To those who would point to the percentage of Employees “enjoying” the “free, employee only” insurance, I would counter with “yes, you have driven the family members away to other plans where it is still cheaper to keep one spouse on MDCPS.” But this is the result of intentional cost inflation to drive the families away to either NO INSURANCE or lower quality insurance in many cases.
a) As stated, the official links to the proposed contract changes (Including the shift of the “no cost” individual employee insurance plan from OAP20 to Local Plus) do NOT include a description of this plan.
b) Credential Payments:
i) Appendix E. Section 2.B.2.n – I cannot figure out what this refers to…switching back from part-time hourly (AT/AU) to nurses’ schedule? I think they mean 2.B.2.m. If so, this is in error.
ii) I cannot find the Credential Payment schedule repeatedly referred to in the proposed changes. Either that means (and doesn’t explain) that the credential payment schedule is the same as before or that a yet to be defined Credential Schedule will be revealed (via MOU?). If the latter, this is very open-ended and could be financially damaging to many who are reliant upon credentials. If the former, it is not clear.
c) Article XII-Hiring E.5 “Teachers who are assigned to teach Career and Technical Education courses shall possess an applicable industry certification. Current employees who fail to satisfy this requirement prior to June 30, 2015 shall be terminated.” It appears this language is contradictory in part to the FDOE memo dated 9/9/11 from Loretta Costin, Chancellor, Division of Career and Adult Education, page 2, Q&A, Q2. “Is this legislation (section 1012.39) retroactive? No, the legislation is not retroactive…the additional qualification of ‘Documentation’…does not apply to teachers who were issued local district-issued teacher certificates prior to July 1, 2011″ – a phone call to the number provided in the memo affirms that the district cannot impose a more stringent requirement than what the state has set. I know from multiple conversations that this is not clear in the contract and may be a mistake or at least a vagueness that will cost tax-payers to clarify via grievance or judicial challenges.
d) Article XXI Section 1(A) is STILL in violation of Florida law, as determined by PERC in 2010 ( ) with these FINAL ORDERS: Both UTD and MDCPS are “Prohibited from “Negotiating, administering, and maintaining Article XXI, Section 1(A), Subsections 2, 3, and 5, of the collective bargaining agreement insofar as they discriminate against employees who are not members of the United Teachers of Dade” – yet the outlawed contract language is being maintained VERBATIM in the current contract. It must be changed.
To those who would argue that the bargaining unit has spoken, I would counter with this: at the very best, 44% of the bargaining unit did NOT cast a yes vote. At the very worst, suspicions of the numbers come into play considering the history of UTD and its multiple convictions of conducting illegal ratifications (June 2011, August 2011, February 2012 were shown IN COURT to be insecure and and impossible to verify the veracity of the results).
Consider also there are 2 pending legal actions against UTD alleging voting fraud/manipulation in the successive 2010 and 2013 officer elections, one a consortium of UTD candidates for office that originally included outgoing UTD Vice-President Artie Leichner as CO-PLAINTIFF:
|BUSH, JAMES (III) vs UNITED TEACHERS OF DADE
||Case Number (LOCAL):
||Case Number (STATE):
||Consolidated Case Number:
||BUSH, JAMES (III)
This evidence of this case above has been added to CASE NO.: 10-24454CA21, IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE ELEVENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT IN AND FOR MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA
EUGENIO PEREZ, AND INGRID ARENAS,
UNITED TEACHERS OF DADE, LOCAL 1974, AND KAREN ARONOWITZ,
Defendants, alleging voting fraud/ballot box stuffing in the 2010 officer election. Here is an excerpt:
“The core allegation in the case – Defendants rigged the 2010 election of union officers - can be proven or disproven only through release of the electronic voting records in the possession of VoteNet, which is located in Washington, D.C. Predecessor Judge Caballero ordered the release of the records subject to a court approved confidentiality order, after which certiorari on the issue was denied by the 3rd DCA. Although the Superior Court in Washington has assured Plaintiffs that the records will be released, VoteNet has indicated – once again, as it has previously – that it will not release the records until resolution of this latest issue.
Further, because of Defendants’ 23 motions for stay or delay (each requiring a special set hearing), and because of an initial 22 months for exhaustion of union internal administrative remedies, the sequel 2013 election has come and gone. VoteNet was again retained to conduct the election, although this time paper ballots were used. No observer physically present was permitted to be close enough to visually ascertain the accuracy of the count of paper ballots.
Notwithstanding, and using Defendants’ documents, the ballot box was demonstrably stuffed once again. According to the union-certified election results, the total votes recorded as cast for president exceeded the number of ballots by 365. Although 7,602 votes were counted for president, there were only 7,237 ballots. Not enough paper ballots were distributed to equal the amount of votes tallied by Defendants. Similarly, the total votes declared to have been cast for vice-president exceeded the number of ballots distributed by 493. Although 1,496 votes were counted for vice-president, only 1,003 ballots were collected.
Again, not enough paper ballots were distributed to equal the amount of votes tallied by Defendants.
As a result, Plaintiffs have moved to amend their complaint to incorporate another round of election misbehavior. Meanwhile, Defendants continue perniciously to obstruct compliance with this Court’s decision to require production of records relevant to fraud in the first election.”
It is the sum total of these and many earlier unchallenged but questionable ratification outcomes that result in many questioning the veracity of a this current vote that results in a net loss to employees, but are stuck in a ratification system free from having to show site by site results for verification purposes.
For these reasons, I would ask you to consider sending the contract language BACK to the negotiation teams to clean it up, tighten it up, and to make it more economically beneficial to the hardworking MDCPS employees who do the work that IS the reason this whole system with its burgeoning bureaucracy exists. Grant the steps increased with RECURRING raises so that every teacher/student services employee sees the as close to $2500 as possible, move the support staff along their step system with a COLA adjusted (raise) to their step, and hold the line on healthcare, knowing that next year, the costs are projected to be the lowest in the state as a consequence of the competition spawned by ACA/”Obamacare.” Finally, fix the language of the contract so that it is compliant/congruent with Florida Statutes and Administrative Code.
John A Ferguson “Teacher of the Year”!
CC: David Smiley, Miami Herald