Here’s a brief update on some timely reminders and current issues:
– Rochester Teachers Care. This week’s Rochester Teachers Care video <https://youtu.be/ZBGbRopqUiQ> features Kelly Follman from the RISE Community School. Through arts and culturally relevant pedagogy, she engages and motivates students to deepen and to love learning. Ms. Follman is a representative of so many other Rochester teachers who, every day, are the unsung heroes in the lives of their students. If you would like to nominate a colleague, or a group of colleagues, for future videos, please email Aimee Rinere <email@example.com> or Matt Lavonas <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
– New APPR Legislation. A bill promoted by the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) to improve teacher evaluations passed overwhelmingly in the NYS Assembly and unanimously in the NYS Senate. It requires the Governor’s signature to become law. If adopted, it would eliminate the mandate that school districts use state test scores in teacher ratings. The legislation would return that decision to local school districts and ensure that any teacher evaluation system be negotiated with the local teachers’ union. While the bill does not eliminate APPR entirely, a goal that we are determined to achieve, it is an important step in that direction.
– Early Retirement Incentive. We are in the final stages of preparing a proposal to the District that would ask for an early retirement incentive for qualified teachers. The details will be made known when we submit the request by mid-February. We intend to demonstrate to the District that this strategy has the potential to cause the District substantial long-term savings and contribute substantially to the goal of fixing their structural budget deficits. Simultaneously, we will continue to lobby for an Early Retirement Incentive from the NYS Legislature – though the chances for that provision probably won’t be known until the final stages of their budget development in late Spring.
– Negotiations. Our current contract expires on June 30 and we have already begun preparations for the upcoming negotiations. You will soon receive a survey and information about ways that RTA members can provide input and recommendations for provisions in the successor agreement. Because of the retirement of Superintendent Deane-Williams at the end of this month, our negotiations will be conducted with the incoming Interim Superintendent Dan Lowengard.
– Interested in Politics? Our state union is looking for teachers, including retired teachers, who might be interested in becoming more actively involved in political campaign and even running for office. From 4:30pm until 6:30pm on Thursdays from February 28 until April 4, at the NYSUT Rochester Regional Office (30 N. Union Street), NYSUT will hold workshops for interested unionists and prospective candidates. The comprehensive 6-week training program will address such topics as fundraising, building a campaign, messaging, public outreach, etc. If you are be interested, or know someone who might be, please contact the NYSUT Rochester Regional Office by calling 585 454 5550.
– Superintendent Search.There will be a special forum for RCSD employees to provide input on the ongoing search for the next Superintendent of schools in our District. The session will be held this Tuesday, January 29, from 4-5:30pm in Room 3A/B of Central Office (131 W. Broad Street). If you cannot attend, you can watch it streamed live at <www.rcsdk12.org/suptsearch>. At the same website, you can find a survey to provide input by no later than February 15.
– PD Opportunity. The Rochester City School District is hosting a “Restoring Rochester Conference” on Saturday, April 27, 2019, from 8am ’til 3pm, at the Riverside Convention Center (see attached flyer). Teachers who attend this important session will receive 4 PDI credits. Breakfast and lunch provided. You can register at <www.rocrestorative.org>. Please see your school’s RTA Faculty Representative about the school’s RTA Conference Funds to cover the cost of the registration fee. If such funds are not available at your school, please call the RTA (546-2681) for assistance.
Adam Urbanski, RTA President
Open Attachment: Restoring Rochester 2019 Flyer 2 (logos).pdf