Jan 23, 2009

Coming Soon: DC Teachers' Contract Proposal

As promised, the DC teachers' contract proposal is coming soon. As most of you are aware, the Washington Teachers' Union (WTU) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) have been working together during the past several months in order to develop a teachers' contract proposal that supports student achievement, provides meaningful compensation for our union members and is based on sound research based educational practices.

Thursday evening was our first glimpse of the newly revised teacher contract proposal. Of course there is still some very minor tweaking to be done. From where I sit- the proposal looked good based on the power point presentation that I saw. I believe that generally the proposal will satisfy many of the concerns that I heard many of our teacher members raise.

Next Steps
The proposal is scheduled to be submitted to Chancellor Rhee by the end of January 2009. Both the WTU and AFT have agreed not to disclose specific details about this proposal until Chancellor Rhee's negotiating team gets an opportunity to review the plan and make a determination whether or not they will accept or reject this offer. As you may be unaware contract negotiations should remain confidential. Once a decision is made about the proposal, additional information will be forthcoming to the membership.

I do encourage all WTU union members to attend our upcoming Representative Assembly meeting scheduled next week on Monday - January 26, 2009 from 4:30-6:30 pm @

McKinley Technology High School
151 T Street NE, Room 150
Washington, DC 20002

Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) will speak at this very important meeting. Please encourage your school building representative or an alternate to attend this meeting and bring back important information to teachers. All union members are encouraged to attend. Please bring a copy of your union ID card to gain entry to this meeting. Look forward to seeing you all there. (Posted by The Washington Teacher).


Anonymous said...

When are members going to be notified about Randi Weingarten coming? This is the first I have seen it publicized. A robo call on the night before is too short notice.

Jeff Canady said...

I completely disagree with you. The proposal from AFT/WTU that we saw for a very brief time needs more than minor changes. But due to the complete failure of the Union President/Chief Negotiator George Parker this counter proposal must be given. We must move away from the divise and racially tinged actions and rhetoric of Chancellor Rhee.

I have serious concerns that this proposal doesn't strongly address core issues such as Special Education and the Greivance Procedure.(Again, I only had a brief time to review). I also believe we now have some of the right people working on the proposal. Yet, the proposal is just a beginning in the right direction. DCPS and teachers deserve a counter proposal. We must change and improve DCPS for everyone. We have a rare chance in our city history to improve our school system with the election of President Barack Obama. We need a contract proposal that is the most progressive in the country that will improve student performance, protect teacher rights and radically improve DCPS.

The Washington Teacher said...

Response To Anonymous: I agree that a robo call on the night before is too short notice. You are preaching to the choir. As a board member, I have shared these same sentiments with our union president.

It is my understanding that an email was recently sent out by Monique Lenoir of the WTU to members emails. Unfortunately, I did not receive one even though I am on the email listing. I would encourage you to contact our union president, Mr. Parker directly and express these same concerns that you have voiced here. Email him c/o gparker@wtulocal6.org Thanks.

The Washington Teacher said...

Response to J Canady: I have no problem with agreeing to disagree. I think it is important to note that this newly revised contract proposal included input from members on the WTU negotiating team to include George Parker, Emily Washington, Mary Collins, Erich Martel (alternate) and members from the AFT.

I encourage all union members to bring up any concerns that they have at our next WTU representative assembly on Monday, January 26th.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you're headed in the right direction! Good luck with Rhee on the contractual terms of agreement.

Jeff Canady said...

I don't understand the logic of your comment the new proposal included input from several of the negotiating team members. WTU is responsible for negotiating our contract not AFT. DC school teachers are the one's who have to vote on and live under the working conditions set forth in a new contract. I think it is imperative we make this proposal as strong as possible.
I'm severely disappointed that for over a year negotiations have occured and this proposal is what we place on the table. I do not blame AFT because this is not their responsibility. Enough time has passed and the board has a new energy in challenging the stalling and delaying tactics of the current WTU leadership. Teachers are suffering everyday under the worst oppression I've ever seen in the workplace. We need to restore faith that WTU can protect members rights and I don't apologize for being in a union. It allows me to keep my job while trying to protect and educate children from those who would exploit them. I'm not misleading people into believing this contract proposal is some kind of silver bullet that's going to transform their workplace and allow them to do their jobs. Once again, I do admire your courage to constantly stand up but posturing is not helpful in this situation. WTU has enough so-called leaders who do nothing but posture. Please forgive me for any typos I don't have the gift of perfection as some who blog or the time to act like I'm doing my Doctoral thesis.

Anonymous said...

On saturday Sharlynn BoBo died. This woman worked very hard for DC gov at Child and Family Services she resigned in the fall under pressure from Fenty according to news coverage. She was diagnosed with cancer in November 2008.
We have to be very careful not to let our jobs take over our lives. My sympathy goes out to the family.

Anonymous said...

To the above poster: thanks for notifying us here of the passing of Ms. Bobo. Though I never worked with her, I frequently saw her on tv and read about her. Her whole focus was doing the right thing for children and families. May her life and her work be a blessing and inspiration to others. May God comfort her family and coworkers

Anonymous said...

I just got a WTU email announcing a meeting tomorrow evening at 825 with Chancellor Rhee for all interested teachers. That sounds good, I thought. I think I'll go. But I found out that there had already been a meeting this afternoon with Rhee, and that individual teachers had gotten emails/invitations to attend. I didn't get one. No one in my school that I know of got one either. My friend said that the meeting was for the best of the best, whatever and whoever that is. Thanks, WTU, for opening this thing up.

lodesterre said...

Why would it be WTU's fault? No one knew this was happening. It sounds like invitations to the fan club. To hear about this meeting the night before is not enough notice. I've yet to speak to anyone, at any other school, that heard about it at their school. I read about it on DC Teacher Chic. That's real public service, eh?

Anonymous said...

"The best of the best" = teachers with the right "mindset" who think that all it takes to get kids to perform at the highest levels is a good teacher who's willing to work endlessly, despite lacking materials and administrative and parental supports, and if you fail, you're fired, to be replaced with someone who really has the right mindset.

lindsey said...

Did anyone attend this "brainwashing", I mean meeting with Chancellor Rhee last night or the night before?

What happened?

I am confused as to why the WTU needs to announce Chancellor Rhee's meeting to us when Chancellor Rhee has direct access to all 4,000 of us.

Why such late notice?? Maybe Rhee didn't intend on folks with a "Not-right" mindset (whatever that means)to show up.

Let Chancellor Rhee carry her own water. WTU needs to focus on communicating its own message to its own members...... and in a timely fashion, I might add!

Anonymous said...

The WTU came to our aid by announcing this meeting to all teachers, not just some random, select few and I appreciate it, even at such a short notice. Certain people, and I was not one of them, received emails and invitations to attend. If it was specifically a meeting to help new teachers with all their questions and give them continued support, that's great. But I don't believe that was the purpose of the meetings. It seemed like a select few. Again, the WTU announced the meeting to open it up to all. But what was discussed, as i was not able to attend either sessions?

Old School DCPS said...

I would also like to hear what questions were raised and what answers were given at these invitation-only sessions. And why is Rhee emailing only some teachers and not having a general open meeting where all teachers can come and ask her questions? Does she believe people will act up and carry on? I went to one of the sessions over the summer. They were most valuable. Rhee is acting like she only wants to meet with a small, select group of teachers. Something tells me most of them were teach For America and DC Teaching Fellows.

Anonymous said...

Will Rhee reform re-write the constitution next ? Not a fan of Rhee reform ! What does the contract look like ? What do you guys think 1.4 million other teachers in the US will think about it ?

The Washington Teacher said...

Unfortunately, I have only seen the contract proposal via a power point presentation. I have yet to read the proposal in its entirety. Unfortunately, I was not on the negotiations committee. My understanding is that it is alligned with Rhee's five year plan.

Hopefully more details will be provided at the February membership meeting.