Tallahassee’s Funding is like “Mexican Pesos” – Albert Carvalho, Urging His Raise Which is 1/2 Tallahassee’s Recommended Raise

shortlink: http://shawnbeightol.com/blog/?p=625

Dear board members:

I will repeat my requests to you that I made at the Wednesdays board meeting, a meeting that was an embarrassment to me.

Not because I was ridiculed (being the only one who spoke to the contract ratification, Mr. Carvalho’s attacks against “some who spoke here” were directed ONLY toward me) – I am used to people attacking my character and other ad hominem attacks rather than factual rebuttals.

I am embarrassed by the behavior demonstrated yesterday – not the content of the ad hominem attacks, but the fact that such thinly veiled ad hominem attacks were resorted to.

The derogatory comparison of another country’s currency/economy meant to belittle and minimize the $137 million ADDITIONAL FEFP funding (btw, the items Mr. Carvalho listed to subtract from the FEFP increase should have been listed in comparison, not to $137 million increase that included funding sufficient for raises of $2200 for 24000 – a liberal estimate of the bargaining unit including support staff, but to the $2.38 BILLION Tallahassee sends us).

“Mexican Pesos?”

I’m embarrassed that no one called him on this smoke-and-mirror tactic. It is reminiscent of the language “Tallahassee has cut our budget” even though Tallahassee has predominantly INCREASED our funding annually (if you survey the funding out of Tallahassee, it is evident that INCREASES FAR OUTWEIGH CUTS). It seems that not only does the public not understand the difference between a FANTASY BUDGET and REALITY FUNDING (I have described it like this: a child gets an allowance of $10 weekly from mom (funding). He announces he is planning a trip to Disney World and needs more allowance (fantasy budget). His mom says “I’ll give you another $1 weekly (increased funding). He cries and tells his friends “I can’t go to Disney with you, my mom CUT MY BUDGET!” – even though his allowance INCREASED!

I’m embarrassed by the avoidance of clear statements and questions:

Dr. Perez, you asked a question and were NOT given the simple, direct answer to your simple, direct question. You were given a run around.

MY INSURANCE RATES ABSOLUTELY INCREASE BY $2700 TO KEEP THE SAME COVERAGE [I pay $636 per month *12 currently = $7632 (salary band 4, family plan). Next year this jumps to $863 per month * 12 =$10356, The difference in PREMIUMS alone is $2724 to keep the same insurance.).

[As I said in my earlier letter to you before your vote: "But this isn’t about me, its about the bargaining unit (including support staff who are seeing a 2.3% increase ~ $4-500 per year)…On average, anyone staying on OAP20 will see an increase in premiums of $1200; on OAP10, an increase of $1600; and even if they switch to the UNDESCRIBED/UNDEFINED Local Plus from OAP20, their premiums will go up an average of $455, easily eating up any support staff’s family’s meager increase in pay.  This is just for PREMIUMS.  Under the new terms of service/costs, the average annual healthcare costs will go up anywhere from $2800 (individual) to $7100 (family of 4) as projected from Merrill Lynch’s projected healthcare costs for next year."]

Ms. Castillo, you were lied to.

The Local Plus option was ABSOLUTELY OMITTED FROM THE DESCRIPTION OF THE TENTATIVE AGREEMENT TO BE RATIFIED. It was absent from the district webpage until AFTER I announced it and challenged staff or UTD to publicly say where this information was made available to the voters. It has since been added to the district webpage (see today’s page: http://shawnbeightol.com/MDCPSMainpageEditPostSpeechtoShowLocalPlusInsExpl.jpg ), but I took pictures (with dates) of the district pages PRIOR to my speech and this information is missing (see http://shawnbeightol.com/MDCPSMainpageLackingLocalPlusInsExplNov4.jpg ).

I am going to state this again to be clear: Aside from the premium/cost column at the end of the agreement, Local Plus information was NOT provided as part of the final Tentative Agreement materials made available to the bargaining unit. It represents a major change from last year’s plan.

The description was added to MDCPS website AFTER the vote, as far as I can tell, AFTER MY SPEECH and letter to you.


I am embarrassed by the thinly disguised “bump, set, spike” approach used by a board member asking a series of questions designed to draw attention away from my facts and toward other entities (Broward’s most expensive health option.  Note to Boardmember “Setter” Feldman:  thanks for pointing out Broward’s Healthcare system as an example of WHAT IS WRONG WITH A SYSTEM THAT CONTINUES TO RAISE ITS RATES BEYOND AFFORDABILITY: Indeed, it drew the attention of the Florida Ethics Commission, the FBI, and ultimately resulted in Broward Board member Kraft’s arrest for corruption.  So “Good Tip” from the “Setter.”  We’ll keep looking for those corruption forces that might be tied to MDCPS’ inability to direct its teacher earmarked funds to the teachers).

I am embarrassed that when a few of you board members DID ask the critical questions, Mr. Carvalho interrupted his staff’s answering and essentially told them how to answer the question – answers that were NOT specific, but rather round and round generalities and cliches.

I am embarrassed that when I stood to speak at SP-2 and challenged ANYONE on staff or UTD to tell the public WHERE the link to the information for Local Plus could be found, there was nothing but silence. To argue that SP-2 wasn’t the place to respond to an already passed SP-1 item is hollow – UTD’s Fed Ingram followed my 2 simple questions with his own round and round general SP-1 speech that never came close to answering my question “Where is the link to Local Plus” information so that the voters could have cast informed votes.

I’m embarrassed that once again, the 4th largest school district in the nation has ratified a hodge-podge of pdf pages that it passes off as a contract – containing typographical errors, mis/disorganized information, factually incorrect information, legally contradictory information (see my last letter for details).

I’m embarrassed that few question the reported election tally of an election that costs employees more than it benefits, especially with UTD’s challenged and proven inability to run an honest election (see


These showed UTD utilized a method for vote counting that could not be verified (proving the June 2011, August 2011, and February 2012 UTD Tentative Agreement Ratification results were unreliable and untrustworthy).

http://shawnbeightol.com/BushSmithLeichnervsUTD.pdf – this ongoing litigation, with former UTD VP Leichner as co-plaintiff, alleged voting irregularities and possible fraud
http://shawnbeightol.com/Genos10-13motionadding2013votefraud.pdf – this ongoing litigation alleges ballot box stuffing in both 2010 and 2013 officer elections

I’m embarrassed that people do not know the history of the MDCPS bureaucracy’s2 penchant for distorting information, misplaced priorities, and twisted means to achieve goals:

“we were never able to establish where the money is presently being kept. Is the money sitting in an account somewhere?…” (Grand Jury, PART 1,Spring 2000
http://www.miamisao.com/publications/grand_jury/2000s/gj2000s4.pdf )‏

“We received a somewhat misleading chart from the District Office…”(Grand Jury, PART 1, Spring 2000, ibid )‏

“it may not be quite as much as the District suggests…We identified a reoccurring problem…The Office of Facilities and Management provided us with information that was not entirely accurate…The effect, was that we were being misled.” (Grand Jury, ibid, Spring 2000).

“‏District Staff sent a memo to the School Board that…The Grand Jury found to be an ‘alarming misrepresentation’”(Grand Jury, 2002, http://www.miamisao.com/publications/grand_jury/2000s/gj2002f.pdf )

“On the day the football player was arrested, District Administration made it crystal clear that its priorities were skewed…The State championship game was to be played in a few days [and] the big question on the day of arrest was, “Should the kid play?” Not, “How is the little girl?”…a decision usually made by a principal, was made by District Administrators and attorneys for the School District. Their decision was to let him play…Another decision was soon to be made and it proved to be of even greater concern to us. It appeared that an effort was made by a high level district administrator to halt the criminal investigation” (Grand Jury, FALL TERM 2006, http://www.miamisao.com/publications/grand_jury/2000s/gy2006f.pdf )

“The investigation revealed that [a regional administrator] used her position and friendship with various M-DCPS employees at [a local school] and at regional offices to obtain the necessary evaluations and documentation for her daughter to be awarded a McKay Scholarship.” (OIG Annual Report, 2009-2010, http://mca.dadeschools.net/AuditCommittee/AC_December10/item15.pdf

“Miami-Dade’s alleged overuse of a Florida law called the Baker Act surfaced in the media toward the end of the last school year…Critics said the law, which allows police officers to transport students for involuntary psychiatric evaluations instead of arresting them, allowed the chief to pad school crime statistics.” (http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2012/09/portland_public_schools_hire_f.html)

And the point of raising these examples of staff improprieties is to remind all of us of the need for constant vigilance to provide righteous, humane, dignified work conditions for those who labor beneath us.

At Wednesday’s board meeting, I made the following requests:

1) Find a way to allow teachers to use the same email system that UTD, MDCPS and a host of vendors and politicians use to promote/market their ideas and profits. To continue to block solid discourse on the factors that affect our work conditions is dictatorial and resembles the kinds of governing seen in China, Cuba, and Venezuela.

2) Assess what is happening trend-wise to employee utilization of healthcare provisions. To slowly drive out employees and families without shifting the financial resources to the employees to obtain equivalent healthcare in the private marketplace is dishonest and unethical. The State of Florida is providing MDCPS with funds based on the historical understanding (work conditions) that a portion of it will be used to provide healthcare. A quick average of the Employer contribution for healthcare from the recent tentative agreement puts it at approximately $900 per month, average. If you are serious about providing your employees with choice as well as the peace of mind necessary to allow us to focus on our work at a professional level, earmark as much of that as possible to the employee for their choice of healthcare alternatives to the increasingly prohibitive Cigna Self-Insured option provided by MDCPS. Additionally, the changes being wrought by ACA/Obamacare are huge and will require patient, compassionate coaching to help the employees obtain the best healthcare for their individual needs. We are an educational system, surely asking you to help educate our employees is within our reach!

3) Finally, no matter how I slice it, Tallahassee’s encouragement to provide your teachers (and support staff) with raises calculated at $2500 (including FRS and FICA funding on top!), I cannot arrive at the $1350 amount that most employees will see. Taking all bargaining unit members full time for a LIBERAL amount at 26000 employees, this results in $2423 each. When we deduct the $10 million for charters from the $63 Million provided, this is still $2038 each – recurring – BEFORE RTTT amounts. There’s a reason that Tallahassee’s politically motivated recommendation of a $2500 raise passed both the legislative test and the public opinion test – your employees NEED this to help us focus our energy on doing our jobs professional with minimal (dis)stress. Please, take your staff critically and send them back to find a way to shift adequate portions of the state funding to employee compensation.


Shawn Beightol,
MDCPS Chemistry Instructor (20 years)
John A Ferguson Sr High Teacher of the Year 2013

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An Open Letter to the Miami-Dade County Public Schools’ Board Members on Why the Proposed UTD/MDCPS Contract Addendum of Nov 2013 Should NOT Be Ratified

Short Link: http://shawnbeightol.com/blog/?p=620
Dear Board Members:
I know that tomorrow you are slated to vote in the new MDCPS/UTD contract.
The problems I see with this contract are
1)  I do not believe the net recurring increase (RAISE vs bonus) is near $2500 for most employees.  When rebutted with the information that Rick Scott/Legislators didn’t send enough money, to me I see that the most recent FEFP shows a total increase in MDCPS’ funding over last year of $137 Million, which follows last year’s increase over the previous year of $113 Million.  I also question the REQUIREMENT of MDCPS to shave $10 Million off for charter schools.  As I quoted in an email to some of my colleagues:  ”I believe the $10 million cut to charters is voluntary and negotiable (see Q9, http://www.fsba.org/userfiles/File/TeacherPayIncreaseQ-A.pdf ),  also the $2500 must be added to each step (Q13 of the same doc.), and should be recurring (RTTT bonuses are not, see Q15),”
Furthermore, a simple question to my charter school acquaintances of their knowledge of raises due to this $10 million transfer from MDCPS to charter schools was met with blank faces.  Are Charter School teachers going to see a raise from this?
2) Whatever gain we are seeing in the financial movement (step, bonus, etc), we are losing to healthcare.  If I stay on OAP20, I will have to pay $2700 more for my family’s healthcare.  If I move to the Local Plus (for which a description was NOT provided with the final proposed agreement), I will lose my primary care physician who I’ve had for years and my college town kids will have difficulty finding “local” physicians that are on Local Plus.  But this isn’t about me, its about the bargaining unit (including support staff who are seeing a 2.3% increase ~ $4-500 per year)…On average, anyone staying on OAP20 will see an increase in premiums of $1200; on OAP10, an increase of $1600; and even if they switch to the UNDESCRIBED/UNDEFINED Local Plus from OAP20, their premiums will go up an average of $455, easily eating up any support staff’s family’s meager increase in pay.  This is just for PREMIUMS.  Under the new terms of service/costs, the average annual healthcare costs will go up anywhere from $2800 (individual) to $7100 (family of 4) as projected from Merrill Lynch’s projected healthcare costs for next year.
The worst part about this is that these astronomical healthcare premium and service spikes (29% avg increase in premiums and 63-84% increase in costs) are double the national averages according to the NY Times ( http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/21/business/survey-finds-modest-rise-in-health-insurance-premiums.html).  Objections that South Florida doesn’t compare to the national scene fall flat for next year when ACA/”Obamacare” competition among vendors projects the LOWEST healthcare costs in Florida, right here in Miami! (http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/09/25/3650863/south-florida-insurance-rates.html).
The only sense I can make out of this is that MDCPS is following the unethical practice of many corporations of pushing out the insured and dependents in order to lower costs:

the Transitional Reinsurance Program…will charge health insurers and self-insured employers (that is, companies that provide their own insurance = MDCPS) $63 per person covered on their plans… Employers and insurers, already saddled with their own rising health care costs, are likely to pass those fees on to consumers in the form of rate increases, Darling says.” http://www.marketwatch.com/story/10-things-health-exchanges-wont-tell-you-2013-09-27?pagenumber=7


“By [discouraging] coverage to spouses, employers not only save the annual premiums, but also the new fees that went into effect as part of the Affordable Care Act. This year, companies have to pay $1 or $2 “per life” covered on their plans, a sum that jumps to $65 in 2014.”…and “when employers drop spouses, they often [save on] more than just the one individual, when couples choose instead to seek coverage together under the other partner’s employer”…”companies drive spouses away using other tactics, such as making spousal coverage prohibitively expensive through higher surcharges or by making reimbursement rates so low that spouses can’t afford the plans.”http://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-your-boss-is-dumping-your-wife-2013-02-22

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.
3) Errors/Contradictions/Omissions?
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:
Case Number (LOCAL): 2013-6290-CA-01 Filing Date: 02/20/2013
Case Number (STATE): 13-2013-CA-006290-0000-01 CaseType: 81
Consolidated Case Number: N/A Judicial Section: 05
Party Code Party Name


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.
Shawn Beightol
Chemistry Teacher,
John A Ferguson “Teacher of the Year”!
CC: David Smiley, Miami Herald
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Sequel to Prior Blog: So Fla’s Insurance Rates LOWEST, yet MDCPS’ rates will be DOUBLE national average: Corporate Tactics to Push You to ACA’s Health Exchanges

Short link:  http://shawnbeightol.com/blog/?p=596

In an area where our rates will be lowest next year, MDCPS jacks the premiums and out of pockets/costs through the roof. Why? to push you out and into ACA’s health exchanges (see latter quotes for details of strategy used in industry):

South Florida Insurance Rates Will Be Among Lowest In State, Report Says
By Evan S. Benn and Patricia Borns, Miami Herald
SEP 26, 2013

Miami-Dade and Broward County residents who buy health insurance through federally run online marketplaces opening Tuesday will be paying some of the cheapest rates available in Florida, according to federal data released Wednesday.
Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of Health and Human Services, said competition among insurers has helped drive down costs. In Florida, where there are an estimated 3.8 million uninsured residents, people will have an average of 102 health plans to choose from — the second-most in the country.

“Now there will be more choice and more competition thanks to the marketplace, and most consumers will find they will be able to choose from multiple companies when choosing which plan works best within their budget,” she said at a news conference Tuesday.

I guess the lesson here is that MDCPS is deliberately driving its employees out of its healthcare umbrella…because, without a real union to oppose, it can…

Why would MDCPS want to drive people out of healthcare?

” companies have cut back on health spending and trimmed benefits, especially in advance of an ACA tax on employers who offer overly generous plans in 2018…”


” the Transitional Reinsurance Program…will charge health insurers and self-insured employers (that is, companies that provide their own insurance = MDCPS) $63 per person covered on their plans… Employers and insurers, already saddled with their own rising health care costs, are likely to pass those fees on to consumers in the form of rate increases, Darling says.” http://www.marketwatch.com/story/10-things-health-exchanges-wont-tell-you-2013-09-27?pagenumber=7

“By [discouraging] coverage to spouses, employers not only save the annual premiums, but also the new fees that went into effect as part of the Affordable Care Act. This year, companies have to pay $1 or $2 “per life” covered on their plans, a sum that jumps to $65 in 2014.”…and “when employers drop spouses, they often [save on] more than just the one individual, when couples choose instead to seek coverage together under the other partner’s employer”…”companies drive spouses away using other tactics, such as making spousal coverage prohibitively expensive through higher surcharges or by making reimbursement rates so low that spouses can’t afford the plans.” http://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-your-boss-is-dumping-your-wife-2013-02-22

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Latest MDCPS Contract Changes Yields $2000 Income Gains, Incurs $1300 Insurance Premium Costs and $3500 Healthcare Costs, Topped by Further Erosion of Employee Rights

The following are notes I took on the proposed 2013 Addendum to the 2012-2015 MDCPS/UTD Contract:

Shortlink: http://shawnbeightol.com/blog/?p=591

Bottom Line:  Why would anyone vote to reduce their due process and impose further workplace restrictions and ZERO gains, while simultaneously voting to increase their healthcare costs above and beyond a recurring raise BELOW what the Governor of Florida called for?

This contract is one more loss in a string of losses starting with Aronowitz’ 2006 failure.  A string of losses of workplace dignity and due process (UTD/union gives up its voice in determining if Reduction in Force is necessary in this contract).

Where are the gains like increased coaching supplements?  Like comp time for teachers who work after the bell?  Where are improvements to healthcare instead of concession after concession?

Highlights from the following notes:

  • Non-instructional bargaining unit members see 2.3% increase but no step. Overtime rates specified.
  • Health Insurance increases TREMENDOUS and unwarranted by “Obamacare” changes:
    • 29% average increase over last year to maintain same insurance as what you’ve had in the past
    • OAP10 can expect 65% increase in costs, OAP20 84% increase and OAP20 who switch to Local Plus 63% higher costs on average.
    • New York Times Article out last month indicates MDCPS is charging almost double what the national average is for premiums.
    • What guarantee do we have that suggestions discussed in earlier UTD letter are incorporated? No description of Local Plus is given.
    • Blood-work requirement unnecessarily intrusive.
  • Article XI may require PARCC/Common Core adherence even if PARCC/Common Core overturned, extends to student services employees.
  • Due process further eroded.
  • A layoff may occur WHENEVER the Board deems necessary” – no union negotiation or debate?
  • Where are the “Credential Payment provisions?”
  • Teaching out of field restrictions are tightened, increasing potency of threat of firing

I cannot cast a vote that nullifies the governor’s call for educators to get a $2500 raise, replacing it instead with a $1300 raise and the rumors of a non-recurring $1000 bonus while driving employee families off healthcare by raising the cost astronomically. I ask you again, when will you draw the line on the erosion of your workplace rights, privileges and dignity?

If you, like me, think UTD must go back to the bargaining table and demand better for we who make ALL of this possible with our dedicated sacrificial work each day,
1) Vote NO on Wednesday.
2) Stay for the vote count and take a picture of the ratification ballot with the tally visible and email it to: utdcontract2013@yahoo.com .
3) Send the ratification results by your phone to http://tinyurl.com/2013utd

Article 28 Section 3:
what does article 28 section 3 accomplish for the employee? for the employer? why isn’t Florida’s usual status quo approach agreed to? What does it mean “during such negotiations, unit employees would continue to be governed by the current economic agreement for the applicable fiscal year.”? Doesn’t the agreement include the idea of steps?

why the change in language from instructional personnel to teachers? Why the exclusion of support instructional personnel like Physical/Occupational Therapists,Social Workers, Special Ed Teachers, Psychologists, Guidance Counselors? Does Article 11 “teachers shall also include instructional support/resource personnel and student services personnel…” explain the earlier question? If so, why does it say, “for the purpose of this article(article 11)?”

Article XVII & XVIII
Paras, support staff, & Office Staff do NOT get a step, rather a 2.3% increase + a one time $331 supplement.

MOU 2014 Health Insurance Plan:

Not sure what item 3 means: “Benefits Salary WILL be defined”…but “will remain at present levels…determined…2011,” but will be followed by 2014 Salary Bands…

which is it? Is it changing in 2014 or remaining at 2011 levels?

Premium Increases:

2014 increase ranges 12-43% OAP10 = $1601 annual increase in premiums alone

2014 increase ranges 21-41% OAP20 = $1155 annual increase in premiums alone

29% average increase over last year to maintain same insurance as what you’ve had in the past.

New to this contract is the addition of Cigna’s Local Plus. The October 9th UTD Bargaining Update had this to say about it:

“M-DCPS wants the Local Plus Plan to be the free premium option for employee only coverage. [MDCPS] compared Local Plus to the NHP plan available to M-DCPS employees when United Healthcare was the provider. To review information regarding the Local Plus Plan (click here.) Mr. Clark also stated that it is management’s intention to freeze employee movement on the salary bands for insurance rates. This would mean that even if an employee moved into a higher salary band through step movement or a salary increase their dependent care rates would not increase to the higher band rate. ” http://www.utd.org/news/a-very-long-day-some-progress-but-we-are-not-there-yet

The actual UTD brochure on the plan is here: http://www.utd.org/file_download/1379/CIGNA-PLUS-ONE-DOC.pdf

Here, it says “24/7/365 service – personalized to you.”

I called the 877-683-2231 Sunday morning 9 AM and got a recording.

I looked up another number (800-244-6224) and got through to a rep eventually who I asked about Local Plus and my out of town children (college towns). She told me to go to www.cigna.com
and look up their doctors. If your doctors are not on Local plus and you cannot/will not change, you will pay out of network (full cost up to $1500 individual or $3000 group before Cigna/MDCPS begins to pay 50% of each cost).

My primary care physician is not listed.

You can check here: http://www.cigna.com/web/public/hcpdirectory or just go to cigna.com and click the orange “find a doctor” in the middle of the page.

If you are able to move to Local Plus without losing a required doctor/service, your cost change will be minimal:

Average Annual Increase in Premiums

Switching from OAP20 to Local Plus COSTS $455.4 per year on average (across all bands).

Switching from OAP10 to Local Plus SAVES $1197 on average (across all bands)

Rate Amounts and Increases FAR EXCEED "Obamacare" Impact - New York Times

Medical Expenses:
OAP10 can expect 65% increase in costs, OAP20 84% increase and OAP20 who switch to Local Plus 63% higher costs on average.

Using Merrill Lynch projections to average 40 yr old and rounding down to $4000 in medical/yr on average, this represents an increase of $2800 in healthcare costs for the individual.
Using the same assumptions for a family of 2 adults and 2 children (10 yrs old) this represents an increase of $7100
(http://wealthmanagement.ml.com/publish/content/application/pdf/GWMOL/Healthcare-Costs-in-Retirement-Guide_ARN5J2L6.pdf )

this, while the NYT says “The average annual premium for a family rose 4 percent in 2013, to $16,351, according to the survey results released Tuesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Annual premiums for individual policies purchased through an employer rose 5 percent, to $5,884.

The 4 percent increase for a family is relatively tame, at least compared with the roughly 10 percent annual increases experienced a decade ago.”

The data also suggest that the new health care law is not leading, at least so far, to a rapid escalation of insurance costs.

“The critics will have a much harder time blaming big premium increases in employer insurance on Obamacare this year, because there aren’t any big premium increases,” Drew Altman, chief executive of the Kaiser foundation, said in a telephone news conference Tuesday.” http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/21/business/survey-finds-modest-rise-in-health-insurance-premiums.html

Bloodwork Provision:
Finally, the much talked about “bloodwork” provision (#4 of Healthcare MOU).
First, we can reject this. Our union can negotiate this away, our employer isn’t mandated to require this information.

Second, they are limited in how they can use this…however, who is watching the henhouse? The employer who is self-insuring. I would think an invitation to the inspector general to regularly look into practices would be minimal requirement for accountability of MDCPS.

Here’s a great article on the increased frequency of employers instituting such “wellness” checks: http://commonhealth.wbur.org/2012/09/wellness-program-legal-limits

Here’s legal counsel’s interpretation:

“The general rule: Federal law generally prohibits plans from charging different premiums to different employees based on a health factor. However, there is an exception for “bona fide wellness” programs. These programs allow an employer to vary premiums up to 20% based on a health factor (such as cholesterol, weight, smoking) but only if the employer offers a reasonable alternative to those for whom it is unreasonably difficult to meet the standard.

For example, let’s say the standard is a cholesterol count of 200. If an employee is below 200, he/she gets the better premium. This is okay so long as the employer offers an alternative standard to employees who are above 200. For example, take a cholesterol drug or attend nutrition classes.

Voluntary programs available to all outside of the medical plan are generally okay – for example, a gym discount, or a reward for attending a health fair.

Health Risk Assessments [like measurement of blood pressure and waist circumference] are sort of a legal land mine under the Americans with Disability Act and GINA [which protects genetic privacy], but it depends on what is asked and what it is used for.”

Article XI
appears to require lesson plans of instructional support/student services personnel now? what will these look like?

Does Article 11.2 completely reverse the prior prohibition “IPEGS…Planning shall not be imposed” now reads “must be adhered to by instructional personnel.” What will this mean/change on a day to day basis in the classroom? how will this affect our workload? Is this a way to enforce Common Core elements (under any name change by the state)? IPEGS Performance Standard 3 says:

The teacher uses appropriate curricula (including state reading requirements, if applicable),
instructional strategies, and resources to develop lesson plans that include goals and/or
objectives, learning activities, assessment of student learning, and home learning in order to
address the diverse needs of students.”

Article XXI
Warning: Article 21.1.B.4 Wipes out Contractually won due process steps.

Appendix C: RIF (order of termination):

Applies to all positions:
Interim Teachers terminated 1st
Probationary Teachers 2nd
Annual Contract in order of summative eval scores
PSC’s similarly
CC’s similarly

Where evaluation scores are tied, seniority will be used.

Appendix C.c “A layoff may occur WHENEVER the Board deems necessary” – no union negotiation or debate?

Appendix C.f “The board shall determine…” after mentioning a joint committee of the Board/UTD, the Board gets sole decision making.

Article XXVIII
Article 28.D.3 is a continuation of Karen Aronowitz’ concessions – it cuts the union out of the determination of whether state/local funding is insufficient to fulfill the contract.

1985-88 Contract specifically says “the board or union may…”

1997-2000 Contract said “By mutual agreement…In the event the percent increase/decrease… is inadequate, the parties agree to reduce to the economic provisions…to the percentage provided…hold 1997 salaries harmless…and 1998-1999 subject to collective bargaining.” Fed has perpetuated Karen’s surrender of our union to MDCPS management’s.

Article IV: Contracts

I would keep legislative adaptations of the contract to a minimum in case legislation changes or court challenges prevail so we are not saddled by our contract unnecessarily, as we were by Karen’s incorporation of SB 736 terms into 2009-2012 Contract. Judge overturned but said districts with contract language had to abide by contract language. It would be better to be silent and allow legislation to dictate than to specify and run that risk again. Appendix C.u. does ok on this from this layperson’s reading, but a lawyer should be consulted as to the overall impact of legislative incursions in our contract.

Appendix E. Section 1.A.4
Where are the “Credential Payment provisions?”

Appendix E. Section 2.B.2.n Cant for the life 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:
“l. Each 12 months of service as an instructional nurse shall be allowed for registered nurses, if employed as an instructional nurse (effective 2003-2004 school year).
m. Each 687 hours or more of part-time teaching for MDCPS on the AT or AU salary schedule during any one fiscal year, if and when employed on a full-time basis, excluding emergency substitute service. Commencing with the 2006-2007 school year, each 500 hours or more of part-time teaching in an accredited college, or community college, and/or university during any one fiscal year.
n. All employees who have a change in status from AO/CO Salary Schedules to AT/AU Salary Schedules and subsequently return to the AO/CO Salary Schedule shall have their experience while on the AT/AU Salary Schedule credited according to Appendix E, Section 2(B)(2)(l).”

This shows this mistake cropped up at least by the 2006 contract…

Article XII Hiring:

Failure to complete & prove 6 hours of class in-field or passed certification test in-field will be terminated. This is much “tighter” language than before. Doesn’t seem to leave for much defensive action.

Article XXVI: professionalization:
Job Sharing is dumped.

Appendix E Section 1.A.8
seems to limit/curtail larger (long awaited) steps. “issues of fairness and/or disparity” are vague, undefined terms. could be very broadly interpreted by the adverse management and/or the weak union.

B.12.a reduces/limits responsibility of district for wrong salary payments from 15 years to 3 years.

Where the employee made the mistake, reduces/limits from 5 to 2 years responsibility.

Where district overpaid, employee payback period reduced from 5 years to 1 year.

Article XVII
Hourly Employees/Support Staff/Etc get overtime payment specified at time and a half calc’d by annual salary divided down to the hour.

Finally, MDCPS proposal #5: RTTT and IPEGS continue.

Really? Isn’t this a fail?

I recommend a “NO” Vote on this proposed Contract.

We’ve already seen that voting in insurance changes and HOPING for the best cost each of us thousands of dollars in healthcare increases…this will do more of the same with a matching loss in Job Security, Dignity, and Due Process.

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Teachers Did Not Send Enough Man to Negotiate

short link: http://shawnbeightol.com/blog/?p=589

Today UTD’s Prez Fed “em bread” says, preparing teachers for the usual disappointment brought about by a bought out union,

“The Legislators didn’t send enough money for our raises.”

I say, “Teachers didn’t send enough man” to negotiate.

Tallahassee gave MDCPS $134 Million more this year than last year and an order from a Republican Governor to give teachers a $2500 raise.

What kind of union cant deliver on those grounds?

A bought union…one completely controlled by management.

http://www.fldoe.org/fefp/pdf/20-13Firstcalc.pdf page 8

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A Formula to Determine the Efficacy of a Formula to Determine Efficacy of a Formula…Uh Oh…Can You Say “Infinite Recursion?”

Shortlink: http://shawnbeightol.com/blog/?p=584

I just read David Smilley’s Herald article “Miami-Dade Schools considers training on conducting evaluations” and got stuck on this: “the School Board could approve negotiations with a vendor to create a new system worth up to $2.3 million to train and certify school administrators on how to conduct classroom observations.”

So, let me get this straight – a “vendor” is going to certify that administrators can certify teachers to certify students?  Hmmmmm….who is going to certify the ones (vendor) certifying the ones (administrators) certifying the ones (teachers) certifying the students?  And, who is going to certify the vendors?

So, we’ll also need a VAM formula to measure the effect of the principal on the teachers…and a VAM to measure the Vendor’s effect on the Administrators…and a VAM formula to…

In brief, a formula to measure the efficacy of a formula that measures the efficacy of a formula that measures the efficacy of…you get it…its like facing 2 mirrors at each other and looking in…it’s an infinite recursion.

But really, that’s crazy talk.  They don’t want to carry this out to its logical limit, they just want to create/justify a new layer of bureaucracy.  Hey, their friends need to pay their mortgages for their winter and summer homes too!

Mr. Smilley’s article concludes with “In Miami-Dade, Carvalho has said the formula is “mathematically sound,”

I always knew he was a better mathematician than me…if anyone can figure out “Θ ̃_j={(N_j σ_t^2)/(N_j (σ_s^2+σ_t^2 )+σ_e^2 )} * (∑_(i=1)^(N_j) r_((j)i) )/N_j    where σ_t^2 is the teacher level variance, σ_s^2 is the school level variance, σ_e^2 is the residual variance, N_j denotes the number of students in class j and the notation (j)i is used to mean that student i in class j. Equation 1 above is nothing more than the scalar representation of the commonly used matrix notation: Θ ̃=DZ^’ V^(-1) (y-Wδ) where V=ZDZ^’+Ω. and V is block-diagonal”…etc ad naseum,

Our science teacher/superintendent can!

Funny, ’cause the guys paid to research BS like the Florida VAM model have to say this in their abstract on a study of the general mathematics behind specific states’ VAM models: “We also explore the potential impact of model misspecifications, including missing student covariates and assumptions about the accumulation of teacher effects over time, on key inferences made from the models…student characteristics are likely to confound estimated teacher effects when schools serve distinctly different populations.”  (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2743034/ – got my summer reading now!).

Sounds to me like there’s a bunch of room for errors (like, um, Ferguson students are a totally “different population” than Krop or Carol City or Beach High.

Anyway, for you OCD nerd-types like me, you know you’ll be dissecting this NIH and related studies this summer to understand where Florida’s VAM falls short…as we prepare for the certain lawsuits that will abound from this idiocy.

Did we really elect these people?

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Comments on Today’s Herald Article Re:MDCPS Teacher Evaluations, “Bonuses” and a Reprint from my Letter to the Editor Aug 2012 of the Same

shortlink: http://shawnbeightol.com/blog/?p=578

I wrote this comment on today’s Miami Herald Article RE: Teacher Evaluations under the new IPEGS II that Karen Aronowitz negotiated and committed to contract BEFORE parent union FEA’s lawsuit overturned SB 736.

Karen foolishly set into stone unnecessary and unscientific VOODOO teacher evaluations in return for political chips or personal gain:

“Does anyone else see the BS in this statement? ““We wanted our teachers to really rank at the top of the state,” Aronowitz said.

They either are or they are not…negotiations at a bargaining table over a formula shown to be full of BS doesn’t make a teacher “highly effective” or “needs improvement.”

A common sense evaluation tool involving peer teacher review, competent school-site administrator observation, parental input, and longitudinal data on THAT teacher’s students (5-10 years later?).

Instead, Karen Aronowitz was foolish enough to write SB 736 (legally shakey and ultimately overturned by her parent union, FEA) into our contract BEFORE the legal challenges had their chance to weigh out in court.

Verdict – she was wrong, but the judge says, regarding the legal defeat of SB 736 “This decision does not mean that teachers’ 2011-12 performance evaluations are invalid under the bargained evaluation systems already approved by the DOE for Race to the Top purposes” – Judge Van Laningham (http://feaweb.org/fl-judge-invalidates-state-education-teacher-evaluations-rule )”.

In other words, Karen Aronowitz put into contract the ridiculous language and formula that the entire nation’s educational researchers are saying is bunk.

And MDCPS teachers are held to an evaluation system where excellence or incompetence cannot be observed by the parents, the peer teachers, and local administrators (principals), but is determined at a bargaining table during the period her hand picked successor was up for election.


Regarding the Wednesday, August 22 2012 ruling by Administrative Law Judge John Van Laningham of Florida’s Division of Administrative Hearings

Unfortunately, teachers’ unions like the United Teachers of Dade (UTD) in Miami, FL have already undermined the value of the judges decision by unwisely signing on to RTTT applications that paralleled and even EXCEEDED the legislation like SB736 in Florida.  So while the courts have declared the invalidity of the legislation, they will still require teachers to be evaluated by instruments in many instances MORE stringent than the legislation as a consequence of their lack of leadership, aggressiveness, and/or strength in opposing such travesties:  “This decision does not mean that teachers’ 2011-12 performance evaluations are invalid under the bargained evaluation systems already approved by the DOE for Race to the Top purposes” – Judge Van Laningham (http://feaweb.org/fl-judge-invalidates-state-education-teacher-evaluations-rule ).

In our case in Miami, UTD pushed an insane change to the teacher evaluation model that essentially gave $350 performance payouts to nearly all teachers (if all get it, is it performance pay?  furthermore, no criteria had been announced ahead of time, so no one knew how to “earn” the “performance pay”). see http://shawnbeightol.com/blog/?p=198

The short take on the insanity is that 50% of all teachers and counselors evaluations come from SCHOOL AVERAGE READING GRADES…which means that no one teacher can hope to change the overall result, no one teacher will be evaluated on the merits of his or her actions in their own classroom.  Consider the further insanity of a calculus, chemistry, band, woodshop teacher receiving 50% of his/her evaluation on the basis of school average reading grades (see the paragraph entitled “What Happens If You Don’t Teach an FCAT Subject?” here: http://stateimpact.npr.org/florida/2012/02/16/inside-the-mathematical-equation-for-teacher-merit-pay/ ).

UTD defended their actions by blaming the changes to the teacher evaluation model (IPEGS) on the recently invalidated SB736 (see the 2nd paragraph here: http://www.utd.org/news/utd-contract-ratification-rumor-control and page 2 of the UTD/Miami-Dade jointly presented August 2011 announcement to faculty of the changes to the IPEGs teacher evaluation instrument…before it had even been ratified by union members: http://ipegs.dadeschools.net/pdfs/IPEGS_Update.pdf ).  see also point G) here:  http://shawnbeightol.com/blog/?p=164

Please note that UTD’s blame of the changes on the Senate Bill 736 is completely refuted by the judge’s statement “the bargained evaluation systems already approved by the DOE for Race to the Top purposes” and is a VERY important reminder for our bargaining agents and unions:  DO NOT INCORPORATE ELEMENTS INTO COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENTS BASED ON SHAKY LEGISLATION THAT IS BEING CHALLENGED IN COURT!

Our teachers union, UTD, forced the teachers who were alert, aware, and active to the courts against our own local, UTD, which was acting contrary, not only to its own membership for inexplicable complicit actions with the Miami-Dade Public Schools administration, but UTD also acted contrary to its own parent union, the Florida Education Association (FEA), which filed and prevailed in the lawsuit.  See point C in paragraph 9 here: http://shawnbeightol.com/blog/2011/09/18/beightol-plea-in-circuit-court-for-relief-from-undueextreme-testing-intrusion-into-teaching-via-ipegs-2/

Though UTD prevailed in the circuit court by having our attempt to block their enactment of RTTT/SB736 insane changes to our teacher evaluation model (Ibid., beightol-plea-in-circuit-court), we won in the court of Florida’s Public Employees Relation Commission (see page 7, right column here: http://perc.myflorida.com/news/PERC_News_Jan_-_Mar_2012.pdf ).

Consequently, UTD reran the Teacher Evaluation (IPEGs) Change ratification.  Activists collected broad exit poll results indicating teachers REJECTED the changes 2:1 CONTRARY to UTD’s announcement of passage.  Informed of activists’ data collection, UTD has refused to release poll by poll results, contrary to what is good for membership and what is required by law. see http://shawnbeightol.com/blog/?p=400 and http://shawnbeightol.com/blog/?p=391

As a result of the disingenuity of UTD and the apparent support of the Miami-Dade School Administrative goals and objectives over their membership and student needs, Miami-Dade teachers are stuck with insane evaluation results from 2011-2012 as a result of UTD’s push/ramrodding of the RTTT federal grant for a few million in federal dollars.

Bottom line:  Had UTD represented its teachers’ and their students’ best interests and had the patience to await the ruling of the court on the lawsuit filed by its own parent organization (FEA), teachers would be able to go back and insist on an evaluation that was based on their actual classroom performance and not some insane, disconnected system now shown by the courts and the expert witnesses to be dangerously flawed.

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Another….Botched At Best, Stolen At Worst…Election Run By UTD


Once again, UTD leadership imposes on the naivety, blind trust, and complacency of the masses: having been implicated in election fraud in EVERY election she has presided over, Karen rigs another election so that votes are placed in envelopes and entrusted to her henchman for overnight storage with no prior vote tally to provide accountability.

Apparently, something went wrong at UTD with the Votenet scanners and software so that they couldn’t perform the oft observed drama of feeding pages into a scanner and projecting whatever the hell they want to tell us is the result. see http://www.utd.org/news/utd-vote-count-for-internal-elections-update

G-d forbid they allow the votes to be counted at the school sites by our good stewards.

This is in the face of repeated attempts by brave and determined stewards to instill some kind of accountability procedure to allow for independent verification of the UTD claimed vote tally…something as simple as having stewards count the ballots at the school site in public view and then record the tallies on a webpage (like a google docs form).

Yet another stolen election.

Here’s the bigger picture:

Karen has compromised teacher and support staff pay and benefits for years for her own personal/political gain. Impending guilty verdicts from court challenges to her involvement in election violations for several elections run up nearly a million dollars in fees (see http://perc.myflorida.com/download.aspx/Prefix=CB/CaseYr=11/CaseNo=073/File=CB11073-Ord17-022912084010.pdf for the previous guilty charge and http://perc.myflorida.com/co/scheduleresults.aspx?CaseID=30293 for the current pending case).

Karen is apparently told to move on from UTD leadership.

Her recent contract is no better (fall of 2012), resulting in a mere $300 step raise for over 50% of the employee steps, leaving most employees in the negative for having failed to account for the returned higher social security rate instituted in Jan 2013.

This same year the National Center for Teacher Quality releases a damning study showing MDCPS teachers lose more than $300,000 over their career compared to similar urban school teachers with similar starting and ending salary points due to the depressed schedule negotiated by our weak leadership (Karen, Artie, and Fed) – see page 40 for the text to Figure 21, http://www.nctq.org/docs/nctq_miami.pdf .

Just after the teachers’ contract is “ratified” (we don’t know because Karen/Artie/Fed refuse to follow state law and publish school by school results so we can verify the tally), the MDCPS school board pulls a fast “switcheroo” with the public records agenda of the school board meeting…on the day of the board meeting to ratify both the net negative teacher changes in salary and the $30,000 administrative salary increases! (see http://shawnbeightol.com/MDCPSD21-11-21-12.pdf ).

The publicity $#it hits the fan and even the normally pro-Carvalho (MDCPS propped-up) rag, the Miami Herald, can’t keep quiet over the glaring inequity: http://shawnbeightol.com/2012MiamiHeraldonADMINraises.pdf

Carlvalho’s spin machine is spinning so hard for an angle to retell the story and knows Karen is out. Her appointed successor Fed “Fed ‘em crumbs” is faced by 2 aggressive TRUE UNIONIST fighters who may surprise the incumbents by mounting a massive uprising – Ceresta Smith and her Phoenix Rising MORE caucus and James Bush/Geno Perez “No Teacher Left Behind” caucus. Not willing to allow for any more possible egg on his face in the case that “yes-man Fed” is beat by the potentially aggressive opposition caucuses, Carvalho releases an email in December 2012 that says “I know you got screwed by Karen/Artie/Fed in negotiations. We’re going to take care of you immediately following winter break…” see http://shawnbeightol.com/OopsAMCM570.pdf

This email is pure spin control.

By delaying this “immediate” revisit of the documented anemic salary schedule til after the election, he can wait to see which caucus wins the leadership positions…

By February, it is apparent that the opposition caucuses will not mount a credible threat to the incumbents and Carvalho’s promise of an immediate return to negotiations is “forgotten.”

Forgotten to the politicians and extortionists and exploiters…but not to the starving teachers and support staff.

Mark my words. Fed will be announced the winner. Either directly or after runoff with Bush. This will be the result of yet another manipulated vote count.

It will then be time to initiate decertification action against UTD and form group that will organize over the next 2 years to the point they will be in position to manage the bargaining of MDCPS teachers and support staff.

This is not an anti-union action. It is a pro-TRUE union action.

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One Choice for Teachers and Support Staff in Miami’s United Teachers of Dade Officer Election

I apologize for this LATE blog entry on the topic of UTD Elections. I have been working 2 fulltime jobs as my wife and I have just opened our Veterinary Hospital.

I wholeheartedly endorse PHOENIX RISING MORE caucus with Ceresta Smith, Sharon Beck and John Roques. I also endorse Otto Zequiera for Delegate.

A vote for either Fed or Artie’s caucus is more of the same concession to carvalho and scott.

Their failure to standup to Karen’s selling out bodes only to their concessions to carvalho and Scott down the road.

Their “sins of ommission” are as great as “sins of commission” in their current leadership roles.

see the herald article about their part in under-selling the UTD property on Brickell here http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/02/15/3237169/sale-price-of-brickell-tower-at.html


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UTD “Wins” $300 for 3 years of work for 50% of steps…MEP wins

Last week the November 21, 2012 school board agenda was amended at the last minute with the revised D21 item – see http://pdfs.dadeschools.net/Bdarch/2012/Bd112112/agenda/D21rev.pdf vs the original http://pdfs.dadeschools.net/Bdarch/2012/Bd112112/agenda/D21.pdf .

Some believe this was done at the last minute to avoid an outburst or protest from the UTD bargaining unit.

The impact of this board item is to raise the upper values of the MEP (administrative) salary steps.

A couple thoughts:

1) On the day that our 1 salary step for 3 years of work without pay increase was approved by the school board (resulting in an increase in pay ~ $300 for 50% of the steps – 9 of 18 steps as well as an increase in healthcare premiums of 6.5%, deductible increase of 100%, and co-pay increase of 25%)…administrators are given a Cost Of Living Increase for their steps (I believe the last was in July 2012) ranging between $7000 and $30000. Administrators stand to gain MUCH more than this as they are advanced to their next step. For example, the one mentioned in item D21rev.pdf appears to be slated for a $44000 raise (new step with new upper limit).

One thing UTD bargaining unit members


and leaders have forgotten that MEP have not: Steps are one thing, COLA increases are separate and necessary to keep the steps and supplements significant (for example, a step in 1950 might have been $10, laughable by today’s costs of living standards – the step must be increased in value for it to retain value. So must the advanced degree, coaching and activity, extra period and other supplements be increased by cost of living advances each year (approximately 3% per year).

A review of the economic policies and


salary schedules for various categories of employees in MDCPS makes it clear that the route to livable salaries is NOT as a school-site employee, ie., an EDUCATOR (the rest are facilitators/admins to be kind, stuffed shirts to be honest).

4) See http://kafkateach.wordpress.com/2012/11/21/one-two-three-strikes-im-out/ for the latest “proof” that such economic policies drive out the beautiful, passionate, ambitious “those that can” teachers…


Shawn Beightol

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