Wednesday, November 28, 2007

What to expect when you're settling

Teacher Team

We met all day with the district team and spent all of our time trying to wrap up how we address the reality of our workload with contract language, specifically:
  • Planning periods
  • Monthly meetings
  • Evening obligations
It is uncanny how you can spend 3 times the length of a planning period discussing a planning period. How could 50 little minutes cause so much consternation? What are planning periods used for? Why were they negotiated in the first place? Are you going to find out what kind of planning period you are having? What will you name your planning period? Should you automatically see the school nurse if you miss your planning period?

Monthly meetings and evening obligations had many of the same sort of questions, but of course not as many pictures in the family album as the first discussion.

Our discussion was thoughtful, the ideas plentiful, and the consensus is within reach, which leads to me the protocol we will follow when we do settle this contract.
  • After our team has reached a tentative agreement with the school district we will call an emergency meeting of the SPFT Executive Board to gain their support of the agreement.
  • Once we have secured their support a series of informational meetings will take place in order to let stewards learn of the tentative agreement.
  • Stewards will then bring the agreement back to their buildings and programs to share with SPFT members and non-members.
  • Finally, a district-wide vote will take place at each site and the results will be shared with the membership.
The agreement will become final when the St. Paul School Board votes in favor of it after the teachers. Cigars all around! (Shh, don't share it on your Health Partners survey though!)

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