Kicks Off!

The BTU EP (Teacher) negotiation team met with the District team on Monday, Dec. 12 at BTU Hall to open up contract negotiations. BTU President Anna Fusco began the session with impassioned opening remarks articulating our member's expectations for negotiations outcomes. (View President Fusco's address here.)

The meeting accomplished in one session what in previous years had taken multiple sessions. Both sides agreed to ground rules and set dates for the next three sessions, a positive start which we hope foreshadows successful negotiations. Time will tell when the difficult work begins in the next three sessions.

 

ESP Negotiations


View the tentative agreement
(Changed portions only)

View press release

View existing contract

View Appendix E (Salary Sch)

Question about "steps"?


Check out the Team