Work to Rule: Responding to the state’s definitions
From HSTA Wed, December 05, 2012
“We believe that our teachers have a right to free speech under the state constitution and protection under Chapter 89 the collective bargaining statute to participate in these activities and HSTA will exercise to the fullest extent of the law to protect its members from prohibitions to do so.”
“This argument over what is covered by the contract and what isn’t, is a distraction and a deflection from the real issue - the fact that teachers have been disrespected by the governor.”
“We don’t want to be in this crisis. It was not our doing. The Governor, during contract negotiations, imposed a 5 percent pay cut to Hawaii’s teachers. We have tried to negotiate a fair contract with the Governor, but to no avail.”
“Teachers are frustrated and angry over what they feel is a lack of respect for Hawaii’s teachers who come to school every day to do their best to help students learn and achieve. Teachers are taking a variety of actions, including work to rule, to call attention to this crisis regarding contract negotiations.”
“We believe there is a shared responsibility for student learning and achievement. Teachers are on the front lines every day and meeting their responsibility. Students have a responsibility for doing their best work. Parents have a responsibility to provide support. And, the Governor has a responsibility to provide the financial support for teachers to help students learn. So far, the Governor is not living up to his responsibility.” -Wil Okabe, President, HAWAII STATE TEACHERS ASSOCIATION
Recent activities by HSTA members have generated questions from our members about work-to-rule or work-to-contract. As the HSTA bargaining team goes back to the bargaining table for the 2013-2015 contract, we are excited to see our members standing up and speaking out. Our members want a fair contract settlement that values both students and teachers.
We encourage members to join together with colleagues, parents, students and the community for “Together on Tuesdays” activities. More information on activity ideas can be found on our Web page http://contractforthefuture.org/
Here are some FAQ and information specifically to HSTA member queries around working to the contract and/or work-to-rule.
Q: What does it mean for teachers to “work to the contract” or “work to rule”?
A: Teachers are taking a courageous stand to come together on specific days with a commitment to “work to the contract” on campus during their 7-hour work day, followed by sign waving before and after school. Merriam-Webster defines work to rule as the practice of working to the strictest interpretation of the rules as a job action. Remember, “work to the contract” is legally protected concerted activity. However, if given a direct order by your supervisor, we advise that you follow the directive and grieve it later (consult with your UniServ Director should this occur to you.)
Q: Are teachers protected when participating with “work to the contract” or “work to rule?”
A: Yes. Teachers engaged in concerted actions such as these are protected under the State Constitution, and under Hawaii law:
State Constitution (Article XIII, Section 2)
Persons in public employment shall have the right to organize for the purpose of collective bargaining as provided by law.
HRS § 89-3. Rights of employees.
“Employees shall have the right of self-organization and the right to form, join, or assist any employee organization for the purpose of bargaining collectively through representatives of their own choosing on questions of wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment, and to engage in lawful, concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection, free from interference, restraint, or coercion. An employee shall have the right to refrain from any or all such activities, except for having a payroll deduction equivalent to regular dues remitted to an exclusive representative as provided in section 89-4.”
HRS § 89-33. Prohibited practices; evidence of bad faith.
“(a) It shall be a prohibited practice for a public employer or its designated representative willfully to:
(1) Interfere, restrain, or coerce any employee in the exercise of any right guaranteed under this chapter;
(2) Dominate, interfere, or assist in the formation, existence, or administration of any employee organization;
(3) Discriminate in regard to hiring, tenure, or any term or condition of employment to encourage or discourage membership in any employee organization;
(4) Discharge or otherwise discriminate against an employee because the employee has signed or filed an affidavit, petition, or complaint or given any information or testimony under this chapter, or because the employee has informed, joined, or chosen to be represented by any employee organization;
(5) Refuse to bargain collectively in good faith with the exclusive representative as required in section 89-9;
(6) Refuse to participate in good faith in the mediation and arbitration procedures set forth in section 89-11;
(7) Refuse or fail to comply with any provision of this chapter;
(8) Violate the terms of a collective bargaining agreement;
(9) Replace any nonessential employee for participating in a labor dispute; or
(10)Give employment preference to an individual employed during a labor dispute and whose employment termination date occurs after the end of the dispute, over an employee who exercised the right to join, assist, or engage in lawful collective bargaining or mutual aid or protection through the labor organization involved in the dispute.
(b) It shall be a prohibited practice for a public employee or for an employee organization or its designated agent willfully to:
(1) Interfere, restrain, or coerce any employee in the exercise of any right guaranteed under this chapter;
(2) Refuse to bargain collectively in good faith with the public employer, if it is an exclusive representative, as required in section 89-9;
(3) Refuse to participate in good faith in the mediation and arbitration procedures set forth in section 89-11;
(4) Refuse or fail to comply with any provision of this chapter; or
(5) Violate the terms of a collective bargaining agreement.
Q: Why are teachers protesting?
A: The union shows its strength through unity and collective action of its members. Teachers engaged in concerted activity have constitutional rights to speak out.
State Constitution (Article I, Section 4)
“No law shall be enacted respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
Activities such as sign waving show the unity of teachers and willingness to stand up, speak out, and do what is right for a fair contract. Demonstrating collectively gives your negotiations team more strength at the bargaining table. The negotiations team needs to have the confidence and support of the members in the schools. Teachers need to show that they “have the back” of the negotiations team.
Q: Are there any cautions or advice I should know on what activities I should not do?
A: If you have any questions about your activities, ask your school level leader or your UniServ Rep. Do not engage in any activity that might seem to be interfering with the business of the school.
Q: If my school is considering “working to the contract,” what are some specific items in our contract about the work day and work hours I should know about?
A: The contract defines the work day in Article VI: Teaching Conditions and Hours, all teachers should read this section of the contract and be familiar with it prior to engaging in any work-to-rule activities.
Here are a few highlights of Article VI provisions:
·B. Lesson Plans – “teachers responsible for the instruction of students shall prepare legibly written or typewritten lesson plans, the form and content of which will remain discretionary with the teacher. Lesson plans will be made available to the principal upon request.”
o Teachers (who are in the classroom) have to be able to show lesson plans if requested.
· D. Work Time; 1. Regular Work Day - “shall be defined as the amount of time per day that teachers shall be required to be present at their assigned place of work during such days as determined by the Employer. The regular workday shall consist of seven (7) hours.”
o The 7 hours start and stop time varies from school to school, generally the start time is between 7:30-8:00 am and the end time is 2:30-3:00 pm
o 6 hours a year (which teachers are paid for) are scheduled by admin to extend the day in ½ hour blocks during the year.
o In no case shall the work day extend beyond 4:30 pm
·E. Consecutive Instructional Time - Teachers are entitled to a 15 minute break, after 180 minutes of instruction, unless scheduled for recess duty, then a minimum of 5 minutes personal time.
·N. Substitute Teachers – “Teachers shall not be required to substitute nor be responsible for classes or student from classes of other absent teachers”
·Y. Duty Free Lunch Period – “shall be provided with a duty free lunch period of no less than thirty (30) minutes.”
· X. Preparation Periods – teachers have a daily preparation period of 225 aggregate minutes a week, teacher determines where and how the preparation time is taken. Six (6) preparations a semester can be used by administration for in-service training, school program planning and assessment or to attend principal-teacher conferences.
· Z. Non-Professional Duties – “ The non-professional chores connected with lunch duty, custodial duties, and supervision of student performing custodial duties shall be eliminated from teachers’ job responsibilities” “ The principal may schedule teacher on a rotation basis to supervise students outside classroom.”
· AA. School Related Activities – “teachers have a supplemental professional obligation to participate in a reasonable amount of school-related activities; however such participation is best achieved when it is accomplished on a voluntary basis.” “School related activities for the purpose of this section shall mean parent-teacher conferences, advising student clubs and supervision student activities”
o This section explains how activities should be discussed and approved with a school’s APC.
o The section also prohibits assignment to certain types of school dances, athletic events, and non-chartered clubs.
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BoE: ‘Rules’ Say Teachers Work More Than Seven Hours
KHON Tues Dec 5, 2012: Some teachers statewide have been participating in protests, only working their obligated seven-hour work day.
According to the BOE memo, "If the teacher normally arrives in advance of the start of his/her work day or stays beyond the end of his/her seven-hour work day he/she can choose not to be available to assist students outside of those hours."
But it also says: "teachers, as part of their professional obligations, must devote considerable time outside of school hours to prepare for instruction."
In fact, if there are no volunteers to cover school-related activities beyond the school day, the contract "allows the principal to assign such work on a fair and equitable basis."
"Teachers are professional, the hours in the contract are minimal in recognition of their professionalism in recognition of the fact that regardless of the hours, they're going to put in extra time," Williams said.
Teachers are fighting for a new contract that includes more compensation. The state and teachers' union are scheduled to resume negotiations tomorrow.
"We do our best to give them the best compensation we can," he said.
The BOE is also looking to change the calendar for the next school year. It would give teachers professional days back and restore 3.5 percent of their pay.
The BOE will vote on that next month.
SA: Teachers must work after class, state says
KGI: Kapa‘a Middle, Kalaheo teachers rally
read … Work to Rule?