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Teacher Chapter Contract Impasse Updates

BTU Mediation Dates Secured, Negotiations Impasse Set to Conclude in January

Through numerous delays with mediator schedules, we have now secured mediation dates for December 19th and 20th and ideally will lead to a conclusion in late January.

Typically, mediation only occurs on compensation, and sometimes a few other financial issues, however this year BTU is pressing the case on 17 different proposals. This is the first time impasse will be occurring under the Public Employee Relations Board (PERB), which replaces the Public School Labor Relations Board (PSLRB). The PSLRB was notoriously anti-worker/anti-teacher and pro-management, and we are fighting to establish new pro-labor precedents under the PERB.

Bargaining topics submitted for impasse mediation include:

  • Compensation – BTU is fighting for fair compensation increases for all Teacher Chapter members. Unusually, the school board’s negotiators did not budge on their main compensation proposal at any point during negotiations. District negotiators offered competitive increases for beginning career teachers, but very little for experienced teachers.

  • In addition to meaningful salary increases, BTU is fighting for increased earnings for those at the top of the pay scales, across the board bonuses, and increases to stipend and summer pay rates. BTU is also pushing for new compensation categories, such as pay for overnight trips and stipends for various school roles that are currently uncompensated. BTU is also seeking to include compensation for coaches of middle school sports.

  • Competitive Athletic Director Compensation – BTU ADs have long been under-compensated relative to their peers in neighboring districts.

  • Planning Time Equity – For decades, elementary school teachers have only received three guaranteed planning periods per week, while high school teachers received five. Given rising workloads and a basic commitment to fairness, all educators need to receive a minimum of five planning periods per week.

  • Workload Relief – In addition to equitable planning time, BTU is seeking additional teacher-directed time at the beginning of the school year and when quarterly grades are due. BTU has also proposed several workload reduction measures, including eliminating redundant paperwork and guaranteed additional preparation time related to Student Learning Plans.

  • Religious Holidays – The BTU contract allows two days for Religious Leave, after which staff are docked days of pay. Even when docking days of pay, BCPSS requires Related Service Providers to make-up missed sessions. BTU is seeking to fix this.

  • Sick Leave Increments – Currently, the district only allows Teacher Chapter members to take leave in half day increments, which hurts students and schools by incentivizing longer absences than necessary. BTU is fighting for teachers to receive the same 45 minute increments of leave that are permitted in the PSRP Chapter, which will allow teachers to preserve more of their leave and will help reduce the need for hard-to-get substitutes.

BTU is also fighting for various protections related to workplace bullying, well-lit parking lots, classroom and office doors that lock, guaranteed access to drinking water, and annually budgeted money for bargaining unit members to individually purchase the supplies they need.