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It is hard to believe that October is already here and we are winding down to the end of the first marking period.  I’ve been out to over 20 schools so far and it is amazing to see the difference a year can make.  

Last year at this time in CMSD, students in K-8 had a school day shortened by 50 minutes, hundreds of teachers were on a lay-off list, class sizes were in the forties, and we had just overwhelmingly rejected another concession-laden proposal from the CMSD as the district tried to balance a $50 million deficit on the backs of CTU.  Yet every weekday and every weekend hundreds of CTU members manned phone banks and did labor walks to support Issue 107 - the Cleveland School levy.  Those efforts were rewarded when Cleveland residents stood behind our schools and passed Issue 107. 

This year started with over 100 open positions, not with teachers on a recall list.   New teachers, related service providers and paraprofessionals are being hired; school personnel selection committees are conducting interviews for their openings; the Ohio Department of Education granted a waiver to Cleveland around the Academic Distress Commission; and we have a three year agreement...with NO re-openers.

Not everything has been smooth sailing.  The Investment Schools still need much more support and work.  The Ohio General Assembly turned their back on Cleveland once again in the budget (we were the only Ohio 8 district that did not see an increase in state funding), the General Assembly also ignored the CTU proposal to fund the Cleveland Plan (a proposal that would have put funds in classrooms, expanded preschool, increased technology, provided summer enrichment activities for kids, etc.) and yes all the layoffs, budget cuts and funding cuts from the state over the past 4 years played a large factor in CMSD receiving a F in the new A-F report card.

With that said, there are many aspects of the new collective bargaining agreement that are being implemented this fall.  Here are some of the major implementation pieces we all need to be aware of:

·       HARD AUDIT – Per the CBA (actually this is not new language, but is happening this fall so I am including it in this update) the district has a right to do an audit of dependents (spouse and/or children) for anyone that is enrolled in a CMSD family health insurance plan.  This is called the Health Care Dependent Eligibility Audit.  All members with family coverage were sent information on the two-step audit process.  The first step requires members to complete an audit on a secure website between September 25 and October 25.  The second step requires members to submit official documents such as birth/marriage certificates, adoption agreements, etc.) to verify the online audit.  That must be completed by November 25.  Members that prefer may also call a toll free number to complete the audit in step one.  If you missed the information that was mailed to your home (I almost did) or need it again, please go to the CTU website to see Dependent Eligibility Audit (hard audit) Information or you can email Michael Kulcsar at mkulcsar@ctu279.org and he will email you the information.

·       NEW MEDICAL INSURANCE PREMIUMS –New Healthcare premiums go into effect on October 1.  The CBA calls for employees to pay 10% of the monthly premium up to a cap of $170.  For this year those rates are:




Family+ Covered Spouse









Medical Mutual





·       200 MINUTES – I hope that you saw the joint letter from Eric and me that was sent to all members and principals attempting to clarify the implementation of the 200 minutes.  The purpose of the 200 minutes is to give professionals time to complete various professional activities.  We know that our educators do more than what one just sees in the classroom.  People plan, grade, meet with parents, write IEPs, conduct SST meetings, meet with colleagues to plan and share ideas, review data, attend professional development, etc.  The 200 minutes is time to incorporate these professional activities.  This is not 200 minutes of professional development each week.  The negotiations team thought that each school would have different needs during that time, which is why each school’s Academic Progress Team (which includes the Principal and the Chair) is to work together to create the monthly calendar of what will happen during the 200 minutes.  Each school’s Academic Progress Team designs the calendar together and incorporates these various professional activities based on feedback from the staff.  Remember 50 minutes of the 200 minutes is teacher choice and at least 40 minutes of the 200 minutes is collaborative time (team meetings, vertical team meetings, etc.).  The balance of the time needs to be set in the calendar that is designed by the APT.

·       CLASS SIZE OVERAGES – With changes to the way that overages are calculated for high school and ESP teachers, new forms were created and sent to the schools on Wednesday.  Overage forms are due on October 11.  High school and ESP are no longer calculated based on the total number of students per day.  Calculations are based on the number of students a teacher sees per class period.

These are a few of the changes that are time sensitive.  Throughout this year, we will be updating you on other aspects of the new CBA and what to expect. 

In Union,