Recording Secretary Report – 10/15/2014

Wednesday, October 15, 2014                                                                            3:15-5:15

Starting Time: 3:28                                                                  Adjournment Time: 5:10



  1. Welcome
  2. Introductions
  3. Introduction of Guests
  4. Nancy Stenberg, LPAT District Coordinator
  5. Presentation of Agenda
  6. President’s Remarks (Brief)
  7. Reports: Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, GrievanceTreasurer
  8. Old Business: Mass Child, MTA Building Rep Training, 10/21, Negotiations Updates, Unit-A Contract Update Meeting, 11.03, Member Forum, 11.10
  9. New Business
  10. If the SC won’t see reason, What Shall We Do?
  11. Building Rep Training and Support
  12. What training do we need?


At 3:21, Chuck made a motion to relocate to computer room which has AC. Everyone cheered!

Introductions around the room for new attendees.

Motion to accept agenda. It passed


President’s Remarks

Objective 1: Raise awareness that Unit A negotiations will not be reached at the deadline. Need to plan for this contingency

Objective 2: Raise involvement in the CEA.

Unit A collective bargaining has met twice. Biggest contention is time. We have many state and federal implementations that require more time than the school committee wishes to grant. Second concern is wages. We have dropped inflation/cost of living which drops our buying power. School committee offers more steps, which causes about 48% of members to reduce earnings so top 52% of members can get 2%/2%/2%. Next Unit A meetings are on 10/22 & 10/30.

Question posed about Unit E, which hasn’t started yet. Unit B and D have both started. Unit A usually leads the way.

Clarification on release time is time removed from school day to work on collaboration, initiatives, etc.

Many members fear reprisal for union business. Chuck had spoken to school committee to voice his concern over this.

Jim concerned about Unit A & Unit B solidarity. Chuck replies most concerns are coming from Principals, rather than Unit B.

Similarly, Unit B missed starting time for contract negotiations by 9 months. We must protect our rights.

Win for us: Clerks are no longer requiring visitor to surrender keys.

TS Gold program is being implemented at kindergarten. Chuck has worries over the time required. Superintendent wants teachers to stay calm and a way will be found through. Chuck worried that he doesn’t appreciate the time. Erica clarifies that this program is like the evaluation tool but for each student. The time takes over 19 full school days. This is a national implement for more funding.

Michele proposes that superintendent shadows a kindergarten teacher to see how difficult it is. Or try doing it with school committee’s own children.

Jim agrees that these initiatives keep putting more work on teachers and admin keeps telling us not to worry.

Gold grant pays for kindergarten paras, so failing this will have serious consequences.

MTA president Madeloni is organizing forums throughout the state to raise awareness, share stories, and get people talking about a collective response.


Nancy Stenberg, Legislative Political Action Team (LPAT) District Coordinator, Guest Speaker

She is the liaison with PALs. Worries that education is being controlled by state and government, not locally.

MTA supports Coakley. Coakley has met with Madeloni, but Baker refuses.

Don Hummison, American Legislation Exchange Counsel (ALEC), working with Koch brothers to pass anti-education legislation.

Phone banks at MTA office Holyoke. Mon-Thurs 4-8. Get dinner and Dunks gift card. No appointment necessary. Don’t need to talk for the whole time.


Recording Secretary Report

Motion for accepting. Voted and passed.


Corresponding Secretary Report

At training. Will present at next meeting.


Grievance Chair Report

Motion for accepting. Voted and passed.


Treasurer Report

Motion for accepting. Voted and passed.


Old Business

MassChild – Allow CEA to purchase items; academic or otherwise, for students. We’ve almost hit our cutoff already, most of it going to homeless. There should be a link on the CEA website. Figure out what you want to purchase, itemize and sent to Christine Theroux. She takes care of the rest and will email you when it is approved.


Building Representative/Steward Training – At Chicopee High School cafeteria, October 21 from 4-7. It will discuss our tools and how to use them. Useful to help organize our members so that we can get fair wages with our contract. Dinner will be provided and documents to take home. Preregistration will help with this. An email will be sent to all building reps so those not present can attend.

Similar to previous MTA building rep training.


Contract Negotiation Update – given during President’s Remarks. Our options to convince school committee for fair wage.


All CEA Meeting – November 3 at Chicopee High School in theater at 3:15, ratification if negotiation has reached a conclusion. If not, we will discuss options to act together as a union.


MTA Forum – November 10 at Chicopee Falls Polish Home, 4-6:30. Identify leaders and get involved in the union.


New Business

High Stakes Testing Forum – In Northampton to discuss and plan reaction to high stakes testing.


Educators for a Democratic Union – Fall conference at Worcester State to help discuss a union that works for us.


Jim Clark worried that building locations aren’t good for a note taking and such for meeting. Several attendees are from Bowe because it was here. Hope to find a centralized location with adequate space and useful for meeting attendees.

Counter-thought to keep grassroots to draw people in and rally those who just need to walk down the hall. Going to other schools help with perspective from those from buildings.


Building Representative Check List – Divide the building into manageable chunks. Find people to help so you can talk to people and find out what is important to them.

Worry about attendance day before PD, because some book when no school day next day.


Register 2 Eat 4 Free – Drop in free/reduced lunch from Middle School to High School, which loses money for city. Increase students to $125 to help generate ~$6000 for city.


If School Committee Won’t Agree to Negotiations – question on negotiation members from SC. Some are more allies than others, such as David B. Make personal contact with SC to express our feelings and put a face to our cause.

Question for Work to Rule. It is an option, but concern over ~47 vulnerable teachers. Hold non-PTS as not being accountable, but everyone else should be involved. Josh worried about those who want to duck out of this option. Work to Rule is enter building at required time to go about business and leave when business is done. Coaches and others getting paid, must be exempt.

We must be careful as we are in an impoverished city at the end of a depression. Frame that we keep up with what we’ve been paid before rather than as a raise.

Templates exist for working with community. Forums at public library. Public events to raise awareness.

City is playing hardball with police & firefighters. Potential coalition there as they have some more respect.

Make public aware that the things we’re asking for are for students’ benefits, that community is at risk.

Feeling at CHS is a sense of apathy, how do we get the teachers out.

High school is usually the loudest. We need to find the leaders to convince, who will in turn convince others.

The argument is tax base is going down as poverty rises. We’ve spent rainy day funds already. We haven’t gotten state aid (Chapter 70 money).

They are refusing on more than just money. They are refusing the time issue as well. SC agrees with the workload increase being overbearing, but they offer less than minimum.

We can find something in the contract that we can exchange for a negligible raise.

Many upset over the SC lip service, but lack of action.

Teachers should attend School Committee Meetings, perhaps in congress to show our solidarity.


New Teacher Meeting – Sheridan 4 Points, December 5. Cost is $60. New presenters for new teachers. Encourage new teachers to come to this meeting.


Christine Boseman – She is up for ethnic minorities committee nomination.


CEA Website – Pulled down student pictures, but need more media. Show our involvement. MTA legal says we can adapt Chicopee’s policy for ours and then can put a face to it.

Jim concerned about legal ramifications of having actual students up there and urges serious consideration.

Student artwork can be posted.


Building Rep Training/Support

Chance to go over contract

Top 3-5 problems (FAQ)

Librarians not yet in Unit E. Currently considered as Media Techs.

Grievance Procedure. What do we do when someone asks us a question? How do we verify that it is a grievance.

What do I do when sitting at a discipline meeting?

Publicize who building reps are within each building.


Next meeting at Streiber