October 10, 2017
NOTE: These minutes are also available online at www.lmeaonline.org.
President C. Santa Maria called the meeting to order at 4:07 pm.
Aimee Avellino made a motion to approve the minutes from September—sec by J. Hemingway—passed.
President’s Report: C. Santa Maria began his report by introducing Natalie DeVuono, a representative from Liberty Mutual, the PSEA-endorsed insurer. Natalie was able to describe our new partnership—please see your building rep for details.
Recently we were worried that IBX would terminate its relationship with the Reading hospital network, which would have resulted in significant costs for our affected members; that concern has passed, as the parties reached agreement on a new contract.
The fill rate for substitutes in September was just 59%, which the district acknowledges is a problem. LMSD has contacted PSERS and received an exception that allows some retirees to return as subs without affecting their retirement. We will get some additional information from HR this week, but there’s nothing in the data that seems to indicate our sub shortage will end anytime soon.
Employees who wish to meet with their 403b vendors cannot do so during the school day on school property—this is a relatively new emphasis from HR, and we hope to get some clarity on why this is in the next few days.
Bargaining continues, but without much in the way of concrete results. The mediator joined us in our last meeting, which was helpful, but having put ten months into this effort we need to begin thinking about whether this process is likely to pick up its pace. STF remains engaged in its work and will review a report from DDCworks at its next meeting, which is 10/25 at 4 pm at the LMEA office. That meeting will yield some direction on when and whether to move into phase 2 of our advocacy. Please consider attending the next business meeting of the board on October 23 at 8 pm.
The Supreme Court is likely to rule in a major case involving labor rights. The Janus case will likely roll back the right of unions to collect fair share fees from non-union members who benefit from union work, like bargaining and representation. With a 5-4 majority, the conservative justices will, in effect, transform the entire country into a “right-to-work” nation. Compared with other states, “right-to-work” states currently feature salaries 20-30% LOWER than what we can achieve now. This may represent a major challenge to our ability to maintain all the features of our union, and this is a clear result of last year’s presidential election.
The Apple Core was sent out as an email earlier this month—please check that for information about the maternity workshop, payroll dates, and the economy.
VP Support: V. Fedeli reported on his upcoming Division meeting and reminded everyone that if you’re retiring you should participate in an exit meeting to make sure your accruals are what you think they are.
VP Professional: NR
1st Vice President: NR
Secretary Support: NR
Secretary Professional: NR
Treasurer: D. Mandarino made a motion to accept the September treasurer’s report—passed.
Committee Reports: Outreach: J. Mudd integrated his report into the president’s report on bargaining.
Elections: A. Flicker reported that we will be electing delegates to the PA House of Delegates at the regularly scheduled General Membership meeting on October 12. The meeting will take place at the LMEA office.
Health & Safety: NR
Minority Affairs: NP
PACE: Any contributions this year will be directed toward next year’s elections, in which Governor Wolf will likely face Scott Wagner, whose agenda includes decimating collective bargaining rights. Please make a point of contacting new people in your building so we can get their help.
PR&R: P. Dawson submitted a written report.
Special Services: NR
Sunshine: Please contact Debbie Williams as the need arises at email@example.com.
Membership: D. Grumbine submitted a written report.
Environmental: J. Mudd reported on some suggestions regarding the field between Cynwyd and BCMS.SECC: NR
Belmont Hills: Prof: NR
ESP: Concerns about the sub shortage among aides as well as teachers.
Cynwyd: Prof: NR
ESP: Concerns about the sub shortage among aides as well as teachers; this is even a bigger problem given the rising population among special education classes.
Gladwyne: Prof: Questions about district’s push to get people to volunteer for “genius hour,” which the district will allow people to use as their evaluation option if they use time after school for training. This is not appropriate because “evaluation option” is not one of the bargained modes of compensation in the contract—for staff development, the district can pay us to attend after-school workshop or they can conduct the training during scheduled professional development time embedded in the calendar.
ESP: concern about a shortage among IAs, who are not being replaced.
Merion: Prof: Concern about a shortage among IAs, especially in the AS classroom, where there is no instructional support for four of our students; teachers are losing two hours per month of planning time because they are now attending PLC meetings.
Penn Valley: Prof: concern about a shortage among IAs, to the point where student instruction hasn’t been initiated yet.
Penn Wynne: Prof: concern about the shortage among IAs.
ESP: Question about salary for a newly-hired behavioral aide—everything in the contract is status quo, so the salary is listed there.
Bala Cynwyd: Prof: NR
Welsh Valley: Prof: concern about an arbitrary change to the announcements in the morning which adds instructional time to the teachers’ day; concern about a change to after-school clubs, shortening the amount of time clubs can run; question about the process for conference funding approval; concern about special ed teachers who are over their caseload maximums.
Lower Merion: Prof: NR
ESP: Questions about the process for reimbursement for club sponsors who purchase materials. The best solution is for teachers to AVOID MAKING PURCHASES on behalf of the district because it just complicates things to a point that exceeds practicality.
Harriton: Prof: Concerns about administrators adding layers to the evaluation process that go beyond what’s contained in True North Logic, including some PLC-related tasks that may be related to Chris Hall’s doctoral dissertation—we need to take this up with higher-level administrators to get everyone on the same page.
Minority At-Large Reps:NR
Building and Grounds: NRAdministration: NR
New Business: NR
P. Dawson made a motion to adjourn - second by V. Fedeli. The meeting was adjourned at 5:44 pm.
Andrew Thomas, Secretary Professional