September Rep Council Notes

NTL Rep Council Notes September 6, 2016

Treasurer’s report – Simplified statement indicated expenditures budgeted for the year. Charley Marenghi requested that sufficient funds be left in reserve in case our health insurance provider is changed again and we need to investigate whether it matches the benefits that we have had in the past ($7,000 – $9,000) and if the contract goes to arbitration and the follow up (approximately $20,000) Things are not going to be getting any easier in the future.

In an effort to make use of the dues/agency fees that go the CEA/NEA level, we will take advantage of the UNISERV rep Mike Breen to talk to us/provide training at our 10/4 meeting. He will be better able to meet the needs of our local union and meet with teachers by getting into the buildings. Anyone with elementary level concerns can speak with members of the grievance committee directly if they can’t wait for the next rep council meeting. We are currently understaffed and should try to be more proactive if we can. George would like someone to attend BOE meetings and report back to us.

Two building reps that attended summer training mentioned the fact that we have NEA life insurance, but we must go online and register for it and name a beneficiary. (I have not yet attempted to do this and am just passing it along.)

President has spoken with Mr. Montini about getting requests for personal days online to simplify the process. Sick days can not be submitted via e-mail. Mixups with some teacher’s certifications have been corrected, and some payroll issues/dues issues resolved.

21 paychecks will before the last day of school, so the 22nd will be on the last day of school.

Charley spoke of two teachers that did not have TRB (retirement) deductions taken from their paychecks for different lengths of time. They are working with payroll on having this amount taken out after the fact. Teachers should be certain that TRB is being taken out on a monthly basis.

Charley also urged members to make an appointment at the BOE to review their personnel file yearly or every other year. Bring a red pen and number the pages as you check to see what is in your file. We are supposed to be notified if something is added to it, but there may be surprises in it.

Finally for “itinerate” special teachers who travel between buildings: Make sure that you are getting your 220 minutes (minimum) of planning period per week. Definitely put in for your mileage that is allowed by contract. Also, given the current traffic in our district, are you able to make it between schools in the allotted time of 20(?) minutes? Please let us know if you are late due to the traffic so that we can avoid a grievance about this.

Nancy Janis was named webmaster for the NTL website and newsletter, as the previous teacher has left the district. (I haven’t gotten the password yet, but stay tuned.)

NTL has 26 new teachers, 10 more than last year. I forwarded our new staff list to the membership chair this morning so that the NTL roster can be checked for accuracy.

Some elementary teachers wondered if the cameras in the hallway also have audio hooked up to them. We are pretty sure that they are only video at this point, but we wondered if we would be notified if microphones were turned on. George will ask about this.

Teachers are not able to take half-day personal days; if you must take a personal day on a half day, a whole day is deducted.

Regular planning periods should not include PPTs more than once in a while nor be data teams, etc.

At the middle school, there was a question about teaching a lesson during administrative homeroom. Since there was no preparation involved and everyone was required to do it, it was deemed to be fair.

At the high school, there are some very overcrowded classes. 35-38 in PE, 30 in freshman health. Some of the smaller rooms as the high school literally do not have space for the student desks. They are hoping that parents can raise the issue to admin. There is also a major humidity problem in the building that is being looked into.

Some teaching positions at the HS were eliminated and an extra period has been offered to teachers for a very small amount of pay. Teachers should do the math and figure out if the extra responsibility is worth the compensation.

There are also some issues at Genesis Academy that will be investigated. Teachers are picking up breakfast for students and being trained on dispensing medications. There is no dedicated security guard or nurse.

If you are trying to determine your correct step, be advised that there were no step increases in the 2009-2010 school year, teachers only moved half of a step in the 2013-2014 school year and in the 2012-2013 school year and there were no step increases in the 2015-2016 school year. Use the grid in your contract to determine the correct step remembering these restrictions.

Author: Nancy Sasso Janis

Nancy Sasso Janis currently is a first grade teacher at Andrew Avenue Elementary School. She has been teaching first grade and kindergarten in the district for thirty years.