THE PCT PLEDGE IS THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF
THE PLAINVIEW-OLD BETHPAGE CONGRESS OF TEACHERS
VOL. XXXXIII, NO. 3 OCTOBER 20, 2005
By PCT President Morty Rosenfeld
As many of you know, for some time Iíve been trying to stimulate some careful thinking about the future of our union. Last year, for example, we made my job full-time and took a decision to increase the status and responsibility of our Head SRC Reps. We also embarked on an ambitious training program for all of our SRC Reps, a program that will continue each year and which has already increased exponentially the knowledge and skill of these dedicated people. The goal was and continues to be to do whatever we can to train the next generation of PCT leaders so our union continues to be strong and competent.
While I know I am asking us to accept a significant amount of change quickly, I have proposed that we consider making other changes in the governance structure of the PCT, changes which I believe will clarify the lines of authority within our union and promote the development of the leaders we will need in the future.
My proposal builds on the steps we have taken thus far by devolving more authority on to our Head SRC Reps. They, along with a Secretary/Treasurer (a consolidation of two positions) and the PCT President, a newly created Executive Vice-President and the presidents of the functional units of the PCT would form an Executive Committee, constitutionally empowered to act between Executive Board meetings. This Executive Committee would meet weekly to deal with the issues before us. By having the Head SRC Reps meet with the other officers each week, and having them attend meetings with the Superintendent and Board of Education, we will offer the kind of training and experience that will hopefully equip and motivate them to seek higher office. Although Iím not planning to leave imminently, Iím not looking to be carried out either.
In outline, this is my proposal. I encourage you to read the complete document which is available on-line at pobct.org. If it does nothing else, I hope it stirs an intense discussion of the future of our PCT.
Itís taken a long time, but broader access to the Internet either is or is soon to be available. Before members can gain access to a less filtered Internet, they are going to have to sign a document that acknowledges that they are familiar with the districtís policy and that protects the district from any claim a member might have against it growing out of that greater access.
While the documents are cast in legal language that is daunting to decipher, they were vetted by the PCTís attorney who assures us that they can be signed without concern.
The advent of greater Internet access and the signing of these documents should serve as a reminder for all who use the districtís computer network that its use is intended for school business only. The district has the capacity to monitor its use, and we must assume that they do. Using it for other than school business can be a cause for disciplinary action.
As the September 19 Pledge reported, the Board of Education has established a district committee to look at the feasibility of putting a bond referendum before the public to finance the many building repairs and improvements the district needs to address.
The next two Saturday mornings will find members of the committee touring all of our schools to get a first hand view of the needs of each building. PCT members who know of situations that require large expenditures of money to fix or improve are urged to bring them to the attention of the committee by either contacting PCT President Morty Rosenfeld, Vice-Presidents Cindy Feldman and Lillian Feigenbaum, Secretary Judi Alexanderson, CUPCT Vice-President Lucy Pedone and Head and Assistant SRC Reps Maureen Egglinger, Kathy Abbene and Kevin Dugan.
DATA CORRECTION FORMSThe PCT Office will shortly be sending each member a Data Correction Form. This form contains all of the data on file in the PCT database. It is information that is necessary to assist members with issues from dental claims to seniority. It is essential that this data be accurate.
When you receive your Data Correction Form, please scrutinize it carefully. Insert missing information and correct inaccurate information in red and return the corrected form to the PCT Office.
Because NEA/New York and NYSUT are slated to merge next fall, it has proven impossible to recruit a suitable individual for a vacancy that exists for the Field Representative (Uni-Serv) position currently open on Long Island.
While the PCT doesnít rely on the local Field Rep for services, some of the other, mostly clerical and teacher aide locals, on Long Island do. A couple of them are even about to begin negotiations and are without a rep to rely on.
The local leaders have recommended to NEA/New York that they either arrange for a NYSUT Rep to cover these locals or they hire on a contract basis available local leaders to provide services until the merger takes place. We have been told by the leadership of NEA/New York that there may be objections from the NEA/New York staff union to these solutions.
Should NEA/New York not be able to quickly implement one of these solutions, several of these locals have asked the PCT to help them. The PCT Executive Board has passed a resolution authorizing us to affiliate these locals with us so that we can use their dues to hire people to represent them. The resolution reads as follows:
Whereas: The Long Island ESP locals of NEA/New York are currently without representation due to the voluntary transfer of their Uni-Serv Rep and the inability to find a suitable replacement owing to the imminent merger of NEA/New York with the New York State United Teachers, and
Whereas: The staff union of NEA/New York has raised objections to the hiring on a contract basis of NEA/New York leaders to temporarily provide these sister locals with the representation they need, and
Whereas: If they were affiliated with the PCT, representation could be provided them without the need of the concurrence of the staff union of NEA/New York,
Be It Resolved: That the President of the PCT is authorized to offer affiliation to any or all of the aforementioned locals.
The Personnel Office has asked us to remind our teacher members that when they have taken sufficient credits to move a lane on the salary schedule, they must specifically inform Personnel that they are eligible for a lane change. Just reporting the completion of credits is not enough.
LEAVE POLICY REVIEW
From time to time, the Pledge is asked to print a summary of the districtís leave policy which is incredibly complex. What follows is just that, a summary. It is not intended as a complete statement of the districtís policies. Each SRC Rep has a copy of the Leave Policy Book which members are free to access.
There are many reasons for being absent from work, but before you are absent, it is important to be aware of the district's absence and leave policies.
Each teacher accrues 14 days per year according to a schedule agreed to in our contact. If you are absent due to illness for more than 5 consecutive days, you will be asked for a doctorís note. Days not used each year accumulate to a maximum of 400. If you have used all your accumulated days and are still ill, you may borrow up to 28 days from the district. These days are paid back at the end of each subsequent year except that no one should begin a year with less than 3 days accumulated. Furthermore, tenured teachers who are still ill may be granted days from the PCT Sick Leave Bank. These days are not paid back.
You are entitled to use your accumulated days for other reasons beside illness such as for moving, house closing, religious holiday, graduation of spouse or child, or court appearance.
You are entitled to use your accumulated days for illness in your immediate family. (Spouse, children, parents, siblings) or relations (grandparents, in-laws.) You will need a doctorís note for these absences.
You are entitled to use 2 days per year for personal reasons not covered elsewhere in the leave policy. If these days are Monday or Friday or before or after vacation, you must give a reason and be approved by the Superintendent of Schools.
There are provisions for being absent due to death in your family. You may be absent 5 consecutive days WITHOUT CHARGE for death of a spouse, child, parent or sibling. THESE DAYS MUST BE USED CONTIGUOUS TO THE DEATH. You may also be absent for 3 UNCHARGED days for death of grandparents or in-laws, also contiguous.
For many of the above absences, it is necessary to notify your immediate supervisor in writing prior to absence. Again, questions about the policy can be addressed to an SRC Rep or to the PCT Office.
To better serve our membership, the PCT Office is now open from 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM.