What's new with this years contract?
September 5th, 2016
This year, changes in our contract work towards making our jobs sustainable and rewarding.
Despite negotioations being long and drawn-out last academic year, our bargaining team was able to put forth a contract for the 2016-2017 year we all felt achieved the best possible contract for our members. This was further underlined when our new contract was voted up by 98% of our membership.
The changes of note in our contract this year are the creation of the Master Teacher position at transformation schools, limiting the number of re-openers to 5 during negotiations, changes to our evaluation system, the implementation of a new salary schedule, as well as a bonus program, and the increase of hourly work to $35/hr.
Each change is explained in a Q & A format below.
Master Teacher II Position
What is a Master Teacher II?
The Master Teacher II position will be a leadership opportunity for veteran teachers at transformation schools. These teachers will receive an additional prep period (which means they will teach a total of 4 classes) during which they will support and mentor new teachers on their campuses.
What sites get a master teacher pilot?
Transformation sites Clay (Animo Phillis Wheatley and Animo Western) and Locke.
Are these positions permanent?
Not necessarily, Green Dot can create and remove positions as needed, but there is a two year pilot of this position. As Master Teacher IIs will continue to be AMU members, AMU has the right to bargain their working conditions.
How are these positions evaluated?
Classroom instruction is still evaluated using the CRTF and the non-instructional duties evaluation is being piloted. An MOU will be drafted by an AMU/GD committee which will determine how non-instructional duties will be evaluated.
What are the benefits of these positions?
The general benefits of these positions are that they are designed to provide veteran teachers from those sites an opportunity to take on a leadership position by having an additional prep period to provide support to new teachers in their subject area.
This position targets veteran teachers from those sites and thus position holders have knowledge and experience what the specific nuances of the site and are better able to support new teachers.
How is this different from new teacher mentors?
There is a dedicated additional prep period to support this work.
Is there additional pay for these positions?
Not at this time
What has changed?
Previously our contract had no limit to the number of reopeners (articles from that contract that could be up for negotiations in a year when the whole contract what not expiring)
Each party is now limited to 5 each year
Is this normal?
Most contracts limit reopeners to 2-3
Why has this changed?
There was concern that having too many reopeners creates the situations where not all articles are addressed during a bargaining season or having too many takes away time from other articles that typically take more time to negotiate (such as compensation).
Does this prevent salary or benefits from being reopened?
No, those articles of the contract could be part of the 5 articles allowed to be reopened by either party
What has changed with our Evaluation System?
In January 2016, AMU and Management signed an MOU agreeing to reduce the number of Observation Cycles during the Spring 2016 semester in order to support the work of sustainability for teachers and administrators.
This restructured our evaluation system so all teachers had a maximum of 1 "on" semester (formally observed once a year, instead of once a semester).
To build on this change, this year's contract introduces an "off" year, and reduced evaluation indicators for 1st anf 2nd year teachers
What is an "Off Year"?
An “Off” year is defined as two off semesters each with three informal observations and debriefs, and no formal sumitive scores.
Who is eligible for an off year?
You are eligible for an off year if you have taught at Green Dot for 4 or more years and received a summative evaluation score between 3.0-4.0 last year.
How many indicators will 1st and 2nd year teachers be evaluated on?
1st year teachers will be evaluated on a total of 13 indicators, while 2nd year teachers will be evaluated on a total of 20 indicators. 3rd year teachers, as well as all teachers scoring below a 3.0 will be evaluated on all 26 indicators.
If I am not an "Off Year" teacher, how many times will I be formally evaluated?
1st, 2nd, and 3rd year teachers as well as teachers scoring under a 3.0 in the prior year will be formally evaluated only once; during your "on" semester.
What does an "On" semester evaluation consist of?
2 Unscheduled and 1 Scheduled observation which will yield summative scores using aggregated evidence collection to give you an overall evaluation score.
What does an "Off" semester consist of?
3 informal observations and debriefs with no summative scores assigned.
Are there changes to contract language regarding Development Plan elegibility?
Yes, teachers who in the last 2 consecutive years of teaching at Green Dot, average 2.0-2.3 are eligible for placement on a development plan.
What has changed with our salary schedule?
Our new salary schedule changes two things for our members: It reflects an increase in compensation for all members, as well as normalizes step increases from year to year, which were previously irregular and unpredictable. Compare our past and current salary schedules here.
In what other ways are members compensated this year?
All Returning teachers and counselors will receive a one-time (2016-2017 only) salary payment/returning bonus of $1,000.00.
Teachers and counselors at Locke and Clay will receive an additional one-time salary payment of $1,200.00 for a total one-time payment of $2,200.00.
What does this all add up to?
For unit members earning the average GDPS teacher/counselor salary:
The total salary increase without step/column included is 6.9% at our independent schools for the 2016-2017 school year.
The total salary increase without step/column included is 8.9% for Locke and Clay in 2016-2017 school year.
When will the one-time payments be paid?
50% at the end of Semester 1 (December 25 check) and 50% at the end of Semester 2 (June 10 paycheck)
The steps on our salary schedule are different; How do the steps work?
The steps are just renumbered from 0-12 to 1-13. To find out what your step is this year, add 2 to the number of your step from 15-16. To find out what your 15-16 step is, look at the salary agreement you signed at the beginning of last year on Echo Sign with HR. (search your Green Dot e-mail for “salary confirmation”)
For example: a teacher or counselor on step 5 for the 15-16 school year would be placed on step 7 for the 16-17 school year.
Are we still doing Summer Savings?
Yes. Because negotiations went on so far into the month of May, there was no longer time this year to adjust payroll to remove summer savings. It is possible that we might negotiate this change in upcoming contract years, but for now, summer savings will still be happening.
Is the teacher hourly rate changing?
Yes. As of July 1, the teacher hourly rate will be raised from $32 per hour to $35 per hour.
Why is ACPA not considered a transformation school for the purposes of the $1200 transformation school returning teacher stipend?
ACPA, while part of the Jordan campus is like a hybrid between the transformation and independent schools.
Unlike Locke and Clay, ACPA consistently has a waiting list for enrollment.
If a student is from the historical attendance area of Jordan, they are not automatically guaranteed a spot at ACPA, which is not the case at Locke and Clay. Students from the historical attendance area (neighborhood) must be allowed enrollment at Locke and Clay.
At Jordan, students from the historical attendance area must be admitted at the other school on the Jordan campus operated by the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools (PLAS).
I have a question on contract changes not answered in this article!
Please email our AMU President at: President@amuanimo.org
Or our Bargaining Chair at: Bargainingchair@amuanimo.org