4/16/21 – Pandemic overtime pay for Jeffco employees

April kicks off our in-person actions to support bargaining! Are you ready?

You all have worked twice as hard as ever before and reinvented your practice to support students during a global health crisis.

Every Jeffco educator deserves to feel and be valued – NOW is the time to demand that the district invests in YOU. We have a plan to win this year – but it will take all of our members to get there. If everyone does a little – we can move mountains!

There are quite literally a hundred ways to support our bargaining goals this year – if you have five minutes or are ready to go all-in, there is a way to support the cause!

Sign up with the JCEA BOAT (Bargaining Organizing Action Team) and they are more than happy to help you find your place in our plan! bit.ly/JCEA_Barg_Action_Team

Your JCEA elected leaders, staff, and activists are here if you’d like to talk 1-1 through the plan and how our members can get involved – just reach out! jceacomms@gmail.com

Dear David Bell: Notes of hope from Jeffco educators – April 22nd in-person action

If you’ve had a chance to watch any of our sessions this year, our HR Director David Bell has continued to roadblock progress on our language proposals. We invite you to join us to send David some personal messages about why our proposals should be taken seriously as change-makers for our profession and our students.

To RSVP to join us in person OR to submit a digital note that someone else will hand write and deliver click the link below!

Virtual sticky note submission form: https://bit.ly/Dear_David_Bell

Contract time is a GREAT time to strengthen your union – ask your colleagues to join!

NOW is the time to encourage non-members to join JCEA.  
Our power is in our membership! Join JCEA today to commit to fighting for our students, our profession, and specifically raises and a stronger contract this year at the bargaining table. Potential members can join via the NEA early enrollment program and receive some benefits now with the dues starting in September.

https://join.nea.org/colorado/

 

April 14th bargaining session recap

The theme of the evening was: Management doesn’t trust our data nor do they trust your expertise.

Your JCEA bargaining team presented language on some of the most impactful articles. Article 8 and Article 10 impact almost every educator in Jeffco in one way or another.

Article 8, dealing with class size and caseloads:

We heard loud and clear through surveys, several rounds of meetings, and emails from members that this article was a priority. DTLs, counselors, and educators spoke to the importance of capping class sizes and caseloads and guarantee equitable services. This is vitally important to ensure that all educators have caseloads that allow them to meet student needs and that their time is spent focused on their job responsibilities not “other duties as assigned”.

Management counter on Professional development:

After a dinner break, the district presented a slideshow on PD and took issue with comments presented by JCEA pertaining to district-run PD, especially Roadmap to Restart. JCEA brought up legitimate concerns that members had relating to the Roadmap to Restart. Management team members spent a LOT of time defending the Roadmap to Restart and questioning the data collected by JCEA. What we heard from members watching that it can be difficult to provide honest feedback on district feedback forms because it is not anonymous.

Article 10 collaboration:

Jeffco educators spoke to the importance of collaboration and shared leadership and why collaboration is so critical. Proposed changes to contract language adds in best practice details to better guide schools in the process.

Remote learning language:

Finally, management spoke to the language JCEA had presented in a previous session pertaining to remote/virtual learning. The entire proposal was rejected and the management counter language does not adequately protect educators from teaching in-person and remote at the same time or from having to pivot from in-person to remote during snow days or other emergencies.

Sending a huge shout-out to Tiffany LoSasso, Angel Gallegos-Jung, Casey Gardner, Lory Guyll, Jill Mark, Amy Navvab, Whitney Newman, Amy Kamb, David Holt, and Kendall Bolton. They did a fantastic job in presenting stories based on Article 8 and Article 10.

As always your team needs to hear from YOU!

Our most powerful and compelling stories to support our proposals come directly from our members.  The best way to convey your experiences is through your own words presented at the table. Specifically, we are looking for SPED stories for an upcoming session – share your stories here:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeHXV7zbRqVtjAmvEeVro20YbBPRHJYLErWikIQffvWezhpDg/viewform

April virtual all member meeting

Fast and easy! RSVP and share this event on Facebook – https://fb.me/e/2tXi5291Y

April parent forum – spread the word!

JCEA’s Community Outreach Action Team (COAT) is hosting their monthly small group conversation for parents and community members who want to partner with our members to continue to advocate on behalf of students and educators. There are parents and community members across Jeffco who support us and it is our work to provide space for this community to connect and grow. If you are interested in getting involved in parent and community outreach generally please email Elizabeth Kantner at esbluestar@gmail.com

Background on overtime pay grievance

Every Jeffco educator received this update this afternoon to their school email, if you have questions please contact Lisa Elliott at lelliott@coloradoea.org

Dear Jeffco Educators,

As an educator in a unionized district, you and your colleagues have the right to negotiate collectively to ensure fairness, equity, and a voice in decisions being made.

Sadly, management often pushes back against this structure because it’s easier to make unilateral decisions than work collaboratively. It’s also easier to favor one group over another to create division and conflict between employee groups, rather than work to improve wages and working conditions for all. It’s been a difficult year, we recognize that and know that each and every one of you has worked tirelessly.

The reality is that management has put you, and especially your nurse colleagues in the middle of a dispute they created. We want to be transparent about the steps that we are legally obligated to take to protect not only your rights but the rights of every educator in Jeffco. We have fought this fight before in the courts and won – management knows better but perhaps they have forgotten.

JCEA represents all non-administrative licensed personnel—teachers, counselors, DTLs, Coaches, SPED services, nurses, TOSAs, etc. This is outlined in Article 3 of your JCEA Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Salary schedules, how people move on those schedules, and opportunities for additional pay for additional duties, are all spelled out in Article 17.

In December, JCEA President Brooke Williams noticed a comment in a school board presentation about paying nurses extra pay. She contacted the District administration and reminded them any additional pay for any Jeffco educator within our bargaining unit had to be negotiated. They replied that it was just an idea, and wasn’t being followed through on. Later they mentioned Article 17-10 which provides for extra pay for secondary teachers who teach an additional class as a possible basis for paying nurses extra.

We kept hearing from nurses that they were being asked to keep track of hours worked over forty a week for additional pay. We finally, after a records request, received information that 50 nurses received additional pay ranging from $26 to $6240. This was apparently based on ‘overtime’ hours worked during the pandemic. Nurses were not paid equally. Whether it was equitable amongst nurses is not known.

Then in April, a staff member noticed on our monthly bargaining unit report that most (not all) nurses had been given an extra pay of 8.5%, presumably for April and May.

What happens now?

We have filed a grievance against the District because of these actions. If this is not addressed it establishes past practice the district could use in the future. This time it is an increase. Next time it could be a unilateral cut in pay. Either way, we must defend the process and your contract.

We all need to stand in solidarity for the contract to be followed. This is not something to be blamed on nurses. To be clear, our nurses have worked hard. They certainly deserve any extra pay they may receive.

AND, so does every other Jeffco educator who has worked countless additional hours during this pandemic.

How does this impact me?

This unilateral action by District management is unacceptable. We are NOT asking the District to rescind these payments to nurses. We are asking, however, that ALL JCEA bargaining unit members have an opportunity to submit their extra hours for this school year for additional pay.

While we do not know the outcome of this grievance, and it may take quite some time to be resolved, we want an idea of how many people feel they would qualify for additional payments. If you have worked more hours than a ‘normal’ school year that is directly related to the impacts and requirements of COVID and in-person/hybrid/remote learning, or health-related duties and contact tracing, please fill out this form to provide us your information.

Report additional hours worked HERE.

What else can I do to support fair compensation for all?

If you have not yet joined your colleagues in fighting for a fair negotiated agreement that provides equity, collaboration, and respect for educators and the families we serve, JOIN US TODAY.

As you know compensation in Jeffco has been a challenge for years and we continue to lose talented educators to surrounding districts that prioritize educator pay. This is not good for our students or our community.

Coming off what has most certainly been the most difficult year in decades we believe this trend cannot continue. Many of you have worked double or more of your usual workload and have moved mountains to support students and each other during the pandemic. You all deserve to be valued, and we are ready to fight for investment in every Jeffco educator not only by upholding your contractual rights but also at the bargaining table this year. We hope you will join us.

Together we can accomplish what we could never accomplish alone.

Sincerely,

Brooke Williams, President, JCEA