President's Tip of the Month
October’s Tip of the Month
This month I want to talk about the difference between a grievance and a complaint. A grievance can only be filed when a specific article in the contract has been violated by any district employee. AVUTA has a committee dedicated to grievances and a chair Wendy Kelly (firstname.lastname@example.org). She will answer any questions regarding grievances you may have. However, she can’t file a grievance about a complaint, which is a (non-contract) wrongdoing by any district employee. That is something you, as an AVUSD employee, have to do with the Human Resources Department. One employee grievance, I have heard more often lately is about SAFETY. You have the right to feel safe in your work environment. If you do not, you need to notify your site admin immediately and tell them “YOU FEEL UNSAFE”, the reason why, and a resolution. Recently, I have had a lot of reports about getting hit, bit, or threatened by a student. That is a safety issue and you need to do the following 1) report to your admin 2) report to workman’s comp (even if there is no visible injury that way a log can be kept) 3) Write up an incident report and if you feel unsafe, state it! 4) Email me (email@example.com) about the incident and steps you have taken. You may also call the police, however once you do, it is considered to be out of the district’s hands and the police will be handling it from there. AVUTA is here to help through any incident you may have, however you have to inform us and follow our directions. I have attached all of the articles for you to review (grievance, complaints, and safety).
November’s Tip of the Month
Did you know that the contract states that each principal has the ability to give any teacher a stipend for any amount (Article 20 F)? For example, if your principal asks you to head up or be on the PBIS/Leadership Committee, you as a teacher have the right to say you want to get paid for it. You and the principal have the ability to negotiate the time and the stipend until each is satisfied. In addition, the principal and/or teacher has the right to say no. The gist of this tip is that you do not have to do everything for free. As previously stated, each school has a discretionary fund to fund needs. We as TEACHERS need to VALUE our time and ask for compensation.
December Tip of the Month
This month tip of the month is about meeting with an admin. AVUTA and AVUSD would prefer if you had an AVUTA Rep or me in a meeting with administration. The reason being is that if it becomes disciplinary you have a second person in there to listen to the accusations, stop you from incriminating yourself if necessary, and represent you during the process which includes the right to assist and advise members (in private or directly in the meeting). When an admin requests a meeting with you, the first thing you should ask is if it is for disciplinary action. If they say no or it becomes uncomfortable at any time in the meeting, YOU have the right to stop the meeting and request union representation.
We have provided all members with an AVUTA and CTA card with this phrase. If you lost yours or need a new one, contact your site reps. If they cannot help you, please email Terri Rey at firstname.lastname@example.org. The rules you should know when invoking the rights are as follows:
The employee must make a clear request for union representation before or during the
interview. The employee cannot be punished for making this request.
After the employee makes the request, the employer must choose from among three
options. The employer must:
Grant the request and delay questioning until the union representative arrives and has a chance to consult privately with the employee; or
Deny the request and end the interview immediately; or
Give the employee a choice of (1) having the interview without representation or (2)
ending the interview.
If the supervisor denies the request for union representation and continues to ask questions, he or she commits an unfair labor practice and the employee has the right to refuse to answer. The supervisor cannot discipline the employee for such a refusal.
As always, our member's rights come before anything.