Focus on Educators January 2011

Focus on Educators is an award winning publication of the Pittsburg Education Association/CTA/NEA.

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on educators
California Teachers Association
focus on educators is an award winning publication of the Pittsburg Education Association/CTA/NEA
Statement of Mission
The California Teachers Association exists to protect and promote the well-being of its members; to improve the conditions of teaching and learning; to advance the cause of free, universal, and quality public education; to ensure that the human dignity and civil rights of all children and youth are protected; and to secure a more just, equitable, and democratic society.
Volume XX Number 5
In this Issue
President’s Message & Informational Items… Pgs. 1-5 Conferences……….… Pgs. 4 & 7 CTA News…………… Pg. 5 Legal Issues…………. Pg. 6 Excerpts……………… Pg. 9 PEA Calendar……….. The Last Page
PEA President’s Message
Since we are beginning a new year it is a good time to reflect on
the past year and then make some decisions for the upcoming year. At our last PEA leadership team retreat in August we made three goals for the year: #1. Political Action Goal: To elect candidates at the local, state and national level who support the goals and objectives of PEA/CTA/NEA. Thanks to the leadership of Iris Contreras and Steve Longley and for the support of a lot of volunteers I can say Mission Accomplished (why does it feel weird to use that phrase?) Now for goal #2. Community Outreach Goal: To increase visibility and develop the positive image of PEA through actions and participation in the community. We began the goal with the Delta Youth Soccer Team sponsorship last summer, November Sock Drive, December, January and February Habitat for Humanity Build and now we will continue with March 2nd Read Across America Collaboration with thePittsburg library and Railroad Book Depot, an April local Earth Day community cleanup, the Seafood Festival, Pittsburg Teacher Outreach In September, and the Farmers Market Teacher Outreach
in October. Please volunteer to help at any of these events and receive a Pittsburg Teachers Care T-shirt. This goal is still a work in progress and I hope we can count on your help. Finally goal #3. Internal Organizing Goal: To improve membership participation in union activities and awareness of PEA’s mission. This is a work in progress as well, but we have been very active in giving you as many opportunities to be informed and aware as we can think of. We, the Executive Board, had Relational Meetings at every school site. Now I will be visiting ever school site with my President’s Relational Meeting so you can ask me directly about the state of our affairs. We supplied membership input boxes to every staff lunch room. We have had two General Membership Meetings with dinner supplied to encourage you to attend and be informed. Our latest effort to improve member awareness is our just launched PEA website which you can reach at Monthly additions and updates will be available for you around the clock. Now I have a request of you to help with our internal organizing
goal since you are the target audience. Please give your site rep your personal e-mail address so that any information I forward to the rep can be forwarded to you quickly and directly. Since we are about to begin to bargain the PEA Leadership 2010-2011 President Chris Coan
contract, having you immediately informed is imperative. Next, attend your site reps 10 minute meeting, attend the next General Membership Meeting March 9th, wear your PEA Weingarten Rights lanyard tag, read your monthly
FOCUS and, finally, ask me directly if you have any questions by e-mailing me at [email protected]
Wag More, Bark Less! Chris Coan, PEA President
Willow Cove Elementary/ PEA Office
Elementary Vice President Cindy Joy
Parkside Elementary
Secondary Vice President Arthur Pruyn
Pittsburg High
Focus on Educators is a publication of the Pittsburg Education Association CTA/NEA 1901 Railroad Avenue #A Pittsburg, CA 94565 Phone: (925) 432-0199 fax: (925) 432-4854
E-MAIL:[email protected]
Secretary Tammy Carr
Highlands Elementary
Treasurer Gale Higgins
Stoneman Elementary
Rep. Council Meeting Calendar
September 15 October 20 November 17 December 15 January 19 February 16 March 16 April 20 May 18 June 8 ******************
Committee Chairs Grievance Committee Cindy Joy
Parkside Elementary
Richard Higgins
Pittsburg High
Negotiations Team Marc Sternberger - Chair Political Action Committee Iris Contreras and Steve Longley - Chair Elections Chair
School Board Meeting Calendar
September 22 October 13 October 27 November 17 December 15 January TBA February TBA March TBA April TBA May TBA June TBA ******************
Sharie Chmura
Human Rights Committee Tasharie Ameral – Chair Women’s Issues Committee Deborah Cummings - Chair PEA Organizing Team Vacant - Chair CTA State Council Representatives Chris Rohde - Pittsburg High Denise James, Valorie Luke, Sara Savacool - AEA Alternate Cindy Joy - Parkside Elementary CTA Director District C Eric Heins – Willow Cove Elementary NEA Director for California, District 3 Marc Sternberger – Special Education/MLK Technical Editor Susan Harrison – PEA Site Secretary
Are you Getting your PEA Information???
Having the site reps attend their monthly meeting and then reporting back to you is vital in the communication chain of our Association. Roll call at last December 15th Rep Council Meeting: Adult Ed. – absent Stoneman – present
Foothill – present Willow Cove –absent Heights – absent MLK – absent Highlands – present Hillview - present Los Medanos – present Rancho Medanos - absent Marina Vista – present PHS - present Parkside – absent Riverside – present ******************
so we believe ELD class size numbers should mirror class size language in the contract.
Has your Rep Collected your Sites Personal E-mail Addresses???
Adult Ed. – no Foothill – no Heights – no Highlands – yes Los Medanos – no Marina Vista – yes Parkside – no Stoneman – yes Willow Cove –no MLK – no Hillview - no Rancho Medanos - no PHS - no Riverside - yes
**************************** ***** Basic Premise of Unionism
 Means that the mistreatment of an individual worker creates the possibility of mistreatment for every worker.  Requires that workers come to the support and defense of fellow workers who are threatened.  Creates a balance of solidarity among employees.  Is the foundation of solidarity among employees.
PEA has finally launched their new website:
“An injury to one is an injury to all”
**************************** ***** Grievances Update…
 An Informal grievance was presented to Los Medanos regarding their 15 minutes of morning prep time. Since their school has the free breakfast for all program, their administrator has chosen to have the students eat their breakfast the first 15 minutes of contracted work time when normally a teacher comes into their room, turns on the heat, computer and takes off their coat to get ready for the day. The teachers at Los Medanos have lost their time 5 days a week and therefore have to do their morning prep on their own time before contracted hours begin.  A Level 1 grievance was given to Linda Rondeau on following the contracted language for maximum class sizes in elementary for ELD classes. There are no provisions for altering class size maximums due to “special groupings” and
In 1983, a group of young lawyers discovered key documents that government lawyers had hidden from the Supreme Court in 1944. The documents consistently showed that Japanese Americans had done nothing wrong. With this new evidence, the legal team reopened Korematsu’s case on the basis of government misconduct. On November 10, 1983, Korematsu’s conviction was overturned in the US District Court of the Northern District of California. It was a pivotal moment in civil rights history.
American Civil Rights Hero
In 1998, Korematsu received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, from President Bill Clinton. After 9/11, he continued to speak out, filing a number of legal briefs with the Supreme Court on behalf of Muslim inmates being held in US military prisons. In 2005, after more than 60 years of activism, Korematsu passed away at the age of 86. On September 23, 2010, California Governor Schwarzenegger signed AB 1775, the Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution bill – the first day named after an Asian American in US history. The law, which was co-sponsored by Assemblymember Warren Furutani (D-South Los Angeles County) and Assemblymember Marty Block (D-San Diego), encourages schools across California to teach students about Fred Korematsu’s story and its relevance in today’s post-9/11 environment. The first Fred Korematsu Day will be celebrated on January 30, 2011 and thereafter annually in perpetuity.
The Man Who Said “No!”
Fred T. Korematsu was an ordinary person who took an extraordinary stand. In 1942, at the age of 23, he refused to go to the government’s racist concentration camps for Japanese Americans. After he was arrested and convicted of defying the government’s order, he appealed his case – all the way to the Supreme Court. In 1944, the Supreme Court ruled against him, arguing that internment was justified due to “military necessity.”
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Health Benefits Breakdown for Certificated Staff
Medical Dental $470.67 $121.14 Single Party - $601.87/mo. $941.34 $121.14 Two Party - $1,072.54/mo. $1,223.74 $121.14 Family – $1,354.94/mo Vision Life Ins. $7.66 $2.40 $7,222.44/annual $7.66 $2.40 $12,870.48/annual $7.66 $2.40 $16,259.28/annual
Upcoming PEA/CTA/PUSD Workshops
All are invited to attend; parents, teachers and administrators. Details and R.S.V.P. information will be sent via district email in January.
Teen Suicide March 3, 2011 – 3:45 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Weingarten Lanyards
As part of our internal organization efforts, please wear your PEA Weingarten Rights Lanyard tags. These are reminders of your rights under law and also what to do if you need union assistance. You just never know when something might happen.
Gang Awareness April 7, 2011 – 3:45 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transsexuals: Breaking the Silence May 12, 2011 – 3:45 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Weingarten Rights
The United States Supreme court has ruled (NLRB vs. Weingarten) than an employee has the right to Union representation during any employer interview which may result in discipline. In California, PERB has also held that these rights apply to public employees covered by the collective bargaining laws it administers. 1. Employees must request that a representative be present. 2. Employees have the right to know the subject of the meeting. 3. Employees have the right to consult with a representative prior to the meeting. 4. Employees must have a reasonable belief that discipline will result from the meeting. 5. Employees do not have the right to refuse to attend the meeting if the request for a rep is denied. 6. Weingarten rights do not apply if the employer is simply informing an employee of some discipline which has already been decided – they only apply if she/he is being questioned. *************************************
Calendar for PEA President’s Q and A Site Visits
Note: These meetings will occur right after contract time ends in your staff lounge. Come with questions, concerns, and information to share. January 6 January 11 January 25 February 10 February 15 March 1 March 8 March 15 March 22 March 29 April 5 April 12 April 19 Foothill Heights Highlands Los Medanos Marina Vista Parkside Stoneman Willow Cove Hillview Rancho Medanos PHS Riverside MLK
PEA General Membership Meeting
When? Wednesday, March 9th from 3:45 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Where? City of Pittsburg office building – 3rd level
Why? To hear from the bargaining chair the results of the membership survey on your bargaining priorities and to hear what we are going to “sunshine” (or offer) to the district to start the ball rolling. Who? All teachers
 Utilize effective systems management, organizational development, and problemsolving and decision-making techniques.  Align fiscal, human, and material resources to support the learning of all subgroups of students.  Monitor and evaluate the program and staff.  Manage legal and contractual agreements and records in ways that foster a professional work environment and secure privacy and confidentiality for all students and staff. 
Election of State Council Representative for Multiple Electoral District CC-3
Please be advised that the newly elected State Council Representative for Multiple Electoral District CC-3 is Sara Savacool. She will complete the unexpired term of Sandra Wilbanks to June 25, 2012.
Evaluation Standards for Principals
This is the second in a series of six (6). The evaluation standards for principals – FYI. STANDARD 3 A school administrator is an educational leader who promotes the success of all students by ensuring management of the organization, operations, and resources for a safe, efficient, and effective learning environment.  Sustain a safe, efficient, clean, wellmaintained, and productive school environment that nurtures student learning and supports the professional growth of teachers and support staff.  Utilize effective and nurturing practices in establishing student behavior management systems.  Establish school structures and processes that support student learning.
“NEWS …………”
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
January 17, 2011
Teachers Legal Rights and Duties Corner
Student Searches
You have a right to search backpacks, clothing, lockers, provided you are not acting in an arbitrary, capricious or harassing way. In RE: Randy G. Cal. Supreme Court case. No strip searches or rearranging of student clothing to permit a visual inspection of underclothing or private parts of a student. Metal detectors are permitted. Ed Code 49050
Sexual Harassment
No person may be discriminated against on the basis of sex, ethnicity, race, religion disability or sexual orientation in any program or activity conducted by public schools. This can be enforced by a civil action. Ed Code 220 School districts must have written policy on sexual harassment that is disseminated to students and teachers. Students can be expelled or suspended for engaging in sexual harassment. Ed Code 48900.2 Title IX of the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 gives students and parents a right to sue teachers and administrators for allowing student-on-student sexual harassment to occur. School districts and employees will be liable if they knew about the harassment, and did nothing to stop it. Harassment Based on Sexual Orientation, Actual or Perceived Nobozny v. Podlesny (1996) 92 F 3d 446-it can be expensive. Nearly $1 million settlement where the plaintiff suffered several years of student harassment because he was gay and the school did nothing about it. Court held that its failure to enforce its sexual harassment policy against gay harassers denied the student equal protection of the law and discriminated against him on the basis of gender and sexual orientation.
discrimination because of sexual orientation or due to the employer’s assumptions about the employee’s sexual orientation. The law, Gov’t. Code Sec. 12940, also protects against harassment based on sexual orientation or marital status, and requires employers to take all reasonable steps to prevent harassment from occurring, even when that harassment comes from third parties. The Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) has jurisdiction over complaints of employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Employees have both administrative and judicial remedies against employers who discriminate or harass employees based on sexual orientation. The administrative procedures are swift and efficient, thereby minimizing the cost and time involved in resolving employment disputes. What Conduct is Prohibited by California Law? Under Gov’t. Code 12940(a) it is an unlawful practice for California employers, including school districts and county offices of education, to refuse to hire, to refuse to select for a training program leading to employment, to discharge from employment, or to discriminate in compensation or in terms, conditions or privileges of employment on the basis of sexual orientation. Gov’t. Code 12940(j) prohibits harassment by employers on the basis of sexual orientation. Under the Unruh Civil Rights Act [Cal. Civ. Code Sec. 51] it is also illegal for any business to refuse to provide full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges, or services on the basis of sexual orientation or marital status.
Legal Rights for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Employees and Students Corner
CALIFORNIA LAW is clear and sweeping in its protection of gay and lesbian employees from Good Teaching Conference – North January 21-23, 2011, Marriot, San Jose
Upcoming Conferences from CTA
Equity and Human Rights Conference
March 4-6, 2011, Fairmont, San Jose Good Teaching Conference – South March 18-20, 2011, Hyatt Regency, Garden Grove Presidents Conference – July 18-22, 2011 Asilomar Conference Grounds, Pacific Grove Summer Institute – July 31-August 5, 2011, UCLA

• • • • • •
50% know someone who switched schools to feel safer 43% avoid school restrooms 79% say that violence is over stupid things (bumping into someone or rumors) 76% feel their lockers are not safe 63% say they would learn more if they felt safe 47% say that teachers spend half the class time disciplining other students 55% have seen weapons on campus
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Bullying in the 21 st Century
Definition of Bullying A series of repeated intentionally cruel incidents • • • Regularly involves the same children Can consist of a single interaction Bullying behavior has also been defined as a criminal act if the bully is twelve years of age or older
5 Characteristics of a Safe School • Strong leadership • • • • Consistent and fair discipline policy High teacher involvement High expectations Parental involvement
Bully Fact Sheet • 6% admit bullying others at least twice a week • • • • • • • Peers participated in 85% of the incidents Schools are aware of only 4% of the incidents Bullies continue to bully throughout their life 15% of secondary students report being victimized Someone is bullied every 37 seconds Bullies are identified by age 8 Schools are the prime location for bullying
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To many, child abuse is narrowly defined as having only physical implications. In reality, child abuse includes:  Physical abuse  Physical neglect  Sexual abuse  Emotional abuse  Internet Exploitation The act of inflicting injury or allowing injury to result, rather than the degree of injury, is the determinant for intervention. A parent or caretaker may begin by inflicting minor injuries, and then may increasingly cause more serious harm over a period of time. Therefore, detecting the initial small injuries and intervening with preventive action may save a child from future permanent injury or death. Physical injuries, severe neglect and malnutrition are more readily detectable than the subtle and less
How Students Feel On Campus • 37% do not feel safe at school
visible injuries which result from emotional maltreatment or sexual abuse. However, all categories of abuse endanger or impair a child’s health and development and therefore demand attention. Both physical and behavioral indicators for suspected child abuse are presented in this publication to assist mandated reporters in meeting their responsibilities under the Child Abuse Reporting Law. The presence of behavioral indictors does not necessarily mean that abuse or neglect is occurring but should serve as a warning signal to explore potential problems further.
exception is when a personal emergency impinges on your job. Then explain the situation briefly and objectively. 7. Don’t lose your composure on the job – with students, parents, colleagues or your supervisor. Tears and losing your temper will only work against you. 8. Don’t let yourself be pushed around. Whether you are a permanent, probationary or temporary employee, you are a professional and are entitled to be treated as one. 9. Don’t lie or attempt to deceive your supervisor. Occasional lapses in judgment may be tolerated, but deception seldom is. 10. Don’t panic! If you find yourself in a situation where you may be subject to disciplinary action or if you become the subject of administrative harassment, call your Association representative immediately.
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Enhancing Your Job Security Things to Avoid
1. Don’t shirk your responsibilities. Make every effort to attend required meetings, meet required deadlines, and take your fair share of the load. 2. Don’t become a “workaholic.” The most productive persons are well-balanced employees – people who can manage their jobs and their lives. 3. Don’t antagonize your supervisor unnecessarily. 4. Don’t get mixed up in intra-faculty rivalries, or intra-school politics, and don’t indulge in gossip on the job. 5. Don’t be a chronic complainer. If your contract rights are violated, grieve, but don’t gripe. Try to contribute to the solution rather than to the problem. 6. Don’t confide in details of personal problems to your supervisor or to the colleagues you barely know. The
If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve gotten!
Community Outreach Invitation
Our next event is ready for you to sign-up and be a part of something PEA positive: PEA Habitat for Humanity Build Day in Bay Point If you volunteer you will receive a PEA Pittsburg Teachers Care T-shirt. When? Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. At the end of Bella Vista Avenue in Bay Point    ****************************************
Report Out
By, Chuck Jones PUSD Energy Conservator
Our energy savings are equal to… Where? Preventing 1,421 metric tons of CO2 emissions, or Removing 255 cars from our highways for one year, or Planting and growing 36,344 tree seedlings for 10 years
No experience necessary!! Really...just be willing. Wear comfortable work clothes, bring a lunch and a water bottle. All tools, equipment and explanations will be provided.
You must register first and here is how… 1. Go to Habitat for Humanity East Bay 2. Click on Volunteer 3. Under “Build Houses” click “Individuals” 4. Read and review FAQ’s 5. Go to “Upcoming Events” and scroll down to Saturday, January 8, 2011 6. Click on Sign-up for Build Day – El Rincon, Bay Point 7. Register if you are new to Habitat for Humanity Please let me know if you are coming and your shirt size preference by e-mail to [email protected] See ya there…Chris Coan
PUSD became an Energy Star Partner in April, 2010 – Since then we…   Achieved Label recognition for 10 buildings Are eligible for 20% Leader & Leader, Top Performer recognition
Most importantly, the success of our energy program is due to the participation of our faculty, custodians, food service staff, and administration. A special thanks goes to …    Ms. Martha Strock, Mr. Ricardo Araiza, Ms. Donna Marshall & Staff Mr. Mike Rodriguez, Mr. Mike Barros & Staff Board of Trustees, Ms. Linda Rondeau, Dr. Wilson, Mr. Enrique Palacios and Mr. Ron Hickey
and to Everyone else who helped us conserve energy.
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New Year’s Day PEA Executive Board – PEA Office – 1901 Railroad – 3:45 PM 6 PEA President’s Visit – Foothill’s Staff Lounge – After Contract Hrs. End 11 PEA President’s Visit – Height’s Staff Lounge – After Contract Hrs. End 13 Superintendent Roundtable – 3:30 PM – PUSD Board Room 17 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 19 PEA Rep Council – PEA Office – 1901 Railroad – 3:45 PM 25 PEA President’s Visit – Foothill’s Staff Lounge – After Contract Hrs. End TBA PUSD School Board Meeting – 2000 Railroad Ave. – 7:00 PM
2 5 10 12 14 15 16 18 21 22 TBA PM PEA Executive Board – PEA Office – 1901 Railroad – 3:45 PM PEA Executive Board Retreat Relational Meeting @ Los Medanos’ staff lounge directly after school Lincoln’s Birthday Valentine’s Day Relational Meeting @ Marina Vista’s staff lounge directly after school PEA Rep Council – PEA Office – 1901 Railroad – 3:45 PM Holiday – no school President’s Day – no school Washington’s Birthday PUSD School Board Meeting – 2000 Railroad Ave. – 7:00
Next Deadline for Articles is February 7, 2011 STAY INFORMED @