Saturday, August 28, 2010

Council of Local Presidents

Several times a year, all the local presidents and UniServ presidents from around the state gather to share ideas.  Today was one of those meetings.  We discussed recruiting new members, the Education Jobs Fund, alternative pay (which it is believed will be presented in the coming legislative session), the UEA Convention, and NEA Member Benefits.

The program for the UEA Convention will be mailed to you.  I encourage you to look through it.  There are a lot of great break out sessions and general sessions planned, including a political lunch on Thursday to meet Gary Herbert and Peter Coroon, who are running for governor.  You can also visit UEA Convention Program to see the details.  If you know a teacher in their first 2-3 years, Friday is the New Educators' Workshop focusing on the needs of new teachers, though veterans are welcome to attend as well.  UEA is celebrating 100 years of conventions, so lots of great celebrations are planned.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Negotiations Update

The Negotiations Team met with Ralph Haws and his assistant, Lauren Shurman, Wednesday afternoon as part of the hearing process.  Ralph and Lauren will be meeting with the District on Thursday.  We have a tentatively scheduled joint meeting on Wednesday, September 1.  There will be more information after that meeting.  In the meantime, if you would like more information about anything concerning negotiations, please contact any member of the JEA Negotiations Team.

Negotiations Team:
Melissa Brown
Jeff Bossard
Janeen McMillan
Carroll, Cindy
Robin Frodge

Monday, August 23, 2010

Second General Membership Meeting

Thanks to the 50 or so members who attended the General Membership Meeting tonight.  Some good questions were asked and some important points were addressed.  Feel free to share the information with other JEA members.  AR's will be receiving the PowerPoint later this week to share with the members in their buildings.

The JEA Negotiations Team gave Ralph Haws, the Hearing Officer, the binder of documentation we researched and compiled last week.  We meet with him again on Wednesday.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Hearing Preparation Complete

Well, it has taken many hours to put together the binder of information we will be providing to Ralph Haws on Monday.  The documentation is approximately 500 pages long.  It includes explanations of the entire negotiations and mediation process with all proposals, counter proposals, tentative agreements, proposed settlements and supporting evidence for each piece.

Melissa Brown, Robin Frodge, Cindy Carroll, and I worked literally all day on Friday to complete this project.  When you see anyone of them, thank the for all of their hard work on this hearing documentation.  Laura Black also assisted.  We need to excuse Jeff Bossard and Janeen McMillan of the Negotiations Team, because they were required to be at school today and could not be here to help.

The entire process has been long, and we still have the 20 days of the hearing process to go.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hearing Preparation

The Negotiations Team, the UniServ Directors, and I have been working diligently for the last couple of days to prepare the documentation for Dr. Haws.  We will continue this work through Friday, and possibly over the weekend.  He will be picking up what we have prepared on Monday morning, the day the 20 working day window for the hearing begins.

Second Day of NTI

Yea!  We received six times more memberships than Year Round NTI from the Traditional New Teacher Induction over the last two days.  Please keep talking to all the new teachers in your buildings.  Tell them why you are a member and why you believe it is important for them to join our professional Association.

Thanks for all you as members do!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Traditional New Teacher Induction

Wow!!  The ASB Auditorium was packed this morning with at least 200 new teachers.  We ran out of new teacher packets.  We will be taking more tomorrow morning.  We did receive more new memberships that at Year Round NTI, but we can always use more.  Talk to the new teachers in your buildings next week and ask them to join their professional association.

The Negotiations Team met today to work on the documentation for the Hearing.  The Team worked well together and accomplished a lot. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Board Meeting August 17, 2010

A few items of note from the School Board Meeting:
  • Jennifer Fisher appointed Gifted and Talented Consultant
  • Something about an employee grievance - to "pay the former lane wages until policy dictates otherwise"
  • Approved Acceptable Use, Long-term Disability, and Group Health policies
  • Superintendent comments: ALPS now stands for Advances Learning Placement Schools, Herriman High School will open "mostly done", still need 3 elementary and 8 secondary teachers
  • West Jordan Middle School pool closure drew about 100 patrons
  • JSD has committed $1 million in capital money to Kearns Oquirrh Park Fitness Center to cover the Olympic outdoor pool so West Jordan High and Copper Hills High swim teams will have priority for practice times there
  • Several people spoke to not closing the pool
  • John Taylor said net cost is $125,000 per year
  • Petition with 430 signatures to not close West Jordan Middle School pool
  • One patron spoke to hazardous busing in Herriman
  • Herriman High will not be offering a full range of AP classes or Debate - need to find qualified teachers and have enough students interested to offer these classes in the future
  • Jobs bill - ~$9 million for JSD, State Superintendent Shumway expects governor to apply for the money, legislature must vote to accept the money, then money will come to districts, money must be spent by September 1, 2012
  • JEA Negotiations - Superintendent Newbold summarized what has happened, hearing will run from August 23 to September 17. If there is no settlement at that point, there is no requirement to continue meeting to negotiate, though we could. Teachers would work without a contract, which means we continue to teach on the provisions of the previous contract.
That's about it. I would just add that we need to be like the 100 people who came to support not closing WJMS pool. JEA needs 100 members at every School Board Meeting with some of those signed up to speak.

AR Training

We had an excellent AR training this evening. AR's learned about the status of negotiations, learned more about the UEA message of Speak for Tomorrow Today, Make Quality Public Schools a Priority Now! and the basics of being a great AR. Thanks to all of those great AR's who attended!

I am now at the School Board Meeting. I was able to access Facebook to post updates at the last meeting, but I'm having problems accessing Facebook tonight. I'll keep working on it!

Association Representatives are important

I have realized how very important Association Representatives (AR's) are for each building. Tonight is AR training. Please attend to learn more information about negotiations, the UEA message, and how to be an effective AR for your school.

I also want to thank in advance the 15 AR's who have volunteered to attend New Teacher Induction on Wednesday morning. Meeting a JEA AR from the building where they will teach helps new teachers know who can accurately answer questions about the Association.

I have finalized all preparations for these two events and begun work on compiling the documentation required by Ralph Haws, the Hearing Officer.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Hearing Officer Appointed

Last Friday, State Superintendent Larry Shumway appointed Ralph Haws as the Hearing Officer for the fact finding process we have entered since being unable to settle negotiations after mediation. The Negotiations Team met with Mr. Haws today to discuss timelines, the process, and documentation JEA needs to provide for him to fulfill this duty. Our next meeting with Mr. Haws is scheduled for Wednesday, August 25.

If you would like more information, please attend the next General Membership Meeting on Monday, August 23 at 5:00 at the South Jordan Library.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Jobs Bill

As you may have heard, the Jobs Bill has passed. Please thank Congressman Jim Matheson for his support of this bill.

Governors will submit applications prior to September 9. Utah is slated for approximately $100 million. This money can be used to recall teachers, recall other building level employees including building level administrators but not district level administrators, reinstate furlough days or other days lost to funding cuts, pay COLA's or steps on salary schedules, or provide money to local programs.

The money will likely be distributed by using the WPU or Title I formulas.

I hope this money will be used by Jordan District fund steps and lanes.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Thanks for Coming!

I want to thank the 60-70 teachers who attended the General Membership Meeting this evening. It seemed that teachers were supportive of the JEA Negotiations Team and understood why a settlement was not reached.

If you were unable to attend, talk to someone in your building who did, or plan on attending the next meeting on Monday, August 23 at 5:00 P.M. at the South Jordan Library. The same information will be presented.

I appreciate the support of the Negotiations Team and the Executive Board.

The PAC will meet on Tuesday, August 24 at 4:30 to interview Nathan Gedge, candidate for the School Board, running against Peggy Jo Kennett. I will send an e-mail out to PAC members.

I will be out of state on vacation until August 15. If you have immediate needs, contact the JEA Office. Otherwise, I will be available Monday, August 16.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Salt Lake Tribune Article

JEA will provide more information and details on the negotiations situation at the General Membership Meetings, August 9 and 23 at 5:00 p.m. at South Jordan Library.

Friday, August 6, 2010

General Membership Meeting

JEA has scheduled two General Membership Meetings for Mondays, August 9 and 23 at 5:00 p.m. at South Jordan Library. I would encourage you to attend one. Negotiations, mediation, fact finding, and what you can do will be addressed.

We have been unable to provide details of the mediation, but you need to know that JEA and the District did not come to a settlement. Both parties have requested a hearing officer to be appointed by State Superintendent Larry Shumway.

The Salt Lake Tribune is scheduled to run an article about our negotiations on Saturday, August 7.

To learn more about this process, please attend one of the scheduled meetings.

Jordan Education Foundation

I met with Steve Hall, Director of the Jordan Education Foundation (JEF), yesterday afternoon. I was already familiar with JEF and am acquianted with some of the JEF Board members. I will be an ex-officio member of the JEF Board and am excited about that part of my job.

I have been the recipient of Mini Grants through JEF in the past. They also have outstanding teacher awards and scholarships for high school seniors who have overcome great obstacles to achieve in school.

For those of you not familiar with JEF, I invite you to visit their website listed on the side.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Superintendent's Presentation

This morning I was invited to attend Superintendent Newbold's opening remarks at the Administrative Leadership Conference. He spoke about the District motto of Lead, Educate, Inspire and how what is happening in the District falls into those three areas. He also discussed the objectives of President Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and how Utah's Promises to Keep are in line with the Federal objectives.

The Federal objectives include:
  • College and career ready students
  • Great teachers and leaders
  • Equity and opportunity
  • Raise the bar and reward excellence
  • Promote innovation and continuous improvement
Utah State Promises to Keep are:
  • Ensure literacy and numeracy
  • High-quality instruction
  • Curriculum with high standards and relevance
  • Effective assessment

He stated that the District is expecting approximately 1300 new students this school year. He said the Board of Education's goal is "Improved communication to build trust and confidence."

I found the 5 Common Characteristics of High Performing Schools interesting.
  1. Mission driven
  2. High expectations for students and staff
  3. Professional culture through PLC's
  4. Focus on relationships
  5. Student opportunities through extracurricular activities
It was a good presentation overall. I was glad to be invited.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Executive Board Retreat

Today the JEA and CEA (Canyons) Executive Boards met together with UniServ Directors Laura Black and Cindy Carroll for training. The information and activities they provided about communication helped us learn how to listen and discuss Association information with members. We also looked at the strengths of each person on the Board and how we can use those strengths within the Association. We learned more about the UEA message of "Speak for Tomorrow Today", how it relates to the NEA TEF/EDX (taxes, economic growth, education funding/educational excellence) campaign, and how the message applies to us in the Jordan UniServ. I will be working to bring that message to every school throughout the year.

After lunch, the two Executive Boards met separately. We discussed expectations for Board members, mediation, and liaison schools, with assignments to think about goals, the budget, and committee assignments for our next meeting in September.

Following the Executive Board meetings, the UniServ Council met. The main item of discussion was the UniServ Budget.

It was a long but very productive day!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ready for Executive Board retreat

Today I finished all the necessary items for the Executive Board retreat for tomorrow. Your elected association leaders should come away ready to help you!

I continued to work on the information for the General Membership Meetings.

I also worked on organizing committee information, so JEA has appropriate representation on District committees. I will be sending out requests for vacant positions in the next couple of weeks.

FYI: The School Board is having an Emergency Closed Study Session tomorrow morning to discuss negotiations.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Regular work day

The office is finally finished, so I now have a place from which to work.

I finished planning the Executive Board Meeting to be held on Wednesday. I also worked on the information to be presented at the General Membership Meetings to be held Mondays, August 9 and 23. More information will be coming to you about these meetings.