Please read the following summary of employee rights regarding paid sick and medical leave during COVID-19, and contact one of your building reps if you have any questions.
The CEA News blog has a great post featuring frequently asked questions related to distance-learning, covering school closures, TEAM requirements, teachers’ rights, parents’ rights, live streaming, and a host of other issues. Check it out.
What are your Weingarten Rights?
In short, they are your right to union representation during a meeting with an administrator. The right to have a union rep present must be requested by the teacher.
Under what circumstances may they be invoked?
They can be invoked when an administrator/supervisor calls a mandatory meeting with you and you have a reasonable belief that the interview will result in disciplinary action or place your job security in jeopardy. This may include a meeting to discuss a teacher’s unfavorable evaluation alone.
How do I invoke them?
By saying the following: “If this discussion could in any way lead to my being disciplined or terminated, I respectfully request union representation at this meeting.”
What if my request is denied?
Here in Madison the MEA is fortunate to have good working relationships with members of the administrative team. In fact, they’ve been good about letting our members know when union representation may be in order. However, this may not always be the case, so it’s important that you know what you should do if your rights are denied. In this scenario, we advise teachers to:
- Remind the administrator that this is your right by law.
- If they insist on continuing with the meeting, proceed with the meeting so as not to be considered insubordinate.
- As soon as possible, alert on MEA officer that your rights were denied so that a prohibited practice complaint can be filed.
- If your administrator chooses to terminate the meeting or make it “voluntary,” excuse yourself from the meeting and leave.
What is the role of the MEA rep at a Weingarten meeting?
In short, the role of the rep is to provide you with adequate representation, ensuring that the contract is being enforced and their members are receiving due process. This means listening carefully to the issues raised by the administrator, asking relevant, clarifying questions (to either the admin or teacher), as needed, offering different perspectives, as warranted, and taking notes. A rep may NOT…
- be required to remain silent until the employer has finished speaking
- be required to channel questions to the person they’re representing
- insist the employer negotiate
- transform the meeting into a purely adversarial confrontation.
After the employer conducts an investigation, what happens when the employer calls another meeting to inform me of any outcomes or disciplinary actions from the initial meeting? Should a rep be there for that meeting?
No, because this subsequent meeting must be non-investigative and merely informative, you have no right to representation. If you feel the consequences of the investigation are unjust or overly harsh, you can contact your union president who will consult with our CEA rep to see if there are any viable next steps to be taken.
We had such a good time the last time we got our members together at Stony Creek Brewery in Branford, the MEA is hosting another social there on Thursday, October 17. Let your building reps know if you’re planning on being there so we know how much pizza and refreshments to provide. With or without the amazing craft beer, it’s a great way to decompress as the week winds down and chill with some colleagues.
Brown (soon to be Polson) Building Rep Mary Rao was featured in this month’s CEA Building Rep Newsletter as its “superhero” of the month. Read all about it here.
Check out the latest newsletter from our CEA Uniserve Rep. Topics include the importance of getting involved with your union, strategies for how to best handle parent complaints, as well as a spotlight on our own Danielle Fragoso, who testified before our state legislature’s Education Committee in support of House Bill 7110, An Act Concerning Enhanced Classroom Safety and School Climate. Read more…
This is a reminder that the Dr. William Brucker MEA Grant Application is due Friday, March 8. Each recipient can receive up to $200 for classroom/lesson materials. If you are interested in applying for the grant, use this Google Form, and be sure to log in with your MPS Google credentials.
On November 16, MEA members voted overwhelmingly (96% yes to 4% no) to ratify a negotiated settlement agreement for a new three-year contract that will go into effect July 1, 2019, pending the outcome of the Board of Education’s ratification vote at its next meeting. If ratified by the BOE, the new contract will reflect a total of a 8.6 percent increase in the total salary budget over three years, with step movement all three years. At the time of this settlement, the average 3-year salary increase negotiated this year in the State of Connecticut is 8.48 percent. There will be a 2.87 percent total wage increase in the contract’s first year with step movement and an elimination of the current Step 1. In the second year of the agreement, there is a total wage increase of 2.84 percent with step movement. In the third year of the agreement, there is a total wage increase of 2.89 percent with step movement. Due to our high step increment costs (2.5%) with nearly two-thirds of our members moving up the steps, for members on the top step of the salary schedule, there will be wage increases of .75 percent in Year 1, 1 percent in Year 2, and 1 percent in Year 3.
Regarding health insurance, your Negotiations Team held firm in keeping our deductible at $2,000 for individuals/$4,000 for families and having the BOE continue to contribute 50% of the deductible to our Health Savings Accounts. This, despite trends across the state that see deductibles rising and Boards of Education contributing less than 50%. There will be no increase to our premium cost share in Year 1, and increases by 1 percentage point per year in both Year 2 and Year 3.
For details on this contract, including language changes, please see one of your building reps.
THE CHILDREN’S FUND STILL NEEDS YOU!
For 24 years, The Hands Across the Green Golf Tournament, which is the main support of The Children’s Fund, has raised funds to help countless students receive the necessities and services they so desperately need to be ready to learn in the classroom. Leaders, please encourage your members to participate, and for more information go to: http://www.cea.org/cef/hands-across-the-green/
BE AN ASSOCIATION PATRON: Help sponsor a foursome to play. Cost includes green fees, cart, lunch, and hors d’oeuvres/open bar/dinner buffet. As an Association Patron, your association will also receive a complimentary golf hole sponsorship. The cost of a foursome is $700 for afternoon or $600 for a morning tee time.
BE A HOLE SPONSOR: You or your association may sponsor one or more golf holes. Each sign is only $100.
BE A GOLFER: Cost includes green fees, cart, lunch, and hors d’oeuvres/open bar/dinner buffet. It is $175 per player or $150 per player for a morning tee off.
Afternoon spots will fill up quickly so please consider playing in the morning.
BE A DONOR: Donate a raffle/auction item. The raffle is held during the dinner program and it helps raise additional money for The Children’s Fund. You may donate such items as a gift certificate, a gift basket, tickets to a special event, or any other item you feel people would enjoy. If you are unable to participate, but would like to make a monetary donation to The Children’s Fund, please make checks payable to CEF – Golf Tournament.
For more information please contact Chip Karkos or Mary Behrens at 860 525 5641 or 800 842 4316.