We offered a few proposals in negotiations that would have extended the school day with academics as well as boosting the collaboration with outside non-profits to provide a host of enrichment activities to students. Our goal was, and is, to provide both academic and enrichment in a longer school day that better matches up with the typical parent work day. We still believe in these concepts and wish we could have been able to negotiate it. But as readers know, we were stymied in negotiations for two main reasons: 1) the school department wanted our members to work without adequate compensation; and 2) the district had no real vision for how long and of what content the extra time should be.
The school department, at various times — and without explanation — proposed an extended day of three hours, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, and finally two hours, consistent with the Project Promise language we have had in collective bargaining agreement for 27 years. In Project Promise schools, two hours of additional academic time is scheduled, and staff, who must work the time, are compensated fairly at the contractual hourly rate.
We responded in negotiations that a one hour Project Promise-like after school program would be preferable, as it would be more cost effective and would allow for a greater saturation of an extended day over double the number of schools. The school department rejected our proposal, said it was sticking with the Project Promise language. We negotiated the rest of the contract without any more discussion on the topic.