Dear TRUE Members,

I hope everyone enjoyed their Labor Day weekend!  Brought to you by the labor movement in our country!

Here is important clarifying information regarding the last district “Communication/Negotiations Update” that was sent out on Tuesday, August 20, 2016 via your district email:

  • Aug 3rd and 4th MOU presented in December by the district:
    As stated in my last communication, under the direction from the TRUE’s Executive Board, this MOU was to be incorporated into negotiations, which we informed the district of this decision via email.  Being that it was the district that brought this original idea of 2 additional mandatory PD days at the beginning of the 2016-17 school year and then the MOU in December (voluntary 2 additional PD days on August 3, 2016 and August 4, 2016), it is expected that the district presents language for this during negotiations.  As mentioned previously, the district had not done so in any negotiation session so far.  It is not up to the TRUE Negotiations’ team to present language on something that was not our idea.
  • Salary Determination Letters:
    October 1st is the correct due date to submit your units to Human Resources.  This is why the district now sends out your salary determination letter at the end of October instead of over the summer, as the previous Human Resources department did.  TRUE Leadership was told, the district prefers to do this so they do not have to send out additional letters to those certificated employees who have earned additional units to move over on the salary schedule, which are due Oct. 1st.  It was shared with TRUE Leadership that this causes additional work for HR that they do not feel is necessary.
  • VAPA Prep Time Grievance:
    Current Contract languagestates in Article “Elementary (TK-6) teachers will receive ninety (90) minutes of prep time per week beginning in the 2015/16 school year.”  The resolution and settlement from TRUE’s grievance on the missed VAPA Prep Time in no way changes what we can grieve for missed prep time.  The settlement requires that the language be clarified during negotiations. The district is addressing this in negotiations by adding the following proposed language, after the above contract sentence, at the table: “This assumes a five (5) day student attendance week”.

If you look at the definition of a week, according to Webster’s dictionary, it is: a period of 7 days or the days from Monday through Friday when people usually work.  It is TRUE’s view that if the district’s current effort to clarify contract language is the above language, I do not believe this is the clarity we are looking for.

When this settlement was brought to me by Kenya Spearman, our CTA Staff Person, and Paul Le Francois, TRUE’s Grievance Chair, after the mediation meeting on this grievance, I specifically asked if this agreement would hinder future grievances based on current contract language regarding missed VAPA Prep time, and the answer was no, it will not.  We will move forward with grievances for those TK-6 teachers who have missed their VAPA Prep time due to holidays, an absent VAPA teacher, and any other non-student day that your prep time falls on in which this time is not made up.  Please see the August edition of the TRUE Newsletter regarding the process of getting your missed VAPA time made up or grieving this if it is not made up.

TRUE will continue to clarify any misinformation through future communications to remain transparent to our members.

The district just added a new date of September 14th to negotiate.

See you on September 13th for the TRUSD School Board Meeting! 

We are stronger together!

Kristin Finney

TRUE President


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