6/26/2020 – Language is wrapped up – it’s time to gear up for compensation

After 13 full group sessions and more than half a dozen straw designs your JCEA team has had some big victories and wrapped up on contact language changes – Compensation negotiations however have only just begun.

It’s time to reach out to Jeffco Leadership!

Dr. Glass and our School Board Members need to hear from you personally. (Best practices for these communications can be found below the bargaining re-cap).

Thank you to all those that have been watching bargaining this spring, we know what a long strange trip it’s been. Wednesday, after a marathon almost nine hour bargaining session, we tentatively agreed on all language issues and presented our proposal for salary increases.

Here’s what has our team, supported by so much membership action has achieved so far:

1)     Innovation language: This is required since the District allowed a charter school to convert to a District innovation school. The innovation law was a union-busting attack from the legislature a number of years ago. It has been used in Denver and Aurora to weaken the union’s power.

  1. a)       We wanted to make sure that we have JCEA voice in the room when innovation plans are being created and when school staffs vote to waive out of contract provisions.
  2. b)     We will get a list of bargaining members eligible to vote and we will be able to participate in the voting process. 60% of the staff will have to agree to implement an innovation plan.
  3. c)       Sometimes becoming an innovation school is the best option for a school in turn around status, but we felt it was really important that we have JCEA guidance in the room on what parts of the CBA will be waived, what that will mean for their working conditions and how this will help the school succeed (or not).
  4. d)     We bargained JCEA participation in the voting process, whether it is an existing school  transitioning to innovation or new school. We feel this was the best compromise of language for this scenario.

2)     Sick leave bank: There is currently an emergency COVID sick leave bank, but starting in 2021 there will be a general sick leave bank for educators who run out of leave due to serious illness. More details to follow. The days in the current COVID bank will eventually roll over into the regular bank.

3)     Article 8: caseloads and class size:

  1. a)       We clarified language around secondary load.
  2. b)     We fought hard to make sure that when pairing and combining of classes happen, AMP voices will be in the room and part of the process.

4)     Teacher rights:

  1. a)       Grievance article 19 – Hallelujah, we got 3rd party arbitration back!! This was a big win for us, we lost this during the bad board troubles and as many of you know we have had problems with our current appeals process. We also got language that allows us to grieve article 7 (evaluations) and article 10 (collaboration) if the process is not being followed.
  2. b)     Teacher discipline – Teachers will be given notice of a disciplinary meeting and the right to have union representation. Disciplinary action should be handled at the building level if at all possible, but we also want some consistency across the district. Additionally we added language around handling parent complaints.
  3. c)       Article 9 Student discipline/teacher assistance – We have steps outlined for collaboration and training as it relates to student expectations and de-escalation. We referenced important board policies that outline how teachers will be protected when they have to physically restrain a student, if a student damages teacher property, or if a teacher is hurt. We also had robust discussion on the accurate implementation of the District student discipline matrix and Restorative Practices. District training before beginning RP is encouraged. Also CPI de-escalation training will be available.

Compensation: (Compensation negotiations have only just begun. NO decisions have been made and further bargaining dates will be coming in July).

Our JCEA team presented our financial proposal to district management late Wednesday night. After presenting CORA’d budget data from the last 4+ years we showed that even in times of decreasing student enrollment, expenditures at central administration have grown substantially, sometimes on the order of 70% while their spending on general instruction has only grown 10%, less than the inflation rate of 14%.

The JPS budget is a value statement and when they do not properly compensate the people who will be putting their lives on the line for our kids that says something pretty sad.

We presented our offer of steps/lanes and a 1.25% COLA increase to cover PERA. After their caucus they said many nice words about educators, which was appreciated, but didn’t initially offer a counter. The district management team wanted us to find the money for them, so we went to caucus. The JCEA team came back and said the District needed to counter offer or we were done. David Bell (District management) wants some time to consider our offer and we will set future dates. Link to our financial presentation.

We know it is summer and it is tough to stay engaged. However, it is critically important to stay informed throughout the summer. Between now and going back to the bargaining table in July we are asking our members to continue taking action by personally outreaching Jeffco leadership (Dr. Glass and the members of our school board). Yesterday at our JCEA Virtual Town Hall members asked for best practices in these communications so we created an easy to use list!

 

While all JCEA members are encouraged to personally outreach Jeffco leadership we will continue to work furiously on the “ReStart” Jeffco plan and an MOU on working conditions to implement in August. To join the JCEA “ReStart” team being led by JCEA Operational Board members Ang Anderson and Elizabeth Morgan click HERE.

Call, text, email and outreach your colleagues to keep them involved as we work through the incredible task of navigating what the “ReStart” becomes.

We have two JCEA member surveys active currently – if you haven’t taken them yet, please take a few minutes to give us your honest feedback.

  1. On JPS Management’s financial proposal : https://bit.ly/JCEA_Salary_2020
  2. On the JPS “Re-Start” plan: https://bit.ly/JCEA_Reentry_2

Getting 271 on the ballot this fall is a critical life raft in the time of crushing COVID-19 Funding Cuts…

If every JCEA member signs and gets four friends, family members or community member to sign we will FAR exceed our goal for signature collection!

Contact Callie Orgeron for more info @ COrgeron@coloradoea.org

Hundreds of JCEA members showed up both online and in person over the last 10 days to support our bargaining team and work to improve our contract.

As Covid-19 turned our worlds upside down your JCEA team forged ahead into virtual bargaining where others chose to press pause. Thank you for rising yet again to a new challenge – your actions were vital to our success at the bargaining table and we will need all hands on deck when we head back to the table in July to hammer out a fair settlement on compensation.