ESL teachers bargain for prep time and a health plan

St. Giles ESL Teachers United
Bargaining bulletin #5
November 20, 2015

Your bargaining committee met with St. Giles’ lawyer and Megan on Friday. Both sides came prepared for a full day meeting and it was a productive day of negotiations.

Under the terms of a confidentiality agreement, St. Giles’ shared financial information for most of 2015.  According to the documents we reviewed, business is taking a hit this year, and there will be little – if any – profit.  It is uncertain what will happen in 2016, but the Company claims the trend will remain downward.

The company lawyer and Megan (who has agreed to meet with us despite being on maternity leave) gave us St. Giles’ first full draft proposal, which included language on teacher definitions, vacation and sick pay, different options for health plans and the acknowledgement that teachers work more than the hours they are scheduled.

While the recognition for the prep and admin time each teacher has been putting in is a huge success and step forward, we would like to revisit this issue in the next negotiations on December 7.  St. Giles’ current proposal offers a lower teaching rate plus $13 per hour for non-teaching duties, with the effect of a cost-neutral proposal.  In other words, we will be scheduled for more hours (the amount of hours we actually work) but will not get paid more than what we are paid now.

We fully understand the current economic situation and are grateful that Megan and the company lawyer shared with us the financials for St. Giles. However, we do believe that we should be compensated for all the hours we work, and not be subjected to a “discounting” of our teaching rate and/or the value of our time.

As stated, the next round of negotiations will occur on Monday, December 7, and Mark Lindsay will be in attendance. At that time, we will submit a counterproposal that we deem is fair under the current financial situation. We are looking for a contract that gives more transparency in how decisions that affect the teachers are made and fair compensation for all the time we put into our classes and upholding the St. Giles mission statement.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Shannon, Tanner, Adam, Britt or Jessica. The union is all of us and represents all of our voices and concerns, so please feel free to talk to us about any concerns or suggestions.


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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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