Tuesday, August 30, 2011

THIS is why teachers need effective unions

I just copied and pasted this from defendwisconsin.org. It's a letter sent to the staff of the New Berlin district. Would YOU teach under these conditions? Would you want YOUR children being taught by people working under these conditions?

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Dear Staff-

Elections have consequences. The changes forced on us by Walker’s new laws appear to be but the tip of the iceberg. Below, I have outlined what the NBEA was told is contained in draft version of a new handbook meant to replace our legally binding contract. It was shared on a Smartboard with school leadership teams. This was not a collaborative effort, but presented as a completed draft. Leadership teams asked for clarification on items and were told there may be changes.

Please plan on attending the August 29′h School Board Meeting at New Berlin West meeting at 6:30 to impress upon the board the need for moderation and to ask they work with the union on this handbook. It is only through our solidarity that we can let the Board know we object to the punitive terms listed below. You do not need to speak unless you desire to do so; the NBEA will be speaking on your behalf. Do not let the BOE pass this quickly one day prior to the first day of school. We are asking that all teachers (and supportive family and friends) attend and be present at 6:30 PM in the parking lot west of the New Berlin West library to walk in together. Please wear Red. We will leave directly after the speakers are done and the regular meeting begins (approximately 7:30 PM). For those who plan on speaking, please email me- themes and issues you would like to raise.

More Time; Less Pay:

Workdays for elementary will increase by 60 minutes and Secondary by 30 minutes
Staff must be available to students before and after student schedules for at least 30 minutes per day
You can be required to work an additional unpaid 15 hours; no more than 3 hours a week
No set pay for overtime; only stipends
No pay for subbing during your preps; Principals can assign you to sub
Certified staff hours are 1520 per year full time (190 days for this year only)
The 2012-13 school year starts on August 15′h and runs until June 15′h
You may be required to start as early as 6:15 AM and end as late as 5:00 PM
No pay for any attendance at IEPs prior to 5:00 PM
You may be required to attend inservice or other training, outside your regular work schedule
Next year, if we do not change the political landscape, pay will be based on performance; pay is insured this year because of the NBEA agreement.
This Year, Elementary Will Be Working An Additional 205 Hours Without Additional Pay; Secondary An Additional 95 Hours Without Additional Pay; Next Year, Add 80 More Hours To That Total, Since We Will Be Starting August 15th And Ending June 15th

Insurance:

Full details not be revealed until September 8th; changes occur October 1
Possible 80/20 plan and we pay additional premium if the cost of insurance rises
$4,000 deductible with a $10 generic/ $50 brand drug cost
The deductible can be reduced by $3,000 if employee and spouse fully participate in the Wellness Program
Full participation in wellness program: health risk assessment, including biometrics, refrain from use of illegal drugs, participate in program to reduce risk factors, coaching, diet, behavior, follow up medical care, smoking cessation. 1st year: participate, 2nd year: have to take classes to reduce risk factors.
False reporting, such as claiming you do not smoke when you do, can result in dismissal.
Other details, such as increased co-pays TBD

Retirement:

$15,000 payout and age 55 retirement has been eliminated
Retire by 2016 at age 57 with 20 years at New Berlin, receive insurance until age 65
Retire by 2021 at 57 with 20 years, receive 3 years of insurance
Retire after 2021 no benefit packages given.
5.8% of your salary will be deducted for state retirement benefits (pension system)

The Ridiculous, Punitive New Rules:


You are not allowed to drop any licensure without the superintendent’s approval
Dress Code: Skirts below knee, no sweatshirts, no jeans, no large logos, no open shirts, etc.
Be dismissed for having students as friends on Facebook
Grievance: only in termination, discipline or alleged workplace safety issues; you cannot grieve non discipline issues are the items listed under non discipline items such as suspension, letters in file, plans of improvement, etc.
Jury Duty: regular pay, but you must show documentation to the district that you’ve tried to change the jury duty time to July and August
School calendar same, teacher convention will be professional development for this year only since it is part of the NBEA working agreement for this year.
Evaluations: Done yearly without notice
Collaborative time twice weekly for 2 hours a week.
You must report all traffic incidents (except speeding) or any tickets you have received to the District within 3 days or face dismissal even if it occurs during your time off
Take away all microwaves, refrigerators, and coffeemakers, even though each administrator and the District have these items.

Sick Days or Leave:

4 initial days and earn l!I day per month based on good attendance
However those who have accumulated over 45 days will not be awarded any days until they have used enough days to fall below the 45 day cap.
Long term disability reduced from 90% of pay to 60% of pay. If ill or have had surgery and do not have any sick time built up, you will be short pay. You will also have to pay your insurance premium during any disability leave.
No days will be added to sick bank, which will be discontinued after this year, erasing any safety net for those who become critically ill.

Want to Leave? Well, they are not letting us go without penalties:

Resign before first day of school, you must pay $200 plus board contributions of benefits (insurance).
Resigns after the first day school, $2000 plus benefits payments if not 60 days notice given
Compensation: -5taff will be issued a contract for pay not less than the amount of their pay in the year before the effective date of this handbook. Please report any effort to ask you to sign any additional “individual teaching contracts” unless they are co-curricular.

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