Here's What's Brewing Today
Tuesday, June 21, 2022
Good morning, Washington Teachers’ Union Member,
As we move this week to the end of another school year, I wanted to express my thanks to all the members of the WTU for their dedication to the children of our city. I know my words will never be enough to show my appreciation for what you do every day and have been through the past few years.
As we wrap up the school year, many of you are thinking about next year. I wish I had better news about contract negotiations.
For more than two years (yes, two years) your WTU bargaining team has tried to negotiate a fair contract that balances the needs of students and teachers with the administrative goals of the school district. As of today, most of the WTU’s proposals to improve our students’ learning conditions and the teachers’ working conditions have been rejected by DCPS. Even more frustrating is that the leaders of our school district have identified their “must haves” as issues that have little to do with teaching or learning. These must haves focus on central office operations.
Understandably, one of the most important parts of contract negotiations is compensation. Although the WTU team proposed a compensation package that was reasonable given current economic conditions and the teacher shortage in DC and around the country, the response from the school district can only be described as “disappointing.” DCPS negotiators continue to insist that WTU agree to their must haves -- again, things that do not affect teaching and learning -- before teachers will see their first cost-of-living increase in almost three years.
WTU members have worked without a new contract for two full years and are only four months away from another year without a settlement. In response to teachers not having an adjustment to the salary schedule for almost three years, with raging inflation, helping the school district navigate through the worse pandemic in over 100 years, and numerous unfilled teaching positions, the priority of district negotiators is focused outside our classroom and schools. That is beyond disappointing.
It is not acceptable when hard working teachers have done all they could to provide their students with the best possible education in very difficult times. We are years into these negotiations. You and every other member of the WTU know we are way past the “we must have these things to make our job easier” stage. Especially when proposals to ease the pressure on teachers have been mostly rejected. I wish I could share more about these issues, but confidentiality limits what I can say.
It is time to get this done! The WTU team has worked extremely hard and taken steps to get this contract done as soon as possible: they have provided options and proposals that address the issues DCPS has placed on the negotiating table. DCPS’s recent response indicates that the school district is willing to drag out negotiations and create unnecessary animosity between the teachers and the district—ironically, for things that have nothing to do with our classrooms. That is extremely disappointing, especially when there is an unprecedented shortage of teachers in our country, and you have so many career options.
The WTU bargaining team is committed to a fair contract for students, teachers, and the school district. We will continue to work hard for a tentative settlement that respects you and your work.
Like I said, I wish I had better news as we celebrate the end of the school year.
Jacqueline Pogue Lyons, President
Today is the DC Primary Election. Please ensure you #VOTE.
The WTU Endorsed Candidates are available HERE.
RALLY FOR A FAIR CONTRACT
3 Years Without a Contract is Too Long
June 28 at 10AM at Freedom Plaza
Sick & Maternity Leave Banks Enrollment Open
Open enrollment will occur from June 1, 2022 through June 30, 2022 and from August 1, 2022 through August 31, 2022. Contact Charmaine Wilks at 202 517-1475 or at [email protected] to enroll or with any questions.
If you miss the Open Enrollment dates, you will not be able to enroll in "the Banks" until the next Open Seasons in June 2023 and August 2023. This is strictly for the use of the Sick Leave and Maternity/Paternity Leave Banks and not the Dental/Vision enrollment.
Click here to submit your information to enroll: https://forms.gle/3fP8XwSiU8kYXjiW9
WTU ELECTION NEWS
Full dues paying members, should have received a ballot to the address you have on file with the WTU. If you have not received a ballot by Tuesday June 14, 2022, please email Ms. Valerie Kilby at [email protected] to verify your information on file and request a replacement ballot.
Upon receipt of your ballot, please allow for no more than 48 hours before returning your ballot to the mail. Ballots must be received at the US Post Office by 4pm on June 28th, 2022.
Election Count Day - 5pm June 28th, 2022.
Candidates have received critical observer information. Please adhere to the deadline and submit the necessary form by 5pm Friday June 17th.
In case you missed it...
- You can watch May 12th's Presidential Candidates Forum here.
- You may access the rooms from May 17th's Meet and Greet by clicking on the links. Visit Pogue Lyons - Bellhere, Unity here, and Independent Candidates here.
*Please be advised that some recordings may not start from the beginning of the session.
If you have any questions for the Elections Committee, please email us at [email protected] or leave a message at 202-505-3309.
The building election packet were sent to Building Representatives, who are responsible for conducting building level elections, last week. Its contents can be found here. A full list of WTU local school leadership positions and their duties is available here.
We want to remind everyone that the CDC states, face masks help prevent the spread of Covid.
Please continue to report COVID related issues to the situation room - http://bit.ly/WTUSafeOpenings
And any testing or reporting issues to OSSE (OSSE Online Complaint Form (dc.gov).
AM Brew News and Notices will be archived at https://www.wtulocal6.net/AMBrew.