January 12, 2022
An OCCTA PowerPoint provides questions and answers on impasse at this link
Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
January 8, 2022
Press Release – January 8, 2022
Orange County Public Schools Finally Moves on Teacher Wages and Benefits -
School Board Enhances Compensation and Commits To Do More
After a long and tense process that began over the summer, when OCCTA declared impasse, last night the Orange County School Board finally acknowledged the need to do much more for educators. The Union initiated the legal impasse procedure for livable wage increases, longevity supplements for veteran educators, no increases to health insurance, and a supplement for Lead Nurses.
At the conclusion of two days of hard-fought public hearings on these crucial issues, the Board made real progress towards improving the District’s original salary and insurance proposals. The Union’s case included presentations by OCCTA President, Wendy Doromal; Veteran Teacher, Clinton McCracken; Lead Nurse, Laketa Jimenez; and AFT Economic Expert, Kyle Arnone. The teachers were represented by labor lawyers, Mark Richard and Lucia Piva.
There is no doubt that the Board’s decision only begins to address what educators need and deserve. The resolution of the impasse puts teachers in a much better position than they would have found themselves in had OCCTA and its members not fought back and pushed for fair treatment. The Board unanimously decided on the following improvements from the District’s original proposals:
These and other issues will be submitted to the bargaining unit members for ratification. While the Board’s decision does not address all the economic challenges faced by teachers and educators, OCCTA achieved important improvements from the District’s original position. This impasse resolution on wages and insurance represents an aggregate increase of almost $100 million in funds for teachers. Importantly, the Board has agreed with OCCTA that it must commit to taking a serious look at the budget to address the economic needs of educators and their families.
“It is regrettable that teachers had to go through such a protracted and combative legal process to make these gains. The Board should have fairly budgeted for salary increases from the start. Our legal challenge at impasse led to millions more in improved compensation for educators and a commitment to prioritize recurring teacher raises,” said OCCTA President, Wendy Doromal.
“This week’s public hearings signal a good transition towards taking care of our teachers, but there is still a lot of work left to do,” said presenter and veteran teacher Clinton McCracken.
January 5, 2022
IMPASSE HEARING - Watch on Facebook Live - https://www.facebook.com/OCCTA7448
PRESIDENT WENDY L. DOROMAL'S IMPASSE STATEMENT - JANUARY 5, 2022
Good Afternoon, School Board Chair Jacobs, Superintendent Jenkins, school board members, teachers, parents and all who are watching this hearing. We are here today because OCPS teachers are underpaid, undervalued, under-appreciated and overworked. We are here today because our school district has handed us a salary proposal that would shortchange our teachers. The District offered a basic $25 annual raise, $150 for effective teachers and $175 for highly effective teachers. That equates to a raise of between 2 and 12 cents an hour. That offer is both disrespectful and unacceptable.
In fact, the insulting salary offer actually amounts to a reduction in income. Inflation rose by 6.8% in November.1 Grocery prices were 6.4% higher last month than they were a year ago - the fastest pace of food inflation in more than a decade.2 Housing costs in Orlando have risen by 20% over the past year3, while Orlando rentals were ranked 3rd highest in the nation4 with costs rising by almost $500 a month in less than a year, representing a 40% increase.5
The truth is that educators can no longer afford to work for OCPS. They cannot afford the financial hardship that forces many to work part-time jobs and endure the stress of financial uncertainty. They cannot afford the cost to their physical and mental health. As a result, OCPS is hemorrhaging teachers. This district is in crisis as more and more teachers leave. Over 800 teachers have resigned or retired since the beginning of this school year, and that figure does not account for the many who pledged to resign or take early retirement at the end of December. That number also does not include over 100 teachers who have taken long or short-term leave. OCPS currently has over a hundred teacher vacancies. The School Board has the ability and obligation to stop the exodus. Providing a decent salary is an essential element to keeping teachers in the classroom.
The OCPS teacher shortage is complicated by the substitute shortage. A response to a Union record request reveals that there were 15,188 unfilled substitute vacancies between August and November 2021. That means that 15,188 times this school year many students were herded into auditoriums, computer labs or other large spaces to work independently on laptops. Teachers were also asked to split classes – to take in students of absent teachers who had no subs show up to fill the vacancies. As a result, teachers had more work and less opportunity to address their own students’ learning loss. An inadequate work force that is short on qualified and experienced educators does not serve the best interests of students, teachers or the public.
OCPS has not taken the steps that are necessary to retain and recruit teachers. Over 45% of OCPS teachers who were surveyed are considering resigning, taking early retirement or taking leave. The District must commit to an immediate plan, which includes fair and regular raises, affordable health insurance, a workload that fits into the contracted workday, safe, healthy and fair working conditions, and an end to the district’s autocratic rule and unilateral control. OCPS leaders need to start listening to teachers, collaborating with teachers and giving teachers a seat at the table in decisions that impact all aspects of their job and profession. OCPS must respect teachers with action, not words. It is a sad reflection on the District that 92% of teachers surveyed stated that they did not feel supported or respected by District leaders.
The salary proposal offered by the District and endorsed by this School Board was not respectful. It was the bare minimum required by law and not one cent more. The average salary for OCPS teachers is lower than the Florida average as well as being lower than the average teacher salary of all other large districts in the state including Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Hillsborough. It is unacceptable that teachers must work another job to make up for the inadequate teaching salary. It is unacceptable that teachers must live with their parents not by choice, but because they cannot afford their own apartment on their current salary. It is unacceptable that teachers have to choose between a doctor’s visit or food. That is the reality for too many OCPS teachers.
The Special Magistrate said that the state’s Teacher Salary Increase Allocation funding (TSIA) cannot be the sole source of funding for educator raises," and that “the District is permitted to budget for salary increases and may look to other funding sources to support is efforts.” TSIA was created last year primarily to raise the teacher starting salary and to “assist school districts in their recruitment and retention of classroom teachers and other instructional personnel.” It was not intended to be the sole source of funding for raises.
School board members, I ask you, what other funding sources have you looked into to be able to budget wages this year and moving forward? Have you studied the budget lines to identify waste, unnecessary spending or over-budgeting? Have you researched how the $850 million in ESSER funds has provided savings in the general budget, freeing up money that had been budgeted for technology, replacement of HVAC systems and other expenses? Where has that amount in budgeted savings been shifted to in the district’s budget? Have you hired an independent financial expert with a fresh pair of eyes to study the finances and work with you to create a budget that includes employee raises? You cannot blame outside conditions and entities for your decisions and failures.
The District’s budget decisions reflect the District’s priorities. It is apparent that recruiting and retaining experienced teachers, as well as paying teachers a fair wage, is not a District priority. This District has followed the pattern of over-budgeting the instructional line item and putting the excess into the bloated reserves. The District keeps excessive balances in its reserve account claiming it is necessary to maintain a good credit rating. However, other districts have much lower reserves and also have maintained excellent credit ratings. The District claims that it needs a reserve balance that is figures above the state required 3% fund balance in case of an emergency or a rainy day. The emergency is now; the rainy day is here! It is pouring and because OCPS will not provide shelter from the storm teachers are leaving for other districts and other professions where they will be appreciated, valued and properly compensated.
OCPS educators have earned the respect of their peers, the parents, and the community. Their level of professionalism and the extent to which they went above and beyond to ensure academic achievement during this pandemic has been nothing less than heroic. Sadly, OCPS leadership has failed to show respect to the teachers, and in fact, has continually disrespected them. Since the pandemic began in March 2020, OCPS teachers have been working under stressful, and at times unsafe conditions risking their health and lives. They have been tasked with impossible expectations that has resulted in even more work being heaped on their already overflowing plates. Last year, OCPS teachers who were required to teach the District’s hybrid model - two classes at once - virtual and face-to-face - found themselves working many more hours than fit into the contracted workday without compensation or appreciation. While other Florida districts offered supplements to teachers who taught hybrid classes, OCPS repeatedly turned down the Union’s requests. OCPS teachers have been intentionally short-changed. The District wants to shortchange them again.
This school year teachers confirmed that their workload has continued to increase, as it has every year for over a decade. In a recent survey, which was completed by over 14% of the bargaining unit members, 92% said they must complete assigned tasks past the contracted 7.5-hour workday without compensation; 42% stated that they worked 11 or more hours a week without pay to complete the extra assignments administrators mandated. School board members who attended OCCTA-sponsored workload summits promised to address this issue. The continuance of this practice can only be viewed as intentional and disrespectful. In fact, it equates to salary cuts and should be called out for what it is - wage theft.
OCPS disrespected teachers by offering a $2,500 bonus instead of offering a fair raise. Year after year, this Union President, bargaining team members and teachers have stated that teachers need raises, not bonuses. Year after year, the District insists on offering a one-time bonus that cannot be used to get a mortgage, secure a rental, buy a car, or refinance a loan. A bonus is here today and gone tomorrow. Whether called a bonus or labelled as a supplement, it is not a raise. Recurring expenses require recurring wages. Teachers need and deserve a raise. 74% of teachers surveyed said they reject the District salary offer of a $25 COLA and a $2,500 one-time bonus.
OCPS disrespected teachers by rejecting the longevity supplement that is critical to recognize the years of service and experience of our veteran teachers. Only after the Special Magistrate ruled that the Union’s proposal should be accepted, did the District propose to fund the longevity supplement only for three years using ESSER funds. Let’s be honest - longevity means permanence. How can a supplement that will disappear after three years be called a longevity supplement? The OCPS suggestion that the veteran teachers who already are being paid unfairly would be expected to take a pay cut after three years is not acceptable. The Special Magistrate agreed that failure to provide an ongoing longevity supplement will continue harsh inequities among teachers. Therefore, he recommended that the longevity supplement be accepted. We urge the school board to accept the Special Magistrate’s recommendation. In fact, 94% of teachers surveyed support the longevity supplement as recommended by the Special Magistrate.
Another supplement that the Special Magistrate supported and OCPS rejected is the lead nurse supplement. The District’s Lead Nurses must conduct numerous duties above and beyond what is expected of other nurses, as well as overseeing dozens of clinics and having up to 100 individuals working under their professional license. The Special Magistrate recommended a 5% supplement - 5% of the Lead nurse’s salary. We urge the school board to fund this supplement for the 7 hardworking and dedicated lead nurses.
OCPS also disrespected teachers with the District’s proposal to increase insurance costs. In the recent survey 98% of respondents oppose any increase in insurance costs. In fact, the Special Magistrate said:
“During this time, the record reflects, and there is no dispute, that bargaining unit members put their own health at risk by continuing to perform their teaching duties with students on an in-person basis. In addition, the record reflects and there is no dispute that numerous teachers spend their own money to ensure that their student’s educational and safety needs are met. Moreover, the record reflects that many bargaining unit members are forced to work more than one job in order to meet the needs of their family budget.
To this Magistrate, it would be unconscionable to recommend that bargaining unit members pay more than the status quo for health care. While there may be a time to do so, now is surely not the time.
OCPS claims it must raise insurance costs to maintain the self-insured status. At the last Trustee meeting in November 2021, it was revealed that the health insurance is in the black. To maintain its self-insured status the insurance reserves account must be at 60 days. Currently, the account is at 63.44 days, with an excess of $2.3M or 3.44 days. There is absolutely no reason to raise insurance costs at this time and as the magistrate stated to do so would be unconscionable.
OCPS disrespected teachers by putting out News You Can Use messages and information to members of our bargaining unit that misrepresented the facts of the District’s salary proposal. Even though the Union corrected the facts, the District and even school board members continued to refer teachers to the OCPS website link that provided distorted and faulty information.
It is true that you fund what you value. We are asking you to show that you truly value teachers. You cannot do right by students if you do not do right by teachers. Students cannot be first if teachers are last. OCCTA and the 14,300 teachers it represents implore the School Board to give the educators the salary, benefits and working conditions that they deserve.
1U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, TED: The Economics Daily, 12-15-21 (https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2021/consumer-prices-up-6-8-percent-for-year-ended-november-2021.htm)
2CNN Business, 12-14-21(https://www.cnn.com/2021/12/14/business/grocery-store-prices-shoppers-inflation/index.html)
3Roofstock.com, 12-29-21 (https://learn.roofstock.com/blog/orlando-real-estate-market)
4Grow, 12-30-21 (https://grow.acorns.com/cities-where-rents-have-jumped-the-most-since-2020/)
5WFTV, 11-9, 21 (https://www.wftv.com/news/local/orlando-rent-skyrocketing-continues-advocates-say-sweeping-reforms-needed/5OR4JWM75FCETCHQPL63J3AGSE/)
January 3, 2022
In a recent News You Can Use and "Community Update" teachers were referred to an OCPS website that has distorted information. The charts and information below should help you to understand the actual facts:
December 9, 2021
MORE IMPASSE UPDATES:
FOR HEALTH AND SAFETY IMPASSE UPDATES: /SPECIAL-MAGISTRATE-DECISION-ON-HEALTH-AND-SAFETY-6-20722.html
December 3, 2021
OCCTA PROPOSES SIGNING OF MOU TO REFLECT SPECIAL MAGISTRATES DECISION
Today OCCTA sent a draft MOU to the DISTRICT in the hopes that they will sign it and we can move on from the Health and Safety impasse. The Special Magistrate's decision recognized much of what OCCTA proposed, including stating that the MOU must be enforceable and would expire in June 2022. Read the proposed MOU at this link: Download File (MOU - Health and Safety.1 (1).pdf)
UPDATE- the district refuses to agree to state that the MOU enforceable and we did not sign. . .impasse will proceed. Any agreement that is not enforceable, not binding is not an agreement. It is toilet paper. . .
November 29, 2021
DISTRICT AND OCCTA RESPONSES SENT TO PERC - SCHOOL BOARD IMPASSE PUBLIC HEARING TO BE SET
OCCTA considered the Special Magistrate's decision and the survey results to submit the Union's Response to the Special Magistrate's Report and Recommendations to the Public Employee Relations Commission (PERC). We rejected the Special Magistrate's decision on salary stating:
"The Union rejects the Magistrate’s recommendation as to Article XVI(A)– Salary, Salary Increases & 2021-22 One-time Supplement. The District’s salary proposal, as accepted by the Magistrate, fails to use fiscal ingenuity to provide real raises—it is wrong to encourage such a practice that devalues teachers so gravely.
The District’s salary proposal amounts to a base hourly increase of $0.02 to $0.12, depending on the teacher’s evaluation, even though there is no dispute that the District can afford at least the majority of the Union’s salary proposal this year as most of its cost is already contemplated in the 2021-2022 budget. The real issue is the District’s willingness to prioritize teachers and choose to budget appropriately in outgoing years. The budgets for outgoing years have not yet been developed, and the District has the capability to explore cost saving decisions and to prioritize accordingly.Teachers only ask that the District leave no stone unturned. It has not done so.
Instead, the District proposed a minimal increase funded entirely by state categorical dollars (that it could not legally spend on anything else) and a one-time supplement that will not pay for teachers’ recurring bills or allow them to plan their finances or support their families.The Union agrees with theMagistrate’s analysis to the extent he notes “TSIA cannot be the sole source of funding for educator raises," and that “the District is permitted to budget for salary increases and may look to other funding sources to support is efforts.”However, educators do not trust that the District prioritized salaries or made any real effort to fully evaluate options for funding recurring raises outside of state categorical dollars. The Union suggested several potential sources of funding for recurring increases and it is the District’s job to explore each of these and other opportunities.
Any recommendation that supports the District’s refusal to budget for educator salary increases should be rejected. The District cannot be allowed to rely solely on categorical state funds for salary increases, ultimately becoming a pass-through organization and thereby rendering negotiations meaningless and depriving educators of livable wages. The school system and the public deserve better.The interest and welfare of the public is served by valuing teachers and providing salaries that attract and retain qualified and dedicated educators.
The Union’s salary proposal costs $48,217,761 and the District’s proposal, including the non-recurring supplement, costs $44,805,272—a less than $3.5 million difference.
The real issue is the District’s willingness to prioritize teachers and choose to budget appropriately in outgoing years. The budgets for outgoing years have not yet been developed, and the District has the capability to explore cost saving decisions and to prioritize accordingly. Teachers only ask that the District leave no stone unturned. It has not done so.
Accordingly, OCCTA respectfully rejects the Special Magistrate’s recommendation as to Article XVI(A) – Salary and its one-time supplement for instructional employees."
OCCTA supports the following special magistrate's recommendations: the longevity supplement, no increase to health insurance, a 5% salary supplement for all lead nurses, including summer sick leave into the CBA and allowing all employees to donate sick leave to other employees.
Please read the Districts Partial Rejection of the Special Magistrate's Decision at this link. The District supported the Special Magistrate's salary recommendation to support the District's $25 annual base salary and a $2,500 bonus. The District rejected the following recommendations of the Special Magistrate: the annual longevity supplement, no increase to health insurance costs, and the lead nurse supplement.
Thank you to everyone who took the survey -over 1,550 of you! The results helped us to respond to the special magistrate's decision.
District's Salary Offer
Health Insurance Coverage
Annual Longevity/Years of Employment Supplement
Sick Leave Accrual
Sick Leave Donation
Lead Nurse Supplement
Method of Payment (Number of pay checks - both parties withdrew)
What's next? (See the timeline below). The recommendations of both parties will be sent to the School Board, the School Board will schedule and hold a public hearing to decide the issues and the board's recommendations will be put out for a ratification vote.
The Impasse Timeline for Salary, Benefits and Working Conditions:
November 22, 2021 - HEALTH AND SAFETY IMPASSE DECISION ISSUED
Special Magistrate Nicholas Taldone issued his decision today concerning the health and safety during the pandemic. Please read his decision at this link. (Download File (Amended Discussion and Recommended Decision 11 24 21.pdf)
Health and Safety Impasse
From Magistrate’s Discussions and Recommended Decision :
Some of the recommendations include:
OCCTA WILL RECOMMEND ACCEPTING THE SPECIAL MAGISTRATE'S DECISION.
November 8, 2021 SPECIAL MAGISTRATE DECISION ON SALARIES AND CBA
On Monday, November 8th Special Magistrate Dennis Campagna, submitted recommendations as to teacher compensation and other issues at impasse. The Magistrate’s decision contains several well-reasoned recommendations that would benefit our teachers and the public interest. The Special Magistrate recommended:
The Magistrate also rejected the District’s position at bargaining that only state categorical funds can be used for raises; however, he ultimately found that the District may not have the funds for additional recurring salary increases this year, and therefore accepted the District’s proposal of a $25-$175 base salary increase (depending on evaluations) and a one-time $2,500 supplement for teachers.
The Magistrate acknowledged that failure to provide a longevity supplement will perpetuate harsh inequities that have led to disproportionately lower pay for experienced teachers, and his recommendation would be a huge step towards mitigating these discrepancies and increasing veteran teacher pay for years.
Further, the Magistrate agreed with the Union that the District cannot increase the cost of health care, during a pandemic, and at the time that the majority of its proposed wage increase comes in the form of a one-time supplement. The Magistrate wrote:
"it is important to note that our Country is just beginning to break free from the negative effects caused by the pandemic. During this time, the record reflects, and there is no dispute, that bargaining unit members put their own health at risk by continuing to perform their teaching duties with students on an in-person basis. In addition, the record reflects and there is no dispute that numerous teachers spend their own money to ensure that their student’s educational and safety needs are met. Moreover, the record reflects that many bargaining unit members are forced to work more than one job in order to meet the needs of their family budget. To this Magistrate, it would be unconscionable to recommend that bargaining unit members pay more than the status quo for health care. While there may be a time to do so, now is surely not the time. . . this Magistrate recommends NO CHANGE to the current health coverage."
The OCCTA bargaining team is considering next steps and will release a survey for input.
Read the Special Magistrate's Recommendations: Download File (Orange County Association Impasse DECISION SM2021-013 DECISION FINAL.pdf)
The Impasse Timeline for Salary, Benefits and Working Conditions:
Trustee Meeting Proves No Need to Increase Health Insurance Costs
April 2021 Employee Benefits Report:
• Total Earned Revenue decrease to $116,861,938 from $125,500,681 this time period last year (-6.88% compared to the prior plan period). Overall employee membership decrease by 973 members.
• The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (FLOIR) requires the district to have stabilization reserve equal to minimum of 60 days of incurred claims. Currently, the district’s stabilization reserve is only at $27.2M (40.44 days) in comparison to the required FLOIR reserve (60 days) the district should have a balance of $40.36M which reflects a deficit of $13.16M or 19.56 days.
Impasse - Magistrate Discussion:
• In this regard, the record reflects that even with increased premium contributions, the District experienced a deficit of $446,907 that was obligated from the general fund for the stabilization reserve in order to meet the required sixty (60) days of claims.
• While the District has experienced increased costs in health coverage, so too have employees.
• Finally, it is important to note that our Country is just beginning to break free from the negative effects caused by the pandemic. During this time, the record reflects, and there is no dispute, that bargaining unit members put their own health at risk by continuing to perform their teaching duties with students on an in-person basis. In addition, the record reflects and there is no dispute that numerous teachers spend their own money to ensure that their student’s educational and safety needs are met. Moreover, the record reflects that many bargaining unit members are forced to work more than one job in order to meet the needs of their family budget.
• To this Magistrate, it would be unconscionable to recommend that bargaining unit members pay more than the status quo for health care. While there may be a time to do so, now is surely not the time.
November 2021 Employee Benefits Report:
• Total Earned Revenue increase to $188,880,423 from $187,500,382 this time period last year (0.74% compared to the prior plan period). Overall employee membership decreased by 1,323 members.
• The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (FLOIR) requires the district to have stabilization reserve equal to minimum of 60 days of incurred claims. Currently, the district’s stabilization reserve is at $42.5M (63.44 days) in comparison to the required FLOIR reserve (60 days) the district is required to have a balance of $40.23M. We are currently in an excess of $2.3M or 3.44 days.
In April 2021, OCPS reported a deficit of 19.56 days while in November 2021 it reported and excess of 3.44 days.
November 5, 2021
Read the brief that CTA sent to the Special Magistrate today.
IMPASSE HEARING ON HEALTH AND SAFETY
October 22, 2021
The impasse hearing on the Health and Safety MOU was held October 21 and 22, 2021.
The videos of the hearing are on the CTA Facebook page at this link:https://www.facebook.com/OCCTA7448/videos.
The District's presented volumes of unrelated exhibits. Their attorney, John Palmerini, was in observers' words, "a bully", "aggressive", and "rude." His case arguments boiled down to CTA files too many grievances, asks for too much information and wants an enforceable MOU.
The District's case demonstrated that it wants unilateral control, does not want to bargain or collaborate, and does not want to follow the CDC-recommendations that they signed off on twice before in two previous Memorandums of Understanding.
October 2021 -Updated
Read the brief that CTA sent to the Special Magistrate on October 29, 2021: Download File (Union's Post Impasse Hearing Brief.pdf)
Tentative Timeline for the Salary, Benefits and Working Conditions Impasse
September 19, 2021
Impasse hearings on wages and salaries were held on September 14th and September 15th. The District made excuses for maintaining a reserves account over 17% - 14% higher than the 3% balance required by law. Year after year the district has over-budgeted lines items, including instructional. Instead of using funds on raises, the overages were returned to the bloated fund balance. Other takeaways:
What's next? The court reporter has ten days (9-27-21) to get the transcript of the impasse hearings to the District and CTA. The parties have until October 22nd to submit their briefs to the Special Magistrate. Then he will review and give a ruling. Look for updates here!
Please scroll down to read the District and CTA proposals.
September 14, 2021
School Board Meeting - Budget Hearing
A school board that can budget millions of dollars for 200 plus administrators and ELC managers to get a 24% retirement package can certainly budget for employee raises!
A school board that asked taxpayers to fund a mileage tax "to retain high quality teachers"should use it for what they stated it was for -to retain high quality teachers with raises!
A school board that has a reserves funds way over the 3% requirement year after year after year can put a decent amount of that money where it is needed and budget raises.
A school board that saved $15,907,000 in the general funds when schools were closed from March 2020-August 2020, can afford to pay decent raises.
A school board that used CARES ACT money to offset the expenses they budgeted from the general funds to purchase laptops for all students can afford decent raises.
A school board that budgeted to update HVAC systems, but didn't have to take the money from the general fund because CARES Act money was used, can afford to pay decent raises.
A school board that hired 1,000 "Tier One" teachers with CARES ACT money can use savings that would have spent on salaries for raises.
A school board that has used CARES ACT and ESSER funds to hire substitutes instead of using money from the general fund can afford to pay decent raises.
The school board members all pointed to Tallahassee and claimed they didn't get enough from the state to adequately fund raises. OCPS previously used district funds for raises. OCPS CAN budget raises. They WON'T. It is a matter of priorities. They can and have to do better. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s663yulU_VU
DID YOU EMAIL THE SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS CONCERNING RAISES, BENEFITS AND WORKING CONDITIONS? IF NOT, PLEASE DO! YOU ARE THE UNION AND THE MORE MEMBERS WHO ACT (RATHER THAN SIT ON THE SIDELINES) THE GREATER CHANCE THAT OUR UNIFIED YOUR VOICE WILL BE HEARD:
Why Are We At Impasse?
Scroll down to read proposals and for more information.
August 18, 2021
CTA continues to work on issues related to both impasse hearings. A special magistrate was selected for the salary and other main table impasse hearing, which is scheduled for September.
Multiple school board members stated that they were told that they were not allowed to the CTA President during impasse. This misinformation allegedly came from OCPS attorney John Palmerini and the Chief Negotiator James Preusser.
Our attorneys informed us that the insulated period when parties should not be speaking to each other begins when either party waives the special magistrate process (which the District has refused to do), or when either party rejects the decision of the Special Magistrate. Until such time, the union president can speak to the Board members about negotiations/issues at impasse.
Once the insulated period begins, the union president may still speak to school board members concerning DIFFERENT issues, not at impasse. Further, employees acting on their own initiative can speak to Board members about any issue even once the insulated period begins, however, the Union can’t direct them to speak to the legislative body during the insulated period.
The union should be able to speak freely with the school board members. Every member of the bargaining unit is allowed to communicate with school board members.
We object to the interference by the District leaders who appear to want to control the message and silence the voice of the educators.
August 6, 2021
The District sent a 'News You Can Use' to you yesterday stating, "Please note that due to CTA previously declaring impasse on the district’s compensation proposal there can be no disbursement of $1,000 bonuses for non-classroom teachers left out of the Governor’s bonus."
Even though impasse was declared, the District certainly can still negotiate with the union and sign a stand-alone agreement with CTA to provide $1,000 bonus for any OCPS instructional personnel who were left out of the agreement. CTA sent the District the MOU below, which has been signed by the union President and urges the District to also sign it so that the non-classroom teachers can be compensated immediately.
August 4, 2021
CTA met with the District Monday, Tuesday and today to bargain health and safety issues related to the pandemic. Earlier in the evening, we signed an MOU concerning COVID-19 related leave.
Finally, tonight at 8:58 pm after many long hours of bargaining with the District, OCCTA declared impasse. Go to this link for updates: /SUMMER-BARGAINING---Updated-July-22--2021-1-10521.html .
We will continue to fight to demand safe working conditions during this pandemic.
At the bargaining table this week, the District's Chief Negotiator stated that the School Board wanted to "have control" over safety and health procedures and we were handed ridiculous counter proposals that struck through essential health and safety procedures, even as COVID-19 rages in our community.
Some take aways from bargaining -
Today CTA and the District signed one agreement to provide employees with COVID-related medical relief. Other proposals were still being negotiated before impasse was declared.
CTA's counter proposal handed across the table at 6:00pm. We will go back to the table at 7:00pm to hear the District's response and post it here.
President Doromal's Opening Statement at the Bargaining Meeting
August 2, 2021
Impact bargaining of the pandemic-related health and safety issues began today and continues tomorrow. Despite CTA's pleas to bargain these issues before teachers returned to work, the District pushed the date up until after teachers returned to schools and worksites. They demanded a proposal from CTA before the meeting, supposedly so they could review it and have a counter proposal to us before the meeting. As always, they did not send the counter proposal to us prior to the meeting as they promised, but shared it in the session. Below are the CTA and District proposals.
CTA's Health and Safety Proposal Download File (MOU.pdf)
District's Counter Proposal Download File (District Counter Proposal to CTA Proposal #16 -- MOU Health and Safety 2021-22 -- DRAFT v10.docx)
CTA objects to any language that includes the words, "when reasonable" or "when feasible", since it actually means the District will unilaterally decide. Who would want that in an agreement!? And those boxes with their reasoning for changing our language - 'Need flexibility to respond to changes in the pandemic'! If there is language that should be revisited because of CDC recommendations or the amount of COVID-cases in our community, we should come back to the table to decide those changes.
This is about protecting students and employees. We are shocked that the District's counter proposal removes essential health and safety protections! Other District's have already signed comprehensive and extensive health and Safety MOU's because they want to protect teachers and students and provide some confidence and peace of mind to employees and students. Not Orange County!
After slashing essential protections from the OCPS COVID-19 Health and Safety Manual, what can we expect? Wasn't that a message that these elected school board members and District leaders refuse to prioritize health and safety? The question is why?
President Doromal's Opening Statement
<img class="zImageDefault" src="/z/-vf.0.0.0.15591