Understanding and enforcing teachers’ contracts are two key roles of every building representative. Spend some time going through your contract. At your next 10-minute meeting, engage participants in a contract scavenger hunt. (You can provide sample contracts and have teachers team up.) This is a simple way to ensure everyone is familiar with his or her rights and responsibilities—and aware of how their union representatives work for them.
Where in your contract would you find language on the following (cite article, section, and page):
- What is the length of the workday?
- How many personal days is a teacher allowed?
- What is the maximum class size?
- Where is the just cause provision in the contract?
- Where are maternal/paternal leave rights listed?
- How many meetings after school must a teacher attend?
- Where are degrees defined in order to determine whether a teacher can advance from one salary column to another?
- What are the grievance filing deadlines?
- Where can you find an educator’s rights if that educator is injured at work?
- How much prep time does a teacher get?