Here are a few timely reminders as well as a status report on some current issues:
– Forum on Reopening. In addition to holding five forums on reopening for parents, every District must hold at least one forum for teachers and other staff. The RCSD forum will be tomorrow morning, from 8:30am ’til 10am. You can access the meeting via the link <https.//www.rcsdk12.org/teacherreopening>. Questions can be submitted in advance or during the meeting by email at <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
– Teaching From Schools As Option. Some teachers have inquired whether they could choose to teach remotely from the school, instead from home, during the first ten weeks of the next school year. We’ve not yet received any definitive information about this from the District but it could be that some, not all, schools will be made available for this. We remind you, however, that no teacher would have to do this unless they choose to do it.
– Retro Pay. The salary differential for teachers that we’ve negotiated with the District last June has not yet been paid out. It’s taking longer than we’d prefer. We have been pressing for the payout but the District claims that it’s taking so long because all the calculations and programing has to be done “by hand and separately for every teacher.” We filed a Class Action Grievance seeking interest to be added for the time of delay. Expect more information on this soon.
– Appendix A. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the District and the RTA included a reference to a Sample Schedule that would be proposed by the District. As long as such a schedule does not violate any contractual language, it is indeed a matter of management prerogative. Attached below is the latest version of the District’s sample schedule along with some notations from the RTA.
– More Budget Woes? The New York State Division of Budget just notified all NYS school districts that the State is now projecting a $14.5 billion budget shortfall that may necessitate a 20% reduction in state aid to school districts. This could spell a significant deficit for our district. Along with our state and national unions, the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) we are continuing and intensifying our strong advocacy for additional funding from the state and Federal levels. We will keep you informed about the progress of our efforts on your behalf and on behalf of all our students.
Even before this troubling news about additional budget woes, the District announced potential layoffs of paraprofessionals, school nurses and non-teaching employees. We stand in solidarity with these colleagues and we remain determined to also oppose any potential reductions of teachers or services for our students.