Horseheads Teachers Association

Winter 2015-16 Newsletter

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--------Contract Settled!!--------

On October 29, 2015 the Horseheads Board of Education approved the negotiated collective bargaining agreement with the HTA. This was a long and difficult process for our negotiations team, but well worth it to bring a fair agreement to our membership after more than a year without a contract. Retroactive pay will be included in your December 17th check. This will also be the first paycheck which is based on your new salary. Your HTA leaders strongly encourage you to check your salary and make sure that it is accurate. Watch your EMAIL!! Greg Stevens will be forwarding a spreadsheet which will help you compute your retroactive pay amount and your new salary. If you have any concerns please contact Human Resources at ext. 4214.

---- HTA Adopt A Family (or TWO!) ----

This holiday season the HTA is sponsoring two families. Both families are members of our district. Wish lists for each family were emailed to eevery member before the Thanksgiving holiday. Please consider picking up some extra items when you are out shopping over the next two weeks. Or, if you aren't up for shopping and would like to make a monetary donation, that would also be great! Donations can be sent to Missy Schultz in the middle school by Tuesday, December 7th. You may also give donated items to your building representative on December 7th as we have an Executive Council meeting that afternoon and they can hand them in for you.

High School Social Studies Teacher, Jamy Brice-Hyde had the opportunity to work with a team of teachers from across the country in writing an amici curiae brief for the US Supreme Court. Amici curiae literally means "friend of the court" -- someone who is not a party to the litigation, but who believes that the court's decision may affect its interest. Jamy and her group wrote their brief in response to the Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association case, which is designed to decimate public-sector unions (to read more about this case, click here).

Jamy states: Our group of writers began this adventure in July conducting research and writing until the middle of October. Bruce Lederman was kind enough to offer us his services pro bono. BATs (Badass Teachers Association) raised enough money to pay to submit the brief which cost in the thousands of dollars. On November 12th the amici curiae was accepted by the supreme court. My personal contributions are throughout the brief as I was one of the four editors. My personal story can be found on pages 14 and 15 of the brief. ( click here to read the brief ) Here it tells the story of a team I lead from BATs and the AFT which has exposed the working conditions of educators across the country and has resulted in legislative language in the ESEA reauthorization Bill which will be voted on this week in Congress. I am a strong unionist who came to teaching after spending 15 years in private sector business. In my previous career I had no union for support, no collectively bargained contract. Without union support it can be difficult to navigate the nuances of employment. The first time in my ENTIRE LIFE that I was paid EQUALLY to a Man was the day I received my first paycheck from Horseheads. I have been volunteering for my union since I became a tenured teacher. The Horseheads Teachers Association has provided my career with so much and I intend to do all I can so that collective bargaining rights and unions exist long after I am retired. If the Supreme Court rules with the plaintiff in Friedrichs V. CTA it will create a "Right to work" nation. This court case is a direct attack on the middle class and each of your rights as unionists. The plaintiff is contending that paying agency fees to the local teachers union obstructs her first amendment rights to free speech involving unions political advocacy. Here is a blog post my friend wrote who is one of the co-authors of this brief explaining the nuances of this case in laymen's terms.

Here in New York your membership dues go ZERO to political advocacy. VOTE COPE money which you choose to donate is the money used for political action advocacy. It is important for all of us to support VOTE COPE so we are able to fight against those that want to end the existence of unions. IN the meantime we are not expecting a ruling on this case until June 2016! Stay tuned!

-----Right To Know Online Course-----

The required Right To Know training will be presented in an online course format rather than a "face to face" meeting. This format makes it much more convenient for you. You can do the training from any computer (in or out of District) that has a web browser. The training is interactive and takes approximately 30-35 minutes to complete.

The course can easily be finished in one sitting. However, as you move through the training, your progress is saved so that, if you need to, you may close out and return at a later time at the precise point where you left off. A progress bar is provided below the course to show you where you are in the session. At the end you will be required to enter the last four digits of your Social Security Number as verification that you have completed the course.

Here’s how to get started on the training:

1. Go to the web page at or

2. Click the 'I want to create a PIN' link in the upper right portion of the page. Follow the steps to select your name and email yourself a PIN.

3. Check your email and retrieve your PIN. Each PIN is unique and is matched to your email address.

4. Return to the web page from part 1 above, and Click on the 'I have already created my PIN' link in the upper right. Enter the PIN and enter the matching email address.

5. Click the 'Authenticate' button. Read the affidavit carefully.

6. Click the 'Launch Course'. The course will load.

7. Click the 'Let's Get Started' button in the course window.

Some of the screens in the course have narrated audio content. On these screens you will need to click 'Play Audio' and listen to the audio before the 'Next' button appears. You will need to have your speakers on or headphones/earbuds to listen to the content. There are also some screens that have interactive content. You will need to click, drag, or drop some items before the next button will appear.

-Right To Know for Inservice Credit-

The district will be offering one or two sessions of the Right to Know course after school hours for in-service credit. It is anticipated that they will be scheduled in January or February. If you choose to do the online version, you may complete it during work hours, but you will not receive in-service credit. If you have already completed the online version, but would like to earn in-service credit you may still attend the after school session. Please contact Hether Gillette with questions.

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To Attend Board of Education Meetings!!!!

Teacher representation is incredibly valuable! Please let the BOE know we are interested in what they are discussing and that we're watching what's happening in our district!

  • November 19th- Intermediate School 6 pm
  • December 17th- Multi Media Center 6 pm
  • January 28th- Multi Media Center 6 pm
  • February 25th- Middle School 6 pm

-----------HTA on Social Media-----------

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----------The Last Laugh----------

(For All Of The Adele Fans Out There!)
A Thanksgiving Miracle - SNL