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MEA and District Preparing for Ratification - '10-'11

MEA and the District Preparing for Ratification
The Manatee County School District Board, sitting as the Legislative Body, acted on the impasse issues during the five hour long June 7th hearing. At the hearing, the Superintendent (and his representatives) and MEA made presentations to the Board on each issue and the Board took final action on each issue.

MEA and the District must now reduce the actions of the Legislative Body and any Tentative Agreement reached prior to the impasse to writing and submit the compilation document to bargaining unit members for ratification. If ratified, the compilation document must also be presented to the School Board for ratification. If the compilation document is not ratified, the actions of the Legislative Body take effect from the date of the hearing (June 7, 2011) through the end of the fiscal year (June 30, 2011) and become the subject of negotiations for the following year.

The actions of the Legislative Body are as follows:
·         Experience Step Advancement on the Salary Schedule- The Board approved the Superintendent’s recommendation to include in the collective bargaining agreement that future advancement to the next experience step on the salary schedule should be negotiable and will only occur after the completion of negotiations rather than at the beginning of the work year.
·         Health Insurance Premiums - The Board approved a modified proposal that increases premiums for employee only coverage under each plan by nineteen percent (19%) consistent with the MEA proposal, and accepted the Superintendent’s recommendation for premium increases for employee plus one and family coverage under each plan.
·         Health Insurance Benefit Description - The Superintendent agreed to retain the Benefit Description within the appendix of the agreement and the Board approved its retention.
·         Terminal Pay – The Board approved the Superintendent’s recommendation to reduce Terminal Pay for all days earned after June 30, 2011 to a maximum of 50% of the daily rate of pay at the time the day is earned. Days earned prior to June 30, 2011 that remain at the time of retirement will be paid as terminal pay up to a maximum of 100% of the employee’s pay at the time of retirement.
·         High School Teachers assigned to six (rather than five) out of seven periods- The Board approved the MEA recommendation to retain the current language. This was based on the Special Magistrate’s recommendation that stated, “There is simply no reason why the collective bargaining agreement needs to address this issue at this time.”
·         Teacher Notice of Reappointment Date - Both parties agreed during the Special magistrate hearing that the date for notification of reappointment must be given by June 1st for teachers and the Board Approved the date.
·         Paraprofessional Reappointment Date- The Superintendent agreed to accept the Special Magistrate recommendation for notification of reappointment to Paraprofessionals to occur on or before May 15th each year and the Board approved the recommendation.
·         Paraprofessional probation and contract status- The Superintendent withdrew this issue and the Board approved retaining the current language. The Superintendent stated that this issue would likely be addressed in the next legislative session.
·         Teacher/Employee Rights- The Board approved the Superintendent’s recommendation to not include the MEA proposed rights provisions.  The language will not appear in the documents.
The following recommendations of the Special Magistrate were accepted by both the Superintendent and MEA.
·         Salary Schedule- The Special Magistrate (SM) recommendation was to retain the current salary schedules for Teachers and Paraprofessionals without an increase.
·         Health Insurance Committee - The Special Magistrate recommendation was to increase the number of individuals serving on the Committee from the current eight members to a committee of sixteen - eight individuals recommended by the Superintendent and eight individuals recommended by the Unions.
·         Paraprofessional Discipline – The Special Magistrate recommendation was to retain the current language in Article XVI of the Paraprofessional collective bargaining agreement.
The Tentative Agreements reached by the parties in negotiations prior to impasse include the following:
·         Teacher Article I, Section 2 – Waivers to Contract: Modified the threshold to “A minimum of seventy-five percent of the members voting on the waiver” for approval.
·         Teacher Article II, Section 3 – Definitions: Clarified that a teacher is one “who works twenty (20) hours or more per week in a regularly established position.”
·         Teacher Article V, Section 2, Subsection 7- Modified Instructional Week: Modifies the use of Modified Instructional Week time (if modified week is adopted by the Board) to include a collaborative planning day each month. The day would be taken from the teacher day (under control of teacher) or district/school (under control of the district/school) in alternating months.
·         Teacher Article V, NEW Section 11 – Highly Qualified Teachers: Provides for requirements for teachers to be Highly Qualified (HQ), describes support, training and timelines for non-HQ teachers to become HQ, and provides a process and timelines for transfers, if needed, for teachers to be assigned to position for which the teacher is HQ.
·         Teacher Article XI, Section 2 Involuntary Transfers: Clarifies and modifies process for voluntary transfer and involuntary transfer from a school losing units to schools with vacancies.
·         Paraprofessional Article II, Section 3 – Definitions: Clarified that “Paraprofessional full time employees are those in a regularly established position of 20 hours or more per week.”
·         Both Paraprofessional and Teacher agreements, Article XII Compensation and Health Insurance, Section 10 – Family Status Changes: Clarifies and updates the sample list of status changes that allow for employees to change in pre-tax benefit elections as provided by IRS rules.
All other current provisions not specifically included above are to be retained as current language within the collective bargaining agreement.
Additional information regarding the specific language and ratification voting procedures and timelines will be forthcoming in the near future.

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