unlocking - the School District of Palm Beach County

Van V. Ludy, Director
Vicki Evans-Pare, Manager
* 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,
* 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
(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.
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
All Contracts are on the District’s
web-site under “Departments” and
then under “Labor Relations”
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
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
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
Call us with any contract or labor
relations issue.
There are no dumb questions!