Quolke's Corner 07/13/09

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QUOLKE’S CORNER #35 

SSP/CLASS SIZE OVERAGES/VOLUNTARY TRANSFERS

It looks as though the Governor and the state legislature have come to an agreement on the state of Ohio budget. We will work with the OFT and review the total dollars coming to Cleveland in the very near future and I will do an in depth Update in the near future.  While the funding is not perfect, given the economy of Ohio, this is good for the District; however it still leaves CMSD with a projected deficit. The fact that the legislature passed the budget does not guarantee our raise and we are in negotiations.   We have been served notice that the District does not have the funds to support a raise we will be going into negotiations.  Additionally, Chief Academic Officer, Eric Gordon’s idea of the Service Separation Plan (SSP) to help plug the deficit with stimulus money while providing enhanced tutoring for our students and focused professional development did not get the response that the District and (quite frankly) the CTU were hoping for.

After day one when members could sign up to be a part of the SSP and only 18 people signed up to be a part of the SSP, I knew the plan was in trouble.  The target was 195 people.  That week I had a meeting with all of the Vice Presidents and Directors of the CTU, together we had several ideas that would make the SSP more attractive to our members.  Some of our ideas would require more funding (use of stimulus money), some ideas had no cost at all.   I spoke to the District on two separate occasions sharing some of these thoughts and requesting that we put our teams back together to discuss some of these ideas.   The effective use of stimulus funding is critical, we will continue to monitor stimulus dollars and hope that we will be able to come back to the table again and collaborate again as a CTU and CMSD team to make something work for the benefit of our members and our students.

As written in our Collective Bargaining Agreement, overage checks are to be mailed no later than July 15.  If you are anticipating an overage check it will likely be mailed on Wednesday.  If you do not receive it by Friday, I would recommend that you call payroll.  If there are any problems with your check, please contact the CTU at 861-7676.

Many teachers are taking advantage of the Voluntary Transfer process.  Some schools are conducting interviews now; some schools are waiting until the Voluntary Transfer Fair.  If you are interested in a position that is on the Open Position List, send an Interest to Interview Form to the principal.  I recommend that this be done through email.  An Interest to Interview Form was emailed to each all teachers in June via CMSD email and is also available on the CTU website.  The Voluntary Transfer Fair is still tentatively set for Tuesday, August 4 and Necessary Transfers are tentatively set for Thursday, August 13.

Finally, the CTU will be moving into a new headquarters this winter.   With the expiration of our lease in November of 2009 we began a process last summer that resulted in a new space for the CTU.  We will tentatively be moving into the Halle Building effective December 1, 2009.  I want to thank CTU Trustee, Cheryl Neylon for coordinating this process and Member-at-Large, Jim Wagner; Office Manager, Ed Wegrzynowski; and Executive Assistant, Regina Steffen for working out the details of this long and difficult process.

In Union,

David