President’s Insights 9-23-18

The President’s Insights 9-23-18

Monthly Contract Meeting
This Thursday, I had the opportunity to meet with Tony Sanders and members of his cabinet regarding a number of issues.  The intent going forward is that a full report out of this meeting will go to members so that it can be discussed in greater detail at the RA.  We are also charting these issues so common themes can be discusses with administration, as well as shared with our Contract Improvement Committee and bargaining workgroups so they can be addressed at the bargaining table if necessary.
This month we discussed building conditions with much of the conversation centered around mold in our schools.  If you suspect that you have mold, please reach out to your building principal, building representative, and myself so we can determine the next steps that are necessary.
There are a number of safety issues that we continue to bring to the table.  We know there isn’t a quick fix to this and hope to continue to address these issues so our students and staff feel safe. With any issue, in addition to letting your building representatives know, getting those issues in front of your SIP teams and School Department Committees will help expedite the process in your individual buildings. Those contractual committees are in place so our teachers have a voice when it comes to building issues.


Bargaining Update
Dates have been set for Interest Based Bargaining training.  The teams will meet for joint training on October 11 and 12. I will also be meeting with Suzanne Johnson at the beginning of October to meet with the facilitator to start organizing how bargaining will be organized.
I will be relying heavily on members to bring their stories, their concerns, and their issues to the CIC and workgroups.  On a daily basis I receive messages from members about the challenges they face and what can we do to fix them. With this contract, my hope is we can get these issues to the table so our members can support our students.
In addition, the lack of step is still at the front of many people’s minds.  I cannot make more clear how important it is that we take every step to protect our contract and not let this be precedent setting. Thursday, we filed a grievance in abeyance with the district.  The grievance reads that the district is in violation of section 27.2 of The Elgin Agreement, which states the district will give notice of step being withheld in the timelines stated. They failed to give this notice. Additionally, the board approved to prepare a joint letter with the administration stating that although we are working without step this is not precedent setting.  Finally, an unfair labor practice will be prepared and will be available, if necessary. This is about protecting the contract for years to come and we want to be certain we have every avenue available to us as we enter bargaining.


Budget 2018-2019
The budget for 2018-2019 was approved by the RA.  As we continue to do the work of the ETA, we will be updating the RA on a monthly basis on the expenditures we have.  In addition, the formation of a Budget Committee is moving forward to help with oversight of the organization. Steve Hoyt from Larkin High School will be co-chairing this committee and we hope this provides another level of transparency to the members regarding how the ETA does business.


Biometric Screenings
Biometric screening and flu shots are being offered at various sites through the month of October and early November.  Information for when these will be occurring are in the slide deck linked at the bottom of this email.


ETA Website
If you haven’t had the chance yet, be sure to check out our website  Scott Sternal has been working to provide up to date information for our members.  In the coming months, we will be moving to a new version that is mobile friendly so our members can easily access the website on their phone.  If you are interested in being on the website committee, please email Scott Sternal at


Those Who Excel
We are finalizing details for Those Who Excel (TWE).  If you have ideas for TWE or would like to be a part of organizing TWE, contact Donna Streit


Housing Survey
All schools by the end of the month should be completing an adequate housing survey with their building admin.  This is defined in the Elgin Agreement in section 6.11 ADEQUATE HOUSING FOR TEACHERS. The language states;
A building administrator and the head Faculty Representatives shall survey their respective buildings to determine the extent to which teachers are inadequately housed. One survey shall be conducted and completed by October 1 and the second survey shall be conducted and completed by the conclusion of the second week of the second semester of the school year. The purpose of the survey is to identify the problem situations and cooperatively work out solutions which might include the following: change schedules, move in a portable, divide a room, provide for ventilation and lighting, move the function to another location, no change. Results of the surveys will be shared as an issue with the School/Department Committee.
With the recent safety issues that we have been receiving it is important that we document these issues and keep them at the front of the minds of our building administrators.  Keeping these items on the agenda at your School Department meetings will also help keep record of the progress of getting these issues addressed.
The housing survey is part of the building rep responsibilities for the month of September.  Be sure to check out the calendar for building reps on the ETA website.


RA Information
Our next Representative Assembly will take place on Wednesday, October 24. I encourage all members to attend and see how the business of the ETA is done.  As always, the slide deck will be made available for all members at the conclusion of the RA on the ETA website in a Google Slides and a PDF format.
We strive to have an RA that provides maximum time for teacher feedback as well as trainings that will help you as a building representative.  If you have a suggestion for how we can improve the format of the RA or provide a training to help you, please email me and let me know.



If you have any issues, questions, comments, or concerns please don’t hesitate to e-mail myself, any of the officers, or your section director.


Have a great week.


Barb Bettis
ETA President

Leave a Reply