As you already know, Superintendent Dade announced yesterday his recommendations for closing the District’s budget gap. Contrary to what was promised, the plan certainly does not make the cuts “as far away from the classrooms and students.” The Board of Education has yet to vote on it. And while we are yet to learn certain details and specifics, here are some initial responses from your union:
– Health Benefits The District cannot unilaterally diminish health benefits for RTA members. This would have to be first negotiated with us. We have always considered health benefits to be a matter of human rights and continue to do so.
– Professional Development Incentive (PDI) This, too, would have to be negotiated with your union. Unless and until the District announces an “end date,” you will receive full PDI credit for the qualified professional development. If and when the District does announce such an end date, we will challenge it and immediately file a Class Action grievance.
– Teacher Layoffs The proposed plan would result in 168 teacher layoffs by January 1, 2020 – representing 5% reduction in every tenure area. This would be not only devastating and disruptive to students and their teachers but also unrealistic and unworkable since some subjects are mandated by the State and in some tenure areas the District already has a significant shortage.
– Central Bureaucracy Spared Of the 18 proposed layoffs of administrators, to the best of our knowledge 16 are members of the ASAR union. That would leave only two (2) proposed layoffs of Central Office Superintendent’s Exempt Group (SEG). Contrast that with 168 teacher layoffs. Is that truly cutting as far away from the classroom as possible?
Students and their teachers did not create the fiscal mess we’re in. Students and their teachers should not bear the price for fixing it. There’s got to be a better way. We will advocate for it, propose alternatives, and keep you informed about the progress of our efforts on your behalf and on behalf of our students. Meanwhile, if you have questions about your seniority in your certification area, or if we can be of any assistance to you, please email Martha Keating <Maskerade6@aol.com>, Margaret Sergent <email@example.com>, Aimee Rinere <firstname.lastname@example.org> or Matt Lavonas <email@example.com>.
Thank you for your continued support and solidarity. And thank you for all you do, every day, for your students.
Adam Urbanski, RTA President