Thursday, April 25, 2013
Ladies and gentlemen, I'm not sure I remember a spring that did not come with reduction in force (RIF) notices due to budget cuts in Wareham. This spring is no different. Below is a short explanation of why those notices are coming, and what is going to happen. This past Monday, Town Meeting voted to delay resolving next year's budget until June 18. At this point, the school committee is looking to spend $700,000 more than the town of Wareham is ready to give it. This move allows for further negotiations to close that gap. However, contracts between the Wareham Public Schools and the Wareham Education Association require that "whenever possible" notice of layoff be given by May 15. In practice, that means that the district provides laayoff notices on assumption of the worst-case scenario. In this case, that scenario would be that the schools cut the full $1.7 million the Town of Wareham required. During an earlier budget workshop, the principals of the elementary and middle schools gave specific plans for how they would implement these further cuts, and which positions would be cut. The high school principal did not. For details about your specific school, the video may prove useful. These RIF notices can be expected to implement the plans given at that workshop. Three final notes: -The Unit A contract is specific about the use of seniority in these cases. If a member's position is cut, s/he may have the right to "bump" another, more junior member out of a position for which s/he is qualified by dint of longer service to Wareham. This can result in a chain reaction of building transfers. This is why the seniority list is so important. -The schools plan for the worst, but that does not mean the worst shall happen. In several cases, recalls have gone out over the summer or just before the school year. If town meeting in June passes a budget in alignment with what the school committee has written, then the lion's share of those RIF notices would be reversed. -It is the intention of the WEA to meet with WPS administration to ensure the notices that go out conform with the contract to avoid the need for grievances after the fact. Updates will follow.
Monday, April 15, 2013
I've not done the best job keeping up the blog, getting into the habit of posting updates on WEA's Facebook page. However, many members do not have Facebook accounts. With that in mind, some updates are in order here:
- An agreement in principle on insurance has been reached; details are available on the website.
- The deadline for year-end observations -- summative evaluations for those on one-year plans and formative evaluations for those on two-year plans in less than a month away. Please email the WEA with any irregularities or concerns with the evaluation process as it has affected you.
- The Unit C negotiations process will begin at the outset of May.