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Gradebook podcast: Teachers are being ‘voluntold’ to do extra? Are schools taking advantage of them?

The Hillsborough County Classroom Teachers Association says ‘yes.’
Teachers and Hillsborough County School District officials at contract negotiations on May 23, 2018. For the union: Cherie Miller, Stephanie Baxter-Jenkins, Jean Clements, Lindsesy Blankenbaker. [MARLENE SOKOL | Times]
Published Aug. 22

Teachers have contracts with their school districts for a reason. The agreements detail what their employers can expect of them, and what they're required to do. But what about when a principal 'suggests' that something more needs to get done, and requests volunteers?

There's no mandate to do the work, but the pressure certainly exists, along with the message, ignore at your own risk. At least, that's what Hillsborough County Classroom Teachers Association leaders are contending as they negotiate this year's employment deal with the nation's eighth largest public school system.

Reporter Marlene Sokol discusses the union’s concerns with organizer Lindsey Blankenbaker, who worked as a high school social studies teacher before joining the HCCTA staff.

“Go out and watch teachers leaving at the end of the day,” Blankenbaker says. “I’ll challenge you to find someone who’s not walking out with a tote bag or a rolling cart full of papers to grade, or materials to work on.”

RELATED: It’s the beginning of the end of Hillsborough teacher “pay bands.”

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Sandra Gero, a regional search associate at Ray and Associates, hosts a meeting at the Middleton High School auditorium and gathers public comments on what people are looking for for the next Hillsborough County School Superintendent on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019 in Tampa. LUIS SANTANA  |  Times
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  2. Jeff Eakins and MaryEllen Elia, Hillsborough's last two superintendents, were hired from inside the school system. So have all others since 1967. Times staff
    Go to the school district website before 8 a.m. Monday to state your case.
  3. Rep. Geraldine Thompson, D-Orlando, urges the Florida Board of Education to hold schools accountable for teaching the Holocaust and African-American history, as required by lawmakers in 1994. The board was considering a rule on the matter at its Sept. 20, 2019, meeting in Jacksonville. The Florida Channel
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  7. Rep. Susan Valdes, D-Tampa, during a Feb. 7, 2019, meeting of the House PreK-12 Appropriations subcommittee. [The Florida Channel]
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  9. This image from a Pinellas County Schools video shows an armed police officer running to respond to a fictional active shooter.
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  10. Representatives from the Pasco County school district and the United School Employees of Pasco discuss salary and benefits during negotiations on Sept. 18, 2019. JEFFREY SOLOCHEK  |  Times Staff Writer
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