Liz Davis/Candi Peterson - "WTU Can Be Better!"
Update: I was informed that teachers from Patterson in SW Washington, D.C. also were excessed on 5/20/13.
At the end of the school day on May 20, 2013 - Cardozo Senior High School staff were mandated to attend an emergency meeting in the schools auditorium. An important morning and afternoon announcement was made by the schools principal, Dr. Tanya Roane that required all staff to report to the meeting including the schools’ custodians. It felt as though we were being summoned to the guillotine by the principal’s urgent tone and requirement that all staff report.
Back on December 20, 2012, I wrote an article for The Washington Teacher blog titled “What’s the Impact of DCPS School Closures on Teachers and School Staff?’ At that time, I warned teachers and school staff about the DCPS School Consolidation Staffing Overview which was provided to teachers at selected schools due to the proposed school consolidations announced by Chancellor Kaya Henderson in December 2012. The three page staffing overview outlined the following: “WTU members at consolidated schools will be subject to the excessing process as outlined in the WTU contract.” When I walked into the school auditorium today at 3:30 pm and saw Mr. Dan Shea, DCPS Instructional Superintendent- I knew it was a foregone conclusion that our worst nightmare was about to be announced.
Mr. Shea announced that all staff would be reconstituted with the exception of the schools principal. Shea stated “staff will have to reapply for their jobs starting this Wednesday with Principal Roane and interviews will be held beginning this Wednesday (May 22) through Friday (May 23).” In my estimation, that would amount to about 30 staff interviews daily at 15 minute increments if the principal is to meet her goal of interviewing approximately 90 school staff members by week’s end. Shea was clear that the principal alone would conduct all of the staff interviews.
In response to a battery of questions and concerns, Shea said “I apologize that I didn’t come one month ago to tell the staff.” Pearman, as a member of the Cardozo personnel committee fired back “I am insulted that I have spent countless hours interviewing people for my job.” Staff were optimistic that excessing would not occur since the local school budget revealed an increase in staff positions due to the consolidation of Cardozo Senior High School and Shaw Middle School at Garnett Patterson, scheduled to take place in August 2013.
By the way Option 2 in the WTU Collective Bargaining agreement (CBA) which previously allowed permanent status teachers with a minimum of 20 or more years of creditable service to retire early is no longer an available option due to a MOA (Memorandum of Agreement) between WTU President Nathan A. Saunders and DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson, signed in December 2012. The MOA changes the early retirement option and calls for Supplemental Unemployment benefits to be paid to eligible teachers over a five year period.