Representative Council Minutes Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Memorial Middle School Library 3:30-5:30
Secretary’s Report: Thank you note was read from Cindy Clark for the gift from the FEA (for her extended illness).
Reminder – FEA has gone paperless and minutes/agendas will now be sent electronically. Register for Icontact communications at http://links.massteacher.org/fea
Minutes from last meeting were accepted as read.
Treasurer’s Report: Katie reported that she is waiting for new checks for our account with the Fitchburg Credit Union’s merger to Webster First.
Starting next month, she will send out tax forms for Rep. Council members.
Katie has gotten a list of employees from Central Office, which had an additional 20 new members on it that we had not previously known about.
P.R. & R.
FHS was offered the MSSI grant- they will need to respond about accepting it by the end of March. Moneys from this grant would be used for supplies and stipends associated with AP courses. FEA and MTA have been trying to work out a way to negotiate this change with our upcoming teacher contract and negotiations. The FEA will create a survey to send to all staff to find out what the entire union’s feelings are on this AP Grant.
Teachers are reminded to get administrative permission before leaving the building during teaching hours. The protocol is that during teaching hours, teachers need to make contact with and get permission from their supervising administrator before leaving the building. For teachers that might have a last period prep- the same protocol is expected.
Paras won a grievance for the pay for the first day of school. They were only paid for 4 hours pay. They will now be paid for 6 hours of pay and should see this differential in the 2/18/2012 paycheck.
Also won a grievance for a Para that was denied personal time.
Attendance- Beth has been contacted by a Sentinel reporter looking for information for a feature story on teacher attendance. Both Beth and Andre reported that there was no story on this issue for Fitchburg, that the real story should be student achievement. When you look at 3 years of data- there are a number of teachers that have not taken any time off.
RTTT Project 1A Teacher Evaluations- there is still one opening for FEA representation. The first training is on March 1.
Project 4A & B Your Plan for College- is being reposted to include ESP Para staff as well as teachers.
Project 2- will be opening up positions for ESP paras as well.
Mapping the Buildings- Thank you to all of the new people that have stepped up to take on a role with this process. Steve and Pauline Contois will be holding a meeting soon to work with new point people throughout the district to show what it is like to map a building.
FCLA training (March 16 &17) has been postponed – we had 8 people ready to participate. This has been rescheduled for May.
Negotiations update- looking at Interest Based Bargaining – there is a one day training ($1200) for all school department units and school committee.
School Committee Calendar – has gone to officers and administration for review. It was on the last school committee agenda but pulled from a vote. Superintendent has it on hold at this time.
ESP Para Unit Report:
Will be sending out info about making sure all Paras are registered for iContact.
There are 12 paras signed up for MTA conference in March. It is hoped that those that attend will bring back the information learned to share with others in the FEA. A motion was made that the FEA pay for entire registration fee of those attending but moving forward the registration process will be fined tuned. This motion was seconded and unanimously approved.
Para officers continue to meet with the Special Ed director on a regular basis, please continue to contact Patti and Kathy with issues.
They hope to have a one-year contract agreement soon.
Custodial Unit Report: Dick reported their overtime hours have been cut.
PEC update –PEC has met nine times since November 21st for some intense bargaining sessions with the Mayor. They have reached a verbal agreement (on 2/15/2012). The PEC worked very hard to 1) retain the right to negotiate our health benefits, 2) maintain a variety of quality health insurance options and 3) keep affordable premiums and co-payments. This new contract will need to be ratified by each of the 17 city unions. Watch for a very important ratification meeting notice within the next few weeks.
NEA Conference- Beth, Sue and Steve did attend on Feb 10. Sue attended some excellent workshops. One was about “Action Teams”- support teams with other unions which resulted in powerful outcomes.
Duties- We do not have any language in our contract about equitable duties. Beth asked the Council how she should continue moving forward with this issue. The council has recommended that Beth bring this issue up again with Administration as an immediate issue that we are concerned about.
Eric Taylor has had to resign from the MTA LPAT position. Beth has the posting- there is a $5000 MTA stipend for this position- contact Beth if you are interested.
Beth called City Hall to see if we would be missing a paycheck this year because of the way payroll falls on the 2012 calendar. She was told that a ruling was made many years ago that if this is to ever happen it would have to be negotiated. Beth has written to Mr. Jokela inquiring about this. He is not sure if this will happen in the next three years but will check it out. Be assured that this is NOT a year that we will be missing a paycheck in late August.
Heather Root, former election chairperson, reminded everyone that at the next meeting in March- she will be looking for building representatives to organize the FEA elections. She can not be chairperson of this committee this year. We are looking for an FEA member to take over this role and coordinate elections in each building this year. Heather has everything needed to coordinate this event and will gladly support anyone that takes this over.
Relay for Life- The FEA has received a thank you letter from the Greater Gardner Relay for our participation in last year’s relay. The Fitchburg Education Association raised $3035.48 in 2011 and $910.00 in 2010. This year’s relay will be held on June 8th and 9th. We currently do not have a Relay for Life team captain. If you are willing to take on this role- please contact Beth.
Bridget Maillet- is a former FPS student who recently became ill in Florida and needed to be transported home. Her family is holding a fundraiser to help with the cost of this transportation. Please see the attachment for details about this event.
Meeting adjourned at 5:47 pm.
President– Beth Kaake:
Sue Flynn: firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Celona: email@example.com
Adam Cordio: firstname.lastname@example.org
Treasurer– Katie Schmitt:
Membership– Donna Malouin:
Corresponding Secretary- Kim Bellio:
Dick Tellier; email@example.com
Patty Durkee: PBosswell@yahoo.com