“UNLOCKING” THE LABOR CONTRACTS AND OTHER FUN THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT LABOR RELATIONS A TRAINING PRESENTATION BY THE LABOR RELATIONS DEPARTMENT Van V. Ludy, Director Vicki Evans-Pare, Manager FUNCTIONS OF THE LABOR RELATIONS DEPARTMENT: * Effective representation at hearings for all grievances filed at the District level * Grievance Mediation Services * Arbitration Representation/Coordination * Negotiations of all Collective Bargaining Agreements (i.e. CTA, SEIU-FPSU, AESOP and PBA) GOALS OF THE LABOR RELATIONS DEPT: * Maintain and improve relationships with all employee groups and Unions * Create and update an archive file of all labor contracts and District level grievances, including Arbitrations * Assist management with the understanding and interpretation of all labor contracts to reduce the number of grievances filed. The collective bargaining process for public employees and their public employers is governed by Florida State Statutes Chapter 447. Florida’s law gives public employee organizations (unions) the right to organize and represent designated public employee groups (bargaining unit members) in negotiating labor contracts that set forth the wages, hours and terms and conditions of their bargaining unit members’ employment. Today’s training will not go into the legal aspects of the collective bargaining process except to note that it is regulated by Florida Statute and a special State Commission entitled the “Public Employees Relations Commission” (PERC) empowered to oversee the implementation of the law and to rule on representation disputes/issues and “Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charges. A few general rules strongly recommended by Labor Relations: 1. If in doubt, always call Labor Relations: (561) 357-7696 or PX 47696 2. Before responding to a Grievance always count the number of days between the event and the date the grievance was filed. If the employee or Union waited too long to file the grievance, simply deny the grievance as untimely filed. continued… 3. If you receive a TDE request from Labor Relations to release a teacher(s), please approve it as we will have already reviewed the legitimacy of the request and Labor Relations will pay for the substitute. Do not approve TDE requests to release teachers for District or CTA business that may come directly from CTA. CTA has been known to try to make an “end-run” around Labor Relations when requesting TDEs for teachers. All Contracts are on the District’s web-site under “Departments” and then under “Labor Relations” www.palmbeachschools.org/laborrelations/ The following provisions in the CTA Contract have caused some confusion in the past. They are mentioned here with a few clarifying remarks to assist you if you are confronted with these issues. Due to time constraints, we are limited to reviewing only a small number of issues that arise from time to time. Clarifying some issues in the CTA Contract: 1.What is the definition of a “day”? Unless otherwise specified in the Agreement, a “day” shall mean a teacher work day. 2. What is a Management Right? Unless it is a subject covered by the Agreement, the decision of what to do is a Management Right. Example, while the Agreement says the Contract Day can be no longer than 7.5 hours, the Contract is silent on when the Contract Day is to start. Deciding that the Contract Day begins at 7:00 and ends 7.5 hours later is a Management Right. 3. How many faculty meetings can be scheduled during a month? In addition to the regular workday and during the months September thru May, two (2) faculty meetings per month can be scheduled by the Principal. Teachers may not be required to remain longer than 90 minutes per month with no single meeting lasting longer than 60 minutes. In addition, faculty meetings of up to 55 minutes may be scheduled during any day designated on the School Calendar as a “Teacher Work Day” or an “In-Service Day”. 4. When can weekly Lesson Plans be required to be turned-in? No earlier than the morning of the first student day of each week. 5. May an administrator require a pending new teacher to begin work before he/she has been cleared for hire by the Human Resources Division? No, the Agreement prohibits a pending new hire to start work before he/she has been cleared for employment by the District’s Human Resources Division, and this includes attendance at New Employee Orientation (NEO). 6. Legally, must a reason be given to an annual contract teacher whose contract has been non-renewed? No, State Statute specifically states that the holder of an annul contract may have his/her annual contract non-renewed without cause. See Appendix T (pages 193-194) of the CTA Contract. 7. What is a “floating employee” and what are the implications of having one? A “floating employee” is one who does not have an exclusively assigned classroom. Such employees are to be provided with a desk, file cabinet, and suitable storage space. 8. When can teachers tutor their own students? Only when the tutorial program is a part of the school’s or District’s tutorial program conducted during or after the student’s school day. A teacher is ethically and contractually barred from tutoring his/her own students for compensation except as provided above. 9. What does the Agreement require when it comes to Lesson Plans? At this time, lesson plans need only include four (4) components: 1. Benchmarks, objectives, outcomes or targets 2. Strategies (one or two word descriptors) 3. Date(s) instruction given 4. Date/type of evaluation With the new Marzano evaluation process, teachers should not find it difficult to be rated in the higher evaluation levels if they follow these four (4) components. The observer should be able to determine if there has been adequate planning, not by looking at the teacher’s lesson plans. but by conferencing with the teacher about the lesson just observed. A trained observer should be able to ascertain whether or not the lesson observed was the result of thorough planning regardless of what is written in the teacher’s lesson plan. You can always suggest or encourage more detailed written lesson plans, but you cannot require a teacher to go beyond the four (4) components contained in the Agreement with CTA. 10. May the CTA use teacher provided mail boxes at schools to distribute its materials and what about using the District’s e-mail system? The Agreement allows CTA to distribute its materials to teachers by stuffing teacher mail boxes and no, Principals cannot decide what can and what cannot be distributed. However, the Agreement is silent on the use of the District’s e-mail system. Therefore, Management Rights comes into play as does School Board Policy. There is a general prohibition in Board Policy against using the District’s e-mail system for the benefit of a not-for-profit organization such as CTA. What About Developing Good Labor Relations At My School? Employees selected to serve as Union or Association representatives at your school can be a great asset to you if you are able to develop a good professional working relationship with them. If you show them you care about the staff and are willing to listen and to the concerns they may bring to you, most of them will meet you half-way in resolving real or perceived problems at your school. What About the Union/Association Staff ? They are people, too. While always making sure they follow the provisions in the contract concerning coming on your campus, they should be treated in a friendly, but professional manner. While they are not always right, neither are they always wrong. If you are able to work out a solution to a problem at your school, all the better for you. The Staff of the Labor Relations Department is here to assist you in your role as a School Principal, Assistant Principal or Administrator. Call us with any contract or labor relations issue. There are no dumb questions!