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Amendment in Grosse Pointe Teachers Proposed Contract Surfaces

A "letter of understanding" outlines a process for Grosse Pointe Public school teachers to seek special permission to have the $120 substitute pay waived in certain instances if approved by a committee based on medical history.

Grosse Pointe Public School teachers have more to consider before voting Monday on the proposed contract negotiated behind-the-scenes between the Grosse Pointe Education Association and district officials after an amendment has been added addressing catastrophic illness.

The proposed contract continues to link teacher pay to the district's fund equity, which was a ground-breaking detail put into the last contract, under which the teachers are currently operating. 

There are a variety of changes in the proposed contract. Among them is a change in sick time that limits the number of days to be used and requires teachers to pay $120 per day for a substitute for any time beyond the initial 10 days--the change that has drawn the heaviest criticism from teachers. 

Originally, the changes did not address catastrophic illness or any exception to the new system for such things as maternity leave. However an amendment was shared with teachers Monday during a question and answer session and then again throughout the week as union officials have been meeting with members at individual schools throughout the district. 

Entitled as a "Letter of Understanding Between GPPSS and the GPEA," the agreement outlines a process in which teachers could present their case by providing their medical history to a four-person committee to be considered for waiver of the $120 per day substitute pay. 

If a teacher is approved, the cost of the substitute pay will be shared by the Grosse Pointe Public School District and the GPEA. 

The letter is not dated but was reached after the proposed contract was originally presented to the teachers March 6. 

In this agreement, teachers who would be eligible to go before the committee are those who experience an illness that requires them to be hospitalized for five or more days with a minimum 30-day absence from work or is deemed life-threatening unanimously by the committee. 

Teachers are to vote on the proposed contract on Monday and if it is approved, it would take affect March 25. Teachers are expressing concerns about feeling vulnerable in this particular negotiation because while there are significant cuts and changes, if they don't accept it they fear much worse if a contract is not reached and some new state laws take effect. 

GPW Parent March 18, 2013 at 05:38 PM
Diane--thank you for posting this quote. I guess there's no question anymore as to why this contract is being rushed through.
Chris K March 18, 2013 at 05:47 PM
Excellent work, Diane. Here is the link to the source: http://mea.org/Voice-Magazine/2013feb/2013February-Voice.pdf Look to page 9. Everyone should read the entire letter along with some of the other articles.
GPW Parent March 18, 2013 at 06:02 PM
It seems Anne's comments here are to discredit one of the only posters who is able to stand back and look at the situation objectively and use his real name in the process even though it could harm his business. I have a unique perspective on the insinuations being made in Anne's posts, as I was one of the teachers whose contact information was provided to Mr. Ismail back in 2007. Mr. Ismail used the information to contact me and spent over an hour on the phone with me asking to understand why I felt the IB program was not good for Grosse Pointe and explaining the reason he thought it would be a good thing for Grosse Pointe North. He was incredibly polite and since that time has kept in contact in contact with me, asking how things are going at South and how my kids are doing in college. In all my years in our schools, I have never had a single Board member call me and ask for my opinion and sincerely try to understand my viewpoint. I was impressed, as were the other teachers at South that he took the time to contact. Ever since receiving his call, I have felt that my signing that letter opposing the IB Program was a rush to judgment out of fear of the unknown on my part. In a lot of ways, it was similar to what is happening right now with rushing through this contract.
Bill March 19, 2013 at 01:51 AM
Why is there so many comments on what the teachers and their union agree to? You are only as good as the people bargaining for you, if you don't like the deal move on, there are others that will take the deal.
christopher March 19, 2013 at 09:54 AM
you seem a little giddy there Mark ?

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