Updates and ARC Follow Up

DEPARTMENT CHAIR IN OBSERVATIONS

One of the member concerns brought to us recently was the issue of whether a department chair from one department is allowed to conduct observations in another. For example, consider a social studies department chair conducting an observation in an art or physics class. Members in schools where that such cross-department observations are being conducted need to know that the collective bargaining agreement does not allow it. The pertinent provisions are excerpted below from Article 16.B.4:

All non-teaching department chairpersons shall conduct observations of teachers and participate in the evaluation process within the department. Other department chairpersons may conduct observations of teachers and participate in the evaluation process within the department in accordance with the following guidelines…

Members in buildings where this is occurring should contact TAAAC and speak with their UniServ Director. This concern can be handled through the appropriate grievance.

PLANNING TIME MISINTERPRETATION

The following language from Article 11C in the collective bargaining agreement is being widely misinterpreted to the detriment of teachers in our elementary schools:

For all teachers, if individual planning time is used for required group planning, an equal amount of time during the teacher workday will be set aside for individual planning time.

The sentence was added near the end of the provision for individual planning more than 15 years ago, and was intended to be provide some flexibility to administrators that may on occasion have a need to encroach into scheduled individual planning time. It was not intended to be, nor should it be, a pass for administrators to regularly schedule collaborative or group planning during what should be individual planning for the delivery of instruction. This issue, like the one above, may be subjected to the grievance process.

OCTOBER 21ST / MSEA CONVENTION DAY / PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT DAY

October 21st is a duty-day. On the AACPS calendar, it’s a professional development day for educators who report to their worksite. Those who choose to attend the MSEA convention may do so at no cost of leave and no requirement to submit evidence of workshops attended. The text from a memo distributed by Deputy Superintendent Monique Jackson is pasted below:

Teachers who attend the MSEA Convention on Friday, October 21, 2016, do not have to provide written evidence of their attendance. Principals certainly should encourage those teachers to bring back useful information and share that information with their faculty and staff.

As a reminder, the sub system is the official reporting system for leave for Unit I teachers. Employees who do not report to work are required to call their absence into the sub system. For those attending the MSEA Convention, they should indicate the reason as “Meeting No Sub.” No budget code is required; however, they are to indicate NO to the question:“Is a Substitute required?” If you have any questions, please call the Substitute Office on 410-222-5068.

OCTOBER 12TH SALARY DISTRIBUTION / RETROACTIVE PAY

It was just confirmed that the impact of FY17 step increases will be reflected in the next week’s pay distribution.

Also on October 12th, members on salary step 25 will receive their lump sum payment by separate check. Early statements to the contrary notwithstanding, the correct amount of the one-time lump payment is $926.31 (before withholding).

While not yet guaranteed, it looks like all retroactive money due will be paid on October 26th, well ahead of the agreed deadline of December 31st.