Negotiations: Our first formal negotiating session is scheduled for April 2. We have met once with the mediator to introduce teams, discuss ground rules, and schedule for meetings. The current contract expires in June.
Survey: Negotiations surveys will be in buildings next week. Please distribute promptly and return completed surveys to the office by the deadline printed on the survey.
Getting It Right for Ohio’s Future: This is the state-wide initiative to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot next fall. We will be distributing sufficient petitions to cover every member as soon as they arrive, along with very explicit directions. PLEASE READ DIRECTIONS BEFORE ASKING QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PETITION!! Building Reps should cover getting signatures from the faculty. Other members can walk their street, have family and friends sign, and even walk their school neighborhood after hours. There should be no efforts made to get signatures during the work day. We are tentatively looking for petitions to be returned to us the first week of May.
State-Wide Health Care: As of today, the notion of a state-wide or regional health care plan is on life support. The Health Care Board has dismissed that notion (contrary to the recommendation of their consultants) in favor of allowing districts to secure their own health care and to preserve collective bargaining rights. There is still a considerable push from Republicans in the Legislature for a state-wide or regional plan. The Health Care Board will become permanent and will develop and publish health care industry “best practices” and may have some authority over districts that do not incorporate best practices. More as the situation evolves.
HQT: Not surprisingly, the rules for securing HQT status have changed again. This is the result of leadership in the State Department of Education and the Feds setting standards that are impossible to reach. Once they belatedly realize that their rules are impossible, they change them in an attempt to make them a little more achievable.
BCI Background Checks: New rules for renewing certificates and licenses include mandatory background checks, even for those on permanent certificates. Please read handout for more details.
Middle School Alternative School: The project is moving forward and the school will open next fall, location TBD. Postings for bargaining unit positions at the building will be out soon. Each middle school will be given an allotment of spaces to fill for the initial year of operation.
Early College High School: A venture among APS, AEA KnowledgeWorks and the Gates Foundation, this school will open next fall on the campus of AU with an inaugural ninth grade class. Members interested in applying for bargaining unit positions at the ECHS should read the posting due out this spring.
Cohort Program: The response to the AEA/UA Cohort proposal has been great. Any member interested in looking into the program should contact Mike at AEA or visit the AEA website. There is still time to enroll in the program, which includes a significant tuition discount.
Dues Increase: The Association is studying the need for a dues increase. Any decision to raise dues will be voted on before the end of the school year.
E-mail: The volume of email we receive daily has grown considerably. There will be times when we can not keep up with responses. Open-ended questions (what rights do I have in the transfer process, e.g.) which would require us to write a book in response, or that would require us to communicate back and forth to get certain information before answering are particularly bothersome. If your email is not answered within a day or two, and your question is urgent, we suggest you call.
Board/Officer Petitions: We have received petitions for Board of Trustee seats (Secondary) from Buchtel (Ben Terril) and Garfield (Nina Robishaw). We received no petitions for officer positions other than the incumbents.
Annual Corporate General Membership Meeting: April 4 at AEA, 3:45.