Subtitle: This Proposed Salary Schedule is Illegal and Will Result in a Class Action Suit against UTD and MDCPS by Employees Involuntarily Removed from the Grandfathered Salary Schedule of October 18, 2013.
Senate Bill 736 implemented in part (regarding pay schedules) to Florida Statute 1012.22(1)(c)1.b. “‘Grandfathered salary schedule’ means the salary schedule or schedules adopted by a district school board before July 1, 2014” (http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=1000-1099/1012/1012.html ). It is described thusly by UTD’s documents: “Grandfathered salary schedule- The current schedule(s) adopted before July 1, 2014 – Established as the basis for paying all school employees hired before July 1, 2014” (see www.utd.org/file_download/390/SB736-RTTT.pdf ).
On October 14th, 2013, a day MDCPS and UTD declared “momentous” in their jointly issued press releases proclaiming a “salary model [that] will facilitate a seamless transition from the existing salary schedule to grandfathered and performance-based schedules for the 2014-2015 school year” (http://news.dadeschools.net/releases/rls13/216_utd.html ).
The effect of the press release is seen in this Miami Times article based on the release: “According to school officials, the tentative salary model will facilitate a seamless transition from the existing salary schedule to grandfathered and performance-based schedules for the 2014-2015 school year” (http://miamitimesonline.com/news/2013/oct/17/utd-gets-new-deal-worth-70-million/ )
This was the last salary schedule agreed upon before the July 1, 2014 deadline.
It is our “grandfathered” step system and is guaranteed by law until you or I INDIVIDUALLY OPT OUT.
The current proposal is a deceptive and illegal (if implemented) effort to reduce MDCPS’ financial obligation to issue $7500 bonuses to performance system employees…as well as grandfathered step system employees.
Rather than seize this opportunity to negotiate aggressively knowing that the district is so opposed to this obligation that they are risking an illegal and involuntary removal of grandfathered step system employees, our “union” traipses along behind MDCPS sheepishly proclaiming that this is their only option.
Aside from the continued loss of academic respect and professionalism, this contract represents an illegal and involuntary effort to relieve MDCPS management of its financial obligations. A financial obligation expressed through a step system pay scale proclaimed 2 years ago as the means to satisfy SB 736 measures… yet now they state “The problem centers on the lack of funding and a salary schedule we have had for over 40 years… It was not possible…to fund a salary schedule that keeps our current steps…If we maintain the step schedule, we would be out of compliance with the law” – even though our “union” and management negotiated this schedule…not 40 years ago…but 2 years ago bragging that it would bring us into compliance with the law (see http://www.utd.org/news/tentative-contract-agreement-reached for the reference).
It is important to note that in a year that MDCPS receives $84 MILLION EXTRA, the only pertinent reduction in funding to MDCPS is the self-proclaimed (though craftily hidden in technical language) tax break the MDCPS School Board voted this past summer. In a county where rising property values have produced 3 years in a row of surplus tax revenue allowing other entities (E.g., City of Miami) drawing from the same funding sources as MDCPS to fund extravagant wish list items, MDCPS has reduced the millage rate and tells the public “our funding has been cut”: “a $38M revenue decrease that resulted from a drop in the funds the District levies…” http://financialaffairs.dadeschools.net/ES15-16/ES15_16.pdf See my blog entry at http://shawnbeightol.com/blog/?p=763 to read more about the deception of the public by United Teachers of Dade and Miami-Dade County Public Schools.
Allowing MDCPS and UTD to rob employees of promised and planned for large steps toward the end of their career only serves to increase the severity of the pay disparity identified by the recent study on teacher pay in the US by The National Council on Teacher Quality. Here they found Miami to place 90th out of 125 large districts across the US, stating that Miami and “Florida’s other large school systems, rank poorly on a new teacher pay study” (see http://www.nctq.org/dmsView/Smart_Money and http://www.orlandosentinel.com/features/education/school-zone/os-teacher-pay-florida-study-post.html ). In the study, and in direct contradiction to the repeated emphasis by UTD and MDCPS on starting teachers’ salaries, “A key factor in higher earnings for teachers, the study found, was not starting salary but how quickly pay increased.”
Current proposed step system changes are not only illegal because they damage the existing “grandfathered” step system, they are bad policy for producing a teaching environment that attracts and retains high quality educators.
It is a shame that teachers in Miami are so unaware of their rights and the “goings on” around the state with their colleagues in other counties to not realize that the “wool is being pulled over their eyes.” Note that Duval County is fully funding its current step system along with the performance pay system – it must, under Florida Statutes (see http://mbcurl.me/13NG9)
My suggestion is to VOTE NO to this illegal piece of fraud and deception.
In fact, I would recommend stapling a resignation letter to UTD to your ballot when you put your NO vote in the ballot box (see last page for sample). Make sure you fax an additional copy to the provided fax number.
What kind of “union” would do this to its employees?
The same kind of union that bragged to employees and the public 2 years ago that this step system was what we needed to bring us into compliance with the new statutes in exchange for a surrender of academic rights (see http://shawnbeightol.com/blog/?p=591 ). The same kind of union that told us in 2006 that the biggest raises in history were going to be ours…but failed to tell employees that this was dependent only upon receiving $350 MILLION in extra funds…and as we sadly discovered, UTD was WRONG. The same kind of union that was wrong in 2011 for incorporating RTTT/736 language into a CONTRACT when the courts overturned the requirements of the law but told us we would have to honor out contract because it was voluntarily agreed upon… see here (http://shawnbeightol.com/blog/?p=778 ) for additional evidence of incompetency and complicity with management by the union half of our ranks still pays hard earned dollars to to be screwed and betrayed by this Judas organization whose officers all make more money than you and have better benefits than you.
The question is, then, “why should we believe UTD now?”
Should we believe them now?
Even if they sincerely believe they are right, they now have a track record of making DEVASTATING errors and assumptions that history is showing to be unwarranted and foolish.
Why should we trust them this time when they have gotten the last 3 contract negotiations and amendments WRONG?
Do yourself a favor – VOTE NO on this deceptive salary proposal. Attach the following letter to your NO vote in the ballot box:
Fax Cover Sheet
To: United Teachers of Dade
Total Pages: 1 of 1
RE: Termination of Membership
To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing to terminate my membership, effectively immediately. Below you will find the information needed to process my request.
My name is: __________________________________________
My employee number is: __________________________________________
I thank you in advance for your time and assistance.
read another excellent article on the proposed schedule: https://kafkateach.wordpress.com/2015/08/29/kafkateach-does-math/