Here’s an update about several current issues:
Contract Ratification. This Tuesday you will have an opportunity to vote on the proposed one-year extension of our current (2015-2018) contract. At each school and work location, RTA Faculty Representatives will conduct the balloting. If ratified, all provisions of our current collective bargaining agreement would remain in effect and teachers would receive a 3.61% raise for next year. Meanwhile, we will continue negotiations through the Living Contract process and preparing for resuming bargaining for a multi-year pact on all the key issues you’ve identified in our survey and forums (school safety, student discipline, lower class sizes, more services for our students, and so much more). We recommend this tentative agreement for ratification and urge you to exercise your right to vote.
National School Walkout Day. This Wednesday, March 14, students throughout the country may be participating in a 17-minute walkout, probably at 10am, to commemorate the lives lost at the school shooting at Parkland , FL and to support greater safety at schools. Some RCSD schools are planning organized activities while other schools are expecting a walkout. Teachers should learn from their principals specific guidance as well as what is expected and permitted. The paramount considerations are to ensure safety and to respect the right of students to express themselves. RTA’s Representative Assembly adopted a related resolution at its February meeting (see resolution here).
Teacher Transfers. The transfer application period is now open and will remain so until until March 23rd. Up-to-date information is available in the RCSD Bulletin and posted on the RTA website <www.rochesterteachers.com>. We urge you to consider the merits of filling out a transfer form – especially if you are currently at a Receivership School or a school in flux. If you have questions or need advice, please call us at the RTA (546-2681).
Job Sharing. If you are considering job sharing next year, your Letter of Intend is due no later than May 1st. Call or email <Maskerade6@aol.com> Martha Keating for advice or if you have questions. Initially, Martha will need to know your name, tenure area, current school, preferred telephone and email, and whether you are willing to job share at another school.
PD Opportunity. There’s still time to sign up for this Tuesday’s RTA Educational Dinner Seminar. Dr. Noma LeMoine will discuss “Language Variation and Learning: How Can African American Students Be More Successful in American Schools.” Registration is through TrueNorth Logic and attendees will receive two PD credits. See more information in the attached flyer.
Rochester Teachers Care. This week’s video features the inspiring and creative teaching by School #34’s Rachel Strickland. Ms. Strickland was among last year’s New Teachers of the Year honored by our Career In Teaching Program. She is exemplary of so many other Rochester teachers who prove how much teachers care about their students and their students’ education.
Finally, and most importantly, our thoughts and prayers are with Trevyan Rowe and his family. We are united in our grief and in our determination to support them, all at School #12, and the entire Rochester community.
Adam Urbanski, RTA President