Last Wednesday the BTU membership ratified the Extended Learning Time (ELT) agreement by an estimated 4-to-1 margin. Approximately 800 members were in attendance. The debate was thoughtful and respectful, and members on both sides of the issue spoke and made good points.
The key issue from those in opposition was the proposed late dismissal time for Tier 3 schools, which will now be released at 4:10. This issue, too, was repeatedly raised the following day at the Curley School Complex when teams from schools who wish to be in the first grouping (phase 1, 9/1/15) of participants met and listened to representatives from the school department, and the BTU explained the plan and its roll out process.
At the Curley meeting, those 20 Schedule A schools which want to push themselves to the front of the line to participate in phase 1 were told clearly that applicant schools that wish to participate in phase 1 MUST demonstrate faculty buy-in and consensus. BTU Building representatives are asked to speak with their administrator and ask if he or she wishes to file an application to proceed in phase 1. If that is the case, a building-wide meeting should be immediately convened and faculty interest should be gauged. Upon application, BTU Building Representatives will be asked for confirmation as to their staff’s willingness to participate in phase 1.
Faculty approval — as evidenced by a majority vote or some other showing of consensus — will be weighed heavily when phase 1 schools are selected.
All schools will be phased in over a three-year period.
Please call or email the BTU office with any questions.
Regardless of a school’s immediate or delayed participation in either phase 1, 2, or 3, it is essential that schools have a viable School Site Council with faculty members elected who are representative of the staff. Why? School Site Councils have responsibility for a myriad of ELT-related tasks, with many of those tasks having to be completedbefore the year of entry into the extended day program. School Site Councils:
- Will help plan how the ELT time is allocated and worked into the school allocated
- Will decide whether the teachers receive their additional 35 minutes of P & D as a block of 35 minutes per week or as a 7-minute extension to their current P & D time
- Will be responsible for the implementation of the planning grants leading up to the implementation of the program
- Shall choose the 400 paid facilitators who will guide the 40-minute block of teacher-directed planning each week during the school year.
While the membership vote was overwhelming, there was healthy debate back and forth. We understand that many members have reservations about the proposal, specifically the logistics of bus arrival and departure time. We believe the School Department has the same reservations. Both parties want to make this plan work, so while we work on the logistics, we need to work as well on the many other items we can control, such as the implementation process. It is important therefore to get all of our School Site Councils up and running properly as one step in the process to get this done right. Please call the union office for assistance. There’s a section below on how to get more involved in this process.
Questions of a general nature can be directed to Paul Tritter.
The initial Extended Learning Time Q & A can be found here. See a complete listing of additional questions and answers, and read the full agreement.
A few quick items:
The BTU membership has passed a motion to hire two full-time organizers. The preferred application deadline is January 30.
The Early Notification Incentive deadline has been extended to January 23. See here and scroll to HRS-PP08. Note: This incentive is for people who meet the criteria mentioned. One need not have to retire to obtain the incentive. One can be merely resigning to be eligible, provided the other eligibility requirements are met.
There is a Meet and Greet this Thursday at Doyle’s for all members from 3-6 PM. See the event flyer.