Early release, voting margins, sick leave still on bargaining table in Pinellas
Update at 7:28 p.m.: The PCTA's take on the latest negotiations is included below.
From the latest Friday Update newsletter to Pinellas school board members: The district’s bargaining team met with PCTA representatives for several hours this week. The parties signed the grievance procedure article and are close on several other articles, as well as on language concerning the teacher evaluation process. There has been no movement from union leaders on the district’s proposal to reduce the voting margin on school-initiated schedules from 75 percent to 60 percent. In all, the parties have agreed on 24 articles. As previously reported, items successfully negotiated include those pertaining to health insurance and the length of the work year. The issue of early release is the subject of a quality process review headed by Mary Beth Corace. Meanwhile, the issue of a cap on terminal sick leave has begun its journey through the bargaining committees with a first meeting scheduled for Tuesday. Additional bargaining sessions are scheduled for next Friday and the following Monday.
And here's the latest on the negotiations from the PCTA, which sent this update to its members Friday:
For the past two days, PCTA and the District met in negotiations. Limited progress was made in a number of areas. Most of the time was dedicated to Article XXXIII, Teacher Evaluation and Files, and significant progress has been made, however, a tentative agreement has not been reached. Critical issues that were discussed this week and are still unresolved are:
Teacher Evaluations and Appeal Processes The Bargaining Leadership Team and Sub-committee Processes Transfer Provisions Teacher Assignments Just Cause for Discipline
A tentative agreement was reached on Article VII, Grievance Procedure, with minimal changes to the current language.
PCTA also broached the subject of the future use of a federal mediator. PCTA believes and the district concurs that this may be necessary to facilitate future progress in negotiations. Any final decision on mediation will be determined at a later date.
A federal mediator assists both parties in negotiations when there are issues which are hampering final agreement. The mediator seeks to find common ground for compromise or trade-offs between the parties. A federal mediator facilitates but does not determine language or conditions included in the contract.
As previously reported in the PCS Monday Update, the discussion on Terminal Pay, has been referred to the Employee Well-Being and Satisfaction Bargaining Committee that meets Tuesday, February 7, at 5:00 p.m.
The next bargaining session will be held on Friday, February 10th.