By Zach Taylor
Since the fall of 2020, BTU has been engaged in preparations for the next BTU Teacher Chapter Contract. This preparation has included dozens of general and job-specific meetings, membership surveys, collaboration with other education unions, and research. Through these processes, BTU members and officers drafted proposals that fight for the schools that staff and students deserve by providing the protections, resources, and structures necessary to sustainably do our jobs and serve students for the long haul.
Our proposals have included the following topics:
- Health and Safety standards for every school building in the system
- Fair salary increases
- Starting compensation standards
- Protecting our health care
- Increased summer pay
- Increased stipend rates for other work
- Additional compensation when Teacher Chapter members are required to substitute or cover classes in emergency situations
- High quality computers for all Teacher Chapter members
- Protections for Nursing parents
- More flexible leave options for new parents
- Increased Bereavement Leave
- Increased Religious Leave
- Additional preparation time and preparation equity for Elementary School teachers
- Time set aside for grade card comments and end of grading period tasks
- Tenure & Loss of Tenure notifications
- Increased certification supports
- Fairer evaluation guidelines
- Off-year evaluation cycle expansion
- Increased BR protections
- Copy machine and copy paper access
- Teacher Resource Centers
- Updating the transfer process
- Recording guidelines
- Protection against public disparagement by administrators
- National Board recognition and equity for clinicians
- A new section in our contract for ESOL teachers.
- New supports and structures for all job titles, including CTE teachers, Physical Educators, Athletic Directors, Music teachers, Art teachers, Special Educators, Speech Language Pathologists, School Psychologists, Library Media Specialists, Audiologists, School Counselors, Social Workers, IEP Team Associates, Home and Hospital Teachers, and Occupational and Physical Therapists
- And more
Keep in mind, these are proposals and BTU does not yet have a formal agreement in place with the district.
We are proud to offer and fight for a compelling vision of what City Schools could look like if BCPSS management were willing to collaborate with educators to create the schools our students and staff deserve. Many of these proposals were presented to the district by directly impacted members. Whether making the case for strong bereavement leave entitlements, nursing parent protections, improved working conditions for clinicians, or other priorities, we know that our proposals are strongest when the directly affected have an opportunity to candidly make the case to district leadership.
Our power as a union during negotiations comes from the membership. When BTU leaders speak at the bargaining table, our voices matter to district leadership because they know we have thousands of members standing beside us who were integral to the creation of our proposals. We are stronger together, and we will continue to grow our power as members become more involved in every aspect of our union’s operations.
More updates on negotiations will be forthcoming as tentative agreements are reached with the district.