Quolke's Corner 8/10/11

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Since I put out Quolke’s Corner #100 (Recall of New Tech Teachers) and Quolke’s Corner #102 (Contracts Approved) there have been a few updates.
Contracts were mailed to teachers on Friday, August 5. You should have received your contract via U.S. mail. The salary should reflect what is on the pay scale for 2008. A 2009 pay scale is in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, but getting that raise was based on state funding. We did not get that raise, so the current salary schedule is the July 1, 2008 for teachers, paraprofessionals, miscellaneous rates of pay, etc. If you did not receive your contract, please call Human Resources at (216) 348-4564. If you have a limited contract or a first time continuing contract, make sure that you sign and return the proper copy within 15 days of the issuance date.
Last Wednesday (August 3) the CTU and CMSD were scheduled to go to an expedited arbitration hearing to resolve the issue of the recalled New Tech teachers. The District decided not to proceed to arbitration and have rescinded the recall of the 4 teachers. While it is good that we did not have to go to arbitration, it is sad what has happened to these members. They are our brothers and sisters who did not choose to be on this rollercoaster.
Which brings me to the update that most people are very concerned about – when/are there going to be recalls? One year ago today the District began recalls for the 2010-2011 school year. Those recalls of more than 400 teachers and paraprofessionals came after a July contract settlement, with $17 million in concessions, and staffing redone so that schools were staffed at 20/25/25 (20:1 in K-3, and 25:1 in grades 4-8 and 9-12). Now here we sit a year later with schools staffed at 20/40/40, over 300 open positions on the current Open Position List, and a District with a $23 million surplus.
That list shows that there are several schools with more than 10 open positions. Teachers are nervous, principals are nervous, and school starts in 15 days. Teachers and paraprofessionals report in 13 days (10 if you are going to the Voluntary Professional Day). The CBA states:
Article 19 Section 2 C: “When a vacancy occurs in a teaching area, it shall be filled by the most senior employee with continuing contract status on that recall list, and if there are no employees with continuing contract status, then by the most senior employee with limited contract status.”
Once again, many rumors are beginning to surface, some more credible than others but I do want to address one of the more consistent rumors. Beginning last week, I have received a number of calls from laid off teachers indicating their principals are telling them to sign up to be a sub and the district will place you in your old positions. Pay you as a sub but place you at your former school. Remember, day to day substitutes by definition are filling a position for a full time teacher who has called in sick, is on leave, etc. Long term substitutes are in open positions that the district cannot find licensed teachers for those positions. We have more than 600 members on a recall list that can fill most of these open positions. If the district attempts fill the open positions with substitutes that would violate our CBA and will be grieved. However, I am hopeful that a better solution will be reached prior to August 19 (the first day members can report to school).
I will keep you updated.
In Union,