Recording Secretary Report – 5/16/2018

Wednesday, May 16, 2018                                                                                  3:15-4:30

(Recorded by Elonia Lamontagne, Transcribed by Benjamin Eisen)


Call to Order at 3:18

Moment of silence for the passing of Claudia’s son. Memorial Service May 17 at the Munich Haus

April 3 and April 4 stand outs made it on Masslive and other news outlets

Continuing this activism is essential

Banding Together concert: a joint performance by 5th graders, middle school, and high school bands

April 30 there was an informational meeting to share the 1 year proposal. Members shared concern with issues such as 26 pay checks. It generated interested with people.

Grievance working to resolve employee relations. Most ideas are rejected and moved to level 4 which goes to the school committee

Backpack Full of Cash at the Academy of Music in Northampton will be shown again (TBA)

MTA Annual Meeting (5/4-5/5) had 23 delegates. Encourage other members to become delegates next year. At the meeting, delegates elected new leadership Merrie Najimy (President) and Max Page (Vice President). The delegates also voted to fund the Fair Share Amendment Campaign to generate $2 million a year by taxing income over $1 million. The All In Campaign supports initiatives to fund underfunded schools. Projected membership loss caused by Janus will lead to a decrease in revenue. Money needs to be adjusted from another column.

Unit A Contract Ratification failed 299-226)

Demand to bargain:

  • Supervisor removal proposed by superintendent
  • Coteaching model imposed by superintendent

Health Insurance Open Enrollment from 5/14-5/25. 13 min video on the changes.

Meet the candidates night in Wilbraham

New Leadership of the CEA; Laura Demakis (President), Kathleen Abood (Co-Vice President), Tim Sweeney (Co-Vice President). Position of officer slots available, send a letter of interest to Laura.

James Clark mentioned the positive camaraderie of the CEA at the MTA Annual Meeting through social gatherings.

Laura Demakis says that after each School Committee Meeting, there will be a meet up at The Blue Room. After each City Council Meeting, there will be a meet up at The Munich Haus.

June 6th School Committee Meeting, South Hadley and Northampton will join us to discuss the 26 paycheck issue. Please represent.

Kathy Abood thanks Zach and Scott for leading the action committee in our recent activism and connections they made at the MTA conference through our t-shirts.

Remember to wear your CEA shirts on Friday. They are given out at events. Encourage colleagues to come to events to get them. Some members are concerned about having to go out at get their shirts.

26 paychecks was not popular. We have no contract, what now? 3 units have not yet ratified a contract, Unit E might reach an agreement soon.

  • A “Sick In” or “Blue Flu” is considered an illegal strike and threaten to lose license
  • Paraprofessionals reach out to media and stood out at open houses
  • Work to Rule needs to be well attended across all buildings
  • Negotiation work is appreciated. There is a good core group and students join in
  • Potentially start Work to Rule at the beginning of the school year
  • A concern of Work to Rule is safety of the students in the building without teachers. This is before teachers are required to be in the school
  • Elementary teachers need to know if they should set up classrooms in the summer
  • Chicopee residents are willing to listen. Send out flyers to public and inform them
  • Administration needs to speak to School Committee
  • Elementary to hand out pamphlets at grocery stores
  • Canvassing and door knocking to inform Chicopee residents
  • List of engaged voters
  • Discuss who we can target to get us a contract
  • Work to Rule in September as entering and leaving building together.
  • Inspire others to attend School Committee and City Council
  • Media communication; 22 News, Jeanette DeForge.
  • Worry about dwindling support as we need more people.
  • Do not affect MCAS
  • Post pictures of empty classrooms on Facebook
  • Stand out at doors
  • Don’t hide the issue we’re fighting for; i.e. breaking of mutual respect policy
  • Mayor has conflict of interest if he’s controlling the school budget
  • Need to decide if paras are doing Work to Rule
  • 1 day stay after school for teachers
  • Too nice doesn’t garner support
  • Break down classes early creates inconveniences. No one will care and teachers will be viewed as lazy. No extra time at the end of the year will be perceived as teachers not doing their job
  • We need to spin our actions the right way. We’re fighting for students and the media rarely covers it. (They don’t want to be biased)
  • Money for outside activities is available through the MTA.
  • Don’t depend on legacy media, and use social media; YouTube, Facebook, etc.
  • Clean classrooms early to take pictures
  • Publicly shaming politicians can make things more difficult
  • Get word out about the district ignoring issues of mold, mildew, asbestos
  • Share ideas at 10 minute building meetings.

Feedback from 10 minute meetings will be discussed at June meeting. How can people not get involved in our 2nd year on an expired contract?

Ideas to encourage more members to get engaged;

  • Monthly Meetings at different schools each month
  • Consider a new website or use social media platforms
  • Monthly Meetings to 1st Wednesday rather than 2nd Wednesday

Treasurer’s Report was approved.

Retirement Party at Munich Haus and CEA Summer Conference information passed out.

Laura gathered information on people leaving through HR.

Sherry concerned about no mailboxes for paras.

Scott is concerned about loss of privacy of union workers.

PD from MTA is free for members, and there will be more.

Adjourned at 5:03 PM