MASTER AGREEMENT

 

 

BETWEEN

 

 

 

THE CRANSTON SCHOOL COMMITTEE

 

 

AND

 

 

 

 

 

THE CRANSTON TEACHERS’ ALLIANCE

LOCAL 1704, AFT

 

 

 

 

TECHNICAL ASSISTANT UNIT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 1, 2005

 

To

 

August 31, 2008

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article I – Recognition

 

A.     The Cranston School Committee (hereinafter referred to as the Committee) recognizes the Cranston Teachers’ Alliance, Local 1704, RIFT/AFT (hereinafter referred to as the Alliance) as the sole and exclusive representative of all employees in the Bargaining Unit. 

 

B.     The bargaining unit shall consist of all Technical Assistant employees of the Cranston Public Schools as certified by the State of Rhode Island Labor Relations Board.  Case No. EE 3617 dated 10/23/98 and the meeting and requirements as set forth in Title 28, Chapter 9.4, Section 2, of the General Laws of R.I., 1956, as amended. 

 

 

Article II – Rights of the Committee

 

There is reserved exclusively to the Committee all responsibilities, powers, rights and authority expressly or inherently vested in it by the laws and constitutions of Rhode Island and of the United States, and by the Charter of the City of Cranston, excepting where expressly and in specific terms limited by the provisions of this Agreement.  It is agreed that the Committee retains the right to establish and enforce reasonable rules and personnel policies relating to the duties and responsibilities of technical assistants and their working conditions which are not inconsistent with this Agreement. 

 

In all matters under this Agreement calling for the exercise of judgment or discretion on the part of the Committee, the decision of the Committee shall be final and binding if made in good faith, except where otherwise provided in this Agreement. 

 

 

 

Article III – Rights of Alliance

 

A.     The Committee agrees, upon written request of the Alliance to release to said Alliance information available to the Committee concerning the financial resources of the district, tentative budgetary allocations, and such other pertinent, non-privileged information as will assist the Alliance to develop accurate and informed proposals concerning hours, salary, working conditions and all other terms and conditions of professional employment for all Technical Assistants in the negotiating unit.  It is further agreed that the Committee will have up to Thirty (30) school days to respond to such Alliance requests, and that the Committee may, as its option, fulfill such requests either by written response to the Alliance or by making pertinent records available to an Alliance representative in Committee offices.  In case the Committee exercises the latter option, the Alliance representative may not remove any Committee record from the Committee’s offices without the written consent of the Committee. 

 

 

 

Article IV – Security

 

A.     All employees of the Cranston School Committee who are members of the Alliance on the effective date of this agreement, or who become members of the Alliance, shall, as a condition of employment, maintain their membership in the Alliance. 

 

B.     An employee is not required to become a member of the Alliance in order to retain employment, however each employee who it not a member of the Alliance will be required to pay through payroll deductions to the Alliance, the current dues as determined by the Alliance. 

 

 

Article V – Selection and Appointment

 

A.     The Superintendent or designee shall be responsible for the selection, employment and assignment of all persons covered by this Agreement subject to school committee approval.  When possible, the school principal and/or unit supervisor will aid in selection of applicants for positions within their school units. 

 

B.     There shall be a probationary period of 30 working days for new appointees. 

 

C.     The Alliance reserves the right to act on behalf of the Alliance with respect to selection of Technical Assistants to serve on city-wide committees. 

 

 

Article VI – Payroll Deductions  

 

A.     The employer agrees to deduct the wages of each employee dues as the Alliance shall designate.  Such dues shall be made in each biweekly pay period and shall be remitted to the Alliance.  The School Committee is under no obligation to meet any deficit resulting from insufficient funds in payroll account of the employee. 

 

B.     Technical Assistants will be eligible to participate in a “Tax-Sheltered” Annuity Plan established pursuant to United States Public Law 87-370 and in accordance with reasonable rules established by the Committee.  The President of the Alliance shall be notified of any changes to these rules. 

 

C.     All eligible employees will participate in Municipal Employees Retirement System and be subject to all provisions as established by the Rhode Island State Retirement Board. 

 

 

 

 

 

Article VII – Savings Clause 

 

A.     If any provisions of this Agreement is or shall be at any time contrary to law, then such provision shall not be applicable, or performed, or enforced, except to the extent permitted by law.  In the event that any provision of this Agreement is or shall at any time be contrary to law, all other provisions of the Agreement shall continue in effect. 

 

B.     All rights, policies, privileges, responsibilities and working conditions that have been in effect system-wide, previously, and which are not contrary to any provisions in this Agreement, shall continue in effect. 

 

 

Article VIII – Seniority

 

A.     Seniority shall be defined as the total length of continuous employment with the Technical Assistant Bargaining Unit of the Cranston Teachers’ Alliance.  Seniority shall be broken when an employee terminates voluntarily or is discharged for cause. 

 

B.     In case of reduction of personnel (lay-off), employees shall be laid off in reverse order of seniority within the specific classification for which they are hired. 

 

C.     The Human Resources Office will notify the employees two (2) calendar weeks in advance of lay off.  This notice from the Human Resources Office shall be considered the official notice of lay off. 

 

D.     A seniority list of all employees covered under the provisions of this Agreement showing name, hours of work, and date of regular and effective appointment will be made available to the President of the Alliance during the month of January and will be open to challenge and correction for a period of thirty (30) days and, upon proof of error will be corrected. 

 

E.      Any Technical Assistant laid off by the process described above shall maintain recall rights for a period of not less than thirteen (13) months unless the employee has an unsatisfactory evaluation.

 

F.      No Technical Assistant will be terminated without just cause. 

 

 

Article IX – Vacancies

 

A.     All vacancies shall be filled pursuant to the following procedures:

1)      Applications must be made to the Executive Director of Human Resources within the time limits specified in the posting.  Each posting shall provide a minimum of five (5) working days for applicants to respond.  Technical Assistants will be required to meet state guidelines for qualifications as described under state law (RIGL 16-11.2) for his/her assignment.

 

B.     Any vacancies shall be posted prior to the end of the quarter in which it occurs.  The Committee reserves the right to fill or not fill a vacancy. 

1)  All vacancies shall be filled within thirty (30) days of the closing of the posting or be re-posted, subject to the Committee’s right to fill or not fill the vacancy. 

 

C.     Prior to any additional position being created in an area already existing, a mechanism for dealing with seniority must be negotiated with the Alliance. 

 

 

Article X – Work Schedules

 

A.     The work day for Technical Assistants shall be seven (7) hours per day, except for the Technical Assistant in Panda’s Pantry who will work eight (8) hours per day.

 

  1. All Technical Assistants will be required to attend an Orientation session, to be scheduled on the day before the 1st day of school for Technical Assistants.  Technical Assistants will be paid for hours in attendance as described in Appendix A.

 

B.     Technical Assistants will work on regular and normal schools days when students are in attendance except for the ‘Assessment’ Technical assistant who may be required to work up to five (5) days before the opening of school and five (5) days after the close of school.  Notice of the schedule would be given by June 1st and July 15th respectively. 

 

C.     The lunch period will be one of the four scheduled lunch periods.  The lunch break will be uninterrupted and shall be considered a part of the regularly assigned work day. 

 

D.     The length of the work day of Technical Assistants shall be fixed as posted for all positions and shall coincide within ten minutes of the commencement and/or conclusion of the workday of the teacher to who they are assigned unless otherwise stipulated in this agreement. 

 

E.      In the event that a specific work-site placement requires a technical assistant to supervise students outside the course of the school day, the technical assistant may be required to work beyond the normal school day.  Such supervision shall not exceed 3:30 p.m.  The Alliance shall be notified of the time and duration of said placement prior to implementation and the schedule shall be fixed and posted.  The employee’s workday shall not exceed seven hours per day.

 

F.      Technical Assistants shall not be assigned to cover for teachers absent from school. 

 

 

 

Article XI – Vacations & Holidays

 

A.     All persons covered by this Agreement shall observe school closings as indicated in the school calendar without compensation. 

 

B.     An employee hired within a school year and having worked ninety-one (91) days or more prior to April vacation but less than one (1) full year shall be entitled to one (1) week of paid vacation.  Said vacation must be taken during the April recess in the school year in which they were hired. 

 

C.     The Technical Assistant shall be entitled to two (2) weeks vacation when one (1) year of continuous service has been completed.  After five (5) years of continuous service all employees covered by this Agreement will be considered to have earned three (3) weeks of paid vacation.  Such vacation will be taken in the sixth (6th) full school year and all succeeding years thereafter. 

 

D.     Vacation must be taken during school recesses. 

 

E.      All Technical Assistants are entitled to the following paid holidays:

 

Labor Day                                Christmas Day

Columbus Day              New Year’s Day

Election Days (on which

all schools are closed)               Martin Luther King Day

Thanksgiving Day                     Presidents’ Birthday

Day after Thanksgiving  Good Friday

Jewish Holy Days

(only when listed as Holiday

on the School Calendar)           Memorial Day

July 4th (for those who work)

Victory Day (for those who work)

 

F.      At the discretion of the Alliance, representative of the Technical Assistants unit shall be granted a total of three (3) school days per year for the purpose of engaging in local, state and national organization activities without loss of pay, provided the Alliance pay the cost of substitutes used to cover for such representatives.  Additional days under this Article may be taken with loss of compensation to Alliance representative, with the Committee assuming the cost of substitutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article XII – Leaves of Absence

 

A.     All employees covered by this Agreement shall accrue sick leave at the rate of fifteen (15) days per year.  During the first year of employment, sick days will be earned at the rate of 1.5 per month worked. 

 

1.   The Human Resources Office shall provide each Technical Assistant the number         of cumulative unused sick days by September of each year, for the previous year.

2.   Upon leaving the Cranston Public School system the Technical Assistant shall be entitled to severance pay based upon the following:

 

a)  Union members who have worked for Cranston Public Schools for ten (10) years or more, upon retiring, shall receive compensation for sick days they have accumulated at a rate of $20.00 per day for the total number of sick days accumulated.

b)  Union members who have worked fro Cranston Public Schools for twenty (20) years or more and have accumulated a minimum of 100 days, upon retiring shall receive compensation for sick days they have accumulated at a rate of $50.00 per day for the total number of days accumulated.

c)  Payment for unused sick leave shall be made by separate check during the pay period next following the Technical Assistants final check.

 

 

B.     Sick leave shall be granted for personal illness or physical incapacity to such an extent as to render a person thereby unable to perform the duties of his/her position. 

 

C.     Family Illness- Technical Assistants.

1)      Three (3) days per year when an illness occurs in the employers immediate family (father, mother, son, daughter, spouse, or other persons in the immediate household who are blood relatives of either spouse or who are under legal guardianship of the employee), that requires the employee to care for the person who is ill.  Requests for absence due to family illness under the provision of this section shall be supported by a statement that the employee can make no other arrangements. 

 

  1. Employees covered under this agreement may request unpaid Sick Leave under the following conditions:

1)      Written request for unpaid leave may be made to the superintendent of Schools when all previously accrued sick leave has been exhausted.

2)      Written request must indicate the nature of the illness and the approximate date of return.

3)      Request must be accompanied by a physician’s statement substantiating the nature of the illness, the approximate date of return and the necessity for the unpaid leave. 

4)      Employees not able to return to full-time Technical Assistant duties within one (1) year from the effective date of the leave shall be considered to have terminated. 

5)      Prior to return to full-time duty, the employee must submit to the Personnel Office a physician’s statement that he/she is able to fulfill all the duties of the Technical Assistant position.

 

  1. All employees shall be eligible for a leave of absence for a minimum of thirty (30) or a maximum of the remainder of the school year in which the leave is taken in the event that a member of his/her immediate family (mother, father, spouse, son or daughter, natural or adopted, mother-in-law or father-in-law) is ill and required his/her attendance.  Medical certification is required upon request.  This leave shall be without compensation.  An employee shall not be eligible to return to a vacant position before the expiration date of leave.

 

  1. A medical certificate may be required when the absence of an employee, due to personal illness, exceeds three (3) consecutive working days.  The medical certificate will require the nature of the illness, next scheduled evaluation and/or return date. 

 

  1. Bereavement

1)      In case of death in the immediate family (spouse, father, mother, son, daughter, grandchildren, sister, brother, mother-in-law, father-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, or other person in the immediate household) a Technical Assistant may be absent for a period of seven (7) calendar days including the day of the funeral. 

2)      In case of death of nieces, nephews, or grandparents,  a regularly appointed Technical Assistant may be absent for a period not to exceed two (2) working days. 

3)      In case of death of blood relatives of either spouse, not otherwise identified in 1 or 2 or 3 above, a Technical Assistant may be absent without loss of compensation on the day of the funeral.

 

  1. Unpaid parental leave up to eighteen (18) months will be granted upon request, such request must include the approximate date of return.  The Technical Assistant may work until, and return as soon as his/her doctor permits, providing such Technical Assistant is capable of performing his/her regular responsibilities on a permanent basis.  The Technical Assistant must notify the Director of Personnel in writing of his/her intention to leave and to return at least sixty (60) days prior to the respective dates.  Return from parental leave will be allowed only at the beginning of the school year or at the beginning of the third (3rd) quarter, whichever follows the expiration of the leave. 

 

 

 

 

  1. Short term leave for personal reasons, not to exceed two (2) days will be granted for such matters as conducting business arrangements which Technical Assistants cannot conduct at any other time such as after school hours, weekends, vacation periods, holidays, etc. upon request to the appropriate substitute call secretary. 

 

a)      The total number of Technical Assistants on leave will not exceed one (1) on any given day.

 

b)      Requests for any personal leave should be given as far in advance as possible and recorded on a form provided by the administration except in cases of emergency. 

 

c)      In the event that the cap has been met and the Technical Assistant has a request for a personal day the Superintendent will have the discretion to grant additional days off. 

 

  1. Leave of absence without compensation for the pursuit of a higher degree of education may be granted by the School Committee upon recommendation of the Superintendent. 

1)      The following criteria is established to govern the professional leave policy:

a)      The Technical Assistant must be established a full-time matriculating student as set by the standards of the institution in which he/she is enrolled. 

b)      The matriculating program must be in the field of education.

c)      The Technical Assistant must provide documentation of items a and b above prior to having the request for leave considered.

d)      The Technical Assistant must provide evidence of successful completion of the program for which the leave was granted prior to return to a position within the School Department.

e)      The Technical Assistant must have been employed as a Technical Assistant for an uninterrupted period of three (3) years in order to be considered for leave under this article. 

f)        There will be no accrual of sick days or vacation while on leave for study nor will longevity credit for pay purposes be earned during the period of leave. 

g)      Duration of leave will not exceed one (1) year.

 

K.  Employees on leave under Articles D, H, J will accrue no leave or vacation privilege while on leave.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article XIII – Insurance

 

A.  The Cranston School Committee will provide for all eligible full-time Technical Assistants individual or family plan Group Health Insurance for any Technical Assistant who is not otherwise provided with a Health Insurance Plan equal to or better than the Health Insurance Plan offered by the Committee.  The Committee will provide HealthMate Coast to Coast and all applicable riders, including a student rider to age 24 as outlined in the plan dated July 1, 2005 for the appropriate individual or family coverage to all eligible employees.  The employee will be responsible for three percent (3%) cost sharing based upon the level of their plan.  Payments under this article shall be subject to section 125 of the IRS code.  The health plan changes will be effective January 1, 2006.

 

B..  In lieu of receiving HealthMate Coast to Coast, an employee shall have the option to continue to subscribe to any of the following health insurance coverages:

 

Blue Cross/Blue Shield (RI) Classic

United Health Plan

 

         The employee who exercises this option agrees to pay one hundred percent (100%) of the difference between the cost of HealthMate Coast to Coast and the cost of the alternative coverage the employee selects. 

        

  1. Delta Dental, Level III and IV Individual or Delta Dental Family up to Level IV, including a student rider to age 24.  The annual maximum dental coverage is $1,500 per person and the Orthodontic rider lifetime maximum is $1,500 per person.  The employee will be responsible for three percent (3%) cost sharing based upon the level of the plan.. 

 

D.  The Cranston School Committee shall also provide to all members.

 

1.                  A $20,000 Term Life Insurance Policy.

2.                  Each Technical Assistant shall have the option to purchase up to an additional $125,000.00 of term insurance.

3.                  Longevity Increments as follows:

 

a)                  An increment of $450 after having completed ten (10) years of continuous service with the Cranston Public Schools as a Technical Assistant. 

 

b)                  An increment of $550 after having completed fifteen (15) years of continuous service with the Cranston Public Schools as a Technical Assistant. 

 

c)                  An increment of $650 after having completed twenty (20) years of continuous service with the Cranston Public Schools as a Technical Assistant. 

 

d)                  The increment shall be included in the first paycheck in October of the salary year following the completion of ten (10), fifteen (15), or twenty (20) continuous years of service as defined above and annually thereafter.

 

E.   The Cranston Public Schools will provide an independent Employee Assistance Program for all members of the bargaining unit.  An Employee Assistance Program by definition is a formal structured service designed to assist in identifying and resolving productivity and moral problems associated with the employees impaired by personal concerns including but not limited to: alcohol and other drug abuse, health, marital, family, financial, legal, emotional, or other personal concerns which may adversely affect the employees’ job performance.

 

 

Article XIV – General

 

  1. Reasonable space on existing bulletin boards in an appropriate location shall be made available to the Alliance for posting official Alliance information. 

 

  1. If meeting between the Alliance and the Committee, or its representatives specifically designated by it for the purpose of arbitration, are scheduled during normal working hours or a school day, not more than one (1) representative of the Alliance shall be relieved from all duties without loss of pay. 

 

  1. The Alliance or any Committee or Representative thereof will have the right to reasonable use of school telephones for local telephone calls for Alliance business only, provided that a non-coin school telephone is available to the School Administration at all times and provided that any such use by Alliance representatives does not interfere with the school program in any way.

 

  1. The Committee and the Alliance shall share equally the cost of publication of this Agreement. 

 

  1. Technical Assistants may not use their own cars to drive pupils in connection with school or school related activities. 

 

  1. Technical Assistants, for whom the use of a car is necessary, shall be paid based upon IRS regulation I.R.B. 924 (Standard Mileage Rates Set).

 

 

 

 

Article XV – Grievance Procedure

 

  1. Purpose

The purpose of this Article is to provide opportunity for discussion of any request or complaint and to establish procedures for the processing and settlement of grievances.

 

  1. Definition of Grievance

A grievance shall mean a complaint by a Member of the Bargaining Unit of the Alliance (1) that there has been to him/her a violation or inequitable application of any of the provisions of this contact or (2) that he/she or it has been treated inequitably by reason of any act or condition which is contrary to established School Committee policy or practice governing or affecting employees, except that the term “Grievance” shall not apply to any matter as to which the School Committee is without power to act.

 

  1. Grievance Procedure

Step 1- Any employee who believes that he/she has a justifiable request or complaint may discuss the request or complaint with his/her immediate supervisor, excluding the teacher, within a period of ten (10) working days or the knowledge of the event leading to the grievance with the Alliance Representative being present.  It is understood that if the immediate supervisor has no power to correct or rule on the grievance, the employee may initiate the Grievance at

Step 2. 

 

Step 2 – If no satisfactory resolution of the grievance has been reached within five (5) days, the grievance shall then be reduced to writing within ten (10) working days following the Step 1 meeting and forwarded to the Executive Director of Human Resources.  A meeting for discussion of the grievance with the Executive Director of Human Resources shall be held no later than twenty (20) working days after the submission of the grievance.  The Executive Director of Human Resources shall render a decision in writing regarding the grievance within ten (10) working days following the hearing at Step 2.

 

Step 3 – If no satisfactory result follows the hearing and decision at Step 2, or if no decision is rendered, the grievance may be appealed to the Superintendent of Schools within ten (10) calendar days following the decision at Step 2.  The Superintendent or designee will conduct a hearing of the grievance within twenty (20) calendar days following the appeal to Step 3.  The Superintendent, or designee, will render a written decision within fifteen (15) working days following the hearing at Step 3. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Arbitration

1.      If no satisfactory resolution is reached, the employee may, within fifteen (15) calendar days after the decision at Step 3, give to the Committee written notice that the matter is to be submitted Arbitration under the rules of the American Arbitration Association.

2.      Only those matters involving the application or interpretation of this Agreement may be submitted to Arbitration.

3.      The decision of the arbitrator upon an issue made arbitral under this Article shall be final and binding upon the parties.   

4.      The Arbitrator shall have no power to alter, amend, add to or detract from the terms of this Agreement. 

 

 

Article XVI – Professional Development

 

A professional development program will be provided through a Professional Development Institute developed between the Cranston Teachers’ Alliance and the Cranston Public Schools.  Technical Assistants will be required to participate on an annual basis for eight (8) hours.  These hours shall be outside the regular school day.  Technical Assistants attending professional development sessions will be compensated under Appendix A of the Master Agreement. 

 

 

 

Article XVII – Advance Degrees

 

 

Technical Assistants who provide the appropriate documentation (letter or transcript from an institute of higher education) will be eligible to receive the following stipend:

            Bachelor’s Degree        -           $1,000

Full or half increments will be paid providing the request and documentation is received in the office of Human Resources prior to October 15 and March 1 respectively.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article XVIII – Duration

 

The provision of this agreement will become effective on September 1, 2002 and will continue in full force and effect until August 31, 2005.  In witness whereof the parties hereunto set their hands this 19th day of June, 2003. 

 

 

Cranston School Committee                                                     Cranston Teachers’ Alliance

 

 

 

_______________________                                                  ________________________

M. Gordon Palumbo                                                                 Francis J. Flynn

Chairperson                                                                              President

 

 

 

_______________________                                                  ________________________

                  Date                                                                                            Date

 

 

 

_______________________                                                  ________________________

Catherine M. Ciarlo                                                                  Paula F. Caiozzo

Superintendent                                                              Vice President 

 

 

 

_______________________                                                  ________________________

                  Date                                                                                            Date

 

 

 


 

 

Appendix A

 

Salary Schedule (Hourly)

 

 

2005 – 2006                                        2006 – 2007                                        2007 - 2008

   $15.61                                                   $16.08                                                 $16.56