From the Negotiations Table

June 5, 2015

Attend the NEXT Negotiations meeting

Monday, June 15th, 5pm

110 McDonald Dr

Lawrence, KS

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Current Tentative Agreements (click for details)

Here are details about a number changes to Master Agreement articles the LEA and District teams have reached Tentative Agreements on.

Continuing Negotiations Topics

Article 8- Salary

  1. LEA originally proposed a $500 increase on each cell of the salary schedule in addition to vertical AND horizontal movement. (~2.3%)
  2. The District countered with an offer of $300 increase on each cell but with ONLY horizontal movement and contingent on the state legislature funding the "Block Grant" in full. (1.3%)
  3. LEA countered with a proposal of $400 increase per cell and vertical AND horizontal movement with no contingency. (1.5%)

Rationale: Vertical movement is important to teachers because it is a loss that is compounded each year of a teacher's career. Ex. a teacher who would have received a $300 increase because of vertical movement. That teacher will be behind $300 for the rest of their career in LPS. $300 x 20 years- 6,000 in lost pay. In districts where vertical movement is delayed for multiple years this can amount to 5 figure losses for teachers.

In addition, the loss of vertical movement puts current LPS staff at a disadvantage to future hires. Ex. a teacher in the district for 10 years would only be at the 9th step. A new hire would enter with all 10 previous years of experience. LEA wants to make sure teachers are valued for their commitment to LPS.

This article will be discussed again at the next Negotiations meeting.

Article 15- Work Year

  1. The District originally proposed adding 5 minutes to the instructional day at elementary and middle schools extending instructional time by 2 days. Those 2 days would be transferred into 2 additional district professional development days for elementary and middle school.
  2. LEA countered with transferring 3 days of instructional time into 1.5 days of teacher-directed plan time for elementary teachers and 1.5 days of district professional development.
  3. In the district's counter it was made clear they would not consider moving instructional time into teacher plan time even though elementary instructional time under their original proposal would exceed the state requirement by 8 days (originally 6 days + 2 additional days from 5 minute extension).

This article will be discussed at the next Negotiations meeting.

Article 16- Duty Day

  1. LEA proposed separating MA article language into middle school: “The daily teaching load of a middle school teacher shall be 6 teaching periods in an 8 period day. High school: “6 teaching periods in a 7 period day. Additionally, include language for itinerant teachers, “The daily teaching load of itinerant teachers shall be reduced as needed to provide travel time. Teacher plan time and duty-free lunch shall not be considered travel time." Also, change when duty day will terminate for high school to 40 minutes following the dismissal of regular classes. Finally, again include language for an elementary plan time committee and include “to address the need for additional plan time.”
  2. The district countered accepting LEA's proposal but striking the portion including language for an elementary plan time committee to address additional plan time.
  3. LEA countered with our original proposal and clarifying the language continuing an elementary plan time committee is tied to any agreement on Article 15 & 17.
  4. The district countered with their continued agreement for LEA's original proposal but still striking the language for an elementary plan time committee.
  5. LEA countered with our same proposal.

This article will be discussed at the next Negotiations meeting.

Article 17- Plan Time

At the June 5 meeting there was back and forth about whether or not it would be productive to continue language for an elementary plan time committee with the district against the language. Members of the District team deemed this year's committee a failure and felt the district team in cooperation with T & L had tried to find a solution to additional plan time.

LEA negotiators made clear this year's committee was given severely limiting parameters that any option included in a final proposal would not have an associated cost. It was pointed out by board member Bob Byers in an earlier negotiations meeting the BOE could make funding for a plan time solution if it was deemed a priority. It is LEA's view any future committee should be directed to consider options whether they are cost neutral or not and providing additional elementary plan time should be a priority.

LEA expressed the 20 minutes of additional plan time proposed by the District and accepted by LEA is appreciated, but much more work needs to be done to provide equitable plan time for elementary staff (which has been an on-going issue). The LEA team pointed out previous District proposals to change collaboration time into teacher plan time only shifted the name of the time, not providing truly ADDITIONAL plan time.

Both the District and LEA teams are in agreement on a total of 4h 15 m of plan time (an additional 20 minutes) for elementary. The sticking point is currently LEA's proposal that any missed plan time as a result of weeks with less than 5 scheduled days be rescheduled or compensated. The rationale being that the District will save money on bussing and substitutes with the additional 2 district PD days (students not in school) that can be used to compensate teachers whose plan time is lost during short weeks.

The teams are also working on language regarding assigning additional duties during teacher plan time. The District proposal is to combine current language with new language: "Meetings and supervisory duties will not be scheduled on a regular basis during plan time."

LEA wants separate statements: “Supervisory duties WILL NOT be scheduled during plan time. Meetings duties will not be scheduled on a regular basis during plan time.” This allows for flexibility for teachers who are interested in scheduling IEPs during plan time, but would safeguard teacher plan time from supervisory duties (ex. bus monitors, etc.)

This article will be discussed at the next Negotiations meeting.

Action Items

What do YOU think?

Share your responses to items presented at the negotiations table directly with your LEA Negotiations Team members via email (links below).

NOTE: LEA negotiators volunteer their time to serve our members. The goal of the negotiations team is to advocate for a master agreement that benefits all LEA members. For the process of negotiations to work best for our members we need to maintain our professionalism when advocating for ourselves and our peers.

LEA Negotiations Team

Chair: David Reber, Free State H.S.

Secretary: Stephne Bowen, West M.S.

Chris Cobb, South M.S.

Jeff Plinsky, Lawrence H.S.

Catherine Glidewell, Langston Hughes Ele.

Elizabeth Gabel, Southwest M.S.