April 30 SREA Newsletter

SRPE objection to representation election DISMISSED!

Last week, it was reported that SRPE objected to our filing of Showing of Interest cards to petition for a representation election, and that we believed the objection was without merit. As predicted, SRPE’s objection to have its cards (which it wasn’t required to collect) negate any of Santa Rosa EA’s cards was thrown out by PERC, as it indicated in its recommended order:

“the Intervenor (SRPE) has failed to file an appropriate motion challenging the showing of interest…Thus, the petition is 3 RC-2017-006 supported by the statutorily required 30% showing of interest. See § 447.307(2), Fla. Stat. Moreover, to the extent that more than 250 employees have allegedly revoked their previously signed showing of interest statements, those employees may exercise their respective right to vote for the Petitioner, the Intervenor, or no bargaining agent in a subsequent representation election.”

So despite SRPE’s objection, PERC ordered an election. The order allows for an appeal to be filed within 15 days of April 25 (around May 10). While it wouldn’t be surprising to learn that SRPE objects again, WHY IS SRPE TRYING TO BLOCK A VOTE FROM TAKING PLACE? If more individuals signed cards than SRPE currently has members, isn’t that a message that employees deserve an election? Whether or not SRPE tries to block or stall the process, Santa Rosa EA has full confidence that any future objections will be dismissed again.

An election is coming – and so is your chance to make a change, once and for all.

It’s time for Change, not more of the same!

Ed Support employees, don’t be left behind

Santa Rosa EA is getting VERY CLOSE to its goal to file for an election for Ed Support employees, but we still need more cards. If you haven’t yet signed a card or know someone who should, please complete the card (the BOTTOM is for Education Staff Professionals), and send it one of two ways:

1. Mail to Santa Rosa EA, P.O. Box 723, Milton, FL 32570
2. Email us at [email protected] to arrange for your card to be picked up at your worksite

As State budget for education is developed, we need you!

So far, the Senate and House are intent on passing a budget with only a $24 per pupil increase while providing $200 million for charter schools! With such paltry funding keeping jobs, maintaining benefits, and providing raises will be more difficult, so it is critical that we engage in these discussions. The Escambia Education Association is planning a visit to Senator Doug Broxson’s office in Pensacola (418 W. Garden St. – 4th floor) after school on Tuesday, May 2nd. Santa Rosa EA members are invited to join in the event, as we plan to speak with Broxson and/or his staff about providing additional funding to the education budget being developed in the session’s final days. For more information or to RSVP, please contact the EEA office at 850-476-2906.

Santa Rosa Listening Tour continues

This past week, representatives from Santa Rosa EA continued our Spring Listening Tour – as we heard about issues affecting teachers and Ed Support employees and what individuals want from their new organization. Employees from Avalon Middle, Berryhill Elementary, Central, Hobbs Middle, Sims Middle, Chumuckla Elementary, Navarre High, Oriole Beach Elementary, West Navarre Primary, Woodlawn Beach Middle participated this week, so be on the lookout for a visit at your worksite SOON!

State News

At teachers union urging, bill targeting annual contract teacher renewal dies in committee

Bill SB 856, a bill which would have prohibited agreements between school districts and local unions from securing automatic one-year contract renewals for high-performing teachers failed on an unusual tie vote in the Senate Rules Committee. Two powerful GOP senators — Jack Latvala of Clearwater and Anitere Flores of Miami — joined with four Democrats to stop the bill from advancing to the floor of the upper chamber. The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Doug Broxson, a Pensacola Republican, said the legislation was necessary to clarify a 2011 law that ended continuing contracts for new teachers in Florida.

In more than half of the state’s counties, districts and unions have adopted the annual renewal policies, which ensure that teachers who rated “Effective” or “Highly Effective” are offered another year of employment. SB 856 would prohibit a school board from “award[ing] an annual contract on the basis of any contingency or condition not expressly authorized” in law or “alter[ing] or limit[ing] its authority to award or not award an annual contract.” Some senators said the bill would further exacerbate districts’ troubles in recruiting and retaining teachers, as an educator shortage looms. Read the full story HERE (behind pay wall).

Through the work of the FEA and its affiliates, teachers all over Florida called, emailed, texted, and spoke face to face with Senators to urge them to stop SB 856. This is an example of the power in being affiliated with educators from all around the state taking collective action. SRPE did nothing to try and stop SB 856 from passing. Thanks to Santa Rosa EA and other members across the state, we will still have the ability to negotiate Annual Contract language after winning the bargaining rights in the upcoming election.

National News

The Promise of ESSA in Reducing Test Stress
At a townhall meeting in Virginia, education leaders discuss how ESSA can help reduce testing, increase enrichment programs, and improve school climate – anything and everything that makes a school great.