Friday, September 23, 2005

"F" Status "Memorandum of Agreement" Repeats Mistakes of the Past

While the vast majority of our members are full time employees a significantly growing minority of less than full time employees has found its way into our membership. In the DOE we call these members F Status employees.

Part time and non-standard work hours give employees choice and flexibility in work arrangements but they also pose problems for unions.

These arrangements help both full time and part time employees until management uses non-standard employment as a way to avoid paying benefits and other compensation. In our schools this was accomplished through excessing and filling positions with F Status pedagogues.

While it is not clear how long this practice was going on it came to a head in 2004. Grievances were filed and on September 1 both Joel Klein and Randi Weingarten signed a “Memorandum of Agreement” withdrawing the grievance and setting forth “guidelines for creating F Status positions. Excessing rules were also laid out.

When creating a new F Status positions the DOE and our Union agreed that the DOE will consider every one or more F Status positions in a single school that equal 1.0 FTE (a position equaling 5 days per week) in the same license as one full time position. Only if no appointed teachers are reasonable available (through excesses, transfers and/or new hires assigned by DHR) may such school create F Status positions equaling 1.0 FTE.

Now here’s the rub…

A school will be allowed to create such F status positions in order to accommodate a hardship for a previously appointed pedagogue or “because of the particular needs of the program.”

We haven’t learned. We lost summer school grievances because the “new” summer school program was allegedly different. What is to say what the particular needs of the program are?

This “agreement” sunsets on September 15, 2006 or “unless anew collective bargaining agreement between the parties supersedes.”

Anyone taking bets on what the “new” collective bargaining agreement contains?

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