Member Update 8-29-21
I hope you found some solace over the weekend. The school start was not the one we envisioned. The workload accompanied by the heat has only made it more challenging as we get ready to start week three. Nonetheless, I am grateful for you, our members, and your dedication to your students and your compassion for each other.
Some good news for our 4/5 grade educators who have had to deal with the elimination of elementary PE as it impacted their planning time. I met with our colleagues, our music teachers, and the District to see if we could do more to help each other. As a result of our music teachers’ willingness to help, the District has agreed to the 4 times a month that 4/5 grade teachers can use that music time for planning. In addition, the music teachers have agreed to give a participation grade to the teachers so that teachers can factor that into the art and dance grade. This is what a strong union looks like. Members helping members. Another example of this that comes to mind came from an elementary site. One of the BTA Reps got 5 upper grade teachers to cover the K classes for 5 minutes so the teachers could be COVID 19 tested during class time. The K teachers said, “We are thankful for our BTA brothers and sisters. Stand Strong!” I hope you will share with us any other example of members helping members.
In talking to the District, BTA also relayed the concerns and challenges of elementary independent learning grading and the lack of PE curriculum. They are looking at ways to streamline the grading process because they know it has been onerous. They said they intended to send out some clarification on grading in an email on Monday, 8-30-21. We are trying to address the issues that arise as soon as we can, but time is always a factor in looking for solutions.
Class size is something that has had an impact on many. In particular, some secondary classes are running in the upper 30s and even a few 40s. With the new cases of COVID 19 being reported, space and proximity in the classrooms is a major concern. Secondary sites will be sending out class size surveys the week of August 30th. It is important that you fill out the Google form coming to you. Please contact your BTA Director if you have questions. Finally, we know there are other issues regarding SPED that are also being worked on.
A bargaining survey is being worked on to send out to our members. Wages and Health and Welfare Benefits are always opened. Then the District and BTA each can open 2 articles. We have scheduled the first negotiations’ date for October 29, 2021. Please be aware of what is going to the BOE every 2 weeks. We are sent the agenda in school email. Anything that is a money item impacts us. This year with the COLA being the highest it has been in years, 5.07%, is our best chance at getting a better raise. We will keep you updated and so will your Reps. Their next Rep. meeting is the Fall Leadership meeting on Sept. 29th from 3:30-6:30 PM.
Please take care of yourself and each other.