Here’s a brief update on some current issues:
– Negotiations. Based on your responses to our Negotiations Survey, we have prepared a proposal that emphasizes what is good for students and fair to teachers. The District, unfortunately, has delayed the opening of negotiations despite the fact that our current contract expires at the end of this month. If we do not reach a settlement by then, all provisions of of our contract that are not specifically sunset will continue to apply while we continue bargaining with the new administration headed by our incoming superintendent Terry Dade. We will keep you informed about the progress of our efforts on your behalf.
– State Takeover? As you probably know, some in our community are promoting a takeover of our school district by the State. We disagree. There should be a way to improve our predicament without disenfranchising Rochester citizens. Furthermore, there is no evidence that takeovers in NYS or throughout the country have resulted in improvements for students or accountability for those governing or (mis)managing our schools. This “cure” would be worse than the disease. Instead, we are supporting proposed legislation that would more specifically address our dynamics and our students’ needs. There’s no reason to believe that folks in Albany either know better or care more about our students.
– RTA Claims Against the RCSD. Contrary to our June 3, 2016 Memorandum of Agreement, the District failed to give specific reasons to teachers involuntarily transferred from Receivership schools. Moreover, the District targeted RTA Faculty Representatives in some Receivership schools for involuntary transfers. We have filed Class Action Grievances and Notices of Claim for Improper Practice Suits to object to these flagrant violations of the law and of our agreements.
– Reducing Layoffs. Thanks to the Retirement Incentive that we proposed and negotiated with the District, the originally projected teacher layoffs of nearly 200 have been reduced to approximately 20. Both the District and RTA are confident that virtually all layoffs of teachers may be restored during the summer. Please call the RTA with any specific questions or related concerns.
PD Opportunity. It’s this evening, and I know this is late notice. But there are a few spaces left. Go to True North Logic to register if you’re interested. It’s at The Little Theater tonight from 6-8pm. We’ll be discussing the impact of gentrification on schools and communities. Sponsored by the RTA and the Rochester Teachers Center. Two PD credits for attendees. Flyer attached.
– Rochester Teachers Care. This week’s video <https://youtu.be/igmeJkN_X4A> features Lisa Scott from Monroe High School. If you have recommendations for future Rochester Teachers Care videos, please contact either Matt Lavonas <firstname.lastname@example.org> or Aimee Rinere <email@example.com>. We want to highlight the everyday heroes who serve our students every day.
– Save the Date. On Friday, June 21, we are getting together to celebrate the end of yet another school year. Please plan to join us for hors d’oeuvres, refreshments, a raffle, DJ music and comradely. It’ll be at Anthology (336 East Avenue) from 3:30 ’til 6:30pm. Ample parking at and near the RTA. See the flyer below. Hope to see you there.
Adam Urbanski, RTA President