Whew!! All of a sudden we find ourselves in the last days of the school year and I won't even comment on what a year (or few months) it has been.
A lot has happened in these past 2 weeks and while everything won't be remedied or resolved before the last day of school, please know that your union will continue to work through the summer for you. This is a marathon, not a sprint.
We all seek the same thing: to be respected and valued by TPS. Your actions as a local through this time have spoken volumes!! Changing the tone with management takes a lot of work and time. Together, we have begun to take these necessary steps, but know more work lies ahead of us.
-We will continue bargaining the effects of the layoffs next week.
The model for the 2020/2021 may or may not change what the proposed staffing changes look like for our bargaining unit.
-We will present the petition to the school board prior to the June 25th meeting. This meeting is where the proposed layoffs and reductions in fte will be voted on by the board.
-AFT will begin the plans for facilitating an unemployment workshop in the coming weeks.
-Once the academic model for 2020/2021 is publicized we will begin the process of negotiations with the district which will likely go through the summer.
-Keep up to date through the summer by regularly checking our website.
-If you haven't already, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your personal email to ensure we can communicate with you outside of district email.
-If you have general questions come up during the summer, please email them to email@example.com.
Be well and enjoy your summer!
On Friday, June 5th, we submitted a demand to bargain to the district over the effects of the impending lay-offs, fte reductions and reassignments.
We see and share your questions and complete frustrations. These are shared feelings across our entire unit.
Please be patient if your messages and emails are not returned immediately and know that your union is working for you!
This morning the union received updated information that indicates that staffing within our bargaining unit is going to be affected as we look forward to the start of the 2020/2021 school year.
As we walk through these uncertain times your union will focus on these unity principles:
*Keeping our TPS students and communities safe during this crisis.
*Assuring equitable access to education for all families, including those who face learning and economic adversity.
*Keeping as many paras employed by the District as possible.
*Getting all of our paras back into the classroom to provide critical support to the education environment.
Letters issued by June 1st will notify our bargaining unit members of their assignment, their adjusted hours/fte and/or reassignment or lay-off status for 2020/2021.
At this time, this is what we know. We will meet with the district next week and hope to get a better picture of what our roles look like within the anticipated learning model TPS will put into place.
We fully expect the district to adhere to all policies pursuant to our CBA which can be found on our website, tacoma461.org.
Your TFP Board
Under normal circumstances, many of us work directly with certified teachers every day supporting students within a classroom or program.
This is a good opportunity to remind everyone that it is not appropriate for any certified teacher to be asking a paraeducator to prepare lessons for students during this time.
It is appropriate to be asked for input on specific students you work with, or participate in a classroom Teams meeting with students.
For those that work with ELL students and families it is appropriate to be asked to translate information via phone or Teams.
It is not appropriate to be asked to make physical contact with a family for purposes of delivering work or translating. TPS has made it very clear that no exceptions have been made which would allow a TPS employee to physically go to a family residence for any reason.
Please review Article VI, Section 15, #6 & #7 in our CBA, which can be found on this site under "Important Documents".
If you are not sure this is being asked of you or have any questions regarding your specific situation, please don't hesitate to email myself: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many of you have been out working onsite at a middle school or riding a bus to deliver meals to families.
One of the concerns out there is that in many locations, both at middle schools as well as during stops at elementary schools there are many staff and volunteers onsite making social distancing essentially impossible to maintain.
This is especially concerning as long as wearing a mask in public remains recommended and not required.
We have made TPS aware of this problem and have been told that admin onsite are supposed to be checking in with everyone in the morning when they arrive and only allowing those assigned that week to stay. Anyone who shows up to help out or volunteer are to be turned away.
They were not aware that this directive was not being followed and our understanding is that it will be addressed.
Administrators, custodians, security, nutrition and paraeducators are all on assigned weekly rotations for this service.
In order to continue to protect the health and safety of our bargaining unit, beginning this Monday, 4/27, we'd like your feedback on what your site looked like during your week.
-Did the admin onsite check in with you to ensure you were assigned to be there?
-If you are on a bus, how many other individuals rode with you?
-Curbside? How many individuals were there? Were you able to maintain social distancing from each other? Were there more individuals onsite than what was needed to actually distribute lunches? Did you feel you were needed onsite?
Please email your feedback to email@example.com Please do not email feedback on your previous rotations already completed.
Thank you for all you do whether its staying home to protect your health or the health of your loved ones, being home with your kids or coming out to work!!
Folks, this was and still is scary for everyone. In the early days, there was a lot unknown. We know a lot more now and also what you can and can't do.
You CAN let HR know when they call you are high risk.
You CAN let HR know when they call you have contact with someone who is high risk.
You CAN let HR know when they call you do not have childcare for your own children during this time.
You also CAN choose to say no for personal reasons and use your own leave or leave without pay.
YOU do get to make the right choice for you.
You CANNOT commit and then not show up without a word.
You CANNOT ignore calls and messages left by HR partners attempting to reach you.
It has been made very clear in many communications from the district that we are to be available and have a responsibility to be checking messages and email (if able) for communication. If you have been unavailable for an HR partner to make contact with via phone after numerous attempts, this may be viewed as "job abandonment" by an employer.
You won't recognize their number because like us, they are working from home. If you have been available and spoken with an HR partner, thank you. If not, make yourself available to answer their calls and then make the best decision for you.
See Announcements tab for updates
FILING FOR UNEMPLOYMENT
If you are substitute Para or Bus Monitor, you may be eligible for unemployment. The restriction on who is eligible has been greatly reduced by Governor Inslee. Our sister union Unite Here Local 8 produced APPLYING FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS: https://www.unitehere8.org/wp-content/uploads/All-Languages-L8_COVID-10_Unemployment_Notice.pdf] to guide applicants in multiple languages.
Please check out UNEMPLOYMENT INFORMATION: https://www.thestand.org/2020/03/covid-19-applying-for-unemployment-benefits/ ] made available by our friends at the Washington State Labor Council.
UNION JOBS AVAILABLE NOW
If you are ineligible for unemployment and need to work, there are jobs available out there now, but not all jobs are good union jobs. Union jobs pay a living wage, provide health benefits, job protections, and paid time off.
Grocery Stores – Who knew that grocery store workers wore superhero capes? UFCW (United Food and Commercial Workers) has set up a virtual union hall for people looking for work to apply. https://www.ufcwjobs.com
Teamster Jobs – Teamster work behind the scenes with our food supply chain. They are the unsung heroes that fill our shelves and keep us fed. Check out Teamsters 117 for more information on the jobs available and join the Teamster Team. https://www.teamsters117.org/resources_united_way
Washington Federation of State Employees Council 21 – Civil servants keep our safety net secure. Unemployment application are through the roof and we need people to process these claims. Join the crew who are making sure we are supported through this crisis at the Employment Security Department. https://esd.wa.gov/esdjobs
The Tacoma Federation of Paraeducators represents classified staff working in Tacoma Public Schools. TFP works for the advancement of public education, the welfare of school children, and improvement of educational opportunities. TFP represents all of its members in bargaining, grievances, and other matters relating to term and conditions of employment with Tacoma Public Schools.