Make us your home page


Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Pasco elementary teachers say their rights are violated



As we reported Tuesday, more than 1,000 Pasco County elementary school teachers have filed two grievances against the district, claiming their workload has become too burdensome. One of the complaints is based on what the United School Employees of Pasco deems literal violations of the instructional master contract (see Article VI section A-1, Article IV section A and Article VII sections I, J, L, N, R and S). The other is based on the notion that district practices are unfair and deprive employees of their rights within the contract.

Sometimes the USEP files one type of grievance or the other. In this case, the problem is so bad that the group filed both, business agent Jim Ciadella said.

What's the complaint? Read on for the full text of the grievance based on the contract language, and the relief sought. Then let us know what you're seeing in the classrooms. Is this affecting middle and high school teachers too? Are other districts seeing similar issues?

Statement of grievance:

The board or its agents have violated the grievants' rights by continually adding student assessments, redundant data gathering/entering/generation of student information, attendance at numerous student, data, curriculum centered meetings which, when taken as a whole, directly and indirectly deprives the grievants to rights conferred to them under the collective bargaining agreement. Such actions include but are not limited to:

a. Requiring multiple assessments, professional development, data entering/inputting not required by the School Board or state or federal governments, with no corresponding diminishment of duties or extension of hours to enable the activities to be done appropriately without interfering with classroom activities and planning time necessary for adequate lesson preparation and other tasks necessary to fulfill their teaching responsibilities, and/or working beyond their normal workday.

b. Requiring parent conference days without adequate advance notice.

c. Requiring teachers to attend numerous administrative meetings and engage in other required activities on regular, scheduled planning days and not allowing teachers adequate time to complete student grades and plan for classroom activities.

d. Requiring teachers to be robotic in their approach towards lesson planning and delivery, which denies academic freedom and professional judgment in lieu of prescriptive methods and schedules.

e. Implementing the above programs, assessments and job requirements with no corresponding diminishment or realignment of duties, extension of hours, creation of additional planning time or additional compensation resulting in teachers having to work beyond their contracted hours or sacrifice classroom instruction.

Relief sought:

a. Eliminate any student assessment(s) not required of teachers by law or School Board policy. Allow teachers to determine which assessments beyond those required will be used to gauge and monitor student progress.

b. Eliminate school-based meetings/committees, required professional development, and professional learning communities not required of teachers by law or School Board.

c. Require K-12 literacy coaches, SAC, math/science/reading etc. resource teachers to provide assistance to classroom teachers in performing the various required assessments, data entering, etc.

d. Schedule parent conference days well in advance and in accordance with the contract. Do not require or coerce teachers into attending after-hour events.

e. Ensure that regular, scheduled planning days are protected to allow teachers to complete student grades and plan for classroom activities.

f. Provide each elementary school teacher with an additional 1/2 hour pay for their entire contracted school year.

g. Establish an early release day each quarter to provide additional time for teachers to complete their required duties.

h. Provide each teacher with 2 compensatory days, to be taken in no less than 1/2-day increments, by the end of the 2012-13 school year.

[Last modified: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 10:11am]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours