ESL teachers bargain for paid prep and admin time

St. Giles Teachers United/Guild

Bargaining Bulletin #2

September 11, 2015

Negotiations resumed Friday in San Francisco with management.  The session was greeted with the happy news that Megan McEnulty just gave birth.  Mom and baby are doing well.  Your bargaining team congratulated her and the family.

The next order of business was to determine when the next bargaining session would be, given Megan’s parental leave.  The current plan is that she will resume her bargaining responsibilities within a few weeks.  Management representative Mark Ross, a lawyer working for the Jackson Lewis law firm, assured the team that he would check in with Megan in the next 10 days and try to get a firm date for the next session.

Some time was spent reviewing information that the company (Megan) provided in response to our request.  It became immediately apparent that there are inconsistencies, such as the use and meaning of “part time” or “regular part time” teacher.  The team asked questions to determine the Company’s definition of salaried, regular part-time, fixed-term, substitute, probationary and contractor, among other questions. Since Megan is on leave, Mr. Ross took notes but gave no answers.

The team then presented a comprehensive proposal that included all the priorities from the bargaining survey, such as paid prep and admin time, transparency in job titles/classifications, paid benefits, job security and a grievance procedure.  The management attorney asked some clarifying questions, but spent more time focusing on the economic reality of the recent 8% raise given in July.  His stance is that there is not much else left to work with given that raise.  The team stood firm on the notion that teachers are hourly workers, that they work more than just when they are in the classroom, and that it is their right to be paid for every hour that they work for St. Giles.  This theme was repeated many times.

At one point, the attorney asked if the Company could install a time clock to punch in and out.  The team invited a full counter-proposal from the Company but clarified that a time punch would not reflect prep time that happens outside of St. Giles.

After going through our proposal section by section, the attorney asked if there was language about salaried teachers.  The team said that more information was needed from the company about how someone becomes salaried, that it seemed salaried teachers were still working a certain number of hours, that we did not know if they got over-time and it seemed that the category of “salaried” is used to delineate those who get benefits from those who do not.

ESL teacher Adam Benson and Guild staff rep Kat Anderson. Photo by Staff 2015
ESL teacher Adam Benson and Guild staff rep Kat Anderson. Photo by Staff 2015

We asked the attorney to try to schedule the next bargaining session by or before October 7.  If Megan cannot return around that time, we want the Company to produce an alternate decision-maker.

Representing the bargaining team:  Britt Lollis, Adam Benson and Kat Anderson, Guild staff.

Representing the Company: Mark Ross, lawyer.

If you have any questions, please contact Shannon, Tanner, Britt, Adam, Jessica or Kat.

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Pacific Media Workers Guild

We are the Pacific Media Workers Guild, Local 39521 of The Newspaper Guild-Communications Workers of America. We represent more than 1,200 journalists and other media workers, interpreters, translators, union staffs and freelancers.

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