Representative Council Minutes Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Memorial Middle School Library 3:30-5:30
Reminder- to keep up to date on FEA communications- please check the FEA website at http://fitchburg.massteacher.org/ and be sure to be on iContact.
Please contact Kim if you are not getting minutes/ agendas/ notices
Motion to accept March’s minutes as written passed
Completion of Tax Forms for Rep Council Members- please return forms from last meeting and bring a copy of social security card or passport
Finance Committee update- still in the planning stage
P.R. & R.:
Adam is working on one custodial issue regarding head custodians, their roles and the process of requesting vacation time
AP Grant vote passed as well as the MOA for the increase in voluntary PD work stipend to $30 per hour.
Adam, Beth and High School principal have a meeting with MMSI about some contract language clarification on April 13.
Interest Based Bargaining/Negotiation will begin on May 2 and May 3- at Fitchburg Federal Credit Union. They will be meeting each day from 8-3PM. This team has meet 3 or 4 times, gone through our current contract language to revise. They have looked at 7 issues to focus on. They have also reviewed contracts from Gardner, North Middlesex, Monty Tech, Ashburnham-Westminster, Leominster, Lunenburg and Malden to compare and to look at duty language, sick days, personal time and money.
The Interest Based Bargaining team members are Chris Woods, Sarah DiPilato-Lamey, Sean Walker, Betty Syvari, Deb Jeffries, and Beth Kaake; they are being supported by working committee members Beth Solomito, and Doug Romano. The representatives for Administration are Mayor Wong, Rick Zeena, Bob Jokela, and Craig Chalifoux. School Committee representatives are Pete Stephens and Sally Craigin.
MTA General Meeting is being held on Friday, May 11 and Saturday, May 12 in the Hynes Auditorium (Boston). If you are interested in attending please let Beth know immediately.
Innovation Grant –the final submission document is done. Next, there will be two public hearing dates with School Committee, followed by a vote in June. The School Committee votes to create and then the contract language is bargained with the FEA.
Extended Learning Time (ELT) is being investigated at Elementary level in two schools, Reingold and South Street. Reingold has since voted to put further investigation on hold for now. There was a power point presentation at the last School Committee meeting. Both principals have expressed interest which is still at the informal level right now. It is expected that this investigation and application process will move quickly because DESE funding is available for September 2012. The guidelines seem to be more flexible than in the past as these schools will have the opportunity to choose how to expand their learning time to add the additional 300 hours. Eventually the school must have 80% vote of support by the staff to move forward. If a teacher is working in a school that does receive the ETL grant but does not/ cannot work the extended hours the only option is to request a transfer. Our current transfer date will need to be extended past April 1, 2012.
Mass Tells Survey- The live update shows our district’s response numbers are still low; we must have 50% or greater participation in a building for the survey to count. This is part of RTTT Project 2 B1: Climate, Conditions and Culture. This group will look at the Mass Tells survey results and recommend district changes. RTTT will fund stipends for those working on Project 2B. There are still 4 positions available at a stipend of $625. Please send Rick Zeena (HR) a letter of application if interested. SJP Posting # 1112-137 Union Leadership Team Member.
Seniority Lists are ready for each building- members need to check them and initial that they have been seen and then return them to Beth at the next Rep Council meeting on May 16. If there is a problem with the list, the individual must contact HR with any corrections- the FEA cannot help with this. The list is missing the years of service, so it is recommended that individuals write to HR to find out the years of service they currently have.
ESP Para Unit Report:
A group from Fitchburg attended the ESP conference. Kathy T. reported that she went to a workshop about True Colors and one about representing members that was very informative.
Custodial Unit Report:
Dick reported that the Custodial unit is still waiting to hear about Interest Based Bargaining for their unit.
One issue was solved regarding a new hire’s number of vacation days (this was a transfer from another school department).
The PEC contract was officially signed on Monday, April 9 by Mayor Wong and union representatives. Members should be watching for the announcement of a Benefits Informational Meeting on Thursday, April 26 from 2-5 PM at City Hall. Sue DeNuzzio from payroll will stay until 6 PM that afternoon to answer questions staff may have about insurance plans. Any changes in insurance plans must be made in early May. New plans and rates will begin on July 1, 2012.
Annual Elections- Mary Hurley will contact building communication people. Nomination forms will be sent out to each school right after Spring Vacation. Nomination forms must be returned to her by the next meeting, May 16. All officer positions are up for reelection- this is a great time for you to get involved in the Association. FEA Officer and Executive Board Elections will take place in individual buildings on Tuesday, June 5.
RTTT Teacher Evaluation Project 1A – A team of FEA representatives and administrators has been meeting regarding the new Massachusetts Educator Evaluation System. The DESE recommends three options: Adopt, Adapt, or Revise the DESE model. This group has decided to adapt the DESE model. Teachers are advised to go to the DESE website to view this plan. (http://www.doe.mass.edu/edeval/) This will be a very different procedure for evaluation for all of us.
MTA is holding grievance training on Saturday April 28 from 9-3 PM.Please contact the MTA Regional Office at 508-791-2121 if you are interested in applying.
There will be a Teacher Appreciation Social on May 4 held at Slattery’s Back Room after school. Look for flyers in your building.
Next Rep Council meeting will be on Wednesday, May 16 at 3:30 PM in the Memorial Library.
The FEA Annual Meeting will be on Wednesday, June 6.
Meeting adjourned at 5:08.