Here are some examples of current working conditions and pay issues members are helping to address
- AP lab teachers organize for stipends they are due. A whole crew of teachers got together and called on the previous superintendent to meet with them and understand their interpretation of the contract, which the union helped them clarify. He agreed and they got more stipend pay, establishing a new practice. Now, Mr. Lummis and the School Committee think they can just undo that agreement. If that stipend money doesn’t come through, we’re on the way to the Department of Labor Relations, charging the district with bargaining in bad faith!
- Collaboration time, prep time, school day length, and travel time should be respected! Members from around the district noticed that some of the organizers of PD release days seemed to think there is no collective bargaining agreement on those days! The members stood up for themselves and they let the facilitators and the grievance team know. Now we are working toward an agreement that protects time that educators need for things other than PD content. PD content is only as valuable as the respect it shows for the participants who struggled long and hard to get a manageable workday contractually protected.
- Release Time for writing recommendations . High school educators get release time (writing days) so middle school teachers stepped up and got union support to convince the previous superintendent to release them from meetings, along with clarification for parents and guardians, on the voluntary nature of writing them and notice that administrators might also volunteer. A lot of energy and time went into this process, so it is disrespectful of that effort for the district to act like it can, at will, ignore or reject the new practice that was established. Now the BEU is organizing to return to what was agreed to.
If the central administration doesn’t like a practice that was agreed to and established through a mutually respectful process, they can meet us at the bargaining table with a proposal to change it.