ICEA NEWSLETTER -- April 2015

Spring Banquet, Negotiations, School Board Listening Post

Come Join us for our annual banquet

You are invited to attend the…

ICEA Awards Banquet

North Ridge Pavilion

2250 Holiday Road

Coralville, IA 52241

5:30 PM Thursday, May 7th, 2015

We will be celebrating a great year in our schools as well as honoring our retiring members, award winners, and scholarship recipients. There will be a catered dinner, a presentation by ISEA President Tammy Wawro, and music by The Extra Credit Project. Look for the invitation for this event in your email. We'll see you there!

Negotiations Update

The Negotiations Committee and the ICCSD have reached formal impasse at this point in time. Mediation is scheduled for April 20. At that time, a neutral mediator will meet with both sides to work on getting an agreement for the remaining open items. The only two topics left undecided are Wages/Salary and Family Illness Leave.

With that said, there are many positive changes to report . Since our last update, we have come to an agreement regarding Hours and Days. From where we started last fall with the District’s initial proposal, ICEA has been able to protect prep time in the secondary and increase prep time in the elementary. In addition we have also put in place further protections on before and after school time and individual prep time. Many ICEA members have had concerns about their individual prep time not being used for PLC’s. In the new agreement, a PLC can only meet once a week during prep. This protection of the remaining prep time is something many ICEA members have been asking to get for years. With the increased protections and prep time in the elementary, the elementary teaching day is increasing to 6.5 hours. The District has committed to using the increase in minutes for a variety of ways including instruction, recess, and lunch.

Another substantial agreement has been to DECREASE the work year 5 days from 189 to 184. In exchange for this, the work day will increase 15 minutes to 8 hours Monday-Friday. With these changes to the work day and hours, the District plans to proceed with a school calendar of hours instead of days. One advantage of this will be days lost due to inclement weather will not be added to the student or teacher work year.

Here is the entire list of changes we have agreed to in principle:

• Changes in dues deduction

• Increased Parental Leave

• Improved language regarding Professional Leave

• Additional Day of Personal Leave in lieu of Emergency Leave

• Evaluation language will be examined by a committee comprised of ICEA teachers and ICCSD

staff

• Agreed to minor changes to health insurance benefits on the recommendation of the District

Insurance Committee (of which ICEA has representatives)

• Reduced work year from 189 days to 184 days

• Increased work day 15 additional minutes from 7 hours 45 minutes to 8 hours

• Increased elementary prep time to 243 minutes per week

• Limited building before/after school staff meetings to once per week (excluding Thursdays)

• Limited PLC’s during prep time to once per week

• Changed elementary teaching time to 6.5 hours per day

As always, feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you might have. Please remember I cannot discuss specifics regarding closed-door sessions.

Due to the fact that contract language had not been negotiated in three years, initial proposals contained extensive changes. The process this year has been tough and exhausting. I want you all to know that your colleagues on the team did a masterful job navigating through what proved to be very challenging circumstances. We are greatly appreciative of the support you have shown us this year.

Best wishes,

Mitch Gross, Chief Negotiator, ICEA

Listening Post

As School Board Director Brian Kirschling noted, the Board holds many listening posts but never for teachers. So, we have scheduled one for Wednesday, April 15 at 4:45 in the Media Center at NorthCentral Junior High School. Directors Kirschling and Swesey will be there. This is a great opportunity to give the Board feedback on issues important to you that the Board can directly impact -- for example, class sizes, staffing, and redistricting, to name a few.


We hope to see you there.