Good Afternoon Colleagues,
Now that our year is in full swing and things are settling into a steady flow of learning in your classes, TEA would like to take a moment to encourage and remind everyone to read the Master Agreement and become familiar with its provisions. It includes procedures that govern obvious parts of your employment, as well as, activities you might not consider, like use of school facilities, required prior approval for use of personal days around scheduled vacations, sick bank, and more. You can access the MA by going to the TSD webpage, choosing the “TSD Links” drop down menu, and selecting “TSD Master Agreement;” or simply clicking this link: TSD Master Agreement
Because we update language each year in negotiations, even if you are a long time TSD employee we encourage you to brush up on your MA knowledge. Some things we would especially like to highlight for all staff members:
Please be aware of procedures around health leave, understand the accrual of health leave days, and be aware of the emergency availability of sick bank days; only available to those who have made a one time donation of 2 days to the sick bank. If you have not previously donated to the sick bank and would like to, September is your opportunity, please email Nancy DeCastro.
Please be aware of the accrual and usage of your personal days including approval of personal day usage which is: at least 2 days for normal leave, at least 2 weeks for leave before or after a vacation. According to the MA, leave before or after a school holiday is “strongly discouraged” and “Approval will be granted by the Administrative Team only under extraordinary circumstances.”
We cannot state enough the importance of being familiar with this document for all of your employment needs. Please take the time to read through it, understand it, and ask a member of your TEA Leadership Team or the Administrative Leadership Team if you have questions. Thanks all, we work so hard to have this working document that supports all staff and we are so fortunate to have it!
-Your TEA Exec Board
Your executive board members have been busy working on new by-laws to govern our professional association. The time has come to adopt a concrete set of by-laws in order to move ahead as a professional association. Last spring, we sat down with our UniServ director and legal representative, Greg Lawler in order to compile the document. Our hope is that the document presented to you today embodies the trust that you have put in your leadership and will aid in the effort to make TEA the best professional association it can be.
We sat down to create a document with these goals in mind:
1. That the majority membership is adequately represented
2. That we have a solid legal document to govern our association with the utmost clarity to ensure our association is always acting on behalf of the majority members
3. To outline and define the process of electing officials to lead our teacher’s association
4. To continue to progress as a professional association with its members best interest at heart
Since, as many of you know, our past by-laws have a ton of holes in them, we began from scratch and created the by-laws attached to this email. Additionally, we held our first regularly scheduled meeting on September, 3rd in order to obtain any member input prior to voting on whether or not to pass these by-laws. Thanks to some prodding through the document by some of your fellow association members, there has been some fine-tuning to the document presented to you today.
The way this works:
You have until our next regularly scheduled meeting to review the document.
At our next regularly scheduled meeting (Monday, October 12th in Colin’s room) we will vote on passing the by-laws.
The membership that is not present at the meeting will be contacted by their building reps with a secret ballot to either A. vote to approve the by-laws, B. vote not to approve the by-laws, or C. abstain from voting.
Once the ballots have been tallied, we will make an announcement about the by-laws via email.
If the proposed by-laws are approved, they will go into effect immediately.
If the membership should vote down the proposed by-laws, your executive board will go back to the table and will contact you with updates in order to compile a document to govern this association.
Additionally, it is important that we make an announcement regarding the offices of the executive board. In the past, TEA has not held elections because there have not been enough members interested in running. Your current executive board is comprised of members who volunteered to take on their roles in the absence of any other interested parties.
Over the summer, our past president, Colin Hubbard opted to step down from his executive position after 6 selfless years of service. To fill the position, your past vice president, Nick Lauritzen and building rep, Kelly Boykin temporarily stepped in as co-presidents. Additionally, last year’s secretary, Erin Thompson stepped down from her role to focus on her duties as social coordinator. To fill that void, Leah Lauritzen has stepped in as the interim Secretary. James Taschek has been the treasurer, which has not changed. Your executive members stepped in to ensure that no leadership role went unfulfilled over the summer and during the beginning of the school year as we worked to ensure a smooth transition, welcome new and returning staff, and provide a foundation suitable to work with our new administration.
This temporary team has served it purpose and it is now time to move forward and hold official elections. Therefore, we are proposing to the membership that we hold “emergency elections” as soon as possible. Nick, Leah, and James are excited to continue in the roles in which they have found themselves, but share a strong desire for the process to be transparent, fair, and official. Therefore, TEA is accepting nominations for any of the positions (President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer) and will hold an election at our October meeting to finalize the executive roles for the year.
If you are considering taking on a leadership role and would like to put your name on a ballot for an official election (which is something that has not taken place in many years) please do not hesitate to contact your executive team or building representative by noon on Friday, September 25th. It is important to ensure that the executive members are in place as soon as possible. The official elections will be held at our next regularly scheduled meeting in addition to, and following the same procedures described above for, voting on the by-laws.
We sincerely hope that these plans are supported by our membership as we move forward over the next month.
Thank you for your time,
–TEA Executive Board