Association Representatives, Council Representatives and Site Organizers, welcome to the AR’s Corner. This area is your one-stop shop for resources to help you organize your site and enforce the contract more effectively. Make sure you also spend some time reviewing the materials available in the Our Rights at Work section.
Five-Year Evaluation FAQ
As with any new contractual right, the opportunity to ask for a five-year evaluation cycle has raised many questions and concerns. The new contract language is essentially a pass-through of a change in the Education Code law in regards to evaluations. The law now allows for the option of up to a 5 year evaluation cycle. The inclusion of this option is a good first step in the expansion of teachers’ evaluation rights. This right can be further strengthened and expanded through successive contract negotiations in coming years if SDEA members prioritize it and are willing to fight for it.
Do we automatically get placed on the five-year cycle?
No. Extending the evaluation cycle is not a guarantee or blanket right granted to all union members. There are a variety of eligibility requirements that have to be met in order to participate in this extended evaluation cycle. For those who meet the eligibility criteria, there is an additional step that has caused some confusion. There must be mutual agreement between the union member and the administrator in order to move to a cycle of up to five years (note: per Education Code, “up to five years” means that you will be evaluated every fifth year, not every sixth year after five full years have elapsed).
How do we reach “mutual agreement” to get placed on the longer cycle?
Because the law and our contract language call for “mutual agreement” between the member and administrator, this implies that there should be a dialogue between you and your evaluator. These discussions ought to take place on a case by case, individual basis. Each member wishing to request an extension of the evaluation cycle up to five years needs to approach the evaluating administrator and engage in a discussion. Ideally, a written agreement should be produced as a result of this meeting – either a formal document written up and signed and dated, or an email confirming the conversation.
When can we speak with the evaluating administrator about extending our cycle up to five years?
This discussion can occur right now, regardless if it is the member’s evaluation year or not. If you were evaluated two years ago, you can negotiate to extend your cycle for up to 3 more years. If you were evaluated last year, you can negotiate to extend you cycle up to 4 more years. Alternatively, if this is not your evaluation year, you can wait till next year to request the extended cycle.
How can we grieve this language?
Some principals have been issuing blanket denials of the right to request an extended evaluation cycle. The right to request an extended cycle is an individual right. Collective denials violate the spirit of the intent of the language, and are grievable.
Additionally, once on the cycle, administration cannot unilaterally remove union members from the agreed-to cycle or shorten it in an “arbitrary or capricious” way. The new language in our contract goes beyond the protections granted by the change in Education Code by ensuring that administrators do not remove us from the cycle for “arbitrary or capricious” reasons. This protects us from retribution or retaliation. A new administrator at your site would be able to call for a shorter cycle to establish a baseline, without mutual agreement from the union member, and this would not meet the bar of “arbitrary and capricious.”
Here is the language from the new tentative agreement between the district and SDEA:
- A five-year evaluation cycle for eligible members under the following conditions:
- The unit member has permanent status;
- The unit member has been employed by the District for at least 10 years;
- The unit member is “highly qualified” under NCLB (if occupying a position that requires this status);
- The unit member’s previous evaluation rating was effective;
- The unit member and the member’s evaluator agree to a cycle of up to five-years; and
- Either the unit member or the evaluator may withdraw consent at any time, but the stated reason or cause shall not be arbitrary or capricious.
For additional information, ARs should call the SDEA office and speak with a Contract Specialist.
Elementary Modified Days
ARs have been reporting that some principals seem confused regarding the implementation of the Workload MOU restricting the use of modified days for professional development to no more than 25 percent. We requested and received written clarification from the District attorney confirming that a minimum of 75% of all modified days must be free of professional development and set aside for unit member prep time, and that no more than one modified day per month may be used for professional development. If your principal attempts to implement any model other than the one described above, he or she is violating the contract! ARs should contact a Contract Specialist for additional support and documentation.
- Meetings Agreement Graphic
- 1998 Board Policy – Site Governance
- 2010-2011 Rep. Council Calendar
- 2010-2011 Certificated Evaluation Timelines
- Surviving Robert’s Rules of Order
- Memorandum of Understanding — Workload
- Annotated Future Workload MOU
- Maintenance of Workload FAQ 08-09
- Memorandum of Understanding — Lesson Plans
- Memorandum of Understanding — Caseload to Workload
- Memorandum of Understanding — Meetings
- Memorandum of Understanding — Teacher Prep Days
- Issue Intake Form