Strategy and Analysis to Defend and Transform Public Education
Here is part of the packet distributed at OEA’s Article 12 Forum on 1/13/2015, including (1) FAQs on Article 12, (2) a summary of what the District wants to change in Article 12, and (3) a description of advisory matching.
One more point about the district’s claim vs. its intention: The district’s explicit claim is that Article 12 leads to “bad fits” between teachers and schools, but the implicit message is that Art. 12 prevents the district from getting rid of “bad teachers.” Article 12 has nothing to do with dismissing teachers; it’s about transfer and consolidation procedures and rights. The district already has the power to dismiss teachers for unsatisfactory performance or unprofessional conduct. But getting rid of Article 12 protections would provide far greater latitude to humiliate and force out teachers who voice criticisms, or advocate for students, colleagues, or students, pissed them off, or are “too expensive.” Eliminating Article 12 protections would accomplish that.
Frequently Asked Questions about Bargaining on Article 12
What is Article 12 of the OEA-OUSD contract?
Article 12 covers the rules for bargaining unit member transfers, assigning members to new positions, filling vacancies, and for handling consolidations (reduction in the number of bargaining unit members at a given site or in a particular department or grade level at a site).
What major Article 12 rules currently in place does the district propose to eliminate?
What are the major changes the District wants to include in Article 12?
(See separate handout with a summary of all changes the district is proposing. [included in this post])
Under the current Article 12 language, can members with more years of seniority currently bump senior members with fewer years of seniority from positions?
No. Members can only transfer into positions that are vacant. (Bumping rights exist in some bargaining units of classified staff, but not credentialed employees.)
What is seniority? How does it differ from tenure?
Under the proposed Article 12 changes, who would be on a site’s personnel committee?
A majority of committee members would be teachers at the site, but the district’s proposal does not specify a process for selecting those teachers or the other members of the committee. Administration would have the power to select members or to set up a process for doing so.
What role would the personnel committee have?
It would recommend candidates. The principal/site leader would make the decisions.
What would happen to teachers not selected for any positions in the district?
They could be assigned to any role listed in the district’s proposal (team teacher, substitute, group/individual instructor, etc.) for the entire year. A member’s preference would be considered, but not necessarily followed. If not selected for a vacancy the following year, a member could be assigned to continue in one of the specified roles.
What is the district’s rationale for this proposal?
Superintendent Antwan Wilson told KPIX News on 9/5/2014, “I don’t believe… [seniority] should have any play in terms of what schools teachers should teach at… I believe that the focus should be on what’s best for kids, and people should be going to schools that they believe in the mission and vision and believe in those kids.”
Has OEA proposed any ways to address this concern?
OEA and OUSD agreed in 2012 to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on advisory matching that was in practice through last year. Advisory matching helps teachers obtain information about the mission, vision, and practice at each site with vacancies, so they may consider which schools are a good fit for them. (See the advisory matching handout for details.)
Has OEA made a counterproposal on Article 12? If so, what is that proposal?
OEA has made proposals for Article 12 regarding assignment changes for elementary school instrumental music instructors, EEIP teachers (prep), special education teachers, speech and language pathologists, nurses and psychologists, reassignment to a different grade level, and reassignment to combo classes.
For teachers displaced by consolidation, voluntary or involuntary transfers, or returning from leave, we have suggested extending the MOU on Advisory Matching for another year with the addition of a Personnel Committee.
What has OEA’s bargaining team said about the district proposal on Article 12?
First, we have said and continue to say that it is not on the table for this round of bargaining. The district previously stated that it wanted to stick with current contract language for Article 12, so it would be regressive bargaining to now insist on major changes to that article. We also have expressed a concern about the stigma that follows a member being displaced and the emotional impact on those members. We have made clear that seniority is the only objective factor that protects members from discrimination based on years of service, cost to the school/district, and all other forms of discrimination. Finally, we have said that the district’s proposal would increase instability in our schools and would not improve educational conditions in the district.
If the district’s proposal were implemented, would that affect many teachers?
Over the past two years, there have been relatively few OEA members affected by consolidation, involuntary transfer, and returning from leave. But this can quickly change. For example enrollment declines or moves to restructure schools (such as the “turnarounds” recently announced for 5 schools) could significantly increase the number of teachers reassigned. And while involuntary transfers are rare under the current system, it’s hard to predict whether that would remain the case, if transferred teachers had no say over where they went next.
Can the district impose its desired changes to Article 12 if OEA doesn’t agree to them?
If the district takes this to impasse, we will have an unfair labor practice filed with the Public Employee Relations Board (PERB). While they might impose this, we would view this as an unlawful imposition.
What is the district proposing to change in Article 12?
(Full summary – see FAQs on Article 12 for highlights)
OUSD is proposing significant changes to the transfer and reassignment procedures currently in place:
Members would remain in these roles for the duration of the year and would participate in the interview process with Personnel Committees again the subsequent school year. Any member not chosen for a vacancy in the subsequent year, would again be assigned to an instructional support role.
(Not currently in effect, but OEA has proposed continuing this process for another year.)
|Advisory matching follows current contract language (OEA Articles 12.8 and 12.9 and practice focused on best interests of students)|
|· Teachers provided with vacancy list after close of BDP and invited to participate in School Showcase event on April 4th where Talent Pool and school community ambassadors meet and greet.
· Teachers offered two days of sub coverage to visit schools of interest between April 8th and April 19th.
· School ambassadors available as a resource.
· School profiles crafted to call out specific prevailing practices, peer expectations, culture and climate.
· 2 rounds of Talent Pool placement scheduled.
· Teachers may “skip” identifying preferences in Round 1 waiting for additional/different vacancies.
|Schools with vacancies provided with list of credential and work history for teachers in the Talent Pool.
School community representatives make site visits to Talent Pool home sites
|Teacher preferences informed by advisory input from school sites.|
|· $500 cash incentive for early signing of separation papers – on or before March 15th
· $300 cash incentive – between March 18th and April 2nd
· Vacancies indicated after April 2nd reviewed by Vacancy Review Board
Selection – teachers chosen through process similar to teacher convention:
– Nominations of teacher can come from any staff member (principal, classified, teachers, etc.)
– OEA member vote at site level
Compensation – $250 per site distributed based on site-based decision
– Tracking sheet to record ambassador activities
– Tracking sheet and payment approved by administrator and paid by end of school year.