Thursday, September 30, 2010

We Have a Contract!

Thanks to the dedication of your JEA Negotiations Team for bringing about an agreement for the 2010-2011 school year!  The entire process took about five months and more than 130 hours of volunteer time.  JEA went through the mediation process with Federal Mediator Lavonne Ritter in July. 

When a settlement could not be reached, JEA and Jordan District went to the final step allowed by law, a Hearing.  This is the first time in Utah that a local Association and a School District have gone to a Hearing.  What your JEA Negotiations Team did was groundbreaking and precedent setting for other local Associations throughout Utah.

Superintendent Larry Shumway appointed Dr. Ralph Haws as the Hearing Officer. Dr. Haws' support of teachers and his relationship with District Administration helped him bring the two sides to an agreement.  Remember that through a Hearing, neither side receives everything they want.  JEA Members officially ratified the agreement as of September 27, 2010.  If you read the minutes, once they are posted, of the School Board meeting from September 28, 2010, you will see that a couple of School Board members were not happy about using one time money from the Federal Jobs Fund Program to pay for the ongoing costs of steps and lanes.  Despite their concerns, the Board voted 7-0 in favor of approving the agreement.

There is a story behind each item in the agreement.  I would be happy to share the history of any item on which you have questions.  Also, classified employees and principals will be receiving their steps increases because of what JEA negotiated for teachers. 

Settlement Agreement between the Jordan District Board of Education and the Jordan Education Association 2010-11

1.  Salary Schedule Lane and Step increases will be provided to teachers for the 2010-11 school year.  The parties agree that the Board of Education will determine at its sole discretion the source of funding for lanes and steps.

2.  Beginning with the 2010-11 school year, the equivalent of nine hours pay, or 0.6%, will be included in the teacher salary schedule for grade transmittal, preparation, and track change.  Teachers will still be required to meet all deadlines and responsibilities regarding grade preparation and transmittal, classroom and personal preparation for the first day of school, school closing, and end-of-year check out.

3.  The parties agree that there will be no negotiations for Lane and Step increases or cost of living increases for the 2011-12 school year unless the State Legislature provides new and unencumbered fund specifically for employee salary and benefit increases. (Because the increases for 010-11 will most likely be funded through one-time funds, the Board will be required to find ways to fund the increases as an ongoing expense; therefore, both parties will work hard to lobby the State Legislature to increase education funding for next year.)

4.  Revisions will be made to the following negotiated policies:
    a.  AS67 NEG Discipline of Students:  Language changes reflect a change in practice by the District when student sanctions and interventions are deemed necessary.
    b.  DP309 NEG Salary Guidelines:  Clarification regarding credit for salary lane change will be granted only "from an accredited institution".
    c.  DP337 NEG Leave of Absence:  Change to require approval prior to the leave being taken.
    d.  DP327 NEG Reduction in Licensed Staff:  Adds the words "total continuous" before "District seniority".
    e.  DP304 NEG Teacher Transfers:  Includes the Jordan District website link for transfer forms, deletes the need to submit a resume as part of the transfer application process, and allows for the employee to continue to "interview for other positions" through the voluntary transfer process.

5.  Part II. C. of Policy A6 NEG Negotiations, Licensed and Classified was amended to require the employee agent groups to reimburse the District for the cost of paid association leave for eh purposes of negotiations.  The amended language reads:
    C.  The District shall comply with Utah Code 53A-3-425 and will require reimbursement to the school district of the cost of paid association leave activities to the extent required by the Code.  Employee agent groups will be allowed a maximum of six (6) days to complete the negotiations process.

6.  A joint committee with up to three representatives from the JEA and up to three District administrators will be formed to review and discuss issues related to working conditions of teachers.  Membership on the committee, the regularity of meetings, and agenda items shall be determined by the Superintendent and the JEA President.  This joint committee will function through June 30, 2012.

7.  The District Superintendent agrees to meet with the JEA President on a regular basis to discuss issues of mutual concern throughout the 2010-11 school year.

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