SDEA Board Report: District Looking at Teach for America Contract?

Were you actually looking for the “Facts on Our Raises” story? Click the link below!

Members Want FACTS on Our Raises, Other “Union Notes” Analysis

Otherwise, read on… 🙂

Here are the highlights from the Nov. 7 SDEA Board meeting. See below for full analysis.

  • SDUSD temporarily pulls Teach for America contract from Board agenda after union protest; issue not yet dead.
  • SDEA Board continues emphasis on Robert’s Rules of Order.
  • SDEA Executive Director discusses raise schedule — nothing guaranteed for January.

MEMBER CONCERNS

A Breakfast Club member emphasized the necessity to educate members so we are able to fully participate in our union process. This perspective was substantiated with some quotes for Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised 11th Edition. See quotes below:

“It is good policy for every member on joining society to be given a copy of the bylaws, printed together with corporate charter, if there is one, and any special rules of order or standing rules that the society may have adopted as explained below. A member should become familiar with the contents of these rules if he looks toward full participation in the society.”

“Robert was surely aware of the early evolutionary development of parliamentary procedure in the English House of Lords resulting in a movement from ‘consensus,’ in its original sense of unanimous agreement, toward a decision by majority vote as we know it today. This evolution came about from recognition that a requirement of unanimity or near unanimity can become a form of tyranny in itself.”

The member stated that the acquisition of these skills of Robert’s Rules of Order by our members will require more than a handout; we will need training, too.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Once again the approval of the minutes returned to the previous discussions or concerns of the minutes at other Board meetings. Several Board members insist that the minutes should reflect what was done and not detail notes. SDEA Secretary Michelle Sanchez disagreed, saying that it should a combination of both. Note: Information regarding this matter can be found in Robert’s Rules of Order on pages 468 and 471. However, SDEA’s Bylaws state only that our meetings, not our minutes, will be conducted in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order.

The minutes were approved with edits to the Secretary’s report from the previous meeting. Since it won’t be in SDEA’s official minutes, you can read here for an account of the Secretary report, in which Sanchez raised concerns about SDEA leadership’s recent actions.

ROBERT’S RULES OF ORDER

The next agenda item was Robert’s Rules of Order. A handout regarding Rules of Order for SDEA Rep. Council meeting was passed out. Vice President Lindsay Burningham stated that this handout information is not part of the Standing Rules or part of the Bylaws. The discussion emphasized the need for SDEA to follow Robert’s Rules more closely. While it is good that SDEA is going to train members on Robert’s Rules if we’re going to live by them so closely, it is important to ask why SDEA is suddenly devoting so much attention to using antiquated parliamentary procedures to control conversation and debate at our union meetings.

TEACH FOR AMERICA

SDEA President Bill Freeman and Executive Director Tim Hill said that they were surprised that Teach For America was on the SDUSD School Board agenda without the District informing them. Teach For America wants to place teachers at our school sites in our low income communities to bring up test scores. SDEA has concerns with this because it impacts our contract. The District claims they do not have money to spend on our teachers, but they have money for Teach for America. Furthermore, it was discussed that Teach For America has a curriculum that is anti-union. The SDEA Board appeared to be very upset with this issue. It was stated that SDEA needs to get serious with the District—their actions are an attack working class families. The President said that he spoke with the District and asked them to take the item off their agenda. The item was removed for now.

ROUNDTABLE (HIGHLIGHTS)

  • In early November, SDEA and other unions in the District met regarding VEBA. This meeting gave the unions an opportunity to discuss our common issues with the District (e.g. the response time of the District). This type of meeting will continue in the future.
  • According the SDEA Executive Director Tim Hill, SDUSD lead attorney Larry Schoenke is leaving the District.
  • Hill also gave a draft report discussing how Prop. 30 will impact union members. He said if we do not get our raises by July 2013, they will roll into the next contract. He said we won’t necessarily get a raise starting this January. He said when we get the first raise it will be retroactive to January 1, 2013.

— by Augustine Evans (ALBA)

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