6/19/2020 – Buckle up – we haven’t reached our destination yet

We have an lot to cover this week – included below are updates on the following:

– Statement from JCEA President Brooke Williams on the “ReStart Jeffco” plan
– An update on JCEA Bargaining
– JPS’s official financial proposal & Flash member poll
– Can we save Colorado school funding?
– A message from the JCEA EMOAT Team on DACA
– Bargaining dates for next week – It’s time to show up big!
– Another reminder to please check your SPAM box and ask your colleagues to as well!

A statement from JCEA President Brooke Williams on the “Restart Jeffco” announcement yesterday

Statement from Brooke Williams, art teacher and president of the Jefferson County Education Association on today’s Jefferson County Public Schools school re-entry announcement to staff:

“On May 18, the district offered public comment on the “Restart Jeffco” plan, which would guide student and employee re-entry into schools through June 30 with a public release on July 8, 2020., Today, the district sent out a communication to district employees announcing a preliminary “Restart Jeffco” re-entry plan.

“Jefferson County Education Association members are disappointed in the district’s choice to announce a restart plan before the July 8 deadline, which denies staff and community time to comment on draft plans through June. This puts into question how genuine Jeffco’s feedback process really is. The safety of our students and staff are paramount and not fully engaging with educators, parents, and community members puts everyone at risk.

“We are willing to engage with the district in a meaningful conversation that involves parent and community input. This plan must promote safety, and follow local, state, and federal health guidelines. Our student and staff health is our utmost priority.”

JCEA has released several member surveys on restart planning, and we need your continued feedback to ensure we have a clear understanding of what is most important to our members.

If you haven’t filled out the survey yet you can do so here: https://bit.ly/JCEA_Reentry_2

JCEA Operational Board members Ang Anderson and Elizabeth Morgan are heading up our “Restart” team – if you would like to be a part of that work please email Ang Anderson directly at – ang0013@gmail.com

An update on JCEA Bargaining 2020

This week your JCEA team participated in two sessions. The first was what we call a “Straw Design” which means a smaller sub-group from both teams work together to dive deeply on a single issue and then report back movement and agreements to the larger team. This is not a new tactic, it is a part of the IBB (Interest Based Bargaining) process, although it looks different this year because of the virtual environment.

3 Straw Design sessions happened with smaller blended groups on June 17th encompassing the following issues:

– Innovation language (Check our Facebook page for a deeper dive on innovation tomorrow)
– Article 8 (Class size, caseloads and more)
– Teacher Rights

On the 18th we expected report backs from our Straw Design sessions, an updated district budget presentation (for more information on the approved budget click HERE.) Please remember, this budget can and likely will be amended as negotiations with JCEA and our sister local JESPA are still ongoing.

We hoped for forward movement and agreements coming from our straw design report outs, however the discussions quickly stalled. Your JCEA team believes strongly that the language of our negotiated agreement is equally as important as salary and benefits. The process this year has been incredibly slow – we need our members to show up in big numbers to help us move this forward.

The district management has been firm in their belief that they need flexibility and they continue to push against codifying key issues in writing.

The discussions today once again highlighted that the district management team is unwilling to budge on issues that JCEA believes are critical – most importantly the return of a neutral 3rd party when dealing with our grievance process. We have given ample examples of why our members deserve a neutral set of eyes in moments of disagreement (contrary to what some believe, the grievance process impacts much much more than disciplinary issues). We have heard from members across the district that having a process completely controlled by management feels neither neutral or fair.

JCEA members had access to a neutral 3rd party arbitrator for decades before the bad board, and today it is crystal clear that the district management team no longer believes you have the right to a fair process. Take a look at our current language – you’ll see that management decides at each level of the process. Current JCEA Contract

JPS management has given their financial proposal. The theme is NO.
Take our poll on this proposal NOW
https://bit.ly/JCEA_Salary_2020

Will we help save Colorado school funding?

After COVID-19 gutted the State Budget, the BS factor has swelled to beyond 1.8 BILLION. The hard truth is, without 271 the next several years will be even more dire than any of us can imagine. The good news is, voters support educators and parents know now more than ever how incredibly important your work is – 271 is our opportunity to throw school funding a life saver. If we all do a little, we can win this!

Passage of Initiative 271 could mean HUNDREDS of MILLIONS of dollars into Colorado’s public education fund… but only if we get it on the ballot and talk to voters!

If every JCEA member followed through on doing one of the actions below, JCEA would collect 9000+ signatures!

 

  1. Download 3 single-sign forms, sign one yourself and find 2 other friends to sign and do the same. You can easily return the signed form by snapping a pic and emailing it back to the campaign!

*FULL INSTRUCTIONS: https://fairtaxcolorado.org/single-line-petition-forms/

  1. GO TO: https://fairtaxcolorado.org/volunteer-information/ and volunteer to circulate a traditional petition
  2. Stop by the Sign & Drive hosted by JESPA, DCTA/DAEOP, and JCEA on Fri. June 26th or Sat. June 27th at the JESPA office: 910 Loveland St., Golden (off the I-70 & Colfax Ave. exit) This information is also included in the upcoming JCEA dates calendar below

JCEA’s Ethnic Minority Outreach Advocacy Team responds to US Supreme Court Ruling on DACA:

The JCEA EMOAT would like to recognize and celebrate the recent decision of the US Supreme Court that allows the DACA program to temporarily continue, which protects the status of some of our immigrant youth. While this is only a temporary victory, it is still a victory, and it takes some of the pressure off our young people who have only ever known life in the United States.

As teachers educating young people, some of whom may be DACA recipients it is important to understand the reality of the lives of our DACA students. These are young people who contribute to our communities by being educated, working, and following the law. They also enrich our society with their cultures and personalities. However, they have diminished rights compared to citizens. They cannot vote, they cannot receive Medicaid, they cannot board an airplane, they are not eligible for most student aid, and they cannot be approved for many types of loans, which are all things many citizens take for granted. In fact, sadly, one of my brightest students wanted to just give up her senior year of high school, when she realized that she could not afford to pay for college without federal student aid.

With the current federal administration, many of our DACA students live an anxious life, not knowing if their next check-in appointment will be one where they will be forcibly deported to a country that they have never known. Deported to a country that their parents fled to try to ensure the safety of their children and to escape abject poverty. Our DACA students are as American as any citizen, and they deserve the opportunity to become official citizens, and all the rights which that entails.

We ask for your continued support for our DACA students and families, as well as your help in seeking permanent solutions to our broken immigration system. DACA is still under threat from the current administration, and the US President has stated that he is going to press forward with his plans to end DACA. We must do our best to ensure that our young people are protected. Finally, I would like to also remind you that parents and children still continue to be separated at the border and imprisoned in inhumane conditions, an injustice that we simply cannot allow to continue.

Please stay tuned for updates on further actions or opportunities to support our DACA students and families!

To join the JCEA EMOAT team please sign up here: http://bit.ly/EMOAT_Join_Us

JCEA members, please check your spam folder!

We have heard from some of our members that recently JCEA and/or CEA emails have been going into your spam folders – The tough reality is, we can’t control when or how email providers change their settings and from time to time it happens.

We are troubleshooting on our end, and also encourage anyone who has been missing their regular JCEA updates to check your spam folder – you may need to manually mark JCEA and/or CEA as “not spam” AND add JCEA and CEA as “safe senders”.

If you don’t uncover our emails hiding in your spam box please reach out to Chanda Reyes directly to troubleshoot – creyes@coloradoea.org

 

As always you can find us on Facebook with regular updates as well – https://www.facebook.com/JCEAColorado/

*WHEW*
Thank you for taking the time to make it all the way to the end!
Enjoy your weekend, we are back at it Monday!