CBA FAQs as published in the 2019-20 eFocus Newsletters
8.14.19 CBA FAQs - CBA online
Q - Where can I find a copy of the HEA Contract?
A - An electronic copy of the HEA-HSD Collective Bargaining Agreement (aka the CBA or the Contract) is found on the new HEA website on the Contract page. You can navigate there from the homepage, or access it directly here. You can also find these materials on the Highline Public Schools website, through the Human Resources page. Finally, every HEA Building/Program Representative receives a paper copy of the CBA after each round of contract negotiations.
8.22.19 CBA FAQs - District Initiative Days
Q - What happens if I miss a DID (District Initiative Day)?
A - HEA members are contracted to work three District Initiative Days (DIDs) as part of our base contract. See Section 11.2 of the CBA. If you need to miss a DID, you should use the appropriate type of leave - for example: Sick Leave (Section 14.1), Personal Leave (Section 14.8), or Emergency Leave (Section 14.7).
8.29.19 CBA FAQs - Shared Leadership Team
Q - My school is setting up our Shared Leadership Team (SLT) for this school year. Where do I find the contract language around SLT?
A - Shared Leadership Teams are addressed in Section 4.12 of the CBA. It includes information about team composition, training/support, and issues that the team can and should discuss.
9.5.19 CBA FAQs - Work Outside the Contract Day
We all want to spend our time in impactful and meaningful ways. Your required meeting and training time depends on the roles you serve. (We honor those colleagues managing IEPs!)
Use of time is a working condition that HEA/HPS typically negotiate each contract so be sure to look at language in the current CBA. While each worksite structures time and responsibilities a bit differently, here are some key contract references regarding work time and responsibilities.
• Base salary: Your base salary covers general expectations that may or may not take place on-site during the contract day – e.g. classroom set-up, planning, grading, communicating with parents, reasonable supervision of students between classes and during transitions to busses, compliance training, and activities associated with Professional Growth & Evaluation (Section 12.1).
• Professional Learning and Enrichment (PLE): PLE is a supplemental contract to provide compensation for self-directed professional learning and participation in enrichment opportunities which are above and beyond the regular contract work year and/or regular contract day (Section 12.12). You can see salary amounts for PLE reflected on the salary schedule as “Days” and “Prof. Learning.”
• Staff meetings: Up to one principal-directed staff meeting per week lasting up to 45 minutes past the contract day; extension possible via Flex Time with notice (Section 4.1.F).
• Friday PCT: 25% teacher/ESA-directed individual time; 25% teacher/ESA-directed team time, including optional job-alikes; 50% principal-directed time, including admin-directed job-alikes (Section 4.4.B).
• Flex Time: Up to 20 hours may be used as a resource for the effective operation of schools and programs (Section 4.1.c).
• Many HEA positions and roles include compensation for additional time and responsibilities; the majority of these can be found in CBA Appendix D.
If you would like to explore the issue of ‘Time” in more detail, you may find this Joint Communication Regarding Professional Responsibility & Time a helpful resource, in addition to the language in our CBA. The Joint Communication includes a summary of the three main “time buckets” – Base Salary, PLE, and Flex – as well as several specific examples of time usage and how they are covered by the CBA.
9.12.19 CBA FAQs - Clock Hours & Your Salary
Q - How can clock hours help me raise my salary?
A - Continued education is needed for educators to renew their professional certification. In addition, Highline EA and Highline SD recognize the importance of professional learning/development (PD) and have negotiated a salary schedule that reflects this. Members with credits, clock hours and degrees earned by September 15, 2019 have until November 1, 2019 to submit official documentation of their coursework toward placement on the salary schedule. Each movement "to the right" increases your salary.
To submit clock hours for salary schedule movement, email your name, school/site and position along with your PD documentation to Human Resources OR drop off and date stamp your materials with Veronica Lua at the front desk at ERAC between 8:00-4:30, M-F.
Any backpay necessary to reflect an updated salary schedule placement will be retroactively credited to September 1 and will show up no later than your November or December pay warrant. Your “typical” monthly salary rate of pay for this year may not show up until your January 31 paycheck, so you should be sure to check your paycheck closely that month.
HEA Leadership and Highline HR both request that you wait to email HR regarding any clock hour/credit status, previous education/work experience (for new hires), and related salary schedule placement questions until after November 10. This will allow Human Resources staff to dedicate time to the work of reviewing documentation and placing people appropriately, rather than answering queries prior to this date.
9.19.19 CBA FAQs - Focused Cycle Extension
Q - Is there a new evaluation timeline????
A - Yes there is! Our lobbying efforts paid off last spring. (hint-have you joined WEA-PAC yet?) HEA and HSD have written a Letter of Agreement (LOA) reflecting the revised law. Classroom teachers may now stay on the Focused PG&E Cycle for up to five years.
So, if you just completed your third year of being on a Focused Evaluation, ask your administrator if you can stay on for year four ("F4"). Remember that either an evaluator or a teacher can require a Comprehensive Evaluation, so the extension is not a guarantee of remaining on Focused, but the new legislation and our LOA do provide that option.
9.26.19 CBA FAQs - October 11th Collaboration Day
Q - What are the rules around October 11? Who decides what work I do on that day? Can we hold a job-alike?
A - The purpose of the Collaboration day is to provide time for teacher/ESA teams to work on building priorities. So, October 11 is much like a team-directed PCT in which the teacher/ESA teams are directing their group time, but the focus must be on one or more building priorities - for example, annual action plan goals or other areas of school-wide focus.
If there are specialists or non-classroom educators who do not have a natural team on-site, or who work in areas around which a building doesn’t have specific priorities, those individuals should talk with their principal about getting together with their natural team (e.g. a job-alike) if they want to work at another worksite. If the principal is supportive, that’s fine; however, there may be building priorities around which the principal would appreciate their expertise that the specialists haven’t been made aware of yet.
10.3.19 CBA FAQs - Class Size & Caseload
Q - It’s after October 1; how many students can be placed in my class or on my caseload?
A - Our CBA has eleven Sections in Article 4 devoted to explaining your class size and caseload rights within virtually every HEA membership category. The main Section references are: Student Enrollment & Staff Allocation (4.15), Class size and Workload (4.16), as well as Class size Mitigation (4.19).
If you are looking for something related to specific programs/positions, check out: ELL-Elementary (4.17), All Day K (4.18), Advisory (4.20), Camp Waskowitz (4.21), Secondary Assessment Coord (4.22), DL Program (4.23), WaKids (4.24) and Elementary PE/Music (4.25).
10.10.19 CBA FAQs - Professional Collaboration Time (PCT)
Q. How can our school develop its PCT year-long schedule in a way that ensures it is in compliance with the contract? Are there steps we should follow? Who controls what we do during PCT?
A. PCT is outlined in Section 4.4 of the CBA. Here are two subsections of Section 4.4 that some members have found confusing, along with an interspersed explanation of how to collaboratively build your schedule and allocate days using our contract language. It is important to review the district calendar when placing all of your job-alike days.
4.4.A. Each school’s shared leadership team (SLT) will gather input from the certificated staff to consult with the principal regarding the content, type, and format of professional collaboration time.
• In other words, there should be an SLT discussion about PCT, including when to calendar the three different types of PCTs; the PCT schedule must take into account the calendared job-alike dates, which are necessary to ensure that every school has those available for the two types of job-alikes. However, after this SLT discussion, the principal has authority over which dates to schedule for each type of PCT, following the allocations in section B. below.
• Usually there are about 32 PCT Fridays, but if there are more or less than 32, SLT should have a discussion about how to address the balance. This year, there are 34, so it might make sense to have one of the extras be principal-directed and the other either individually or team-directed. The explanation for subsection B uses 32 days for simplicity.
• Additionally, the allocations in subsection B are percentages, so it is allowable for an SLT & principal to split PCTs, so long as the proportionality is correct. (e.g. One week, a PCT might be 45 minutes principal-directed and 45 minutes team-directed, and then the next week, the split might be 45 minutes principal-directed and 45 minutes individually-directed. This would maintain the 25/25/50 split.) Likewise, it’s allowable to have different PCT schedules for different staff members in a building, so long as the proportionality is met. For simplicity, the explanation below uses full days and assumes all staff are on the same PCT schedule.
4.4.B. PCT will be allocated as follows:
1. 25% will be reserved for teacher/ESA-directed work by individuals;
• Assuming 32 PCT Fridays, 25% would be 8 individually-directed PCTs. Many schools try to ensure that some of these individual dates are scheduled right before progress reports and report cards are due, to provide time to work on those. Assuming the entire building has a consistent PCT schedule, individually-directed PCTs cannot be scheduled on either type of calendared job-alike dates.
2. 25% will be teacher/ESA-directed collaborative work by small teams of teachers/specialists on building or district priorities, with half of these PCT days identified and reserved on the work year calendar for optional teacher/ESA-directed cross-school collaboration with job-alike colleagues (principal notification will be provided in the event staff leave their usual worksite);
• Again using 32 PCT Fridays as the norm, there would be 8 of these team-directed days, 4 of which must be scheduled on the “optional” job-alike dates (yellow cross-hatching). For ALL of these team-directed PCTs, teachers/ESAs choose their team, and they choose which building or district priority(ies) their team will work on. Principals may ask who teams are working with and what they are working on, but may not direct either of those; also, detailed meeting notes are not required. (SLT may make recommendations about team composition and/or areas of focus based on their PCT planning, but these should be considered recommendations.)
• On the optional job-alike dates, cross-district groups may be formed by the job-alike groups listed in part 3, as well as by others that are not specifically outlined below (e.g. world language teachers, dual language teachers, literacy specialists, 4th grade teachers and so on). For any optional job-alike, staff need to let their principal know if they are leaving the building to attend a job-alike meeting – and again, who they are working with and what they are working on.
• On the other four team-directed dates, the general assumption is that they are for small teams to work in their own buildings, but there may be exceptions to this, especially if there isn’t a natural in-building ‘team’ for a particular teacher or ESA.
3. 50% will be determined by the building principal, with one-quarter of these PCT days identified and reserved on the work year calendar in Exhibit B for potential administratively-directed meetings of ESA/specialist groups (OT/PTs, Psychologists, Nurses, Counselors, Social Workers, Speech Language Pathologists, Special Education, Librarians, Fine Arts and PE specialists, and CTE teachers) in cross-school collaboration with job-alike colleagues. Additional job-alike groups may be identified on an annual basis for administratively-directed subject area and/or grade level initiatives; notice of any additional job-alike groups will be provided to principals and HEA leadership as soon as possible, but no later than August 10.
• Again assuming 32 PCT Fridays, there would be 16 principal-directed PCTs, and 4 of these (25% of 16) must be scheduled on the administratively-directed PCT dates on the calendar (solid yellow). On these four job-alike dates, only the groups listed above and any additional groups identified by HSD before October 10th may meet for job-alikes. (This year, the additional group is Challenge.) If there is an administratively-directed job-alike meeting taking place, staff who fall into those groups may leave their usual worksites to attend (again, with principal notification).
• Principals may direct the content of these 16 PCTs, and they may be either whole group or small teams. If principals choose to use some of their PCT dates for small team work, they may direct both the composition of the teams and the work done by those teams. It’s important that any work requiring the presence of staff who fall into the identified job-alike groups be scheduled on the 12 principal-directed days that are not set aside for administratively-directed job-alikes.
10.17.19 CBA FAQs - Sick Leave vs Personal Leave
Q- All these decisions leave me a bit overwhelmed, how do we use personal days?
A- Each year, twelve Sick Leave days are preloaded in September. Personal Leave is deducted from your Sick Leave. We are in the second year of a two-year contract. You can use up to four days of Personal Leave in a two-year contract period but can only attach two leave days to a holiday/school break, including the end of the school year. See Section 14.8 of the CBA for the contract language. You do not need to ask your administrator for permission to take personal days, however, signing up for them far in advance increases the likelihood of having a guest teacher pick up your job.
10.24.19 CBA FAQs - Curriculum Adoption Committees
Q- How are staff members selected for Curriculum Adoption Committees?
A- Rules governing a Curriculum Adoption Committee (AC) can be found in Section 13.3 of the CBA and are also governed by law. At least half of the members of an adoption committee must be non-supervisory certificated staff members (HEA members). The process as it is carried out, begins with staff being invited to submit their names. The HEA president then works with the Instructional Materials Committee (IMC) to review and ultimately recommend names for the committee. Applicants will be sent emails confirming their selection. The district will then publish all AC member names on their website. The composition of an AC must include a broad representation from across the district, prioritize the experience of current practitioners and, in particular, be comprised of content area and grade level representatives who will be using the curriculum. Members of an AC can identify training, support and a timeline for a successful implementation of the adopted curriculum.
11.1.19 CBA FAQ - Dual Language
Q: I work in a school designated as “dual language.” As a DL teacher, is there any contract language the describes extra pay, protections or supports teaching in these positions?
A: Our Dual Language Program contract language can be found in section 4.23 (p. 36-39) of our joint CBA. Your rights are listed there. If you would like to work collaboratively with district administrators to develop recommendations for improvements to DL, a Joint Dual Language Leadership Team will be getting going soon. It will be co-chaired by HEA executive board member Sandra Aguila, who teachers at Madrona Elementary. This team is charged with recommending improvements to the DL program. We are seeking representation from every DL school. If you would like to join the team, please contact HEA President Sandy Hunt.
11.7.19 CBA FAQ: Addressing Disrupted Learning Environments
Q: What is the union doing to help us address Disrupted Learning Environments (i.e., Classrooms where evacuations are a regular occurrence)?
A: We encourage impacted teachers and HEA reps to read section 3.4 (pages 9-11) of our CBA (Contract) together. Our students and our members need healthy learning environments. Unfortunately, the union is not always informed when there is a violation or an incident. At the November Rep Council meeting, we presented a document outlining a multi-pronged approach we have underway. We know more is needed.
If you have additional ideas to share or if this is an area you would like to work on with fellow members, please attend your 15-minute building HEA meeting to share with your reps. You are also encouraged to contact Sandy to help organize around this critical work.
Four approaches advocating for healthy classrooms and schools are underway:
1. Know and use contract language to maintain a safe and healthy teaching environment
- Provide opportunities for reps and members to read the language
- Gather questions about Discipline Language from members and leaders and share those with Executive Board Members
- Support members in implementing contract language
2. Understand the challenges at the micro and macro levels which means asking how are our students and teachers doing? How well is the system doing?
- Collect Data on Disrupted Learning in Highline
- Use data to communicate and educate on the nature and magnitude of disruptions across the system.
- Use data to address students’ needs
3. Use our collective expertise to get students the help they need and deserve.
- Educate on Discipline Policies, State Laws and Contract Language
- Provide Professional Development that reduces Disrupted Learning
- Provide Professional Development to Behavior Specialists & Site-based Teams
- Use Contract Language to ensure full-implementation of a system of support for all students
4. Identify and Work Collaboratively to Direct Resources to Address Student Needs
- Use existing research on disrupted learning environments to identify actions and activities
- Work with Central Office to direct appropriate resources to meet school level needs in a timely way
- Work with Central Office to identify where resources are needed
- Lobby and write grants for additional resources