Dear Head of TEA:

Syndicated from Let's Talk About Education. Read entire article here.

I asked you for simple information: Share with the TUSD Board TEA’s exact membership numbers and prove to us that teachers have elected TEA to be their bargaining representative.  Your refusal to share that information with us makes it very clear that you do not have the numbers.  Now you attack me.  

I have asserted that you do not serve our teachers well, that a real union could do a better job.  

Your answer?  You mischaracterize my words.  That is not OK.  Our teachers will be heard, and you cannot stomp them down or misrepresent them–as you have misrepresented me–any longer.  Change has arrived in TUSD.  Get used to it 🙂 

You try to attack me by email (using TUSD resources nonetheless) and on Facebook.  Do you know what a fight or flight reaction is?  I guess you realized that flight did not work–you ignored my questions, but I continued on.  Now you attack because you realize that I will not give up.  

I say your choice to wage a war on me is just foolish.  

You hurt our teachers, you hurt our employees, you hurt yourself–and I will not tolerate the disrespect.  I will do everything in my power and within the law to stop this abuse.  Though you do not teach in TUSD, though you get paid to head up TEA, I believe you are still a TUSD employee.  As such, it is a good idea to note our policies.   It is also a good idea to watch or attend our meetings.  Here, I discuss HR and change on 6/27:


Here is a response to a related inquiry on Facebook:






What follows are some policies you may want to check out.

TUSD Governing Board Policies:

GCAC:

To the extent permitted by law and consistent with non-delegable powers and authority, the Governing Board of Tucson Unified School District Number One, Pima County, Arizona, hereinafter referred to as the Board, authorizes negotiations or consultations with employee representatives or organizations as the Board may in its discretion and from time to time specifically authorize and permit.

ARTICLE II – CONDITIONS
For the purpose of consulting or negotiating, the Board may recognize employee representatives or organizations to represent appropriate employees, excluding temporary, casual, substitute or seasonal employees. Negotiation or consultation arrangements will be based upon the following policies:

Governing Board. The Board retains and reserves unto itself all powers, rights, authority, duties, and responsibilities conferred upon and vested in it by the laws, regulations and the constitutions of the State of Arizona and its political subdivisions, and of the United States.

Final Responsibility. The Board under the law of Arizona is the governing body of the District. As such, the Board has final responsibility and prerogative for establishing policies, rules and regulations for the District.

No Impairment of Rights. None of the lawful rights, powers, authority and duties of the Board shall be impaired, reduced, destroyed or affected in any way by its negotiations and consultation policies.

Non-discrimination Clause. The Board will not discriminate against any employee because of membership or non-membership in an employee organization; no employee organization or member of any employee organization will discriminate against or harass any employee who elects not to join an employee organization.

Individuals may present their views and recommendations to the Board at such time and in such manner, as may be fixed by the Board for that purpose.

Official Communication. All communications or requests for transmittal of official documents by employee organizations shall be directed through the office of the Superintendent of Schools or the Negotiator. This will not restrict the right of any employee to communicate with any individual or with the Board.

GBEA:
All employees of the District are expected to maintain high standards in their school relationships. . . .  This responsibility requires the employee to maintain standards of exemplary conduct. It must be recognized that the employee’s actions will be viewed and appraised by the community, associates, and students. . . .  The school employee: Supports the principle of due process and protects the civil and human rights of all individuals.
Maintains just, courteous, and proper relationships with students, parents, staff members and others.
Strives for the maintenance of efficiency and knowledge of developments in the employee’s field of work.
Makes the well-being of students the fundamental value of all decision-making and actions.
Implements the Governing Board’s policies and administrative rules and regulations.
Fulfills job responsibilities with honesty and integrity.
Will not falsify, misuse, sell, transfer or access for personal use, records or data maintained by the school district.
Never accepts gratuities or gifts that influence judgment in the exercise of professional duties.
Avoids using position for personal gain through political, social, religious, economic, or other influence.
Abides by copyright restrictions, security, or administration procedures for a test or assessment.
Honors all contracts until fulfillment or release.
Keeps information deemed confidential in nature secure unless disclosure serves District purposes or when required by law.
Pursues appropriate measures to correct any laws, policies, or regulations that are not consistent with sound educational goals.
Directs any criticism of other staff members or of any department of the school system toward improving the District. Such constructive criticism is to be made directly to the appropriate administrator who has the responsibility for improving the situation.
Obeys local, state, and national laws and does not knowingly join or support organizations that advocate, directly or indirectly, the overthrow of the government.
Refrains from using school contacts and privileges to promote partisan politics, sectarian religious views, or personal gain of any kind
Maintains the standards and seeks to improve the effectiveness of the profession through research and continuing professional development.
Stresses the proper use and protection of all school properties, equipment, and materials.
In the performance of duties, employees shall keep in confidence such information as they may secure unless disclosure serves District purposes or is required by law.

GBEB:
All employees of the District are expected to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with effective and orderly education and to protect students and District property. No employee shall, by action or inaction, interfere with, or disrupt any District activity, or encourage any such disruption. No employee, other than one who has obtained authorization from the appropriate school administrator, shall carry or possess a weapon on school grounds. All employees shall at all times attempt to maintain order, abide by the policies, rules, and regulations of the District, and carry out all applicable orders issued by the Superintendent.
Potential consequences to employees of the District who violate these rules may include, but are not limited to:
Removal from school grounds
Both civil and criminal sanctions, which may include, but are not limited to, criminal proceedings under Title 13, Chapter 29, Arizona Revised Statutes.
Warning
Reprimand
Suspension
Dismissal
Having consideration given to any such violations in the determination of or establishment of any pay or salary in later contracts or employment, if any.

Policy GBEBC: 
Staff-member solicitation(s) of other employees, students, and/or parents for any profit, nonprofit, or charitable groups, institutions, or organizations must have the approval of the Superintendent or designee in advance.

Policy GBI:
Employees must not use the authority of their positions to influence the vote or political activities of any subordinate employee.
This policy and its administrative regulation will be construed so as to not infringe upon an employee’s civil or political liberties as guaranteed by the United States and Arizona Constitutions.
Sanctions:
Organizations or persons allowed access to school resources for purposes other than influencing the outcome of elections that violate this policy will have the access privileges revoked.
Employees who violate this policy will be subject to district disciplinary action as set forth in Governing Board policy and accompanying regulations.
As used in this policy, “election” means an election conducted by federal, state, or local government. This policy does not apply to an election conducted by student government or a private organization.
The Superintendent has adopted administrative regulations GBI-R and administrative guidelines Restrictions on Political Activities to implement this policy in accordance with state law.


I could go on, but I have to go and study now so that I can get my attorney’s license and fight all the more effectively for the voiceless and oppressed.   

Have a great rest of the weekend–I do hope you will take the time to consider our future.

Thank you,
Rachael

Some FB responses:



P. P. S.  In case you missed it, the TEA head wrote the following to TUSD employees (note the lies and rhetoric, which are more obvious if you watch the 6/27 meeting (where the TEA head was, of course, not present)):

Sadly, TUSD Governing Board Member Rachael Sedgwick, at the open Governing Board Meeting on June 27th and in various other additional communications, has indicated she wants to weaken teacher voice by ending TEA’s ability to represent teachers in TUSD.  In an agenda item discussing the extension of the Consensus Agreement, Ms. Sedgwick asserted that she didn’t want to extend the contract because it included TEA’s exclusive rights to represent teachers.

Be clear, this is an attack on teachers’ ability to have strong representation, and an attempt to silence the voice of teachers.  Without an exclusive representative, administration will make all decisions and the employee voice will be limited.  It is TEA’s role in negotiations over the past 100 years that has resulted in one of the strongest bargained contracts in the state.  Ending exclusive representation, puts our contract – and the rights, benefits, and pay negotiated in it – in jeopardy.  The attempts to weaken the protections for our teachers cannot be tolerated.  We must stand up and speak out against an attempt to marginalize teacher voice.
To combat this affront, we need to speak with a united voice.  We need you, your colleagues, parents, neighbors, and other community members to come in support of TEA by attending the next Governing Board Meeting on July 11th.  We need you to come at 5:00, wearing your red TEA shirts, ready to show the community that TEA members want the Board to refocus on improving discipline and providing the best possible education for our kids, which is the work we all do each and every day.
We look forward to seeing you on July 11th at 5:00 at Duffy (5145 E 5th St.), ready to talk about how TEA wants to continue our work towards providing the highest quality education of our students.  TEA wants to focus on making sure teachers receive the respect they deserve because our teacher working conditions are student’s learning conditions.
Together, we will not allow the contract to be stripped of teacher voice.  We will not allow the voice of educators to be silenced!
3 comments on “Dear Head of TEA:
  1. TEA – give me a break. Most teachers don’t even pay dues to you. TEA has proven is has been a tool for Sanchez, Grivalva, and Foster. Hopefully the new Superintendent and Board can expose your unscrupulous behavior. TEA is an embarrassment.

  2. Are you kidding? TEA, Jason Freed and Frances Banuelas did more damage to teachers in their years as TEA presidents than anyone! They were manipulated like puppets by the puppet master, HT!

    Jason Freed was hoping to receive an administrative position like Frances Banuelas at the end of her run as president of TEA. Fortunately HT left and its back to the classroom for unlucky Jason!!

  3. By any standard or metric, Jason Freed should be fired as TEA president. He has been in cahoots with District leadership his entire tenure. Why the very few teachers who even pay dues don’t see this is beyond comprehension. TUSD teachers need REAL leadership and representation. Both teachers (and subs) are overworked and underpaid. Period.

    BTW, Vail School District (or any other district) would be wise to not employ this toxic radioactive mess of a teacher.

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