January 11, 2016 — WEAR RED to support Collective Bargaining

January 11, begins the Supreme Court of the United States hearing on Friedrichs v California Teacher’s Association – this case seeks to eliminate the “fair share” contributions that non-union members must make.

Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association centers around the future of fair share fees, sometimes called agency fee. Such fees have been permitted for decades in the United States and are part of tens of thousands of public sector collective bargaining relationships. In fact, twenty-three states permit public sector employers to require that employees pay such fees to cover the costs of union representation that the employer relies upon.

A fair share fee payer is someone who has elected not to be a union member, but who is still fully covered by the union contract and has full access to the rights and benefits provided by that contract. In states that allow representation fees, individuals who enjoy contractual benefits may be required to pay for those benefits, rather than “free ride” on the contributions and work of others. The fair share fees that may be charged for those services, however, are limited and highly regulated. Importantly, the procedures that have been established for calculating and collecting fair share fees ensure that feepayers do not pay even a penny for union political activities with which a feepayer may disagree.

The petitioners in Friedrichs, who are supported by the conservative legal group Center for Individual Rights, seek to overturn all of this history and decades of precedent on the theory that the First Amendment prohibits fair share fees. They would have it that public sector employees, who generally enjoy no First Amendment rights at work at all, have a constitutional right not to pay the fair costs of union representation. If the Supreme Court were to accept that reactionary view, the strength of public sector bargaining would be undermined as unions would be required to represent for free individuals who benefitted from their services but declined to pay for them. That result would be devastating for our schools and students.

neaToday – http://neatoday.org/2015/07/02/supreme-courts-review-of-fair-share-threatens-working-families-and-public-services-say-labor-leaders/

The elimination of Fair Share fees is a THREAT to the health and welfare of Unions.  Unions are THE force that keeps collective bargaining alive in this country.  Below are just SOME of the reasons everyone needs Collective Bargaining!

What is Collective Bargaining?

Collective bargaining is a form of employer–employee relations that allows employees to be heard in the workplace on issues that affect them. Collective bargaining offers all workers  the advantage of being able to speak with one voice.

What are the benefits of having a Collective Bargaining Unit?

Compensation

Professionals and non-professionals use collective bargaining to preserve workplace integrity and respect, and create safe, professional, and rewarding work environments. They customize collective bargaining agreements to meet the needs of the specific employer and the employees.

There is a lot of variety in the collective bargaining agreements negotiated on behalf of professionals. Many of these collective bargaining agreements set a wage floor. The employee and the employer are then free to negotiate for a salary based on individual performance or other factors above the minimum salary.

For example, broadcast technicians at CBS Broadcasting, Inc. (CBS) have a collective bargaining agreement that sets forth minimum weekly salaries based on their position and length of employment with CBS.

Another compensation example comes from the Temple University faculty and librarians.  Their collective bargaining agreement establishes that the faculty and librarians are eligible for merit pay. Merit pay at Temple University is given in the form of “merit awards.”

Unions also help to counter pay inequities based on gender and minority status. The difference between men and women’s earnings has a significant impact on women’s lifetime earnings and retirement benefits. Unions have been successful in helping to close the wage gap. In 2014, the wage gap in median weekly among full-time, nonunion workers was 19 percent and the wage gap among union men and women was 11 percent.

Work Place Concerns

Through collective bargaining, workers can earn and maintain middle-class wages; have access to benefits, including health and pension; and bargain on issues that allow workers to do their jobs right. One goal of collective bargaining is for workers to be heard on non-compensation issues.

Teachers in the San Francisco Unified School District also bargained to address health and safety. The collective bargaining agreement requires that: there be a comprehensive safety and disaster plan; all safety notices be conspicuously posted; information from the Health Department be immediately provided to teachers; teachers have a mechanism for immediately notifying district officials of hazardous conditions; and all classrooms have a first-aid kit.

Collective bargaining agreements for firefighters often include provisions for the acquisition, cleaning, and maintenance of “turnout gear,” the lifesaving equipment worn by firefighters, as well as other safety equipment. For example, the City of Philadelphia and the International Association of Fire Fighters, Local 22 bargained for the acquisition, cleaning, and maintenance of protective clothing.

Members of arts, entertainment, and media unions can face unique challenges in the workplace. For example, SAG-AFTRA bargains protections for stunt performers in its film and television contracts. Specifically, “a qualified first-aid person, visually identifiable, shall be present on all sets where hazardous work is planned.

Registered nurses (RN) typically bargain for safe staffing levels in their collective bargaining agreements. Safe staffing in hospitals is shown to significantly lower patient mortality and improve nurse retention. Thus, many nurses, including those in New Jersey AFT, AFL-CIO Local 5089 and Maryland AFT, AFL-CIO Local 5197, use collective bargaining to improve patient care and outcomes.

RNs at Mt. Clemens General Hospital in Mt. Clemens, Michigan, reached a new contract where a three percent pay raise offered by the hospital was turned down in favor of a two percent raise and the hiring of 25 additional nurses in an effort to offer better, more professional patient care.

Addressing Grievances and Discipline

A central tenet of all collective bargaining agreements is due process. Due process requires that an employee have notice and an opportunity to respond to allegations made by the employer.

The employer and the union establish and agree to grievance and discipline procedures. Nearly all collective bargaining agreements have provisions for resolving grievances and disciplining employees. Those provisions are clearly set forth, in writing, in the collective bargaining agreement, which is distributed to all union members. Collective bargaining agreements only require that an employer follow procedures that are clearly laid out in the agreement when seeking to reprimand, demote, or terminate an employee. A union job is not a “job for life.” However, a union job does afford workers greater protection against unfair unilateral actions by employers.

The collective bargaining agreement between the Defense Contract Management Agency and the American Federation of Government Employees, Council 170 provides for the creation and use of written performance plans to objectively monitor employee progress. Employees who receive successful evaluations may be eligible for cash awards, time-off awards, quality step increases, and honorary awards, among other things. In the case of employees who receive a poor performance evaluation, supervisors must take action to warn employees of the poor performance and take other steps to try to improve the employee’s performance. If, after taking steps to improve performance, that is not possible, then the supervisor must take action to reassign, demote, or remove the employee. The action required as a result of unacceptable performance is clearly laid out in just two pages in the collective bargaining agreement.

excerpts from http://dpeaflcio.org/programs-publications/issue-fact-sheets/the-benefits-of-collective-bargaining-for-professional-and-technical-workers/

Why wouldn’t EVERY CITIZEN want a contract that provides for fair compensation, safe and fully functional workplaces, and fair treatment by employers???  I have happily paid my union dues every year of my working life, grateful that there is a dedicated group of fellow employees who are willing to work countless hours to ensure I have a living wage, benefits and fair treatment.

It is worth every penny and more.

 

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Educator Standards Board to Present to State BOE

MEMBERS — We need your help to email your state board of education member BEFORE October 19th.  Your support and action is critical to the acceptance of the proposal which will be presented by the Educator Standards Board to the State Board of Education!

On October 19th the following recommended changes to the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System from the Educator Standards Board will be presented to the capacity committee of the State Board of Education. The recommendations call for:

  • Cessation of all student growth measure triggered improvement plans indicated within eTPES for category A teachers during the period of Safe Harbor.
  • Improvement plans to be required only for summative ratings of ineffective and developing.
  • Local Boards may exercise discretion as to when improvement plans are implemented subject to collective bargaining.

Educators across Ohio are being told by their districts “the eTPES system is indicating a required improvement plan based upon value added scores.” Districts have also shared they have no ability to modify the eTPES system to allow for local decision making and/or previously bargained agreements.

The Ohio Department of Education uses the Value Added composite score (comprised of multi-year data) to determine student growth for category A1 and A2 teachers. Thus the composite score contains data from the specifically identified state assessments (PARCC) in HB 64 Safe Harbor Law and administered in the Spring of 2015. Use of the data from the specified assessments to trigger and mandate improvement plans sets up conflict with the law’s prohibition on employment decisions during the Safe Harbor period.

It is important members take action and indicate to their state board of education member who has been elected to represent their community the need to support the recommended changes regarding these improvement plans. The following talking points can be addressed in the member’s own words via email with state board members:

  • Research indicates feedback to improve teacher effectiveness and thus student achievement must be accurate. The identified assessments were plagued with unofficial parent OPT-OUTs of their child, technical issues, failure to provide special education students required accommodations, inclement weather, and a host of other issues which occlude the potential accuracy of the data.  (Examples of articles regarding the importance of data accuracy are available at ASCD, OSBA, and researchers such as Marzano and Danielson)
  • Even the best improvement plans built with the new Professional Development standards which the State Board recently approved, if predicated upon inaccurate data, will not result in the desired outcomes for students.
  • A quality plan based upon faulty data degrades the potential and value of “authentic” and meaningful opportunities for both teacher and student growth. Safe Harbor law speaks to this point by prohibiting the use of the assessment data for student promotion, retention, etc.
  • The proposal to allow local boards to exercise discretion on the implementation of improvement plans acknowledges and restores the authority of local boards of education while preserving the right to collectively bargain.

Concern has also been expressed regarding the inclusion of “developing” as a summative rating as a trigger for an improvement plan. Previous guidance and policy from the Department of Education has established “developing” to be acceptable especially for newer teachers who may be concurrently working through the resident educator program. The added layer of an improvement plan during the initial years of the resident educator program may be problematic.

 

Follow the link below and then use the map at the bottom of the page to click upon the biography link so that YOU can contact your state board of education member and support this proposal regarding improvement plans.

http://education.ohio.gov/State-Board/State-Board-Members

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CEA’s Candidate Questionnaire

Chardon Education Association delivered a questionnaire for each of the candidates for the Chardon Board of Election in this November’s Election.

Questions included, but are not limited to the following.

  • What past work or community experiences would you bring to the Board?
  • What goals would you hope to accomplish?
  • What do you see as our districts biggest area(s) of concern …
  • What do you see as the greatest strength(s) in this district …
  • What is your opinion on public employees’ right to collectively bargain contracts and having union representation?
  • If elected, can we rely on you to regularly attend and actively participate at negotiations?

Please take some time to read over our candidate responsis from

  • Karen Blankenship
  • David Fairbanks
  • Sheldon Firem
  • Victoria Walker Nicholas
  • Guy Wilson,

Candidate Response to CEA Questions

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A Long and Nobel Tradition

Teaching is an art. Teaching is a nobel undertaking.  Teaching is a valuable profession.  We are part of a grand tradition and a nobel ideal, one where every child in this country is entitled to an education.

Oklahoma school replaces chalkboards, finds 98 year old drawings and lessons hidden behind them.School

When contractors began work on four classrooms of Emerson High School in Oklahoma, they knew their remodel would improve education — but they never expected it would impact local history.

 

Looking to upgrade the rooms with new whiteboards and SmartBoards, the workers had to first remove the outdated chalkboards. But when they began to pull away the old boards, they made a startling discovery. Beneath the current boards rested another set of chalkboards — untouched for nearly 100 years. Protected and totally undisturbed, the century-old writings and drawings looked like they were made just yesterday.

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Here, a November calendar rolls into December. A turkey marks the celebration of Thanksgiving.

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A multiplication table gives us a glimpse into the curriculum and methods taught in 1917, techniques perhaps lost in the passage of time. When regarding a wheel of multiplication, Principal Sherry Kishore told The Oklahoman, “I have never seen that technique in my life.”

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But Oklahoma City school officials aren’t just shocked by what is written, but how it is written. Penmanship like this is clearly a lost art. This board reads, “I give my head, my heart, and my life to my God and One nation indivisible with justice for all.”

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Within each of the four rooms, the subject matter and lessons mirrored one another — indicating, as an Oklahoma Public School Twitter caption reads, “aligned curriculum in 1917.”

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And though the boards’ style and subject matter might be unfamiliar to younger folks, they certainly resonate with older generations. Principal Kishore told The Oklahoman what it was like to show her 85-year-old mother the boards: “She just stood there and cried. She said it was exactly like her classroom was when she was going to school.”

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But these boards actually predate Principal Kishore’s mother by 13 years. Two dates were found on the boards: November 30, 1917, and December 4, 1917.

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Some of the writings and drawings were done by students, while others were made by teachers — but it’s not always clear whose is whose.

 

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Regardless, the work is a striking look into days long gone. While reading the boards — like this one listing “My Rules To Keep Clean” — the past comes alive in a very personal way.

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English teacher Cinthea Comer told The Oklahoman, “It was so eerie because the colors were so vibrant it looked like it was drawn the same day. To know that it was drawn 100 years ago… it’s like you’re going into a looking glass into the past.”

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Built in 1895, Emerson High School has seen many renovations and improvements throughout the years — but nothing like this has ever been discovered.

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When removing old chalkboards in the past, contractors have only found broken pipes and wires, so this is a shocking surprise. Oklahoma City and the school district are now working to preserve these beautiful boards.

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Hopefully, the spirit of these teachers and their students will be enjoyed for many years to come. Who knew that scribbles on a chalkboard could become such a precious piece of history.

 

 

BE PROUD THAT YOU ARE A TEACHER! YOU COME FROM A LONG AND HONORABLE TRADITION!!!

 

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More April News!

East Liverpool Board of Education Imposes Contract!

This quoted from WFMJ Online

EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio –

The East Liverpool City School District’s Board of Education has imposed a contract on the district’s 185 teachers. A proposal the teachers unanimously rejected last week.

The action was taken Monday Night after the Board notified the teacher’s union it would implement the plan if they did not accept the offer by 8:01 that morning.

Parents, members of the community, and teachers from other school districts came together in a major show of support for the East Liverpool Education Association.

Chardon EA voted to show our support for the 185 East Liverpool Teachers!  Please wear Blue and White on Friday (4/17) to show your support too.

LiverPoolSupport

Ohio Board of Education Backs Ending ‘5 of 8’ Staffing Rule

The Columbus dispatch reports that

The Ohio Board of Education moved ahead yesterday with a plan to abolish school-staffing requirements that critics contend would allow districts to eliminate art teachers, librarians, counselors and other staff members.

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2014/12/09/state-board-education-vote.html

GET INVOLVED – Write your State Congressional Representative and your State Senator!

NEOEA Emerging Leaders Cookout!

NEOEA Emerging Leaders Cookout: Give Us Two Hours, We’ll Give You a Better Year Join us on Friday, June 12, for lunch at the NEOEA Conference Center. We’ll offer you a one-stop shop for information on how to jump-start your local association and make life better for your members. We’ll have prizes, food, and giveaways, but most of all, we’ll have contact with people who can help you make a difference at your workplace. We’re bringing together resources from all over Northeastern Ohio, as well as guests from Columbus, who can show you how to make the association work for your members. Spend an hour networking with them, and join us for lunch.

Emerging Leaders Flyer

 

NEOEA Summer Leadership Conference

Mark your calendar to attend the 2014 NEOEA Summer Leadership Conference this summer, July 23-24. NEOEA’s Summer Leadership Committee is planning another exciting conference at the Bertram Inn and Conference Center in Aurora, Ohio. Centrally located for NEOEA members, educators from northeastern Ohio will gather in a relaxed atmosphere for training and networking with other local association leaders and members.

YOU should go!  If you want to apply for a scholarship to offset the costs then fill out the following Scholarship Application Form_2015.

 

 

 

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Spring Means Elections AND Negotiations!

CEA Elections

CEA elections for the 2015­/2016 school year will be held over THREE DAYS ­Tuesday, May 5 through Thursday, May 7, 2015 in each building by a signed double­ envelope secret ballot system. The three day window is to allow all members the opportunity to cast their vote within a timely manner.

Nominations deadline is April 17, 2015.  The following positions are open for nomination:

  • President – 2 year term
  • Secretary – 2 year term
  • OEA/NEOEA delegates (4 positions) (1) Pres.
  • High School Bldg. Reps (4)
  • Middle School Bldg. Reps (3)
  • Hambden Elem. Bldg. Rep (1)
  • Maple Elem. Bldg. Rep (1)
  • Munson Elem. Bldg. Rep (2)
  • Park Elem. Bldg. Rep (1)

You may nominate yourself or another member by submitting the name and position nominated for in writing, sending via e­mail to Cheri Gualdoni, Election Chairperson, at cheri.gualdoni@chardonschools.org  Please consider running for a position or nominating another member. Only through our collective efforts, each taking a turn, will we be able to continue to have a strong, successful association.

Cheri Gualdoni
Elections Chairperson

Negotiations

Negotiations to bargain our next contract shall begin on Thursday April 16 @ 4pm. This important task involves hours of time, deliberation and consensus building. CEA will also establish a Crisis Committee this month to share in the communications and public relations during the process. The chairperson, spokesperson and communications person will be shared after CEA Exec Committee approves their appointments.

Use your NEOEA membership!

Visit the NEOEA.org website for discount offers, like the I-X Indoor Amusement Park for $18.99 per person.  Get some of your dues dollars back and support local businesses/events simultaneously.

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What’s New (well — Winter is ALMOST over!)

Congratulations to our negotiating committee — through their efforts we were able to vote and RATIFY the  “Safe Harbor” for Teachers MOU.

Teacher Self-Evaluation component of OTES – any teacher under the full-cycle evaluation is required to complete this component for 15% of our overall rating. Your evaluator has a digital copy and should forward it to you ASAP. Please contact your evaluator if you don’t have it yet, as the deadline for submission is Fri March 27.

Elections of CEA Officers, Building Reps – the timeline is underway! Please let our Elections Chairperson Cheri Gualdoni at Park Elem if you are interested in running for President, Secretary, building rep, OEA/NEOEA rep. Nominations remain open until April 17.

Insurance – Several members asked why we don’t have full vision insurance coverage. That question was posed to our Insurance Consultants for explanation. They said Aetna’s discount program allows for more flexibility in using vision services with any provider, rather than charging the full premium (which is very expensive) and having members be forced into paying for services/doctors they don’t need. They suggest members utilize their HSA and Flexible Spending Accounts to finance any vision needs. Therefore, the Insurance Committee is not pursuing adding vision insurance.

QUICK TIP

As an OEA member you can get LOTS of discounts! Check out the Access Featured Discounts page and find out more!

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What’s New in February 2015?

Open Enrollment

Members who live outside Chardon district but have children who want to attend CLSD~

As our collective bargaining agreement states, your own children have first priority when requesting to attend our schools under the open enrollment policy. Follow the  link to the district’s enrollment form — See the Open Enrollment Page on the District web site. This enrollment process is your formal request to the Superintendent; there is no need for a separate letter/email as was done under old contracts.

District Calendar

Next year’s Proposed Calendar: 15-16-Calendar Final Proposed – Dr. Hanlon has already assembled our responses to the calendar choices, and he is currently receiving feedback from the community and the Board. One major concern with starting mid-August is the heat (although last year the heat arrived in September). This concern has already been shared with Dr. Hanlon  and he said he would discuss it with our Business Manager, Ted Roseberry. The final school calendar will be adopted at the March 09 BOE meeting, which will include the traditional Hearing of the Public for any other public comments.

Transportation Department

Transportation Department – Recent changes in their administration has begged the question whether the bus drivers will be outsourced to a private transportation company as well. Our sister union, CACE, needs our help in reminding the Board and the community that having our own Chardon employees (and members of this community) are who keep our students safe.

Board Meetings

Have been MOVED from the 2nd Monday of the month to the 3rd Monday of the month.  The next few meetings are scheduled as:

February 23
March 23
April 20
May 18
June 15

PLEASE make a NOTE of this change!

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Brrrrr — It’s a COLD January!

CALAMITY DAYS

HOURS and Blizzard Bag Assignments:

To date, we have exhausted 4 of our 5 calamity days. According to our district calendar which was approved by the BOE, our make-up days shall be made up as full work days on June 8-12. Please do not schedule personal plans these days.

The State of Ohio did alter the calamity day structure to minimum hours of instruction, however, the media has failed to mention the law goes into effect when the district’s current labor agreement expires. Ours expires July 2015, meaning we will be bargaining the employment impact of this new law during spring negotiations.

Advancement on the Salary Schedule

This is a reminder that the date for second semester advancement on the salary schedule is January 30, 2015. Official transcripts received by this date will be
Board approved on February 23, 2015. Please see section 6.03.2 of the CEA negotiated agreement.

NEOEA Events for Members and their Families this Winter

See  http://neoea.org/  for several opportunities such as:

  1. Cross-Country Skiing (Jan 24) –  http://neoea.org/NewsDetail.aspx?a=763
  2. Nominate Friend of Education for NEO (due Feb 6) –  http://neoea.org/NewsDetail.aspx?a=750
  3. Nominate yourself to NEOEA’s Board for Unit 6 (due Feb 9). Tammy has nomination forms.
  4. Discounted rate to Great Big Home + Garden Show Feb 6-15.  Order online at  http://goo.gl/17NZ4y and save $5/ticket using promo code  NEOEA2015.
  5. Nominate Positive Image Award to a member (due Feb 20) –  http://neoea.org/NewsDetail.aspx?a=749
  6. Attend Legislative Reception Mon Feb 23 in Burton – meet/greet our local legislators. Notify Tammy, as only 2 members can attend.
  7. Attend NEOEA’s 1/2 day Megaconference March 14 in Warrensville Hts – many sessions to choose, including PARCC testing, legal updates, reading 5-year forecast, STRS, Resident Educator update, Science Fair ideas, Public Education & Ohio General Assembly, PBS Learning Media, and much more. Lake Erie College credit ($180) available. NEOEA fee only $15 covers everything including continental breakfast, lunch and parking.  Notify Tammy of your interest; discounted/free tickets available.
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News for November/December!

All members received an Email  from CEA President Tammy Segulin relating to the November update.  Please make sure to read it, or you can also check out the President’s Corner on this website, for Novembers update, as well as past months!

 

Some Highlights:

REMIND 101

If you’d like to receive important text messages from our Remind service, simply send a text to (440) 337-4782. In the text body, type one of these “@ …” to be included in the distribution list. All members should do the @ChardonEA and their respective building(s) in separate text messages.

         @ChardonEA, @chardonhs, @park-cea, @cms-cea, @maple-cea, @hambdn-cea, @munson-cea

Or to receive messages via email, send an email from your private address to chardon@mail.remind.com and leave the subject line blank.

General Membership Meeting

SAVE the DATE!  Thursday, Dec. 11 @ 4pm (LGIR) for our General Membership Meeting. The Agenda includes:

  • District’s Five-Year Forecast & Analysis: 
  •  Membership Survey on desired language changes (please bring your ChromeBook for an online survey; the survey will remain open through the weekend).
  •  Introducing your Negotiations Team. The team has already begun training and will continue at the OEA Collective Bargaining Conference in February.
    • Angela Beekman (Maple)
    • Dwight Goss (CMS)
    • Dan Heintz (CMS)
    • Tammy Segulin
    • Tracy Paroubek (CMS)

Reviewing the Survey

WHEN: On Monday, Dec. 15 at 3:45pm in CHS Rm 308 (Tammy’s classroom),

WHO: the Negotiations Team and anyone else interested
(kindly RSVP Tammy DOT Segulin AT chardonschools.org)

WHAT: Those in attendance will  review the survey results and prioritize the findings.

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