September 13, 2012 Bargaining Update
On Thursday, September 13, 2012, Chief Negotiator, Karen Aronowitz opened the session by acknowledging the teachers on strike in Chicago, adding that they were bargaining around the clock and were working diligently to reach a contract agreement. Aronowitz said, “Teachers have been subject to so much undeserved negative press. They work so hard to provide a quality education for their students and it is unfair to consider that teachers are the sole mitigating factor for poverty in our nation.”
Aronowitz recognized Miami-Dade County representatives and expressed UTD’s desire to be able to bring concerns to the table, and to also make progress in this round of negotiations, especially in light of the fact that this is the fourth bargaining session and we have yet to receive counter proposals from the district.
One issue that was discussed and resolved on September 13th was the issue of “concurrent employment”. Employees, excluding teachers, who work more than one job with M-DCPS would be entitled to over-time pay if they work more than 40 hours per week. The issue arose as a result of UTD members bringing the issue forward, explaining that they were either not being hired, or let go from part-time employment due to the rule. Karen Aronowitz emphasized the critical nature of the issue, especially for some of our hourly or non-instructional personnel that struggle to make ends meet for their family. After a brief caucus, district officials agreed to allow principals to hire part-time employees in the UTD Bargaining Unit, even if it puts the employee in “concurrent employment” status. This change allows employees to be paid time and a half for each hour they work over 40 hours per week.
District made presentation on the impact of Health Care Reform on their budget projections for 2013. M-DCPS management and their consultant expect at least a $32 million impact to the healthcare budget based on their actuarial studies. In order to obtain the best health insurance plan and contain costs, UTD requested data from the district and Cigna. Aronowitz appointed a subcommittee to address health care. That committee is meeting immediately after the September 13th session and will report back to the full team at the next bargaining session. “We hope that the district is as anxious to obtain data and information as we are, with the goal of containing or reducing health care costs going forward,” said Aronowitz
District officials gave a presentation on the state mandated Value Added Model (VAM) which only served to prove how illogical the plan appears. This was a preliminary report outlining how FCAT scores would be calculated to determine teacher’s pay. It is too early in the analysis to put out a full report as many details need to be flushed out.
The Race to the Top (RTTT) grant payout plan to distribute $14 million was discussed briefly, recapping a subcommittee meeting’s discussion and progress thus far. Many of the issues that arose during the first round of RTTT payments have been addressed within the parameters of the grant. The subcommittee was directed to finalize the distribution plan. Payouts will be given to teachers based on 2011-12 FCAT scores.
District officials responded to UTD’s Proposal #1 regarding salary. They explained that they had asked the Florida Department of Education to clarify the performance pay statute that states teachers would only be eligible to receive performance pay if they relinquish their Professional Service Contract and return to Annual Contract Status. Aronowitz requested the FLDOE’s opinion in writing and the district agreed. Salary negotiations will continue and UTD is awaiting a counter proposal from the district.
UTD Proposals #2, 3 and 4 were also discussed briefly. Representatives of the district explained that, “Complexities in that language warrant further review and would be addressed in a future barging session.” Aronowitz agreed.
The next bargaining session will be held on October 11, 2012 at 8:30 a.m.
Click here to view UTD Proposal #1 - May 30, 2012
New Salary Schedule
Click here to view UTD Proposal #2 - June 19, 2012
Layoff Protection for Paraprofessionals
Click here to view UTD Proposal #3 - June 19, 2012
Layoff Protection for School Support Personnel
Click here to view UTD Proposal #4 - June 19, 2012
Layoff Protection for Office Employees