Representative Council Minutes Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Memorial Middle School Library 3:30-5:30
Reminder- to keep up to date on FEA communications- check the FEA website at http://fitchburg.massteacher.org/
You can view our latest meeting minutes and find information on “Hot Topics” such as our Health Insurance Plan information on the FEA website.
A request was received from FHS principal to send two FEA faculty members to the Scholars Banquet.
Finance Committee – time to work on next year’s budget. There is also a great need to revise the FEA Bylaws to meet the changes we have experienced over the past few years. Katie is willing to chair this committee (Bylaw-Finance Committee) but is looking for members to assist with this endeavor. If you are interested, please contact her.
Donna continues to send out membership packets to new members. It is imperative to let Donna or Katie know about new hires right away.
P.R. & R.:
Adam shared one issue at high school on “recovery credit” (a student takes a class, misses class due to absences and does not get the credit for the class). Now as part of the 21st Century afterschool program at FHS, they can log into an online program that allows them to recover credits missed by making up the time on line.
Interest Based Bargaining – School committee has decided to move forward with Unit A (Teachers) using IBB. Custodial and Para Units will request to follow this same style of bargaining. The original group of eleven that were trained will continue to meet and get this process rolling until a bargaining team can be selected and put into place.
ESP Para Unit Report:
Kathy reported that Paras are still waiting for the remainder of their pay for the first day of school. This was supposed to have happened in February. A letter has been sent to HR but no response yet.
Custodial Unit Report:
Dick reported that the Custodians have requested to take part in IBB.
There have been 4 new custodians hired.
All FEA units voted to accept the changes to our current PEC Health Insurance contract on March 7. All new changes and co-payments will be in effect on July 1. Members need to be on the “look out” for more information to come from City Hall payroll regarding Informational Sessions and the open enrollment period in May.
Still have not received seniority lists from HR. Beth has requested. It has not been received yet.
Annual Elections- Heather is still looking for an election chairperson. Mary Hurley volunteered to help coordinate this for the association. Nomination papers will be sent out at the next Rep Council meeting on
Steve and Pauline are putting together a scholarship raffle- a “Schools Out” raffle; this raffle will have a cash prize each day in the month of June. They are looking for assistance with this committee.
Relay for Life- since we have no one willing to take on the role of team captain, we will not have an FEA team participating this year.
There was an interesting discussion about the number of absences needed to fail a class. There is a policy at the high school but not in the middle school.
A motion was made and approved to fund the request for two high school teachers (must be FEA members) to attend the FHS Senior Scholars Banquet.
There are two elementary schools exploring the possibility of looking into an extended learning time grant. At this time, this is just exploratory and not binding.
Regular Meeting adjourned at 4:51 PM
General Meeting for AP Grant
Memorial Middle School Library
March 21, 2012 4:30 PM
We have two issues to vote on:
One Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the MMSI AP Grant
One MOA for the voluntary PD rate for all Unit A to increase to $30 per hour
Background- FPS has been offered to participate in a MMSI AP grant (Massachusetts Math Science Initiative)
The participation/# of responses gathered from the survey monkey was not substantial enough to interpret or give direction.
The language in the MOA is available for viewing on the FEA website. It was written so the funds generated from this grant may be accessed by all staff members through an application process.
The grant would generate about $300,000 over the next three years.
FHS Staff have heard from college admission advisors that AP courses meet national standards and carry more weight for our students than typical “college level” courses. It is also vital to keep our district competitive with a rigorous curriculum. This grant allows that opportunity. According to our bylaws, one of the FEA’s objectives is to work for the welfare of school children, the advancement of education, and the improvement of instructional opportunities for all. This grant allows that opportunity.
A motion was made to accept as written the MMSI AP Grant.
The vote will be held on Thursday, March 22 at FHS from 2-6PM.
The second MOA is needed to set the PD rate at $30 on all voluntary Professional Develop hours outside of school hours.
Our contract currently says $15; however some PD opportunities are paid $20. Research was done with other districts in our area and saw a range from $25-$35. The $30 rate seems appropriate.
A second motion was made to accept the MOA between Unit A and Fitchburg School Committee regarding the voluntary Professional Development rate to increase from $15 to $30 per hour. The vote will be held for the membership on Thursday, March 22 as well.
Post Script: The ballot vote that was held at FHS on Thursday, March 22, 2012 approved the motion to accept the MOA for the MMSI AP grant. The motion to accept the MOA between Unit A (teachers) and the Fitchburg School Committee regarding the voluntary PD rate to increase to $30 per hour also passed.