Monday, October 04, 2010

What's In the New GTA Contract?


How Much Will It Cost Us?

Where is the communication from the Greece Central School District to the community about the content of this new agreement with the Greece teacher's union?

Did the Greece school board have a cost analysis done BEFORE reaching this agreement like they did with the Teamster's contract? If so, what were the specifics of those costs?

Were major items of concern addressed (i.e. Release Time - Article XIX, Sick Time - Article XX, Personal Days - Article XX)? These items date back to 2006 negotiations when Mr. Hubbard served on the BOE and sat in on negotiations ... I have the proof ;) 

What efforts were made to ensure the concerns about employee contracts uncovered in the Comptroller's Audit (i.e. - item should have a benefit to the district) were addressed this time around?

What money is in the contingency budget to cover the increased costs of this new agreement?
 

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

What's in the new GTA contract?

RAISES FOR ALL!

Anonymous said...

Some good points Scats. I also don't remember how much was in the budget for ongoing contract talks.

It makes you wonder if talks are all about what feels good or if the costs of each item is known prior to any handshake.

Perhaps your best point is asking the question as to what educational improvements or expectations are part of this contract.

Anonymous said...

It would be nice if they would discuss changing the high school schedule to 60 minutes instead of 84 minutes. Students would see their teachers more frequently but for less time each day. When district administration decided to switch to 84 minute blocks, did they follow up with any kind of evaluation of how effective it was?

Students clearly cannot focus for 84 minutes straight. My son is currently a sophomore and for labs and things like that 84 minutes is great, but normally he says it is difficult to focus for that long.

Has anyone ever heard of research on this? I know the neighboring districts have mainly gone away from 84 minutes having discovered that it was not effective.

Does our district administration even think about these things or are they just in a fog?

Anonymous said...

It would be nice if they would discuss changing the high school schedule to 60 minutes instead of 84 minutes. Students would see their teachers more frequently but for less time each day. When district administration decided to switch to 84 minute blocks, did they follow up with any kind of evaluation of how effective it was?

Students clearly cannot focus for 84 minutes straight. My son is currently a sophomore and for labs and things like that 84 minutes is great, but normally he says it is difficult to focus for that long.

Has anyone ever heard of research on this? I know the neighboring districts have mainly gone away from 84 minutes having discovered that it was not effective.

Does our district administration even think about these things or are they just in a fog?

Anonymous said...

http://www.whec.com/news/stories/s1775300.shtml?cat=565

Anonymous said...

http://www.whec.com/news/stories/S1775300.shtml?cat=565

This is why I said don't tell me Greece residents. should be feeling safe right now

SCATS said...

To 8:02PM ~~ Thanks for the link. I saw it on the news, but it tells us very little that we didn't already know :(

Anonymous said...

4:06 - at your job, are you ever asked to focus for longer than 84 minutes at a time? Yes? Well, then welcome to reality and real life. Students need to learn that just because they find something "difficult to do" (like focus for longer than an hour) that's an opportunity to learn self-discipline. Oh, by the way, I bet your son has no trouble focusing on PS3 for longer than 84 minutes. It's about selective attention and the youth of today need to learn that high school should reflect real life (not just prepare them for it at some point in the future). 84 minutes of sustained attention is NOT a lot to ask of high school students.

Anonymous said...

The length of classes in any school has nothing to do with the contract. I believe it is a buliding level decision.

Anonymous said...

10:20PM........you are right on! The problem is our whole educational system does NOT teach kids to be part of the real world because those that teach in it and administer it have NEVER worked in the real world. I have yet to meet a teacher or administrator that did not whine about how hard it is to work in education. Give me a break. Job protection for life after 3 years on the job never happens in the real world. Nor does getting pay increases just for breathing. Or getting a boatload of sick time.

And people wonder WHY our educational system lags way behind other countries.

Anonymous said...

Its not a question if it is a lot. It is a question if it is the best for the students.

As a teacher there is no way I get done in 84 minutes what I used to get done in two 42 minute periods and I see my students less often. I would much rather see my students more frequently for shorter periods of time.

By the way, as teachers we were told this new contract was saving the district money overall(cost savings from health care, tuition savings). So there would not be any need to have extra money in the budget.

Anonymous said...

It was very interesting to see channel 7's report last night on the RCSD change in school suspension policy. Two years ago they changed to in-school suspension that moved students to special classrooms rather than allowing them to roam free during the day. They actually followed the numbers and were able to present RESULTS. The new plan showed suspensions were down by over 20%. They also noticed some potential improvements that they can make.
It is heart warming to see how one district, with all its problems, can still PROPOSE improvement plans and metrics to MEASURE their success, and actually REPORT on them! This is a three-step process I wish we could learn here in Greece. How many changes in education process have we made over the last 20 years with no measurement metrics and no report of success or failure, and no plan to halt the program if it doesn't deliver the anticipated success?

SCATS said...

To 2:36AM ~~ I believe you are correct. There are pros & cons to the longer vs shorter classes. What matters most is WHAT is accomplished in any class regardless the length.

To 6:46AM ~~ Why do you get less done in the longer period?? Why are you relying on what you were told about the contract? Told by whom? Didn't you bother reading it and understanding it for yourself??

To 7:35AM ~~ I saw that report and concur! I like Brizard! He's a go-getter. He doesn't let stone-walling union head stop him from doing what needs to be done for the benefit of the students.

Charlie Hubbard said...

Some very good comments have been posted recently.
Brovo to the 10:20 poster in reference to what our kids are learning about the 'real world' and I thank you.

In reference to the 'contract' I encourage all to read policy 6431 and say without any reservations there is absolutly NO reason this new contract and the financial implacations is not being made available on the district web site - NO REASON.
A big part of the reasoning for having policy 6431 is so residents who may have questions can contact thier elected officials (school board) for clarification and or get questions answered PRIOR to approval by that same board - it's called open democracy and if it's not being followed 'shame' on each and every one responsible.

Please take a minute to read the policy.

chubbard005@rochester.rr.com
775-6015

Anonymous said...

FYI - Teachers were not given copies of the proposed contract. Meetings were held where "leadership" told the teachers what was in the contract (and why they should vote for it).

There is a real split in the union. I heard the contract barely passed - not because it saved the district money, not because teachers wanted more money, but because of things that were not included that would have addresssed administrative abuse.

SCATS said...

To 7:01PM ~~ That sounds totally ridiculous! Would you buy a home without reading what's in your purchase contract? How about a car? Why would you buy into (vote for) a contract you never got to read?? Like they say, "caveat emptor."

SCATS said...

Policy 6431 ~~ The District shall prepare an estimated cost for each portion of any new employment contract or addendum to the extent feasible. The estimated costs will include the anticipated amount needed for each year of the new contract or addendum. This cost estimate shall be attached to all new contracts or addendums and shall be available to the public. It will be the responsibility of the Superintendent and the Human Resources Department to have these figures available, if possible, ten days prior to any Board discussion of contracts and/or addendums.

The Board will discuss and report the projected costs of such contracts in open session and the projected costs will be recorded in the official meeting minutes.

The Superintendent, the Executive Director of Human Resources and Support Services and the Board Officers, will be responsible for coordinating these tasks.

Charlie Hubbard said...

I know it sounds crazy but prior to 2005 the cost of contracts was unknown prior to board approval.
There may be no better example than the lifetime medical addendum for Walts contract - done in the back room with NO IDEA of the cost - the 'enormus' costs.

There is nothing more important for board members than contracts - thats where the rubber meets the road via cost and quality.
After hearing that an agreement was close I talked to the board president and the super. Based on what I had 'heard' most of the things we had been addressing had fallen by the way-side, so I spoke at lenth about absenteeism and release time. It was obvious the super was not aware and I do not know if these items were fixed but I will tell readers if they were NOT fixed the taxpayers would have been HAD.

Anonymous said...

Scats,

The board votes on things it has never read and knows little about, why should we expect different from the teachers?

SCATS said...

To 12:17AM ~~ Possibly because the board members are volunteers and the teachers are paid ;)

Anonymous said...

Not paid enough.
-DP

Anonymous said...

Someone in the media once said "Tenure DOES pretty much guarantee mediocre teachers a job and if you come from a state that gives lifetime certification it means there are too many folks in the classroom who haven't set foot in a classroom in way too long. One district's superintendent and director of personnel said 'Oonce a teacher gets tenure they have to be a mass murderer or child molester to lose their jobs.' "

Then I think that Superintendent and Director of Personnel ought to start putting more pressure on building Principals (or whomever does the evaluating of teachers) to start doing their jobs! Hey, c'mon. Most districts require a teacher to perform admirably for THREE years before being offered a contract and tenure. Isn't THAT enough time to sufficiently evaluate whether or not this person should be given tenure? Once again, if the building Principal cannot accomplish this task in THREE YEARS, then maybe *THAT* person ought to be let go!

Also, once this "great" teacher got hired, then are you telling me that, all of a sudden, he/she suddenly "goes bad"?? I'm not saying that some teachers don't "lose their spark." What I'm getting at is (and I've seen this happen many times), if a teacher is not doing an excellent job in the classroom, then that ought to be documented fully. I've seen far too many cases in which the building Principal didn't have the guts to file an evaluation that was critical of a teacher that was "slipping" a little. No, this "slippage" is usually overlooked for a long, long time... and all the while, the teacher gets evaluated as "satisfactory" (or even better). Finally (after enough parental complaints, etc.), when the administration has "had enough," they suddenly start filling out evaluations that show incompetence. Too late! Now it looks like a "vendetta." Now, the teacher threatens to go get a lawyer, and APPEARS to be protected by TENURE! It's NOT tenure that's protecting this teacher. It's a l-o-n-g history of "incompetent evaluations." Is the administrator blamed? No way! Hang the teacher! And blame "tenure" while you're at it!

Some like to say "In the 'real world' you maintain your job by being competent based on company goals and keeping pace with the changing needs of the market. Yes, you risk losing a job because of management changes, philosophical differences, etc....but why should education be any different?"

I hear this "real world" argument all the time. How can anyone possibly compare what a teacher does with what goes on in industry? Let's say you work in a factory which manufactures "widgets." I have a few questions for you. How many of your widgets "refuse to get manufactured"? (Now there's a ridiculous thought, huh?) How many of your widgets don't even show up to get manufactured? How many of your widgets land on your assembly line already drunk or stoned on the latest drug? How many of your widgets physically attack you? How many of your widgets come to you made of "raw materials" that are so faulty, that successful manufacture is often impossible? I could go on and on, but I think you get the point.

Some counter with "Youth are not necessarily the best and the brightest....but we would be further down the road to excellence if we could assure our kids they would be taught by the best and the brightest...whatever their age and experience."

I couldn't agree more. And we have the capability of doing that NOW! In fact, we've ALWAYS had that ability. All we have to do is STOP BLAMING TENURE, and IMPLEMENT it better!

SCATS said...

To 7:54PM ~~ If teachers are doing the job they know they should do, they don't need tenure. Tenure no longer serves the purpose it was created for. Now it simply protects people who aren't performing to standard.