Calendar of Events
5/8 Day of the Teacher
5/31 FMEA End of the Year Party
June 7, 2019
Hi FMEA members,
As this school year starts to wind down I want to mention a few important items to be aware of:
Let me know if there are any other end-of-year considerations or complications you want support with.
May 24, 2019
Hi FMEA members,
The FMEA election ballots have been counted, and results can be found at the bottom of this email. FMEA Rep Council met on Monday for our final meeting of the year. Here are the highlights:
FMEA Elections Chair, Sau Vu, sent the following results of our recent FMEA officer election:
President: Scott Shulimson 251
Monica McEwen 1
Ann Rosebrook 1
Catherine Baskerville 1
VP: Catherine Baskerville 244
Secretary: Paul Ward 244
Treasurer: Kristi Billings 243
Director At Large: Karen Orozco 244
Have a nice long weekend,
May 17, 2019
Hi FMEA members
Today was the deadline for joining the retirement incentive, and the final number is 19 participants. While that is short of the goal of 22, I believe the district can and will move forward with it. One effect of this is that there will be more options for excess staff who are choosing positions next week. Also this means there will be more positions for temporary teachers, I'm happy that the incentive is moving forward, but this also means we are losing a lot of folks who have been crucial to FMSD and FMEA for many years, so there will be some hard goodbyes this year.
For those who are planning on not returning next year, the deadline to notify the district is June 30th. The placement verifications that are sent out around this time of year are not binding, and not signing it is not the same as formally resigning.
For those of you who are puzzled over this year's FMEA gift, it's a letter opener and staple remover. If you did not receive one and would like one let me know.
I hope to see you all at the FMEA End Of Year Party, May 31st at the new CTA/FMEA office! A flyer is attached.
May 8, 2019
Hi FMEA members,
There's no doubt that few people realize how hard teachers work, especially Franklin-McKinley teachers, and the job seems to get harder year by year. Recognition and appreciation do not change that, but during this Teacher Appreciation Week, and CTA's Day Of The Teacher, it's nice to know we are appreciated for our hard work and dedication. I see commitment, and caring from you on a daily basis that makes me proud to be FMEA president. I hope everyone received the small FMEA gift this year. If not let me know. Thank you for all you do and happy Day Of The Teacher!
May 3, 2019
I hope you had a great spring break and are enjoying the summer weather and final weeks of this school year!
The latest FMEA Observer (Elections Edition) is attached to this email. Here are some other important things to keep on your radar:
The SERP (retirement incentive) deadline is May 17th. So far there have only been a couple of additional retirees. If you choose to participate and the incentive does not move forward because of lack of participation, you will be allowed to rescind your resignation. If it does move forward, this will create more openings for excess staff, and ultimately allow more temporary teachers to remain in the district for next year. The excess staff meeting will likely happen the week of May 20th.
There is a general opening and a minority-at-large opening for CTA State Council, which is the body of elected educators that determines CTA positions and policy. The deadline to declare candidacy is May 8th, and details and declarations are attached.
CTA Summer Institute offers a variety of great trainings and workshops every August at UCLA. There are grants available, but the deadline to apply is this Monday. Follow this link for details. https://ctago.org/conference-grants/
The Support Our Schools Community Forum on May 11 is an important event to help our community learn more about the real costs and impacts of charter schools. A flyer is attached with all details.
The CTA Day Of The Teacher is this coming Wednesday, May 8th. Keep your eyes out for a small token of appreciation from FMEA.
The FMEA End Of Year Party, celebrating retirees and much more, is Friday, May 31st. Flyers are coming soon.
Enjoy your weekend!
April 19, 2019
Hi FMEA members,
The ballots have been counted and there are 314 votes in favor of the Tentative Agreement (TA) and 3 votes against it. I expect the School Board to ratify it at their meeting this Tuesday. The retro checks will be in either our May or June paychecks.
FMEA Officer Elections are coming up next month. Every year FMEA votes on President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and Director-At-Large. All are one-year terms except for Director, which is a three-year term. If you are interested in running for any of these positions you need to email a short bio, up to 30 words, to FMEA Elections Chair, Sau Vu, at email@example.com by 3:30pm on May 9th. Make sure to indicate which position you are running for. Attached to this email is a complete description of each of these positions and a detailed election timeline.
Yesterday the district held an informational session on this year's retirement incentive (SERP). There was a decent turnout, and there will likely be sufficient teachers interested in the SERP that it moves forward, but we will know for sure by the May 17th deadline. If the SERP does go through, the increased number of retirees will mean there will be fewer excess staff, as well as more open positions for temporary teachers. It sounds like the district will not hold the excess staff meeting until after the May 17th SERP deadline.
April Rep Council Highlights:
Reps received a proposed FMEA budget for next year, with no deficit spending, and no increase to FMEA local dues (though CTA and NEA are likely to increase). Rep Council will vote on the budget next month.
FMEA's End-Of-Year party will be Friday, May 31st at the new Mt Hamilton building. Look for flyers in the coming weeks.
Congratulations to this year's FMEA W.H.O. (We Honor Ours) award winner, Ann Rosebrook. Ann has worn many union hats over the years, and we are glad to have this chance to honor her.
Thanks to all who helped make the 2019 FMEA Basketball Tournament such a huge success, and congratulations to our top three finishers: Lairon-1st place, Franklin-2nd place, and Dahl, 3rd place.
FMEA is looking for new members to join our bargaining team. We also need volunteers to join our PAC (Political Action Committee). Let me know if you are interested.
Thanks for making it all the way through this lengthy email, and have terrific spring break!
April 10, 2019
The complete Tentative Agreement (TA) is attached. Site Reps will receive voting materials at next Monday's Rep Council and we will either be voting immediately before or after spring break. If a majority of our membership votes to approve the TA then the Board will vote to ratify and it will go into effect. If you have any questions at all please let me know. The retro check will likely come at the end of June, and will apply to all FMEA members who worked in FMSD this year, whether or not you are continuing next year.
Last night our school board formally approved a retirement incentive that would pay out 65% of salary to any members 55 or older who have 5 years experience in the district, who agree to resign from the district. The deadline will be May 17th. This is a very short timeline, and it can take several weeks to get a one-on-one appointment with CalSTRS. I did just confirm that for those willing to drive to Santa Cruz, there are appointments available in April and early May. You can call CalSTRS at 800 228-5453, and let them know you need a one-on-one appointment because of the retirement incentive being offered.
Later today all teachers in grades 6-8 are invited to the Shirakawa cafeteria from 3:30-5pm to discuss any issues related to our schools, district or union. Come share what's on your mind.
Lastly, our FMEA basketball tournament is this coming Saturday at Yerba Buena High School. Games start at 9am. I hope to see you there!
April 5, 2019
Hi FMEA members,
Yesterday after a marathon day of bargaining a Tentative Agreement (TA) was reached! The key components of the agreement are:
We pushed for many more improvements but these were the ones that we were able to reach agreement on.
There are other smaller changes as well as some general clean up. This will be our 2018-2021 contract, though we will bargain compensation, and one other article chosen by each side, for each of the remaining two years of this contract.
I will send out the complete Tentative Agreement early next week and we will begin voting shortly after that. Hopefully the board will ratify the TA at their April 23rd meeting.
Thank you to our skilled bargaining team Julia Walle, Joyce Comstock, Veronica Andrade, Lyn Irvine, Bargaining Chair, Alie Victorine and CTA staff, Kris Clarke!
By the way, for those who are doing their taxes, the total union dues for 2018 was $1252, though unfortunately the new tax laws do not make it as easy to deduct union dues.
Have a great weekend!
March 29, 2019
Below are highlights from this week's Rep Council meeting:
Bargaining: We continue to make slow progress in the many contract articles that are open, including Compensation, Class Size, Leaves, Hours, and Evaluations. We will get a raise this year but have not settled on an amount. Our bargaining team is looking for new members for next year. If you're interested let me know.
Retirement Incentive: The district is tentatively planning to offer a retirement incentive this year. It would officially begin at the April 9th Board meeting. Teachers over 55 with five years experience in FMSD would have until mid-May to decide if they want to take the incentive, which would pay out 65% of your salary over a period of time you select. The district will be notifying all eligible teachers in April.
Inclusion Programs: Next year Kennedy, Meadows and Lairon will each have two general ed classes with three SDC students fully included. Each class will receive an extra para, and part-time support from an inclusion specialist. I'm still learning the details, but let me know if you have questions and I'll do my best to answer them.
Transportation Issues: For those planning field trips and unable to get adequate busses from our transportation department, make sure you inquire about chartered busses. If you continue to have problems let me know.
Student headphones: If you need more student headphones for district devices make sure to ask your principal. If your principal will not support you with supplying additional headphones let me know. The district is saying that headphones will be supplied to all in need.
Basketball Tournament: Our FMEA basketball tournament is Saturday, April 13th at Yerba Buena High. With nine FMSD schools participating it looks like it will be a great event this year, so feel free to stop by.
Grades 6-8 Meeting: All FMEA teachers in grades 6-8 are invited to drop in on April 10th to discuss any matters relevant to you. We will meet in the Shirakawa library from 3:30-5pm.
DRDP Meeting: The district has invited all kinder teachers to a full-day meeting on April 16th. If you are a kinder teacher with strong feelings about DRDP or this year's report card please attend and share your views.
March 1, 2019
Hi FMEA members,
First off, if you haven't yet heard, Paula Boling has announced she is retiring at the end of the year. While she and I have disagreed on plenty of issues, she has usually been someone that FMEA could work well with, and she will be missed.
February Rep Council Highlights:
Bargaining: We continue to bargain improvements in a number of areas. I can confirm that we will be receiving a raise this year, but we are not yet close to agreeing on an amount.
IEPs: IEPs that are held after the workday are optional. It is true that the IEP may have to be rescheduled if you are not present, but that does not make it mandatory for you, if outside your 7.5 hour workday. We are attempting to bargain language that the district will pay for IEPs held after the workday. For now, you can request to be compensated, whether through hourly pay, adjunct duties or some other arrangement. If your principal will not compensate you in any way let me know.
Suspensions: Principals appear to be more hesitant to suspend students than ever before. All teachers still have the right to suspend students for two days (current and following day) for all reasons listed here: California Code, Education Code - EDC § 48900 | FindLaw Just remember that teachers can only suspend to the office, and the principal decides whether to send the student home. Also, it is our legal responsibility to attempt to contact the parent the day of the suspension and try to set up a conference.
8th Grade Graduation Requirements: Administration had discussed major overhauls, but it now appears the only changes to determining which 8th graders can participate in graduation ceremonies are last year's elimination of the 2.0 GPA minimum, and this year's addition of a formal appeals committee. The complete list of requirements is attached.
Grade Level Meeting: There will be an FMEA meeting for any and all 3rd-5th grade teachers Wednesday, March 27th, and 6th-8th grades will meet Wednesday, April 3rd. Both meetings will be at 3:30 in the Shirakawa Library. This is a chance to drop in and have an informal conversation with myself and others about your ideas and concerns.
FMEA Happy Hour: Our next FMEA happy hour is Friday, March 15th, at Stanley's Sports Bar. There will be a trivia game for those interested, and the usual free food and drinks for all.
Review of Personal Necessity (PN) Rules: All of us have our own sick leave bank. We get ten sick days each year, and any unused days roll over into the next year. PN are not separate days, but are a way to access our sick leave bank. We can use up to seven PN days a year and we do not have to declare a reason for any. We can take all seven consecutively. If we are out of sick leave and take a PN day we will be docked for that day's pay. We can only use seven PN days a year, even if we didn't take them all the prior year, i.e they do not roll over.
Oakland Teachers Strike: FMEA Rep Council has joined the many CTA chapters supporting Oakland teachers and has voted to donate $1000 to the Oakland Teachers Association to support them in their strike. There is the possibility of donating more at next Rep Council meeting, but it sounds like they may be closing in on a deal that would end their strike.
NEA Representative Assembly Local Delegate Election: FMEA gets three local delegates to the NEA RA. If you want to run for a spot as a local delegate you need to email a 30 word bio to FMEA Elections Chair, Sau Vu, at firstname.lastname@example.org by 5pm on March 15th. Note: FMEA local delegates are not funded and must pay their own costs.
New Educator Weekend Grants: Our CTA county office will be funding some newer members to go to CTA's New Educator Weekend, March 8-10 in Burlingame. If you are interested let me know by this Monday. Here is a link to the event info: https://ctago.org/events/2019-new-educator-weekend-north/
Future Calendars: PDFs of the official 2019/20 and 2020/21 calendars are attached.
There's a lot of info here so feel free to follow up with me by email, phone or text if you want clarification or more information on any of these topics.
February 8, 2019
Hi FMEA members,
The FMEA calendar survey results show a small preference for calendar B, and CSEA and admin also chose calendar B, so that is what the board is likely to approve. I am attaching the tentative 2019/20 and 2020/21 calendars to this email. HR will distribute the official calendar after board approval. I've also attached a screenshot of the FMEA survey results.
For tax purposes, total 2018 union dues were $1252. Unfortunately It's my understanding that under the new tax laws passed last year, union dues may not be directly deductible any longer. I'm not an expert on accounting issues, but I've heard some people may still deduct union dues as a business expenses. You will want to check with your accountant/ tax program on this.
FMEA and the district bargained yesterday. We are making progress, but there are many articles open so we still have a long way to go. We have not taken up compensation yet.
February is the month when probationary teachers begin to hear about whether they have been reelected to return next year. The law gives districts very wide latitude on who they choose to non-reelect, and they don't need to give reasons or justify the decision. It's a frustrating situation for many. I'm happy to talk with anyone who receives a non-reelect, though generally there is little that can be done to fight it.
The FMEA spelling bee is February 27th at Bridges. We still need Coordinating Teachers at many schools. Let me know if you are interested in helping students at your school participate, or just want more information.
The FMEA basketball tournament is April 13th at Sylvandale, and we now have nine schools participating!
The CTA Legislative Brunch will be March 9th. It's a great chance to meet and talk with local elected officials. A flyer with all details is attached.
As always, don't hesitate to get in touch with any questions, concerns or ideas.
January 30, 2019
Hi FMEA members,
I have revised the FMEA calendar survey that went out last week because it had two problems: It didn't allow for ranking second and third choices, and it didn't mention that option "C" also includes a February break. Please take the one question survey this one last time. Here is the link. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/X3PN8NF
Below are highlights from Monday's Rep Council:
1. The FMEA spelling bee is February 27th. We need a Coordinating Teacher (CT) for each participating site. Are you interested in being your site's CT? We also need a couple of volunteer judges for the event. The FMEA basketball tournament is April 13th. Will your site participate this year, and if so who will be coaching your team?
2. Bargaining continues tomorrow. FMEA has a wide range of contractual proposals on the table. Compensation has not yet been discussed.
3. FMEA's open forum discussion for 1st and 2nd grade teachers will be February 6th at 3:30 in the Shirakawa library. All 1st and 2nd grade teachers are invited to bring topics of interest or concern. Future FMEA meetings will be scheduled for all grades.
4. Tomorrow is the deadline for anyone interested in running as a State Delegate for this summer's NEA Representative Assembly. This link takes you to the declaration page:
5. There are a number of upcoming CTA conferences, all detailed at http://www.ctago.org. The New Educator Weekend is March 8-10 in SF and should be considered by all new educators.
6. Lastly, I'm sorry to report that long time FMEA member, Andrew Love, passed away this Monday. I have not heard of any services open to the public at this time.
January 25, 2019
Hi FMEA members,
It's time to vote on a calendar for the next two years. This Surveymonkey link below is different than the survey you took earlier this month. There are three calendar options and each is explained in the survey. Each of the choices (options A,B and C for 2019/20 as well as 2020/21) are attached Note that CSEA and administration will also play a part in the decision so there is no guarantee that FMEA will get our first choice. Here's the survey link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/JYTNH8T
FMEA's student spelling bee is coming up on February 27th and our basketball tournament is on April 13th. We need a Coordinating Teacher (CT) from any school that wants to participate in either event. If you are willing to help students at your site participate in one of these great events let me or your Site Rep know. We also need judges for the spelling bee. It's a lot of fun and no experience or expertise is needed.
FMEA will be holding grade level meetings to discuss ideas and concerns. All first and second grade teachers are welcome to bring your issues or concerns to the Shirakawa library 3:30 February 6th. We will hold meetings for all other grades in the coming months.
Bargaining began on January 10th. FMEA is bringing a large number of contractual improvements to the table in a number of articles. So far we have not discussed compensation with the district's team, but Governor Newsom has proposed a budget with significant increases in education funding. We'll see how this plays out in future bargaining. Our next date is January 31st.
Lastly, I want to congratulate our colleagues in UTLA who, after a brief strike, just reached a Tentative Agreement which includes a 3% raise for last year and 3% raise for this year, as well as lower class sizes. Next week Oakland teachers will vote on whether to go on strike.
Have a great weekend!
December 14, 2018
Hi FMEA members,
Our latest edition of the FMEA Observer is attached, and December Rep Council highlights are below.
Many of us recently received a letter from "The Freedom Foundation" urging us to drop out of the union. While that choice is up to each of us, the strength of our union comes from us standing together. There will be many more letters urging teachers to drop out of the union, but I hope we can all see these attempts for what they are, attacks on unions and workers in an attempt to weaken our collective power and voice. The financial backers of these attacks are some of the wealthiest in this country who know that unions are what stand between them and their ability pay even less and profit even more than they already do. I hope we can remain unified and strong in the face of this opposition.
Rep Council Highlights:
1. Bargaining: FMEA begins bargaining on January 10th, which is around the time we will get Governor Newsom's January budget proposal. Our district's Classified union just reached an agreement on salary for this year. They agreed to no raise, but will receive a one-time 3% bonus, which would become a permanent raise if FMEA gets any raise at all, or if the June state budget has significantly more funding than currently projected.
2. There is some new floating cap pay contract language this year for teachers who are over enrolled: This year any 7th or 8th grade teachers at K-8s get $3 per period when over-enrolled. Also, anyone mainstreaming a student over your caseload receives $3 per day. Most other floating caps remains the same other than increasing from $10 to $11 per day.
Also, kinder teachers who are without an aide for three consecutive days or five days in a month receives $40 per day. Note: If you think you may have been underpaid this year or last it's probably not too late to get paid correctly, and I can help with that if you want.
3. Tools For Tolerance For Educators: There is a training for teachers on tolerance and diversity in education January 20th and 21st at the Museum Of Tolerance in LA. There are spots available, and transportation and lodging are paid. If you are interested contact me for more information.
4. This year and next some big decisions will be made about ELA adoptions. Please do take the district surveys so that your input can be considered.
5. February 27th is the tentative date for our FMEA student spelling bee. If you are interested in being the Coordinating Teacher at your site let me know. More details will be coming after the break.
6. The district Calendar Committee will begin working early next year. If you are interested in joining the committee email me. We will have an FMEA calendar survey going out soon.
7. If you have not received your CTA card let me know.
Have a great vacation!
November 20, 2018
Hi FMEA folks,
On this last day before our Thanksgiving holiday we have much to be thankful for: Though teachers and students alike have all struggled with the smoke from California wildfires, it looks like rains are on the way to finally clear the air and bring some relief. Like many of you, I have good friends in the Paradise area that lost their house (or worse). It sure makes me thankful for a warm dry place to call home.
On a different note, the election for California's Superintendent of Public Instruction was extremely close, but a few days ago CTA-backed candidate Tony Thurmond was named the winner!
There are three upcoming FMEA events that I hope are on your calendar:
Personally, I'm very thankful that so many individuals are willing to step up and help make our district a better place, from site reps, and student event coordinators, to Bargaining Team and Executive Board members, to the many teachers who do everything in your power to help our students succeed, I truly appreciate you and I'm honored to represent you.
Have a great Thanksgiving holiday!
November 9, 2018
Hi FMEA members,
Many races from Tuesday's elections are still too close to call, including for California's next Superintendent of Public Instruction. Marshall Tuck, the charter school candidate, has a very small lead, but CTA-backed Tony Thurmond has been gaining ground, and there are still millions of California ballots to be counted.
Locally, our FMEA-endorsed candidate, Maimona Afzal-Berta (teacher in Alum Rock) won a decisive victory in the special election to complete the remaining two years of John Lindner's term. In the regular board election there was no voting, since three candidates competed for three seats. The candidates were incumbents, Rudy Rodriguez, Thanh Tran and newcomer to the board, Kerry Rosado. Omar Torres chose not to run for reelection. The new board term begins next month.
FMEA has several upcoming events:
FMEA will begin bargaining next month. We will be selecting a new bargaining team member in early December, so if you are interested in joining, now is the time to let me know. Also, If you haven't taken our bargaining survey, here's the link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VD3RDJH
Have a great long weekend!
October 26, 2018
Hi FMEA members,
Please take the FMEA bargaining survey if you have not yet done so. Here's the link. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VD3RDJH
Below are the highlights from Monday's Rep Council:
1. Our FMEA student track meet is tomorrow at the Sylvandale track beginning at 9:30am. Come out and support our speedy students!
2. Election day is less than two weeks away. FMEA has endorsed Maimona Afzal-Berta for our school board. She is an RSP teacher in Alum Rock. It's important we have a teacher on our board, so please encourage voters in our district to support her (you can talk to parents about Maimona as long as it is not during school hours and you are off campus). It's also important that we support Tony Thurmond for Superintendent of Public Instruction. He is a teacher who is running against Marshall Tuck, who is the charter school backed candidate. I've also attached a complete list of candidates and measures that CTA chapters have endorsed, so you can support teacher-endorsed candidates no matter where you live.
3. Are you interested in joining our bargaining team? Let me know if so.
4. Take a look at the attached documents. The first is a great summary of teachers' legal rights. The second is a comprehensive list of CTA member benefits.
5. Please join our FMEA text list by texting "@fmeamember" to 81010. You can also join the FMEA Facebook group by submitting a request. Don't forget, all important FMEA documents and more can be found at our website at http://www.fmea.mobi
Finally, here's a list of some great upcoming CTA conferences: 2018 GLBT Issues Conference
Riviera Hotel, Palm Springs
2019 Issues Conference
January 18-20 Tropicana, Las Vegas
2019 Good Teaching Conference (North)
February 1-3 Fairmont, San Jose
2019 Equity and Human Rights Conference
March 1-3 Fairmont, San Jose
2019 New Educator Weekend (North)
March 8-10 Hyatt SFO, Burlingame
Visit www.CTAGo.org for more details about each conference and to register.
Grants are available. Please visit www.CTAGo.org/Grants to learn more.
Have a great weekend!
September 14, 2018
Here are the highlights from our first FMEA Rep Council meeting of the year:
1. Bargaining: FMEA bargaining surveys will be emailed in the coming weeks. Bargaining for 2018/19 begins in a few months. We have two spots for new bargaining team members. If you are interested in joining let me know.
2. School Board: There are two separate school board races: The first is to finish John Linder's term. In that race FMEA Rep Council has endorsed Maimona Afzal-Berta, who is a special ed teacher in Alum Rock and is currently on our school board. The second race is for three seats: There are exactly three candidates for this race so all three will be seated on the board without an election in November. Two incumbents Rudy Rodriguez, and Than Tran, will be joined by parent, Kerry Rosado. Omar Torres has opted not to run for re-election.
3. Class Size And Floating Caps: Principals must ask for volunteers, but if no one volunteers, principals can place one student over 24 in grades K-1 and two students over 24 in grades 2-3. Grades 4-8 (other than middle school) can have 33 students, but if the teacher doesn't approve, then the class must be lowered to 32 within two weeks. Teachers receive $11 per day (based on enrollment, not attendance) for all students over 24 in K-3 and over 32 in 4-8. The district is responsible for calculating and issuing this payment, but all teachers must be over class limit for a 5 day "grace period" each year before the compensation begins. I know it's confusing so contact me with questions.
4. FMEA Oktoberfest: Mark your calendars for FMEA's first happy hour event of the year: We will be at Stanley's Sports Bar on Thursday October 4th from 3:30-6:30pm. Teachers new to our district will be the special guests at this event and are strongly encouraged to attend. These are always a lot of fun!
5. FMEA Track Meet: Our annual track meet will be Saturday October 27th at Sylvandale and is open to all 4th-8th grades. Participating sites need a Coordinating Teacher (CT). If you are interested in helping out let me or your Site Rep know.
6. CTA State Council: There is an opening for a 9 months term on CTA State Council. If you are interested in declaring your candidacy or want more information let me know.
Have a great weekend!
August 31, 2018
Hi FMEA members,
I hope your first week of school went well. Much of my week was spent getting set up in a new office. For those not aware, the CTA building that FMEA worked out of for the last 30 years burned just before summer. This has been a time of transition as FMEA and other local chapters are settling in to our new office. The new CTA building is at 1333 Piedmont Rd, Suite 106, San Jose, 95132. The office number is still 408-272-0601, and I can still be easily reached on my cell phone which is 831-325-0465.
After several years of convincing FMEA bargaining team members, Charlie Nave and Lyn Irvine to stay for "one more year" they are exiting the team. I suppose 11 successful contracts is enough! Thank you Charlie and Lyn for your outstanding contributions to FMEA over the last decade. If you are interested in joining FMEA's bargaining team, or just want more information let me know.
For all those over your class size cap, Tuesday is the first day that a class size grievance can be filed. If you have any questions about this or want help with it just let me know.
One thing that is new this year, is working under the Janus Supreme Court ruling. There has been little impact to FMEA so far, but some members are beginning to receive phone calls and emails from groups urging them to drop out of the union. Please keep in mind that the funding for these groups usually originates from the wealthiest individuals in this country that are seeking to undermine the power of unions, which are one of the last strong voices of opposition to an increasingly pro-corporate, anti-worker landscape in the U.S.
Labor Day weekend is a great time to reflect on the struggles of the past, and the sacrifices made by union members that were pivotal in creating the protections workers now have in this country. It's only through our continuing solidarity that we can maintain the quality of life that labor fought so hard for in years past.
Happy Labor Day weekend!
August 17, 2018
Hello FMEA members,
Welcome back to a new school year! I hope you all had a fantastic summer and are feeling rested and ready for the 2018-19 school year.
I also want to send a special welcome to our newest teachers. Because of declining enrollment, this group is smaller than most years, but we still have almost twenty new educators in our district.
For returning teachers, the placement verification you signed in the spring was based on the old salary schedule because the new one hadn't been ratified yet. HR will not be sending out revised placement verifications, but I'm attaching the current salary schedule to this email. We will be bargaining for this 2018-19 school year, and a retroactive raise for the current year is always a possibility (so this salary schedule is technically for 2017-18 and not 2018-19), but it's far too early to make any predictions about bargaining.
There were some changes to the contract in our June settlement that will impact this year. Perhaps the biggest change is that total Tuesday staff meetings have been reduced from 28 to 22. Make sure someone from your site is keeping track of the number of Tuesday meetings so you don't go over.
In general, if something doesn't seem right, please let me know right away. There are always hiccups as the school year starts, and some problems become a lot harder to fix if they aren't caught right away. Please keep me in the loop, and don't hesitate to get in touch if you need help with something. A big part of my job is to help fix problems so you can focus on teaching.
I hope Monday is a good start to a great year!