Shawsheen Valley RTSD

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DistrictShawsheen Valley RTSD
Shared Contract District
Org Code8710000
Type of DistrictVoc-Tech/Agricultural
Union AffiliationMTA
Most Recent DocumentContract
Expiring Year2017
Expired Status
Superintendency Union
Regional HS Members
Vocational HS MembersShawsheen Valley RTSD
CountyMiddlesex
ESE RegionNortheast
Urban
Kind of Communityeconomically developed suburbs
Number of Schools1
Enrollment1300
Percent Low Income Students12
Grade Start9
Grade End12
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Agreement Between

SHAWSHEEN VALLEY REGIONAL SCHOOL DISTRICT

And

SHAWSHEEN TEACHERS’ ASSOCIATION

September 2014 - August 2017

AGREEMENT

PREAMBLE

AGREEMENT made this 24th day of June, 2014 by the Shawsheen Valley Regional Vocational Technical School District Committee, hereinafter called the “Committee”, and the Shawsheen Teachers’ Association, an unincorporated association located in the Town of Billerica, hereinafter referred to as the “Association”, that

WHEREAS the prime purpose of said Committee is to provide education of the highest possible quality for the children of Shawsheen Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School (the “School”) and the morale within the Teaching Staff of said School is essential to achievement of that purpose;

WHEREAS the said Committee duly elected by the registered voters of Bedford, Billerica, Burlington, Tewksbury, and Wilmington has the final responsibility for establishing the educational policies for the school;

WHEREAS the Superintendent-Director has the responsibility for carrying out the policies so established;

WHEREAS the Teaching Staff of the School has the responsibility for providing in the classroom of said School, education of the highest possible quality consistent with the policy of the said Committee; and

WHEREAS fulfillment of these respective responsibilities mentioned above can be facilitated and supported by consultations and free exchange of views and information between the Committee, the Superintendent-Director and the Teaching Staff in the formulation and application for policies relating to wages, hours, and other conditions for employment for the Teaching Staff, now, therefore, in witness thereof to give effect to their declarations and in consideration for their mutual promises the parties agree as follows:

I          RECOGNITION

1.1       All full-time and part-time classroom, shop, lab, and physical education teachers of the School in the regular day program, including guidance counselors, social workers, librarians, nurses, and coaches, but excluding all other employees, namely: Superintendent-Director, Assistant Superintendent-Director, Principal, Assistant Superintendent-Director/Business, Director/Coordinator of Vocational Programs, Director/Coordinator of Technical Programs, Director of Special Education (Support Services), Director of Guidance, Director of Network Services, Director of Information Technology, clerical employees, custodial and maintenance employees, school psychologist, school doctor, cafeteria personnel, and other part-time personnel. Coaches, adult education teachers, summer school teachers, and teachers on federal and/or state grants who are not teachers employed by the Committee are not covered.

Unless otherwise indicated, the employees of the above unit will be referred to as “teachers”, and reference to teachers will include both male and female.

1.2       The Committee agrees not to negotiate with any teachers’ organization, teacher, or group of teachers, other than that designated as the exclusive bargaining agent pursuant to Chapter 150E with regard to wages, hours, and conditions of employment of teachers covered by this Agreement.

This Agreement is a complete agreement between the parties for the term hereof covering all mandatory subjects of bargaining.

All matters not dealt with herein shall be treated as having been brought up and discussed and disposed of and the Committee shall be under no obligation to negotiate with the Association any modifications or additions to the Agreement which are to be effective during the term thereof.

In the event any changes are mutually agreed to between the Committee and the Association, on a voluntary basis, they will be reduced to writing, signed by the Committee and the Association representatives and become addenda to this Agreement.

1.3       The private and personal life of a teacher is not within appropriate concern or attention of the Committee except as it interferes with the normal School program, or the operations of the School District.

II         NO DISCRIMINATION

The parties are mindful of their responsibilities under Federal or State laws and regulations against discrimination, and accordingly the School District and the Association each agrees that it will not discriminate against any person because of race, color, religion, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation or handicap in violation of such laws and regulations.

III       RIGHTS OF COMMITTEE

The Committee is a public body established under and with the powers provided by the Statutes of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It is acknowledged that as elected representatives of the citizens of Bedford, Billerica, Burlington, Tewksbury, and Wilmington, the Committee has the final responsibility for establishing educational policies and allocating resources for the School and further responsibility for the efficient and economical operation of the School system.

Nothing in the Agreement shall be deemed to derogate or impair the powers, rights, or duties conferred upon the School District by the Statutes of the Commonwealth or the Rules and Regulations of any pertinent agency of the Commonwealth. Said rights and powers include, but in no way are construed as limited to, the subjects mentioned in the table of contents of the Agreement.

As to every matter not expressly covered by this Agreement, and Except as expressly or directly modified by clear language in a specific provision of this Agreement, the School District retains exclusively to itself all rights and powers that it has or may hereafter be granted by law, and shall exercise the same without such exercise being made the subject of grievance or arbitration.

IV        RIGHTS OF ASSOCIATION

4.1       There shall be no discrimination, interference, restraint, or coercion by the School District, the Association or their respective agents against any teacher because of membership or non-membership in the Association.

The services of the Association in its capacity of bargaining agent will be available to all teachers in the unit covered by this Agreement who are eligible for membership. Although membership in the Association is encouraged, no professional employee shall be required to join the Association to obtain such services.

However, every teacher if and when not a member of good standing of the Association, shall pay or, by payroll deduction, have paid to the Association, an agency fee of an amount equal to fifty (50%) of its annual dues. Teachers failing to meet the requirements of this paragraph by December 1 of each school year shall be suspended without pay for three (3) school days each school year.

4.2       The School District agrees to deduct from the salaries of teachers who have on file with the School District an executed current Dues Deduction Authorization Card (which may remain in effect from year to year), in the form set out below, dues as set forth by the Shawsheen Teachers’ Association, and to transmit the monies deducted to the Shawsheen Teachers’ Association Treasurer. Teacher Authorizations shall be in writing in the form set forth below.

Dues Deduction Authorization Card

Name _______________________________________________

Address ______________________________________________

I hereby request and authorize the School Committee of the Shawsheen Valley Regional Vocational/Technical School District to deduct from my earnings and to transmit to the Treasurer of the Shawsheen Teachers’ Association such amounts as are necessary to provide for regular payment of the annual membership dues as set forth by the Shawsheen Teachers’ Association, in equal deductions for amounts earned in each payroll period from October through June. If I cease employment during a school year, the balance of my annual membership dues shall be deducted from the final paycheck. I may withdraw this authorization by giving at least sixty (60) day's notice in writing of such withdrawal to the School Committee named above. I hereby waive all right and claim for said monies so deducted and transmitted in accordance with this authorization, and relieve said Committee, and any or all officers of the Committee form any liability therefore.

Teacher’s Signature _______________________________________

Date _____________________________

The specific amount of the current dues of each of said associations shall be certified to the Committee by the Association Treasurer on or before September 15 of each year. The District Treasurer will submit the amounts deducted to the Association Treasurer within thirty (30) days after the issuance of the paycheck from which the deductions were taken. The District Treasurer will submit such amounts to the Association Treasurer by mail addressed to Treasurer, Shawsheen Teachers’ Association, 100 Cook Street, Billerica, MA 01821. The provisions of this Section shall be subject to the requirements of Sections 17C of Chapter 180 of the General Laws including the requirements that the District Treasurer shall be satisfied by such evidence as he/she may require that the Treasurer of the Association has given to the Association a bond, in a form approved by the Commissioner of Corporations and Taxation, for the faithful performance of the duties, in a sum and with such surety as are satisfactory to the District Treasurer.

4.3       The Committee agrees to authorize payroll deductions to the Billerica Municipal Employee’s Credit Union.   (Chapter 785 of the Acts of 1969).

4.4      Effective September 1, 2003 and thereafter, all teachers will be paid by direct deposit.

4.5       The Association shall indemnify and save the Committee and/or Shawsheen Valley Regional Vocational School District harmless against all claims, demands, suits, or other forms of liability, which may arise by reason of any action taken or not taken pursuant to Sections 4.1, 4.2, and 4.3. The Association’s obligations hereunder shall not relieve the Committee of its obligations under Sections 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3.

The Association shall defend any claims that arise under Section 4.1 with legal counsel designated by the Association. The Association shall not be liable for any expenses incurred by the District or any of its employees involving the use of counsel or advisors not designated by the Association.

4.6       Discussions among teachers concerning Association matters on School District property will take place only while all of the teachers involved in such discussions are on lunch break or other non-teaching time and not in the presence of students.

4.7       A copy of the Official Agenda will be available to the Association President prior to each Committee meeting and copy of the minutes of said meeting, following their approval by the Committee, will also be available to the Association President.

4.8       Two delegates of the Association shall be granted one-day leave with pay for attendance at the state convention. It is recognized that there will be no requirement that substitute teachers will be hired for those teachers.

4.9       The School District shall offer a pre-tax deduction of the teacher’s share of health, dental and life insurance. Such deductions shall be in accordance with applicable IRS regulations. In addition, teachers may participate in the School District’s flexible benefits plan, as it may be amended from time to time, on the same basis and to the same extent as other School District employees.

V        TAX SHELTERED ANNUITIES

5.1       In order to provide for a nonforfeitable tax sheltered retirement benefit payable upon retirement or termination of employment, a teacher may contract with the School District pursuant to Section 37B or Chapter 71 of the General Laws of Massachusetts for purchase of such retirement benefit account (annuity contract and/or custodial contract) as part of his or her employment compensation.

5.2       Such contract shall specify the premiums to be paid towards the retirement benefit account and the benefits payable thereunder.

5.3       Any retirement benefit account provider, whether an annuity contract provider or a custodial account provider, is required to comply with the regulation to enter into an Information Sharing Agreement with the School District and/or its third party administrator for the plan. Voluntary salary reductions to be deposited into a retirement benefit account are only allowed to providers with executed Information Sharing Agreements.

VI       PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES

6.1       The work year for all teachers, excluding holidays and weekends, will begin the day prior to the opening of school for the students and shall conclude the day following the last day of school for students, provided all previously required work is completed and approved by the Superintendent-Director. The Superintendent-Director may designate two (2) additional professional days. These days shall be scheduled during the work year as defined in this section. Reasonable breaks shall be scheduled into these full-time professional days including a lunch break of at least forty-five (45) minutes. Teachers shall receive appropriate professional development points (PDP’s) and/or professional improvement credit for these days. In no event shall the work year for teachers begin earlier than the Wednesday before Labor Day and terminate later than June 30. Teachers will not be scheduled to work the Friday before Labor Day and the first day of school for students will commence after Labor Day. If a change in regulations of the State Department of Education requires the lengthening of the school year, all salaries shall be increased in direct proportion to the required increase in the length of the year, and the annual number of sick days shall also be increased in direct proportion to the required increase in the length of the school year, effective with the beginning of the next school year.

6.2      It is acknowledged by both parties that the duties and responsibilities of a teacher in terms of the demands of the profession does not permit prescribed limitations of time. Preparation, evaluation, and visitation, as well as other related activities, must be carried on to ensure quality performance. Accordingly, the standards set forth below are only minimum standards and are not to be construed as illustrative or even recommended for the true performance of professional duties.

6.3      The school day for students shall begin at 7:25 a.m. and terminate no later than 2:04 p.m. The teacher’s workday shall begin at 7:20 a.m. and terminate ten (10) minutes after student dismissal. The word period, as used in Section 8.4, shall be defined as a continuous block of time not to exceed forty-five (45) minutes.

Teachers shall be dismissed ten (10) minutes after student dismissal. In the event of a teachers’ meeting called by the Superintendent-Director, Assistant Superintendent-Director/Principal, Director of Community Services, Director of Academic Programs, Director/Coordinator of Vocational/Technical Programs, Director of Special Education, Director of Guidance, the teacher shall be dismissed no later than forty-five (45) minutes after his or her usual dismissal time. Nothing in the aforementioned paragraph shall limit meetings called on professional days (half-day for students). Dismissal time for teachers on these half-days shall be no later than 2:04 p.m.

Teachers shall attend and take part (as is assigned to them) in all meetings scheduled by the Superintendent-Director or his designee. Reasonable advance notice of such meetings, of at least twenty-four (24) hours, will be given whenever possible and no teacher will be excused except by the Superintendent-Director or his designee. In no event shall a department chair call a meeting to be held after the teacher’s usual dismissal time. No more than one after school-wide staff meeting shall be called per month, and no more than two (2) after school meetings of Department Chairs shall be called per month unless there is an extraordinary circumstance.

The School District may adjust the work schedule, as it seems necessary in emergency circumstances. In such events the Committee shall forthwith negotiate concerning the effects of such adjustment.

If a change in regulations of the State Department of Education requires the lengthening of the workday, all salaries shall be increased, in direct proportion to the required increase in the length of the workday, effective with the beginning of the following school year.

The School District agrees to pay for fees for State mandated background checks and fingerprinting, or to reimburse for such.

6.4       Teachers shall make themselves available for student help or parent conferences two (2) forty-five (45) minute periods per week after school on separate days (on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and/or Thursday).   If the administration, students, or parents request no appointments, then the teacher will not be required to remain beyond his/her usual dismissal time.

6.5      The Association and the Committee recognize that participation in or attendance at school-oriented programs outside of normal teaching hours are part of the duties of the truly professional teacher. Recognizing that attendance at all evening functions may not always be possible, the parties encourage active participation to the fullest extent in such functions but agree that attendance at evening meetings (other than two (2) Open Houses [only one (1) of which can be on a weekend], two (2) Parents’ Nights, two (2) Program Advisory Committee Meetings and Graduation) shall be on a voluntary basis. Each of the Parents’ Nights and graduation will be held on a night preceding a monthly scheduled half-day for students and on such following day each teacher will be dismissed one (1) hour prior to his/her usual dismissal time. In publicizing the two Parents’ Nights and the two Open Houses, the School District will indicate that such are to be scheduled for two (2) hours in duration with the exception of the first Parents’ Night in which academic teachers shall be scheduled for three (3) hours. However, a teacher will be expected to remain beyond the scheduled time if parents are waiting to visit said teacher.

If professional half-days are scheduled, at least forty-five (45) minutes will be designated as lunch.

Teachers engaged in voluntary extra curricular activities or volunteer work (other than participation in athletic contests) are covered by workmen’s compensation as defined in Section 20.5.

VII      PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT/PROFESSIONAL IMPROVEMENT

7.1       Each vocational teacher is required, as a condition of continued employment, to satisfactorily complete every two (2) years:

(i) Sixty (60) hours of further on the job experience, either paid or unpaid, related to his/her occupational area provided the experience is approved in advance by the Superintendent-Director. Curriculum development that is compensated at the contracted hourly rate will not qualify for salary credit. Said experience will receive professional improvement only credit and may be used to satisfy the professional improvement requirement once every three (3) years, or;

(ii) Two hundred forty (240) documented summer hours new on-the-job experience, either paid or unpaid, related to his/her occupational area provided the experience is approved in advance by the Superintendent-Director. Said experience will receive a total of three (3) salary credits and may be used to satisfy the professional improvement requirement once every three (3) years, or;

(iii) Three (3) semester hours of further academic credit from a NEASC accredited institution in a related educational or technical area. Salary credits will be given for every fifteen (15) hours earned in compliance with this requirement and if these hours are taken at a NEASC accredited college, then the number of credits will be determined by the college, or;

(iv) Other learning experiences, such as courses, conferences, and training provided by professional associations or other professional development providers. Curriculum development that is compensated at the contracted hourly rate will not qualify for salary credit. These activities are measured in clock hours and if approved in advance by the Personnel Subcommittee or its designee (whose approval shall not be unreasonably withheld), then these hours may be used for salary scale credits, or

(v) Collegiate teaching in his/her discipline and may be used to satisfy the professional improvement once every three (3) years and said experience will receive professional improvement credit only.

(vi)   Distance Learning

Distance learning courses may be used to satisfy these requirements measured in credits or in clock hours (15 hours = 1 credit) if approved in advance by the Personnel Subcommittee or its designee.

Distance learning courses will be limited to a maximum of three salary credits three times during a one-year period for courses in their related educational or technical area; approved by the Superintendent-Director; and must be at a NEASC accredited university.

In addition to the aforementioned paragraphs, every teacher is required, as a condition of employment, to meet all certification requirements of the Department of Education.

7.2       Each academic teacher is required, as a condition of continued employment, to satisfactorily complete every two (2) years:

(i)        Three (3)   semester   hours   of   further academic credit   from a NEASC accredited institution in an educational area related to the area in which he/she teaches. Salary credits will be given for every fifteen (15) hours earned in compliance with this requirement, and if these hours are taken at a NEASC accredited college, then the number of credits will be determined by the college, or

(ii) Collegiate teaching in his/her academic discipline and may be used to satisfy the professional improvement requirement once every three (3) years and said experience will receive professional improvement credit only, or

(iii) Other learning experiences, such as courses, conferences, and training provided by professional associations or other professional development providers. Curriculum development that is compensated at the contracted hourly rate will not qualify for salary credit. These activities are measured in clock hours and if approved in advance by the Personnel Subcommittee or its designee (whose approval shall not be unreasonably withheld), then these hours may be used for salary scale credits.

(iv)      Distance Learning

Distance learning courses may be used to satisfy these requirements measured in credits or in clock hours (15 hours = 1 credit) if approved in advance by the Personnel Subcommittee or its designee.

Distance learning courses will be limited to a maximum of three salary credits three times during a one-year period for courses in their related educational or technical area; approved by the Superintendent-Director; and must be at a NEASC accredited university.

In addition to the aforementioned paragraphs, every teacher is required, as a condition of employment, to meet all certification requirements of the Department of Education. All physical education teachers who hold a Water Safety Instructor (WSI) Certification as of September 1, 2002 or those physical education teachers hired after June 30, 2002, must maintain a Water Safety Instructor (WSI) Certification as a condition of employment.

Academic teachers who have secured sixty (60) credits beyond the Bachelors Degree will be required to fulfill the above requirement once every four (4) years.

The method by which a teacher proposes to satisfy this requirement must be approved in advance by the Personnel Subcommittee of the Committee or its designee. In addition, failure to comply with the professional development requirement will result in a freeze of salary, or withholding of step increase, as detailed in Section 18.4. Teachers so affected by this non-compliance shall be notified in writing by the Superintendent-Director prior to freezing said salary as defined in Section 18.4.

7.3       PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT POINTS

The District shall form a Professional Development Committee to develop activities to meet the professional development requirements imposed by the State. Said Committee, chaired by the Superintendent-Director or his designee, will develop in-service programs for PDPs approved by the School Committee to enhance recertification requirements. PDPs awarded by the District and earned beyond the normal school day may receive one (1) salary credit for every fifteen (15) PDPs if said program is approved in advance by the Personnel Subcommittee.

7.4       The School District shall pay reasonable expenses incurred by teachers who are required by the Superintendent-Director to attend particular workshops, seminars or the like. It may pay all or part of such expenses of teachers whose request to attend similar courses it approves. Teachers requesting reimbursement will submit to the Superintendent-Director, for his approval, in whole or in part, a voucher individually listing the expenses for which reimbursement is sought.

7.5       Any teacher who serves as Shop SkillsUSA Advisor shall receive $200 if any of his/her students compete in the District competition.

Any SkillsUSA Advisor shall receive an additional $200 if any of his/her students compete at the State Competition. Any teacher who is asked to accompany students to the SkillsUSA State Competition shall receive one salary credit on the pay scale.

Any teacher who is asked to accompany a student to the SkillsUSA Nationals shall receive three (3) salary credits on the pay scale if the Skills USA Nationals occur on any day(s) that school is not in session.

7.6       Vocational/Technical Course Reimbursement

The District shall reimburse vocational/technical teachers 50% of the cost of taking courses required for initial certification/approval at the state college tuition rate provided a grade of B (3.0) or better is attained.

This reimbursement will be limited to only courses required for initial certification/approval. The teacher shall reimburse the District the amount of funds provided to him/her for said course reimbursement if the employee elects to leave the employ of the District within three years of receiving course reimbursement.

VIII    TEACHING ASSIGNMENT

8.1 Each teacher will be advised that the Association is the exclusive collective bargaining representative as provided in Section 1.1. Upon ratification, approval and execution of this Agreement, the parties shall email a copy of this agreement to all teachers.

8.2       Teachers (other than newly appointed teachers) will be notified of any change of programs from the prior school year, the grades and/or subjects that they will teach, and any special or unusual classes that they will have, as soon as practicable and under normal circumstances, not later than August 15.

Teachers who desire a change in grade and/or subject assignment shall file a written statement of such desire with the Assistant Superintendent-Director/Principal not later than May 1. Such statement shall include the grade and/or subject to which the teacher desires to be assigned. As soon as practicable, and normally not any later than August 15, the Superintendent-Director shall notify said teachers of the disposition of their requests.

The wishes of the individual teacher in this respect will receive the fullest consideration, but the instructional requirements of the School system and its pupils will be the controlling factor as finally decided by the Superintendent Director.

8.3       In order to ensure that pupils are taught by teachers working within their areas of competence, teachers will not be assigned, except temporarily or for good cause, outside the scope of their teaching certificates and/or their major or minor fields of study.

When involuntary transfers are necessary, a teacher’s area of competence, major and/or minor field of study, quality of teaching performance, and length of service in the School system will be considered in determining which teacher is to be transferred. Teachers being involuntarily transferred will be transferred to comparable positions as far as is reasonably possible. No teacher shall suffer a reduction in salary level as a result of any transfer.

An involuntary transfer will be made only after a meeting between the teacher involved and the Superintendent-Director, or his designee, at which time the teacher will be notified of the reasons for the transfer. The final decision on all transfers must rest solely with the Superintendent-Director.

Any teacher who is involuntarily transferred and as a result of such transfer becomes subject to RIF shall be considered, for the purposes of RIF, to still be a member of the department from which he/she was involuntarily transferred.

8.4       All teacher workloads and extra duties shall be distributed equitably wherever possible. The School District shall not act arbitrarily and capriciously in establishing teachers’ workloads. The School District will schedule academic teachers for not more than thirty (30) periods per week or six (6) periods per day in addition to the homeroom period, and technical/vocational teachers for not more than seven (7) periods per day in addition to the homeroom period, except for any teacher who serves as a Department Chairperson any unassigned periods will be administrative periods. The School District will also make reasonable efforts to ensure that an academic teacher will not be assigned cafeteria duty, or duty period, or be asked to cover a class for another teacher when there is available another academic teacher with fewer assigned periods in the week and that a technical/vocational teacher will not be assigned cafeteria duty, or duty period, or be asked to cover a class for another teacher when there is available another technical/vocational teacher with fewer assigned periods in the week. For the purpose of this section, each cafeteria period is equivalent to 1/2 of an assigned period.

(a) In order to address the unique workload/duties of the teachers in the Support Services Department, the 60 regularly scheduled periods per two-weeks of special education teachers will include 5 assigned liaison periods over the two-week cycle to allow for the development of individual education plans, completion of assessment reports, and chairing TEAM meetings. The School District also recognizes that periods assigned by the Special Education Director, related to the completion of the re-evaluation process, including, but not limited to testing and re-evaluation coordination assignments, will be recognized as assigned periods.

8.5 Teachers working in an area requiring safety glasses and/or safety shoes/boots shall receive a $75 total reimbursement per year towards prescription safety glasses and/or safety shoes/boots.

IX       TEACHER EVALUATION

9.1       Evaluation and observation of personnel shall be the responsibility of the administration. The purposes of teacher evaluation are:

a.         To promote student learning, growth, and achievement by providing Educators with feedback for improvement, enhanced opportunities for professional growth, and clear structures for accountability,

b.         To provide a record of facts and assessments for personnel decisions,

c.         To ensure that the school committee has a system to enhance the professionalism and accountability of teachers that will enable them to assist all students to perform at high levels, and

d.         To assure effective teaching and leadership

The teacher evaluation forms will be made available to all teachers and will be included as part of the orientation materials presented to all new teachers. All formal shop/classroom observations and walk-throughs for purposes of evaluation of professional performance of a teacher will be conducted openly and with full knowledge of the teacher. The School District and the STA agree if changes are made to the evaluation instrument(s) through the joint labor-management review team process, then a copy of the revised instrument will be distributed to all teachers. The professional standards by which teacher performance will be evaluated are identified and described on the evaluation documents. Attached to this contract are copies of the evaluation instruments available for use during the length of this contract. Any future legislative initiatives, which impact teacher performance evaluation and require a change in the evaluation of teachers, shall not be implemented until appropriate negotiations have been concluded unless the law requires implementation prior to the conclusion of negotiations.

9.2 The type of educator plan that an individual teacher / SISP is placed in is determined by the Educator’s career stage and overall performance rating. Once the district has fully developed district determined measures [DDMs] in accordance with applicable legal requirements, then the rating of impact on student learning, growth and achievement will be included in plan placement. Until such measures are identified and data is available for at least three years, Educators will not be assessed as having high, moderate or low impact on student learning outcomes consistent with 603 CMR 35.09(3).

There shall be four types of Educator Plans:

1.     Developing Educator Plan -

a. The Developing Educator Plan is for all Educators without PTS, and, at the discretion of the Evaluator, Educators with PTS teaching in a new content area. At the beginning of each school year each teacher will be assigned a number from the department categories listed in 13.3(f) and will be evaluated on such category. To be considered as teaching in a new content area, a teacher would have to be notified that his/her department category has changed. When possible all changes shall be made before the start of the school year.

2.    Self-Directed Growth Plan –

a.   A Two-year Self-Directed Growth Plan is for those Educators with PTS who have an overall rating of proficient or exemplary, whose impact on student learning is moderate or high.

b.   A One-year Self-Directed Growth Plan is for those Educators with PTS who have an overall rating of proficient or exemplary, whose overall impact on student learning is low. In this case, the Evaluator and Educator shall analyze the discrepancy between the formative/summative evaluation rating and the rating for impact on student learning to seek to determine the cause(s) of the discrepancy.

3.   Directed Growth Plan –

a.   A (one-year) Directed Growth Plan is for those Educators with PTS whose overall rating is needs improvement on the summative evaluation report.

b.   The goals in the Plan must address areas identified as needing improvement as determined by the Evaluator based on evidence, observation and professional practice.

c.   The Evaluator shall complete a summative evaluation for the Educator at the end of the period determined by the Plan, and in no case later than May 15th.

d.   For an Educator on a Directed Growth Plan whose overall performance rating is at least proficient and has an impact rating of moderate or high, the

Evaluator will place the Educator on a two-year Self-Directed Growth Plan for the next Evaluation Cycle.

e.   For an Educator on a Directed Growth Plan whose overall performance rating is at least proficient and has an impact rating of low, the Evaluator may place the Educator on a one-year Self-Directed Growth Plan for the next Evaluation Cycle.

f.    For an Educator on a Directed Growth Plan whose overall performance rating is not at least proficient, the Evaluator will place the Educator on an Improvement Plan for the next Evaluation Cycle.

4. Improvement Plan – The Improvement Plan will be presented by the primary evaluator to the educator and be in existence for no fewer than 90 school days. It shall:

a.   Define the improvement goals directly related to the performance standard(s) and/or student learning outcomes that must be improved;

b.   Describe the activities and work products the Educator must complete as a means of improving performance;

c.   Describe the assistance that the district will make available to the Educator;

d.   Articulate the measurable outcomes that will be accepted as evidence of improvement;

e.   Detail the timeline for completion of each component of the Plan, including at a minimum a mid-cycle formative assessment report of the relevant standard(s) and indicator(s);

f.   Identify the individuals assigned to assist the Educator which must include minimally the Supervising Evaluator; and,

g.   Include the signatures of the Educator, the Primary Evaluator, and Supervising Evaluator.

A copy of the signed Plan shall be provided to the Educator. The Educator’s signature indicates that the Educator received the Improvement Plan in a timely fashion. The signature does not indicate agreement or disagreement with its contents.

Decision on the Educator’s status at the conclusion of the Improvement Plan.

All determinations below must be made no later than June 1.   One of these decisions must be made at the conclusion of the Improvement Plan:

1.   If the Primary Evaluator determines that the Educator has improved his/her practice to the level of proficiency and has an impact rating of moderate or high, the Educator will be placed on a two-year Self-Directed Growth Plan .

2.   In those cases where the Educator was placed on an Improvement Plan as a result of his/her summative rating at the end of his/her Directed Growth Plan, if the Primary Evaluator determines that the Educator is making substantial progress toward proficiency and has an impact rating of low, the Evaluator shall place the Educator on a one-year Directed Growth Plan.

3.   In those cases where the Educator was placed on an Improvement Plan as a result of his/her Summative rating at the end of his/her Directed Growth Plan, if the Primary Evaluator determines that the Educator is not making substantial progress toward proficiency, the Primary Evaluator shall recommend to the superintendent that the Educator be dismissed.

4.   If the Evaluator determines that the Educator’s practice remains at the level of unsatisfactory, the Evaluator shall recommend to the superintendent that the Educator be dismissed.

5.   The District may extend the duration of the Educator’s Improvement Plan at the discretion of the primary evaluator.

The purpose of evaluation is to assist teachers in improving their performance and to provide a record of facts and assessments for personnel decisions. The assessment methods used to gather information on teacher performance shall be fair and shall be applied in a manner which is neither arbitrary nor capricious. All evaluations should be free of racial, sexual, religious and other illegal discrimination and biases as defined in state and federal law. The districts evaluators will assess all evaluated individuals with the same evaluation methods and the same requirements for gathering of artifacts that document professional practice. The assessment methods and frequency of observations can be different for each of the four types of education plans [Developing Educator Plan; Self-Directed Growth Plan; Directed Growth Plan; and Improvement Plan] and will be clearly explained by the Superintendent or their designee to ensure the evaluated educator understands what is expected to be successful throughout the evaluation process. At the discretion of administration, any teacher – regardless of status – may be observed at any time by either the primary evaluator or supervising evaluator or the supervising evaluator’s designee. At the discretion of the administration, any teacher on an Improvement Plan - regardless of status - may be evaluated by both the primary evaluator and supervising evaluator, or the supervising evaluator’s designee. Observation and evaluation can occur at any time during the school year.

The evaluation process will include the following:

1.        Announced Observations

a.         An announced observation will be defined as an observation of a teacher's teaching performance by either the primary evaluator or supervising evaluator or the supervising evaluator’s designee, but not more than one evaluator shall observe a teacher at any one observation, for the purpose of documenting the effectiveness of the teacher in meeting the standards as identified and described on the Formal Evaluation Document.

b.         All announced shop/classroom observations shall be for at least twenty-five (25) minutes in duration. Whenever possible the evaluator should stay for an entire lesson.

i. For non-PTS announced observations will occur at least once during each of the first three (3) student marking periods. Twenty-four (24) hour written notice shall be given to the teacher being evaluated.

ii.   For PTS on a two-year, self-directed growth plan, announced observations will occur at least twice (2) during an evaluation cycle during different marking periods.

iii.   For PTS on a one-year, self-directed growth plan, announced observations will occur at least twice (2) during an evaluation cycle during different marking periods.

 iv.   For PTS on a one-year, directed growth plan, announced observations will occur at least three (3) times during an evaluation cycle during different marking periods.

v.   For PTS on an improvement plan, announced observations will occur at least twice (2) during an evaluation cycle.

vi.   Any  observation  resulting  in  one  or  more  standards  judged  to  be unsatisfactory or needs improvement for the first time must be followed by at least one observation within 30 school days.

2.          Unannounced Observations

a. An unannounced observation will be defined as an observation of a teacher's professional performance by either the primary evaluator or supervising evaluator or the supervising evaluator’s designee, but not more than one evaluator shall observe a teacher at any one time, for the purpose of documenting teacher performance for a minimum of ten (10) minutes.

i.         Unannounced observations may be in the form of partial or full-period visitations or other means deemed useful and conducted by the Evaluator(s).

ii.        The Educator will be provided with at least a written observation report from the Evaluator, which shall consist minimally of the Evaluator’s claim of Educator performance and (when observed) the Educator’s progress toward his/her professional practice and student learning goals.

iii. Any observation resulting in one or more standards judged to be unsatisfactory or needs improvement for the first time must be followed by at least one observation within thirty (30) school days.

iv. For non-PTS, unannounced observations will occur at least two (2) times during an evaluation cycle.

v.        For   PTS   on   a   two-year,   self-directed   growth   plan,   unannounced observations will occur at least once (1) during the evaluation cycle.

vi. For PTS on a one-year, self-directed growth plan, unannounced observations will occur at least once (1) during the evaluation cycle.

vii. For PTS on a one-year directed growth plan, unannounced observations will occur at least one (1) time during the evaluation cycle.

viii. For PTS on an improvement plan, unannounced observations will occur at least twice (2) during the evaluation cycle.

Any   negative   observations   under   9.2.1    (Announced   Observations)    and   9.2.2 (Unannounced Observations) shall be brought to the attention of the teacher within three (3) school days. The evaluator shall reduce the observation to writing and shall be available to meet with the teacher and to offer specific written suggestions for improvement. This meeting will take place within a period of five (5) school days from the time the teacher was made aware of the negative observation. Any negative observation made under 9.2.1 (Announced Observations) and 9.2.2 (Unannounced Observations) must meet these requirements in order to be used as a basis for a negative mark or comment on the Formative or Summative evaluation report and be placed in the teacher's personnel file.

The teacher will acknowledge that he/she has had the opportunity to review such observation reports by affixing his/her signature to the copy to be filed with the express understanding that such signature in no way indicates agreement with the contents thereof. The teacher will also have the right to submit a written answer to such material and his/her answer shall be attached to the file copy.

3.        Formative and Summative Evaluation Report

a.        A written Formative evaluation report will be produced at the conclusion of the first half of the observation process. This report will include information and professional judgment that was obtained through documented observation, evidence, and artifacts found during the evaluation period. The Formative evaluation report will be completed no later than seven (7) school days prior to the midpoint of the evaluation cycle. A written Summative evaluation report will be produced at the conclusion of the evaluation cycle, and will be used to arrive at a rating on each standard, an overall rating, and as a basis to make personnel decisions. The Summative Evaluation includes the Evaluator’s judgments of the Educator’s performance against Performance Standards and the Educator’s attainment of goals set forth in the Educator’s Plan. This report will include information and professional judgment that was obtained through documented observation, evidence, and artifacts found during the evaluation period. The Summative evaluation report will be completed no later than twelve (12) school days prior to the end of the evaluation cycle, or the end of the school year, whichever comes first.

9.3       There shall be four performance ratings for the four standards of effective teaching based on the formative/summative rating scale:

The final Formative and Summative Rating for all overall evaluations will use the following guidelines:

    Standards I and II have a point value scale of 9 / 6 / 3 / 1

    Standards III and IV have a point value scale of 6 / 4 / 2 / 1

    The rating scale has a maximum of 30 points and a minimum of 4 points.

    To be proficient overall, an educator must be at least proficient in standards I & II

Standard

Exemplary

Proficient

Needs Improvement

Unsatisfactory

I

9

6

3

1

II

9

6

3

1

III

6

4

2

1

IV

6

4

2

1

Overall formative and summative evaluation ratings by level are as follows:

Exemplary:                30 – 26

Proficient:                 25 – 16

Needs

Improvement:            15 – 8

Unsatisfactory:           7 – 4

At a minimum, a teacher must be proficient in Standards 1 and 2 to receive an overall rating of proficient for the rating period.  The Educator’s overall performance rating is based on the Evaluator’s  documented observations  and examination of evidence of the Educator’s performance against the four Performance Standards and the Educator’s attainment of goals set forth in the Educator Plan, as follows:

i.   Standard 1: Curriculum, Planning and Assessment

ii.   Standard 2: Teaching All Students

iii.   Standard 3: Family and Community Engagement

iv.   Standard 4: Professional Culture

v.   Attainment of Professional Practice Goal(s)

vi.   Attainment of Student Learning Goal(s)

The educator's rating shall be assumed to be the same as the previous summative rating unless evidence demonstrates  a significant change in  performance in which case the rating on Performance Standards may change. In this regard, evidence will be in the form of documented announced and unannounced observations, requested artifacts of professional practice, and measures of student learning, growth, and achievement.

Within an individual element of the evaluation rubric, the formative / summative rating for that element will be equal to the rating for the majority of evidence found for that element throughout the rating cycle. Evidence means documented announced and unannounced observations, artifacts of professional practice, and measures of student learning, growth and achievement. It is assumed that an educator is proficient within an individual element unless evidence substantiates otherwise.

Within each standard of the evaluation rubric, the formative / summative rating for that standard will be equal to the rating for the majority of the elements within that standard. Evidence means documented announced and unannounced observations, artifacts of professional practice, and measures of student learning, growth and achievement.

9.4        Evaluation Annual Orientation

At the start of each school year, the Superintendent, Principal, or designee shall conduct a meeting for Educators and Evaluators focused substantially on educator evaluation. The superintendent, principal or designee shall:

1.   Provide an overview of the evaluation process, including goal setting and the educator plans.

2.   Provide all Educators with directions for obtaining a copy of the forms used by the district. Each form must include definitions and descriptions that clearly state the final product that must be completed to ensure an effective evaluation process.

3.   Provide all Educators being evaluated with a full description of all District Determined Measures [DDM] within the District for which data are being collected. Additionally, the Educators evaluator will ensure that all individuals that are being evaluated understand which two, but not more than four DDM’s they are to focus on during that school year.

4.   Provide all Educators being evaluated with models of SMART Goals that can be used to assist in the development of the individuals SMART Goals [Professional Practice Smart Goals means: At least one, but no more than two goals related to improvement of practice tied to one or more Performance Standards; Student Learning Smart Goals means: At least one, but no more than two goals for the improvement the learning, growth and achievement of the students under the Educator’s responsibility.]

5.   Provide all Educators with the District Goals, Departments Goals, and Supervisors Goals to assist in the development of the individual’s self-assessment and SMART Goal development.

6.   Provide all Educators with typical but not exhaustive models of artifacts / evidence related to the respective standards.

7.   When possible, exemplar forms will be provided to assist teachers in the completion of their individual evaluation forms.

8.   Provide all Educators with their primary evaluator and supervisory evaluator for the current evaluation timeframe.

9.   Provide the districts focus / high priority elements for each of the four standards within the evaluation rubric that will be used during that school year.

9.5      Rating Impact / District Determined Measures

All data analysis for determining measures or impact and all identification & piloting of additional DDMs shall be subject to recommendation to the Superintendent by the Joint Labor-Management Evaluation Team.

DDMs to be used for data collection during 2014-2015 school year include the following:

Department/Educators                                     DDM

CVTE (all Chapter 74 programs)                  Junior/senior placement rates compared to other Chapter 74 programs in Massachusetts

English                                                                  MCAS Student Growth Percentiles

History                                                                  District-developed assessment of U.S. History I (Colonization to  Civil War) knowledge

Mathematics                                                        MCAS Student Growth Percentiles

Physical Education                                            District-developed assessment of knowledge of technique, rules,  research, etc. pertaining to swimming, fitness, sports games & wellness.

Science                                                                  District-developed assessment of Cellular Biology knowledge

SISP/Dean's Office                                            Student Average daily attendance compared to other secondary schools in Massachusetts

SISP/Guidance                                                    Student Average daily attendance compared to other secondary schools in Massachusetts

Additional DDMs shall be subject to recommendation to the Superintendent by the Joint Labor-Management Evaluation Team.

1.   All STA Members must be assigned two (2) District Determined Measures before any District Determined Measure is used as part of the evaluation process.

2.   The implementation of a district determined measure for any member commences at the beginning of the member’s evaluation cycle.

To qualify as a District Determined Measure, an assessment must meet the following criteria.

1.   All DDM’s must have at least three years of data to determine the definitions of High, Moderate, and Low student growth.

2.   Every Educator will need at least two assigned DDM’s, but no more than four assigned DDM’s that will be identified at the beginning of each school year. When feasible, assessment results should be compared to regional, state, or national norms or benchmarks.

3.   All DDM’s attributed to an educator (based on their role in the district) must have a primary or shared level of responsibility as defined in Part VII: Rating Educator Impact on Student Learning Using District-Determined Measures of Student Learning, Growth and Achievement.

4.   Areas of limited responsibility will not be used as a DDM assignment, based on the role of the educator in the district.

5.   Additional DDMs shall be subject to the requirements as contained in Section 9.6 of the contract.

All educators will be given the opportunity to verify the roster of students that are being used for each specific DDM that they are assigned. A student must have been in the teacher’s class/SISP case load a minimum of 80% of the school year to be counted within the roster of a DDM. Also, the students attributed to an educator must have a primary or shared level of responsibility as defined in Part VII:: Rating Educator Impact on Student Learning Using District-Determined Measures of Student Learning, Growth and Achievement. Students with a limited level of responsibility as defined in Part VII will be removed from the roster of students within any assigned DDM.

DDM overall rating rule of thumb: If there is a majority of ratings in one level (High, Moderate, Low), then the educator is that level overall. When there is no clear pattern/trend obtained in any one rating level, then the educator is rated Moderate overall.

Timelines (Dates in italics are for planning purposes only)

Activity:

Completed By:

Superintendent, principal or designee meets with evaluators and educators to explain evaluation process

15-Sep

Evaluator meets with first-year educators to assist in self-assessment and goal setting process   Educator submits self-assessment and proposed goals

1-Oct

Evaluator meets with Educators in teams or individually to establish Educator Plans (Educator Plan may be established at Summative Evaluation Report meeting in prior school year)

15-Oct

Evaluator completes Educator Plans

1-Nov

Evaluator should complete first observation of each Educator

15-Nov

Educator submits evidence on parent outreach, professional growth, progress on goals (and other standards, if desired) * or four weeks before Formative Assessment Report date established by Evaluator

January 5*

Evaluator should complete mid-cycle Formative Assessment Reports for Educators on one-year Educator Plans

1-Feb

Evaluator holds Formative Assessment Meetings if requested by either Evaluator or Educator

15-Feb

Educator submits evidence on parent outreach, professional growth, progress on goals (and other standards, if desired) *or 4 weeks prior to Summative Evaluation Report date established by evaluator

April 20*

Evaluator completes Summative Evaluation Report

15-May

Evaluator meets with Educators whose overall Summative Evaluation ratings are Needs Improvement or Unsatisfactory

1-Jun

Evaluator meets with Educators whose ratings are proficient or exemplary at request of Evaluator or Educator

10-Jun

Educator signs Summative Evaluation Report and adds response, if any within 5 school days of receipt

15-Jun

Educators with PTS on Two Year Plans

 

Activity:

Completed By:

Evaluator completes announced observations (s)

Per Section 9.2

Evaluator completes unannounced observation(s)

Per Section 9.2

Evaluator completes Formative Evaluation Report

June 1 of Year 1

Evaluator conducts Formative Evaluation Meeting, if any

June 1 of Year 1

Evaluator completes Summative Evaluation Report

May 15 of Year 2

Evaluator conducts Summative Evaluation Meeting, if any

June 10 of Year 2

Evaluator and Educator sign Summative Evaluation Report

June 15 of Year 2

Educators on Plans of Less than One Year for Non PTS and less than two years for PTS on other than a self-directed plan will have timelines established within the educator plan. Frequency data for all evaluations by type and member shall be given to the STA President twice yearly, once at the midpoint of the school year and once before the end of the school year. Using Staff feedback in Educator Evaluation – ESE will provide model contract language, direction and guidance on using staff feedback in Educator Evaluation. Upon receiving this model contract language, direction and guidance, the parties agree to bargain with respect to this matter.

Transition from Existing Evaluation System

1.         The parties may agree that 50% or more of Educators in the district will be evaluated under the new procedures at the outset of this Agreement, and 50% or fewer will be evaluated under the former evaluation procedures for the first year of implementation of the new procedures in this Agreement. All educators that have received satisfactory in their formal evaluation under the existing evaluation system in the school year 2013-14, will be in the first year of the two year self directed plan. All educators that were not formally evaluated under the existing evaluation system in the school year 2013-14, will be evaluated under the old evaluation system in the 2014-15 school year.

2.         The existing evaluation system will remain in effect until the provisions set forth in this Article are implemented.

9.6         The   parties   agree   to   establish   a   joint   labor-management   evaluation   team consisting of four members representing the district and four members representing the STA. All decisions from the team must have at least a six vote consensus before implementation / adjustments to the evaluation process are implemented.   The team shall review the evaluation processes and procedures throughout the first three years of implementation and vote on adjustments that are needed to facilitate a fair, unbiased, and equitable evaluation process for all of the parties. Violations of this article are subject to the grievance and arbitration procedures. The arbitrator shall determine whether there was substantial compliance with the evaluation process.

X         PROFESSIONAL CONSULTATIONS

10.1     In recognition of the professional standing of teachers and the fact that teachers’ ideas and opinions expressed are of significant value in improving the quality of education in, as well as the efficient and economical operation of, the School and in recognition of the knowledge, ideas, and opinions of teachers, the Committee agrees that professional consultations shall be held as needed for a duration no longer than two hours. The Association and the Committee (or its designated representative) will, upon the request of either of them, meet at a reasonable time and place to consult about any matters deemed necessary by either party. The frequency and/or length of such meetings may be extended by mutual agreement.

10.2     The parties agree that ten (10) days prior to the date scheduled for said meeting, they will exchange written articles for said meetings.   The agenda for said meeting shall be composed of these articles with articles from each party alternating insofar as possible with articles from the other party, with the first article to be discussed that of the moving party.

10.3     It is further agreed that the provisions of this Section will in no way be construed as broadening the scope of other sections of this agreement, or broadening the application of this Agreement as a whole, nor will these provisions make any matter a mandatory subject of discussion at any time other than at the consultations described in this Section, nor will these provisions make any matter a grievance that would not be a grievance in the absence of these provisions.

10.4     Typical, but by no means exclusive of the subjects expected to be discussed in consultations, are those of class size, or pupil-teacher load, curriculum development, coaching duties, substitutes, etc.

XI        PROMOTIONS - VACANCIES - TRANSFERS

11.1 Promotional positions and coaching positions shall be publicized by a notice posted during the school year for ten (10) calendar days (but, in the event of an intervening school vacation, for at least three (3) days that school is in session) in advance of filling such vacancy. Such notice shall clearly set forth the specific qualifications and compensation for the position and the date by which applications shall be filed with the Superintendent-Director. During the months of July and August, copies of such notice will be mailed to all members of the staff, or if a department Chairperson’s position or lead teacher’s position to all staff members within such department, at least fifteen (15) calendar days in advance of filling such vacancy if the notices are mailed prior to August 15, and at least ten (10) calendar days in advance of filling such vacancy if the notices are mailed on or after August 15. The filling of such promotional positions is by law either the responsibility of the School Committee acting upon and with the advice of the Superintendent-Director, or the responsibility of the Superintendent-Director, or the responsibility of the Principal with the approval of the Superintendent-Director. Within the meaning of this Article XI, a “promotional position” as to a particular teacher is a position within the bargaining unit that carries with it a salary differential (increase) for such teacher, plus the positions of Superintendent-Director, Assistant Superintendent-Director/Principal and all other directors employed by the School District.

11.2     Such promotions, as well as transfers, shall be based upon the judgment of the appointing party as to what best serves the students, and the appointing party will consider knowledge, ability, skill, efficiency, attendance, physical conditions, general health, character, and personality of the applicants. Such vacancies will, to the extent possible, be filled first by regularly appointed teachers in the system where, in the opinion of the appointing party, those teachers possess qualifications equal to those of candidates outside the School system. It is recognized that the final decision as to whether or not transfers are made or to whom promotions are granted must rest solely with the appointing party subject to appropriate approvals. All applicants will be notified of the disposition of their applications.

11.3     All teaching openings outside of the regular day school program, for example summer school, adult education programs or positions under grants will be adequately publicized by the Superintendent-Director as early as possible and teachers who have applied for such positions will be notified of the action taken regarding their applications as early as possible.

11.4     Teaching positions in the Shawsheen Valley Regional Vocational Technical Summer School and positions under Federal programs, with the exception of performance grants, will be filled as follows:

(a)       On the basis of area(s) of competence/licensure, and quality of teaching performance. (In the case of tutoring, the work will first be offered to the student’s teacher, if available, and then to other members of the relevant department on the basis of area of competence/licensure, and quality of teaching performance).

(b)       If no available members of the relevant department apply for the position in timely fashion, the Committee may fill the position with any member of the bargaining unit who applied for such position in timely fashion, and such selection shall not be subject to the grievance procedure or arbitration hereunder.

(c)        If no available members of the relevant department apply for the position in timely fashion, the Committee will fill the position first by regularly appointed teachers in the system (including new teachers who have been hired for the next school year) where, in the opinion of the Committee, those teachers possess qualifications equal to those of candidates outside the bargaining unit, based on the posted qualifications as determined by the Committee from time to time.

(d)       In the case of Performance Grants (i.e., grants in which the receipt of monies by the School District requires successfully meeting the stated outcome criteria) the position shall be filled at the discretion of the Superintendent-Director.

(e)        For the purposes of this Section 11.4 only:

(i) a teacher shall be considered a member of a department only if the teacher holds the requisite certification for the position and is teaching or has taught in the department on at least a half-time basis in the teacher holds the requisite certification for the position and is teaching or has taught in the department on at least a half-time basis in the current or preceding school year in the regular day school. However, in the event that no such available member of relevant department applies for the position, a teacher shall be considered a member of a department if the teacher holds the requisite certification for the position and is teaching or has taught in the department on less than a 1/2 time basis in the current or preceding school year in the regular day school.

(ii) a course is not within a “relevant department” if the content of the course is substantially different from course taught at the High School in the regular day school.

(f)        The President of the Association shall be provided with a list of Shawsheen applicants for such positions by the end of the school week following the application deadline.

XII      GENERAL

12.1     No teacher with professional teacher status will be discharged or suspended without pay or be subject to major disciplinary sanctions without just cause. For the purposes of this article, “dismissal” shall mean dismissed from employment during the school year for any disciplinary reason and shall not include any decision by the District not to reappoint a teacher to employment for any school year. For purposes of the provision, “major disciplinary sanction” shall mean disciplinary action taken with respect to a teacher which involves either (i) loss of or reduction in pay or (ii) a written warning or statement which is placed in the teacher’s personnel file. It is also understood that “just cause” includes but is not limited to any violation of the provisions of Article XXVIII (Continuity of Operations).

12.2     A teacher without professional teacher status shall not be dismissed until he/she has been furnished with written notice of intent to dismiss and with an explanation of the grounds for dismissal in sufficient detail to permit the teacher to respond and documents relating to the grounds for dismissal, and if he/she so requests, has been given a reasonable opportunity within ten (10) school days after receiving such written notice to review the decision with the Principal or the Superintendent-Director, as the case may be, and to present information pertaining to the basis for the decision and to the teacher’s status. The teacher receiving such notice may be represented by an attorney, one MTA representative and one STA representative at such a meeting with the Principal or Superintendent-Director. Teachers without professional teacher status shall otherwise be deemed employees at will. Neither this section nor Section 12.1 shall affect the right of the Superintendent-Director to lay off teachers pursuant to reductions in force, reorganization resulting from declining enrollments, non-reappointment of teachers without professional teacher status.

12.3     Teachers with professional teacher status, pursuant to Section 41 of Chapter 71 of the Massachusetts General Laws, shall not be dismissed except for inefficiency, incompetency, incapacity, conduct unbecoming a teacher, insubordination, or failure on the part of the teacher to satisfy teacher performance standards developed pursuant to Section 38 of Chapter 71, or other just cause.

A teacher with professional teacher status may seek review of a dismissal decision within thirty (30) days after receiving written notice of his dismissal by filing a petition for arbitration with the Commissioner of Education and following the arbitration process as detailed in Section 42 of Chapter 71 of the Massachusetts General Laws. The arbitration procedure under Article XXVII shall not apply to a dismissal.

12.4     The Superintendent-Director and/or Principal may suspend for just cause any teacher employed by the School District subject to the following provisions: the teacher shall have seven (7) days written notice of intent to suspend and the grounds upon which the suspension is to be imposed; provided, however, that the Superintendent may, for good cause, require the immediate suspension of any teacher, in which case the teacher shall receive written notice of the immediate suspension and the cause therefore at the time the suspension is imposed. The teacher shall be entitled (i) to review the decision to suspend with the Superintendent-Director or Principal if said decision to suspend was made by the Principal; (ii) to be represented by counsel, one MTA representative and one STA Association representative in such meetings; (iii) to provide information pertinent to the decision and to the employee’s status. No teacher shall be suspended for a period exceeding one (1) month, except with the consent of the teacher.

No teacher shall be interrogated prior to any written notice given to him/her relative to the suspension unless the teacher is notified of his/her right to be represented by counsel during such investigation. A suspended teacher may seek review of the suspension by following the arbitration process set forth in Section 42 of Chapter 71 of the Massachusetts General Laws. The arbitration procedure under Article XXVII shall not apply to a suspension. In the event of a change in this law, the District and Teachers Association will enter into immediate negotiations.

Nothing in this section shall limit the Superintendent-Director or Principal from placing any teacher on paid administrative leave. Such leave shall not be subject to any grievance procedure.

12.5     In the event that pay is to be withheld from a teacher for non-disciplinary reasons (i.e., the taking of a personal day without pay, absence from work because of illness following the exhaustion of authorized sick leave) such pay shall be withheld from such teacher’s summer paycheck.

12.6     If the Principal plans to recommend that a teacher without professional teacher status not be reappointed, such teacher shall be informed in writing by June 5 or twelve (12) school days before the close of school, whichever comes later. Such teacher shall have the right to discuss the matter with either the Superintendent-Director or Principal provided such teacher requests a meeting in writing five (5) school days after receiving the Principal’s decision. Such meeting will be held prior to June 15. If the Principal recommends the reappointment of a teacher and the Superintendent-Director does not approve the reappointment of the teacher, the teacher shall have the right to discuss the matter with the Superintendent-Director and may be accompanied by counsel or other representative, if he/she so desires.

12.7     It is clearly recognized coaching and extra-curricular activity positions are yearly appointments determined by the Superintendent-Director within the budgetary provisions determined by the School Committee.

12.8     It is clearly recognized Lead Teacher and Department Chairperson positions are yearly appointments determined by the Principal subject to the approval of the Superintendent-Director within the budgetary provisions determined by the School Committee. Department Chairpersons will be protected consistent with the provisions of Chapter 71 Section 41 of the Massachusetts General Laws.

12.9     In an effort to promote participatory decision-making among all professional staff for the purpose of developing educational policy recommendations, the Principal shall develop a Professional Development Committee to ensure the intent of Section 38Q of Chapter 71 of the Massachusetts General Laws is met. Said Committee shall consist of at least fifty (50%) percent teachers with two (2) appointments by the Teachers Association.

12.10  The aggregate teaching load of part-time teachers in any particular department or certification area will equal or exceed the equivalent of one full-time teacher only if the District is unable to hire a full-time teacher for the particular position. The District will not hire a teacher on a part-time basis for any department as to which teachers have recall rights. In the event that the aggregate teaching load of part-time teachers in a particular department equals or exceeds one full-time equivalent, the District will post such full-time position and endeavor to recruit a full-time teacher for the following year as long as such condition exists.

12.11        Teachers have the right, upon request, to review the contents of their personnel file. No new material will be placed in his/her personnel file unless the teacher has had an opportunity to review that material. The teacher will acknowledge that he/she has had the opportunity to review such material by affixing his/her signature to the copy to be filed.

The teacher will have the right to submit a written answer to such material and his/her answer shall be reviewed by the Superintendent-Director or Principal, as appropriate, and attached to the file copy. Any complaint which the Superintendent-Director or Principal, as appropriate, regards as having substance concerning a teacher by any parent, student, or other person will promptly be called to the attention of the teacher. Nothing in this paragraph shall limit the rights of the School District to add letters of reprimand or praise regarding the professional performance or conduct of a teacher.

12.12 The Association recognizes the authority and responsibility of the Superintendent-Director and his Assistants for maintaining the highest possible level of professional performance by the teachers, including therein the authority and responsibility for disciplining or reprimanding teachers for delinquency in professional performance. Said disciplining or reprimanding shall be done in private. If the Superintendent-Director, Assistant Superintendent-Director or Principal requires a teacher to meet with him for the imposition of a serious disciplinary sanction, such as a written warning or suspension without pay, such teacher shall be entitled upon request to have representation from the Association present. This entitlement shall not delay the orderly administration of such disciplinary sanction.

XIII    REDUCTION IN STAFF

13.1     The School District retains the right to reduce the number of teachers with professional status on its staff (hereinafter referred to as “reduction in staff”). The decision to reduce staff shall not be subject to the grievance and arbitration procedures of this contract. As between teachers with professional status and teachers without teacher professional status, the provisions of applicable law shall apply with respect to reduction in staff.

13.2     The order in which teachers with professional status shall be reduced from a department shall be on the basis of seniority, with the least senior teacher(s) reduced first, except that if there is a significant difference in performance, as evidenced by the written evaluations of the five most recent years, between such least senior teacher(s) and other teachers in such department, the teacher(s) whose performance is significantly better shall be retained and said other teacher(s) with the next shortest length of service whose performance is not significantly better shall be reduced first.

13.3     For the purpose of this Article:

(a)       Seniority means length of continuous employment in the Regional School District (whether or not in a position specified in Article 1 of this Agreement, its predecessors or successors), in years, months, and calendar days, beginning with the first day worked in a permanent position and including any periods of authorized leave of absence. Ties in length of service shall be resolved by lot. Professional employees of the School Committee hired after September 1, 1992 and employed in positions not in the bargaining unit shall accrue seniority for their first three (3) years of such employment provided that they had accrued at least five (5) years of seniority within the unit immediately prior to their employment outside the unit.

(b)       Layoff means an unpaid leave of absence to be granted by the Committee for a period of two years from the effective date of the reduction-in-force of a teacher; provided that said teacher has waived in writing, within ten (10) calendar days after receipt of a notice of reduction-in-force, any present or future rights to a dismissal hearing he or she may have pursuant to Chapter 71, Section 42, of the Massachusetts General Laws.

(c)       Recall means the right, during layoff, to return to a position in the department from which a teacher was originally laid off in the reverse order in which said teacher was laid off. The Committee will vote on each layoff individually in the order required by Section 13.2 and the order of layoff shall be established by the sequence in which the votes were taken. An up-to-date list of recall order by department shall be maintained by the Superintendent-Director and shall be available to the Association upon request.

(d)       Terminated means dismissed pursuant to Chapter 71, Sections 42.

(e)       Vacancy for purposes of returning a laid-off teacher who has been recalled to active service shall exist only after the School District has met any other obligations it has pursuant to any other provisions of this Agreement or any state or federal law.

(f)        Department categories shall include, but not to be limited to:

(1) English, (2) science, (3) math, (4) social studies, (5) physical education, (6) guidance, (7) special needs/support services, (8) reading, (9) automotive collision repair & refinishing, (10) automotive technology, (11) metal fabrication & joining technologies, (12) machine tool technology, (13) health assisting, (14) cosmetology, (15) business technology, (16) information support services & networking, (17) carpentry, (18) plumbing, (19) electricity, (20) masonry & tile setting, (21) heating, ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration. (22) drafting, (23) graphic communications, (24) design & visual communication, (25) electronics, (26) culinary arts/baking, (27) marketing, (28) programming & web development and other departments established by the School Committee which do not subdivide any aforementioned departments.

The Committee may, at its sole discretion, identify the following narrower departments if it deems that the needs of the system so require: In metal fabrication - metal fabrication & joining technologies; in graphic arts - pre-press, offset press (printing), and typesetting; in health occupations – health assisting, medical lab assisting and dental assisting; in science - biology, chemistry, and physics; in physical education - physical education and health; in culinary arts -baking and culinary (hospitality); in electronics - electromechanical technology and digital electronics; and in internet – networking.

In the event that the School Committee identifies any such narrower departments, a teacher shall be deemed to be a member of any such narrower department in which the teacher has taught in the regular day school and holds the requisite certification.

A teacher who is on leave of absence from his or her department because of sick leave, personal leave, sabbatical leave, extended leave, maternity leave, or any other leave shall for the purposes of this Article be considered as a member of the department from which he or she is on leave.

13.4 Under normal circumstances, a teacher to be affected by a reduction in force shall be notified (by letter from the Superintendent-Director) by April 15 of the school year in which the reduction is to be affected except that if, as a result of the regional school district budget process specified in Chapter 71, Section 16B, no District budget is approved, or the total amount of the District budget which is so approved and funded by appropriations of the member Towns is at least 1% less than total amount of assessments to the Towns as set forth in the budget initially adopted by the Committee, then teachers who are to be affected by the reduction in staff will be notified by the Superintendent-Director within fourteen (14) calendar days after approval by the member Towns of such a reduced budget.

13.5     If a teacher wishes to elect lay-off status (rather than termination) said teacher must notify the Superintendent-Director, in writing, within ten (10) days of the receipt of the RIF notice, that he or she waives any present or future rights to a dismissal hearing which he or she may have pursuant to Chapter 71, Section 42 of the Massachusetts General Laws.

13.6     If subsequent to a RIF notice a vacancy occurs in a department from which teachers have been reduced and elected lay-off status, a recall notice shall be sent via certified mail to the teacher most recently reduced from the department in which the vacancy exists who has elected lay-off status. If a teacher fails to notify the Superintendent-Director within fourteen (14) calendar days of the attempted delivery of a recall notice of his or her intent to accept recall, said teacher shall forfeit all rights and benefits provided for in this Agreement. A teacher who accepts recall must commence work on the date set forth in the recall notice or within twenty-one (21) calendar days of the attempted delivery of the recall notice, whichever is later. Teachers with recall rights are required to keep the Superintendent-Director informed of their current mailing address, including any temporary address where they can be reached if they will be traveling or otherwise away from their home mailing address. During the two-year recall period, teachers who have been laid off shall be given preference on the substitute list if they so desire.

13.7     Teachers who have been laid off under this Article will be permitted to pay the entire premium cost of membership in the Group Health Insurance Plan and Life Insurance Plan for the period of one year provided that no town or state law, regulation, or policy of the insurer is contravened.

XIV    USE OF SCHOOL FACILITIES

14.1     Priority for the use of School facilities will be given to School functions.

14.2     The general policy of the Committee is to permit the use of School facilities for educational, recreational, and civic purposes insofar as is practical to do so without interference with regular School activities. Nothing in this Agreement should be construed as denying the broadest use of these facilities to the citizens of the School District.

14.3     The Association will have the right to use School facilities without cost in accordance with Committee policy concerning such use. Request for such use will be made to the Superintendent-Director in advance of the time and place of all such meetings.

14.4     Association notices may be posted on existing bulletin boards, places where notices are normally posted either in the faculty lounge or faculty lunchroom, or through electronic mail.

(a)        if such notice is signed by an authorized representative of the Association, and

(b)       if the content of the notice is limited to announcements of recreational or social activities; announcements of elections, appointments and results of elections; and announcements of meetings.

Copies of all such notices shall first be filed with the Superintendent-Director and any such notice shall be limited to presenting factual data and in no event shall contain inflammatory language or intent. There will be at least one bulletin board reserved in whole or in part for Association use in accordance with the terms and conditions stated in this Agreement.

14.5     The Association may prepare, at no cost to the School District, communications relating to the conduct of the business of the Association and may distribute these through the teachers’ mail boxes to persons covered by this Agreement. Such distribution may be made only by a person authorized to do so by the Association and only upon such person’s notifying the Superintendent-Director that such distribution is being made.

14.6     Those areas presently designated as faculty workrooms, lounges, and rest rooms will not be utilized for any other purpose, except in the case of an emergency. In non-emergency situations, such areas may be so utilized only if the substantial equivalents thereof are provided and only if any changes in current utilization have first been discussed with the Association. Faculty members are required, when using facilities normally assigned to the faculty, to remove any debris or material after each such use, so as to maintain a reasonable level of housekeeping in those areas.

XV     TEACHERS’ LEGAL ASSISTANCE

15.1 Teachers will immediately report all cases of assault suffered by them in connection with their employment to the Superintendent-Director in writing.

15.2     This report will be forwarded to the School Committee which will comply with any reasonable request from the teacher for information in its possession relating to the incident or the persons involved, and will act in appropriate ways as liaison between the teachers, the police, and the courts.

15.3     The rights of the teacher to indemnification against certain actions and claims and to legal assistance will be governed by General Laws Chapter 258.

15.4     In case of personal injury to a teacher sustained as a result of and in the performance of his duties, the Superintendent’s office will notify the Massachusetts Teachers’ Retirement Board as required by General Laws Chapter 32, Section 7, and will provide a copy of such notification to the teacher.

XVI    SCHOOL NURSE

The school nurse will work the same number of days as the teachers covered by this contract. The school nurse will be eligible for all other benefits provided teachers by this Agreement.

XVII   PLACEMENT COUNSELOR, DEAN OF STUDENTS, DEPARTMENT CHAIR, ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION, HOUSE PROJECT

A.         Placement Counselor

Because of the nature of the duties and responsibilities of the Placement Counselor, he/she shall work the hours that school offices are open (currently 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.) during the school year and shall work six (6) hours per day during the period between the end of one school year and the beginning of the next on times approved by the Superintendent-Director. In addition, the placement counselor shall work during such additional evening and/or weekend hours as are appropriate to the responsible discharge of his/her duties and responsibilities, but he/she shall be eligible for compensatory time off for any such additional evening or weekend hours beyond the requirements of Section 6.5 of the contract. The Placement Counselor shall work the days that school offices are open but shall be entitled to the same holidays, Christmas vacation, February vacation, and April vacation received by the teachers. The Placement Counselor shall be entitled to a vacation period of twenty-five (25) workdays during the period between the end of one school year and the beginning of the next school year on dates approved by the Superintendent-Director. He/she cannot take a vacation day the Monday through Friday prior to Labor Day. The Placement Counselor shall be eligible for all other benefits available to teachers under this Agreement, except as provided by this Article. His/her annual salary will be determined by appropriate placement on the teachers’ salary scale plus an additional 15%.

B.         Dean of Students

The Dean of Students workday shall be one (1) hour longer   than the teacher’s workday. His/her work year shall be the same as the teachers. He/she shall not be assigned any teaching periods. His/her annual salary will be determined by appropriate placement on the teachers’ salary schedule plus an additional 15%.

The Dean of Students shall retain and continue to accrue seniority within any department in which he/she has taught at Shawsheen Tech on at least a half (1/2) time basis, provided that he/she does not elect to leave the position within the first two (2) years of his/her appointment.

For the purposes of Section 11.4 (a), the Dean of Students shall be deemed not a member of any department. The Dean of Students shall not be a lead teacher or department chairperson while acting as Dean of Students.

C.         Department Chairperson

A Department Chairperson’s appointment will be made not to exceed one (1) full year. A teacher who serves as a Department Chairperson shall not be assigned more than 50 (fifty) of eighty (80) periods over a two-week cycle, the remaining teaching periods, are administrative periods and his/her salary annual salary will be appropriate placement on the teachers’ salary schedule plus an additional 10%. A teacher who serves as Department Chairperson and supervises less than eight (8) STA members shall not be assigned more than sixty (60) of eighty (80) periods over a two (2) week cycle, the remaining teaching periods are administrative periods and his/her annual salary will be appropriate placement on the teachers’ salary schedule plus an additional 5%. The Department Chairperson shall work two (2) days beyond the work year as a teacher at times to be determined by the Superintendent-Director. The Department Chairperson shall report to and be evaluated by his appropriate administrator and Principal. The Department Chairperson shall evaluate teachers in his/her department on a regular basis in accordance with the evaluation procedure. If a vocational department, from which a Department Chairperson is chosen, has more than four (4) teachers, including the Chairperson, then that vocational department shall have a lead teacher other than the Department Chairperson.

D.         Additional Compensation

Given the nature of the jobs described in this section, it is recognized that in addition to the days specified above the individuals in those jobs may be required to work additional days in a non-teaching capacity. Compensation for each such additional day shall be an amount equal to 1/2% per day of the individual’s annual base salary as described above.

E.        House Project

Given the nature of the House Project, it is recognized that in addition to his/her regular work year the individual may be required to work additional days in a non-teaching capacity. Compensation for each such additional day shall be an amount equal to 1/2% per day of the individual’s annual base salary, not to exceed ten (10) days per year.

XVIII     SALARIES

18.1   Teacher’s base annual salaries during the years September 1, 2014 through August 31, 2015; September 1, 2015 through August 31, 2016; September 1, 2016 through August 31, 2017 shall be determined in accordance with Schedules A, B, and C attached hereto, respectively. A teacher’s base annual salary for each year of this Agreement shall be paid in twenty-six (26) installments during the period September 1, 2014 through August 31, 2017, but it shall be deemed to have been earned pro rata according to the number of school days completed. A teacher’s earned and unpaid salary will, if the teacher so requests, be paid on the last teacher workday in June in a lump sum payment together with the last regular payment in June, except that a teacher participating in a tax sheltered annuity must continue to receive salary on a twenty-six (26) installment basis; such lump sum payment will be made by check dated as of the last regular teacher payday in June, which check shall not be deposited or cashed before such date. If a payday falls on a holiday or vacation day, the check shall be given to the teacher on the last teacher workday prior to the payday, but shall be dated as of the actual payday and shall not be cashed or deposited until such date. (In the event that a teacher seeks to so deposit or cash such check, he or she shall reimburse the Committee for any and all costs to the Committee arising out of such action.) Upon request by the Association by May 1, the Committee shall consult with the Association before finally establishing the paydays for the following school year. Part-time teachers shall be paid on a pro rata basis.

18.2     There are eight (8) salary scales which are based on levels of educational attainment. A teacher shall be paid in accordance with the salary scale corresponding to his or her level of educational attainment (subject to the provisions of Section 18.5).

18.3     Upon the hiring or rehiring of a teacher, the School District shall place the teacher on the salary scale appropriate to his or her level of educational attainment and on the step which reflects due consideration to his or her qualifications and experience.

In making such placement, the School District shall not act arbitrarily and capriciously. In no case shall a teacher who is rehired be placed on a lower step than such teacher had attained while previously in the employ of the School District. Credit for courses taken prior to employment by the School District must be presented upon request to the Superintendent-Director for evaluation and approval in connection with initial salary placement, but in no circumstances should a new teacher be placed in an initial salary placement beyond Step 10 of the teachers’ salary schedule. The School District will endeavor to establish after-school in-service education courses, as permitted by Section 7.1, to assist teachers in satisfying their professional development requirement. Credit for such courses shall be recognized for advancement to a higher salary scale in accordance with Section 18.5.

18.4     (a) After hiring or rehiring, a teacher shall advance one (1) step on the applicable salary scale upon completion of each additional year of service in the School District’s employ. The School District may, in its discretion, withhold such step progression if a teacher has failed to comply with the requirements of Section 7.1. Any step progression so withheld shall be retroactively restored if the requirements of Section 7.1 are cumulatively fulfilled during the September through August contract year in which such step progression is first withheld; and if such requirements are cumulatively fulfilled thereafter, such step progression shall not be retroactively restored.

(b) Teachers who have reached the maximum step of the attached salary schedule and who fail to comply with the requirements of Section 7.1 will have their professional salaries frozen at the prior year’s level until the requirements of Section 7.1 are cumulatively fulfilled. Any progression so withheld shall be retroactively restored if the requirements of Section 7.1 are cumulatively fulfilled during the September through August contract year in which the progression is first withheld; and if such requirements are cumulatively fulfilled thereafter, such progression shall not be retroactively restored.

18.5     A teacher shall be advanced to a higher salary scale after achieving the applicable level of educational attainment. Subject to the requirements of Section 18.3 above, no advancement to a higher salary scale may be based in whole or in part upon credits acquired prior to hiring or rehiring. Credits claimed by a teacher for advancement to a higher salary scale must be based upon courses or any other credits or relevant experiences approved in advance by the Personnel Subcommittee or the Superintendent-Director (which approval shall not be unreasonably withheld). A teacher’s advancement to a higher pay scale shall become effective on the September 1 or February 1 next following his or her completion of applicable requirements, and shall be implemented following receipt by the Superintendent-Director of satisfactory documentation evidencing attainment of the applicable educational level.

18.6     An amount equal to one one-hundred-eightieth (1/180) of his or her base annual salary shall be deducted from a teacher’s pay for each day when he or she is absent, other than on a leave with pay in accordance with the provisions of Articles XIX, XX, XXI, XXII, and XXV.

18.7     Teachers hired by the School District to work beyond the established school day or work year in the following capacities (and excluding positions covered in Articles XVII, XXIV, and XXXII) shall be compensated at the then current hourly rate: teaching summer school, teaching in the Afternoon Skill Training Program, teaching in a State or Federally funded program, teaching staff development courses, working on other school positions for which a teacher is preferred or required. The hourly rate referred to in the preceding sentence shall be $40.00 during the period September 1, 2014 through August 31, 2017. The hourly rate for tutoring and curriculum development shall be $35.00 during the period September 1, 2014 through August 31, 2017. Excluded from this section are day teachers that teach night school, any teachers hired to perform construction-related duties that require a permit to be filed with the local authority having jurisdiction, or work that requires a licensed individual to perform such work.

18.8     The base annual salary for the School Nurse shall be determined in accordance with Schedule D attached hereto.    Additional compensation of $1,000 will be paid for a Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing (or for a Nurse Practitioner accreditation in lieu of such degree) and $1,600 for a Master’s Degree in Nursing.

18.9     Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 26.5 (a), no matter pertaining to initial placement shall be grievable or arbitrable unless the grievance is presented pursuant to Article 26 within twenty (20) days of the teacher’s first day of work.

18.10 The base annual salaries of teachers shall be determined in accordance with Schedules A, B, or C attached hereto. Additional compensation shall be paid to teachers who have attained ten (10) or more full years continuous active service with the School District. The base annual salaries of teachers shall be increased non-cumulatively, above the amount specified in Section 18.1 and Schedules A, B, or C as follows:

Full Years of Continuous

Active Service                                                      Amount of Increase

Beginning year 11                                                 1% of scheduled base annual

through year 15                                                     salary, exclusive of stipends

Beginning year 16                                                 2% of scheduled base annual

through year 20                                                     salary, exclusive of stipends

Beginning year 21                                                 3% of scheduled base annual

through year 25                                                     salary, exclusive of stipends

Beginning year 26                                                 4% of scheduled base annual

through 30                                                            salary, exclusive of stipends

Beginning year 31                                                 5% of scheduled base annual

and thereafter                                                        salary, exclusive of stipends

Periods of authorized unpaid leave of absence shall constitute neither a break in service nor a period of active service for purposes of this section. An individual who is employed by the Committee after a break in service shall not receive credit, under this Section 18.10, for periods of employment prior to the last break in service.

XIX    FRINGE BENEFITS

19.1 Blue Care Elect PPO insurance premiums and/or any other health maintenance/ organization premiums, shall be paid by the School District to the extent of eighty-five percent (85%) for the period September 1, 2011 to August 30, 2014 and eighty percent (80%) for the period September 1, 2014 to August 30, 2017. Blue Care Elect Preferred (Preferred Provider Organization) as used herein means Blue Cross Blue Shield Blue Care Elect Preferred (PPO) insurance or other insurance which is substantially equivalent taken as a whole. The parties acknowledge that the Blue Care Elect Preferred (PPO) insurance provided by the School District at the date of this Agreement is substantially equivalent to Blue Cross Blue Shield Blue Care Elect Preferred (PPO) insurance coverage taken as a whole. Blue Care Elect PPO co-pay changes include:

Co Pays

$10                           Office Visit

$50                           Emergency Room Visits

Prescription Drug Co-Pays

$0                             Tier 1 - Generic

$25                           Tier 2 – Preferred Brand Name

$45                           Tier 3 – Non Preferred

The District will provide a dental insurance plan. The plan as used herein means “Delta Dental Plan B with Orthodontic Rider to age 19” or equivalent.   The dental insurance premium shall be paid by the District to the extent of 80%.

The health insurance renewals will be presented to the Insurance Advisory Committee at least seventy-five (75) days prior to renewal. The presentation will include claims administration, reinsurance, proposed changes to the level of benefits, cost of third party stop-loss, and recommendations made by the consultant.

Members will receive $75,000 in life insurance protection. The School District will pay 60% of the cost for life insurance. Members of the unit who reach the age of sixty-five (65) will receive insurance protection in an amount equal to sixty-five percent (65%) of the protection received by other members.

19.2     Traveling teachers covered by this Agreement who are authorized by the Superintendent-Director to use private automobiles for school business shall be reimbursed at the Internal Revenue Service rate.

19.3     Bereavement leave of three (3) days shall be granted to teachers upon the death of anyone in the immediate family, domestic partner, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandparents, stepfather and stepmother, and any relative living in the household.

19.4     Conference, convention leave may be granted, with the approval of the Superintendent-Director, with pay to attend conventions, conferences or other functions which contribute to the advancement of educational welfare in the School District.

19.5      Educational leave of absence may be granted to teachers at the discretion of the Superintendent-Director for the purpose of visiting other schools or attending meetings or conferences of an educational nature.   Written reports shall cover all such visits.   The schools visited shall be subject to the approval of the Superintendent-Director.

19.6     The School District will comply with all State and Federal laws with respect to mandatory military leave of absence. Upon return, the teacher will be placed on the salary schedule at the level he would have attained had he remained, up to a maximum of four (4) years.

XX     SICK LEAVE

20.1     A teacher who is prevented from working because of personal illness, injury or disability shall be eligible for paid sick leave in accordance with this Article, unless he or she fails to return to work when no longer so prevented.

20.2     Each teacher shall be entitled to fifteen (15) days paid sick leave per year, except that a teacher who begins work after the beginning of the school year shall be entitled to a number of days equal to one and one-half (1 1/2) days paid sick leave for each month remaining in the school year. Unused paid sick leave shall be accumulated from year to year without limit.

20.3     To be eligible to receive paid sick leave, a teacher must report the illness, injury, or other disability to the Superintendent-Director or his delegate as soon as is reasonably possible, but in no event less than one (1) hour prior to such teacher’s scheduled reporting time on the day of absence (unless prevented from doing so for reasons of emergency), and shall also in the case of an extended absence notify the Superintendent-Director or his delegate no later than the evening before the day on which the teacher intends to return.

20.4     To be eligible to receive paid sick leave, a teacher shall, if the School District so requests, furnish evidence satisfactory to the School District that he or she was actually prevented from working because of personal illness, injury, or disability. If the School District so desires, it may retain a physician of its own choosing at its own expense to conduct a medical examination of the teacher and to advise it concerning the condition of the teacher.

20.5     Paid sick leave shall be granted to and taken by any teacher who is entitled to Workmen’s Compensation or other disability income benefits in accordance with the provisions of this Article, except that the amount of paid sick leave which such teacher shall be paid shall be reduced by the amount of Workmen’s Compensation or other disability income benefits to which he/she may be entitled. In such cases, the teacher’s sick leave shall be applied on a pro rata basis to make up the difference between the Workmen’s Compensation payments and the teacher’s base salary as set forth in Section 18.1, provided that the teacher turns over his or her Workmen’s Compensation payments to the Committee.

20.6     Upon the recommendation of the Superintendent-Director, the Committee may advance to a teacher who has exhausted his/her accumulated paid sick leave up to fifteen (15) additional days of paid sick leave.

20.7     A teacher who has exhausted his/her accumulated paid sick leave may request an extended leave of absence under Section 23.1. Selecting the option of requesting extended leave is an option on the teacher’s part, and such a teacher may instead, if eligible, seek benefits under the Sick Leave Bank pursuant to Section 20.10.

20.8     A teacher’s base annual salary shall be reduced by one one-hundred-eightieth (1/180) of such salary for each day of absence due to illness, injury or disability not covered by paid sick leave.

20.9     At the request of the Superintendent-Director, a teacher shall submit a physician’s certificate of fitness to the Committee. Such a request shall not be made arbitrarily and capriciously.

20.10    (a) A teacher who has completed at least one (1) full school year of continuous employment for the Committee shall be eligible to participate in a Teacher Sick Leave Bank (the “Bank”). All such teachers shall participate in the Bank during a particular school year unless they shall advise the Superintendent Director to the contrary in writing prior to the beginning of such school year.

(b)       As required and in accordance with the provisions set forth below, the Committee shall transfer sick leave days to the Bank automatically from participating teachers’ current annual sick leave credits. No days shall be placed into the bank for any school year in which the number of days already in the bank on September 1 exceeds three hundred sixty (360). Any teacher hired after June 30, 2003, will contribute a minimum of one day per year for five (5) years beginning with their second year of employment. Effective September 13, 1977, the Committee shall begin the Bank by transferring one (1) sick leave day from the current annual sick leave credit of each participating teacher. When the days in Bank are exhausted, the Committee shall transfer one (1) additional sick leave day from the current annual sick leave credit of each participating teacher (or, if there is no such sick leave credit remaining for a particular teacher, from such teacher’s accumulated sick leave, first using sick leave, if any, accumulated prior to 1975-1976 school year, and then from sick leave accumulated beginning with the 1975-1976 school year,) such replenishments shall be made not more than twice in any school year. All days transferred to the Bank shall accumulate and carry over from year to year, and under no circumstances shall any days transferred to the Bank be restored to a teacher’s personal account.

(c)       The maximum number of days in the Bank that may be utilized during any school year by participating teachers shall be equivalent to twice the number of participating teachers employed by the Committee at the beginning of such school year, never less than two hundred (200) days.

(d)       Eligibility of participating teachers to draw days from the Bank shall be as follows:

(1)        A participating teacher must have exhausted all of his or her accrued sick leave days, including such days accumulated and carried over from previous years.

(2)       Participating teachers who are disabled from working due to personal illness or injury are eligible to draw, during any school year, sixty (60) days from the Bank, in the cases of participating teachers with professional status, and up to thirty (30) days from the Bank in the cases of participating teachers without professional status, but in no case may a teacher with professional status draw more than sixty (60) days, or a teacher without professional status draw more than seven (7) days, for a particular incident or occasion of such disability unless approved by the Sick Leave Bank Joint Committee.

For the purpose of the preceding sentence, a full time teacher (as defined in Article I, Section 1) who is not eligible for professional teacher status under Mass. General Laws c. 71, Section 41 shall be deemed “professional status” if he or she has completed three consecutive years of full-time employment in the service of the Committee and has been appointed to a fourth such year. Each time a teacher draws days from the Bank, such days shall be deducted from his or her applicable maximum.

(3) A waiting period of ten (10) school days without pay shall apply before a participating teacher may draw from the Bank. The waiting period shall be waived if a participating teacher seeking to draw from the Bank has utilized seven (7) or fewer sick leave days during each of at least fifty (50) percent of the years he or she has been employed by the Committee. (In the event that a teacher is or has been employed for any fractional years, any years in which such teacher utilized 7/15 or less of his or her pro rata sick leave shall be counted toward satisfaction of this standard).

(e) Participating teachers who are eligible to, and desire to, draw days from the Bank shall apply to the Sick Leave Bank Joint Committee (the “Joint Committee”) which shall administer the granting of days from the Bank subject to the following considerations:

(1) The Joint Committee shall consist of three (3) members appointed by the Committee or its designee, and two (2) members appointed by the Association, and shall make its decisions respecting the awarding of days from the Bank or otherwise by majority vote.

(2)         The Joint Committee may require of an eligible participating teacher who applies for days from the Bank evidence satisfactory to it that such teacher is disabled from working because of personal illness, injury, or disability and may further retain a physician of its own choosing at the Committee’s expense to conduct a medical examination of such teacher and to advise it concerning the condition of the teacher.

(3)         Subject to the limitations set forth in Section 20.10(d) above, the Joint Committee may in its discretion award to eligible participating teachers days from the Bank in increments of not more than fifteen (15) days which do not extend beyond the final teaching day of the regular school year.

(4)         A decision of the Joint Committee concerning the application of an eligible participating teacher for days for the Bank shall be final and shall not be subject to grievance or arbitration pursuant to Article XXVI or Article XXVII, providing that such decision is (i) unanimous, or (ii) based on the Joint Committee’s judgment as to the medical condition   of such teacher, or (iii) not arbitrary and capricious.

20.11 (a) An eligible teacher shall receive upon the termination of his or her employment with the Committee a sum of money equivalent to the product of (i) the number of such teacher’s unused sick leave days which have been accumulated in accordance with Section 20.11 (b) below beginning with the 1975-1976 school year provided said number of days does not exceed one hundred eighty (180) (ii) 33 1/3%, and (iii) one one-hundred-eightieth (1/180) of such teacher’s annual base salary during his or her final year in the Committee’s employ as a teacher. Such sum of money shall not exceed $29,000. Base salaries, for the purpose of this section, are limited to the amounts indicated on Schedules A, B, and C attached. An eligible teacher within the meaning of this Section shall be:

(1)    a teacher with professional status who has been employed by the Committee in a full-time professional capacity at the School for not less than fifteen (15) years and whose termination of employment is not for cause attributable to such teacher   (e.g., not for disciplinary reasons or for reasons of poor performance); or

(2)    a full-time teacher with professional status who dies while in the active employ of the Committee; or

(3)    a full time teacher with professional status who has served the District for a minimum of five (5) years and who retires pursuant to the Teachers Retirement System (Massachusetts General Laws, c32).

For the purpose of the preceding sentence, a full time teacher (as defined in Section 1.1) who is not eligible for ‘professional status’ under Mass. General Laws c. 71, Section 41 shall be deemed “teacher with professional status” if he or she has completed three consecutive years of full-time employment in the service of the Committee and has been appointed to a fourth such year.

(b)       For the purpose of computing the benefit described in Section 20.11 (a) above, no days of unused sick leave shall accumulate during or for any school year in which an eligible teacher has utilized more than ten (10) days of sick leave (excluding any sick leave days transferred to the Bank pursuant to Section 20.10 (b)). For the purpose of Section 20.11 (a), in computing the number of sick days a teacher has, which are eligible for buy back, the committee will follow the first-in-first-out principle.

(c)        If any eligible teacher within the meaning of Section 20.11 (a) above intends to resign or retire, he or she may submit a written statement of such resignation or retirement to the Committee prior to the commencement of his or her final year and may request that the amount computed pursuant to Section 20.11 (a) above be apportioned pro rata among his or her final year periodic salary payments. Such request will normally be granted by the Committee and will not be unreasonably denied. If the Committee is not so notified, an eligible teacher shall receive the amount computed pursuant to Section 20.11 (a) above in a single payment (less deductions) promptly following the cessation of his or her employment or, if feasible and with the approval of the Committee (which shall not be unreasonably withheld), as part of such teacher’s remaining salary payments. Any eligible teacher who receives payment in accordance with this Section 20.11 (c) but whose employment with the Committee does not for any reason terminate as anticipated, or who ceases but later resumes employment with the Committee, shall refund to the Committee all money received pursuant to this Section. The Committee may, in its discretion, deduct all such amounts owed to it from the indebted teacher’s salary or from any other monies owed by the Committee to such a teacher.

(d) Any paid leaves during which an eligible teacher was employed by the Committee shall be counted towards determining years of service for the purpose of this Section. Any periods during which the teacher was employed full time or less than a full school year shall be cumulated to determine the number of years of full-time employment with the Committee. Any period during which the teacher was employed less than full-time shall be quantified in determining the number of years of full-time employment with the Committee. No such periods of employment, which have preceded a break in service of at least seven (7) years, shall be counted towards determining years of service for the purpose of this section.

20.12  Any teacher who has accumulated one hundred eighty (180) or more sick days and uses three (3) or fewer of their combined annual allotment of sick and personal days in a school year will be eligible for a lump sum payment of 4/180th of their annual base salary at the end of that year. Base salaries, for the purpose of this section, are limited to the amounts indicated on Schedules A, B and C attached. In order to receive this payment, the teacher must choose to “give back” all the remaining sick and personal days from that year rather than add them to their total accumulated sick time for the purpose of termination of employment as it relates to article 20.11 (a).

20.13   The School Committee will establish and maintain a fund for the purpose of accumulating money to pay for compensated absences pursuant to this Agreement. Nothing in this Section shall alter or diminish the obligations of the Committee to the teachers under Article 20 or under any other provision of this Agreement.

XXI    PERSONAL LEAVE

21.1     The parties recognize that absences may be detrimental to the educational process and therefore must be held to a minimum in accordance with the provisions set forth below.

21.2     A teacher shall be eligible, upon notification to the Superintendent-Director, for not more than three (3) days’ leave with pay in any one work year for important personal activity which is reasonably necessary to attend to within school hours. Such activity shall include, but not be limited to business or legal affairs, serious family illness, funeral, selective service examination, and observance of major religious holidays of the religious faith to which a teacher belongs. In addition, and upon the same terms and conditions, but subject to approval of the Superintendent-Director, a teacher shall be eligible for a fourth (4) day leave with pay to be subtracted from his or her current annual sick leave credit. Personal leave may not be taken for the purpose of extending a school vacation or holiday. Personal leave may not be accumulated.

Personal leave may not be taken in the month of June without advanced approval of the Superintendent-Director.

21.3     To be eligible to take personal leave, a teacher must give written notice to the Superintendent-Director at least forty-eight (48) hours before the intended leave is to be taken, except in cases of emergency, when notification may be made by telephone to be followed by a written notice.

In the event that a teacher desires to take personal leave on a day or days before or after a school vacation or holiday, the request shall be submitted for approval by the Committee’s Personnel Subcommittee, or its designee, at least five (5) school days in advance, except that in cases of emergency the Superintendent-Director may approve such a request.

In the event that personal leave is desired for a day or days immediately before or after a school vacation or holiday, or there is reason to believe that the use of personal leave is being abused, the Personnel Subcommittee may require satisfactory evidence that the purpose of the leave meets the requirements of Section 21.2. It is recognized that abuse of personal leave may result in discipline pursuant to Section 12.1

21.4     Nothing in this Article shall preclude the Superintendent-Director from granting additional personal leave with or without pay, which he in his sole judgment deems, warranted. In any case of leave without pay, a deduction from salary shall be made of one one-hundred-eightieth (1/180) of the teacher’s base annual salary for each such day.

XXII   SABBATICAL LEAVE

22.1     A sabbatical leave for advanced study or research may be granted by the Committee, in its sole discretion and upon recommendation by the Superintendent-Director, to a teacher who has completed five (5) consecutive years of active service in the Shawsheen Valley Regional Vocational/Technical High School, where such leave would, in the opinion of the Committee, contribute to the instructional program of the School.

22.2     A teacher who applies for sabbatical leave must submit a written request to the Superintendent-Director by January 1 next prior to the school year during which such teacher desires sabbatical leave. All such requests shall be approved or disapproved not later than May 1 or seven (7) days after the next year’s school budget is approved by member towns whichever is later. Such request must describe the intended sabbatical leave program of study or research to be pursued and the contribution such program is likely to make to the School and the professional ability of the teacher. The Committee will review all requests for sabbatical leave submitted in accordance with this Section.

22.3     Sabbatical leave may be for a period of one (1) year or one-half (1/2) year.

22.4     Sabbatical leave pay shall be at one-half (1/2) of a teacher’s base annual salary for a full year sabbatical leave or at full base annual salary for a one-half (1/2) year sabbatical leave.

22.5     Before accepting a sabbatical leave, a teacher shall sign an agreement with the Committee to return immediately upon completion of such sabbatical leave to active service for the Committee for a period equal to at least twice the length of such sabbatical leave and that, in default of completing such service, such teacher shall refund to the Committee such proportion of the sabbatical leave pay received as the amount of service not rendered as promised bears to the whole amount of service agreed to be rendered, provided the teacher may be released from such payment if his or her failure to serve twice the length of the leave is due to death, permanent disability, non-reappointment because of elimination of teacher’s position, or other reason deemed sufficient by the Committee.

22.6     A teacher returning from sabbatical leave shall, if feasible, be placed in the position he or she previously held, (otherwise, the teacher shall be placed in a substantially equivalent position for which he or she is qualified) and on the step on the salary schedule he or she would have attained had he or she remained in the Committee’s active service. During such leave, a teacher shall be considered actively employed by the Committee.

22.7     No teacher may apply for another sabbatical leave until such teacher has completed seven (7) consecutive years of active service since such teacher’s last sabbatical leave.

22.8     Upon completion of a sabbatical leave, the teacher shall submit a written report to the Superintendent-Director containing any transcript of college or university work done while on leave, and other reasonably pertinent or interpretative information considered appropriate by the Committee to an evaluation of such teacher’s sabbatical leave program.

22.9     While on sabbatical leave, a teacher shall not engage in remunerative work which is inconsistent with accomplishing the purpose of the leave. If a teacher on a one (1) year sabbatical leave engages in remunerative work for more than twenty (20) hours per week, or if a teacher one-half (1/2) year sabbatical leave engages in remunerative work for more than ten (10) hours per week, such teacher shall first obtain the written approval of the Superintendent-Director. Such approval shall not be unreasonable withheld.

22.10   Not more than two (2) teachers from the School and not more than one (1) teacher from a department may be on sabbatical leave at the same time.

XXIII   EXTENDED LEAVE

23.1 Extended leaves of absence without pay may be granted at the sole discretion of the School District for personal illness of the teacher, caring for a sick member of the Teacher’s immediate family, serving in an elective or appointive public office, or for other reasons deemed sufficient by the School District. All benefits to which a teacher was entitled at the time any extended unpaid leave commenced, including accumulated sick leave, will be restored to the teacher upon return from any such leave. The parties recognize that no specific position can be held open during any extended unpaid leave, but in all instances every effort will be made to assign a teacher to the same or a substantially equivalent position to the one held at the time the leave began. In determining the placement on the salary schedule of a teacher who returns from an extended leave of absence, credit for a full year of teaching will be given on the schedule for the school year during which the leave began if the teacher completed at least ninety (90) school days of teaching during said school year; otherwise, the teacher shall return to the step on the salary schedule which he or she held prior to the commencement of such leave.

23.2     A teacher may return from an extended leave of absence without pay at the termination of the period approved by the School District in connection with the granting of the leave, subject to the provisions of Section 23.1. A teacher who desires to return at a different time may do so upon the approval of the School District.

23.3     Under no circumstances shall the period of any unpaid leave of absence count as “service” for purpose of determining eligibility for ‘professional status’ under General Laws, Chapter 71, Section 41 and Section 42.

23.4     All requests for leaves of absence, extensions or renewals must be in writing. In cases of extensions or renewals, such requests must be received by the Committee by March 1 of each year in which the leave expires, when possible. Teachers planning on returning must so notify the Superintendent-Director by March 1.

XXIV   EXTRA - CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

Appointments to extra-curricular activities will be voluntary. The following positions for advisors will be established according to need and will receive compensation in accordance with Schedule E, F, and G attached hereto:

Student Council Advisor                             Yearbook Advisors

Freshman Class Advisor                             Intramural Sports Advisor

Sophomore Class Advisor                           Club Advisors

Junior Class Advisor                                   Parent Council Advisor

Senior Class Advisor                                  Drama Advisor

Newspaper Advisor                                    SkillsUSA Advisor

Alumni Advisor                                         SkillsUSA Shop Advisors

Shawsheen Honor Society                           Oratory Advisor

Web Advisor (2)                                        Teacher Mentor Coordinator

Business Professionals Advisor                   Assistant SkillsUSA Advisor

Extra-curricular positions are educational in nature and are integral to the mission of the Shawsheen Valley Regional Vocational/Technical School District to educate Shawsheen Valley Technical High School students. A teacher who has unusual authority and responsibility over an activity may receive additional compensation while carrying out that responsibility. When such authority or responsibility is assigned or when a new extra-curricular position is created, the Association and the Committee agree to negotiate an appropriate annual stipend.

The teacher appointed to a particular advisor position shall be placed on the step which corresponds to his/her length of service in that position. All extra-curricular activities will be published and distributed to each faculty member. Compensation to advisors shall be paid in three (3) equal payments due on the last payday in November, March, and June respectively. Final compensation is subject to certification by the school Principal that all the duties of the particular position have been fulfilled. Said duties will be listed when said position is posted. For those activities of duration less than the whole school year, the payment schedule shall be abbreviated so that the Advisor will receive his/her final paycheck when his/her activity ends, and the school Principal certifies that all posted duties have been fulfilled. In the event that the Committee elects to create additional extra-curricular positions, it will bargain with the Association concerning the wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of such positions.

XXV    MATERNITY LEAVE

25.1     Teachers who are prevented from working by pregnancy-related disabilities shall be eligible for sick leave pursuant to Article XX.

25.2     Maternity leave (beyond the sick leave that is provided pursuant to Section 25.1) not to exceed two (2) years from the September 1 following the birth of the child will be granted to a teacher with professional status or a teacher hired prior to September 1, 1981 for the purpose of child rearing.

25.3     The teacher must notify the Superintendent-Director by the first of March of the year in which her leave pursuant to Section 25.2 expires of her intention either to return in September (by signing a contract) or of her intention to retire from or leave the School system.

25.4     In the event the child does not live, the teacher may make written application for reinstatement. Such reinstatement may be granted by the Committee upon the recommendation of the Superintendent-Director.

25.5     In determining the placement on the salary schedule of a teacher who returns from a maternity leave of absence, credit for a full year of teaching will be given on the salary schedule for the school year during which the leave began if the teacher completed at least half the number of school days during said school year, otherwise, the teacher shall return to the same step on the salary schedule which applied prior to the commencement of such leave. It is understood that a teacher returning from maternity leave of absence will, subject to the provisions of Article XIII, be placed in the same or substantially equivalent position to the one she held at the time the leave began. Appointments made to other candidates must clearly state that the position is of an interim nature and will cease to exist when the teacher on maternity leave returns.

XXVI  GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

26.1     The purpose of the procedure set forth hereinafter is to produce prompt and equitable solutions to grievances. All grievances will be handled as provided in this Article. However, matters concerning discharge or suspensions will follow the procedures set forth under Article 12 of this agreement.

Parties agree that such procedures shall be kept as informal and confidential as may be appropriate for the procedural level involved. Nothing in this Agreement shall prevent any teacher from individually presenting any grievance to his or her employer without the intervention of the Association, provided the adjustment is not inconsistent with the terms of this Agreement and provided further that the Association may be present at grievance meetings (other than that at Level 1) and state its position on the grievance if the teacher so desires.

26.2     The following definitions shall apply for purposes of this Agreement.

(a)       A “grievance” shall mean a complaint by a teacher that as to such teacher the District has interpreted and applied this Agreement in violation of a specific provision hereof. A “grievance” shall also mean such a complaint by the Association in any cases where interpretation and application of this Agreement by the District applies to and affects all teachers.

(b)       An “aggrieved teacher” shall mean the teacher making the complaint.

26.3     A matter which is not specifically covered by the Agreement or which is reserved by the statute or regulation of any agency of the Commonwealth to the discretion of the School District is not subject to the arbitration procedures of Article XXVII. Only grievances defined above may be arbitrated under Article XXVII.

26.4     Since it is important that grievances be processed as rapidly as possible, the number of days indicated at each level should be considered as maximum. The time limits specified may be extended only by prior mutual agreement.

26.5     The processing of grievances shall be undertaken in accordance with the following procedures:

(a)       Level 1. The aggrieved teacher shall present his or her grievance to the Principal within five (5) school days of the day the aggrieved teacher knew or should reasonably have known of the event or events of which the grievance is based.

(b)       Level 2. If the grievance is not settled to the teacher’s satisfaction at Level 1, the grievance shall be presented to the Superintendent-Director in writing signed by the aggrieved teacher and by a member of the Association’s Grievance Committee within ten (10) school days of the day the aggrieved teacher knew or should reasonably have known of the event or events on which the grievance is based. The grievance shall state, so far as is then known, the provision(s) of the Agreement alleged to have been violated, all the facts on which the grievance is based, and the remedy sought.    The Superintendent-Director shall respond in writing within five (5) school days after the Level 2 meeting.

(c) Level 3. If the grievance shall not have been settled to the aggrieved teacher’s satisfaction at Level 2, the aggrieved teacher shall notify the Chairperson of the Association’s Grievance Committee of his or her desire to proceed to Level 3. The grievance shall be submitted in writing by the Association by registered mail to the Chairperson of the Committee and to the Superintendent-Director within ten (10) school days of having received the Level 2 response or if no response is received then within twenty (20) school days of the teacher having submitted the Level 2. Such submission shall be mailed c/o the School District, 100 Cook Street, Billerica, Massachusetts 01821. Within twenty (20) school days following such submission to the Committee, the aggrieved employee and the Chairperson of the Association’s Grievance Committee, accompanied by a Massachusetts Teachers Association representative and/or members of the Association’s Executive Board, if the Chairperson so desires, shall meet with the Committee’s Personnel Subcommittee (and/or its designee) so that the Personnel Subcommittee may investigate the grievance in detail. Within seven (7) calendar days after such meeting, the Personnel Subcommittee shall advise the aggrieved employee and the Association in writing of the Subcommittee’s recommendation concerning the grievance. If the Subcommittee recommends a disposition other than denial of the grievance, then the Subcommittee will present its recommendation to the School Committee at the School Committee meeting next following the conclusion of the seven (7) day period, and the School Committee’s decision on the grievance shall be due the following day. If the Subcommittee does not recommend that the grievance be granted, the Association may elect to treat the matter as not resolved at Level 3. If the Association does not so elect, the grievance may be presented to the School Committee at the School Committee meeting next following the conclusion of the seven (7) day period.

26.6     If a decision at any level is not provided within the time limits specified in Level 1, then the grievance shall be deemed denied on the day the decision was due, if applicable, and shall be qualified to be taken to the next higher level.

26.7     No grievance shall be considered which is not presented within the time limits specified in Level 1. If the grievance is once settled or if the action required to present the grievance to the next higher level shall not have been taken within the specified time limits, the grievance shall be deemed to have been waived and shall not thereafter be subject to the grievance procedure or to arbitration under Article XXVII, unless such settlement is not enforced or is found to be in violation of the specific terms of this Agreement.

26.8     The District and the Association agree to furnish to the other upon request such information in aid of the grievance procedure as is required under law in the fulfillment of duty to bargain in good faith.

26.9     All documents, communications and records dealing with the processing of the grievance shall be filed separately from the personnel files of the participants.

26.10   No grievance in process during the term of this Agreement shall lapse because of the termination of this Agreement. Any such grievance shall be disposed of under the procedures provided by this Agreement.

26.11   The Committee recognizes the right of the individual teacher to bring a problem before the Committee without filing a grievance if the problem has not been resolved at the Administrative level. A teacher’s actions under this Section 26.11 shall not operate to toll the time limits set forth in Section 26.5 above.

XXVII ARBITRATION

If the grievance has not been resolved to the satisfaction of the Association in Level 3 of Section 26.5, the Association may, by giving written notice to the Committee within ten (10) school days after the conclusion of the meeting of the School Committee or Personnel Subcommittee, as the case may be, referred to in Level 3, submit the grievance to arbitration. Such notice shall be addressed to “(Name of incumbent School Committee Chairperson), Chairperson, Shawsheen Valley Regional Vocational/Technical School District Committee, 100 Cook Street, Billerica, Massachusetts 01821”. In the event the Association elects to submit a grievance to arbitration, the arbitrator shall be selected according to, and shall be governed by, the procedure set forth in this Article. The arbitrator shall be selected by mutual agreement of the parties. If the parties have not agreed upon the selection of an arbitrator, the Association may, within thirty (30) calendar days after the conclusion of the meeting of the School Committee or Personnel Subcommittee, as the case may be, submit the grievance to the American Arbitration Association. No demand for arbitration shall be arbitrable unless it is filed within said thirty (30) calendar days after the Committee has received written notice of submission to arbitration, or unless the Committee (or its duly authorized representative) agrees in writing to an extension of such time limit. The arbitrator shall be selected in accordance with the then applicable Voluntary Labor Arbitration Rules of the American Arbitration Association. Any arbitration hereunder shall be conducted in accordance with such rules, subject to the provisions of this Agreement. The Committee and the Association shall share equally in compensation and expenses of the arbitrator. Either the Committee or the Association shall have standing to question arbitrability in arbitration or in an appropriate forum. The function of the arbitrator is to determine the interpretation and application of specific provisions of this Agreement. There shall be no right in arbitration to obtain, and no arbitrator shall have any authority or power to award or determine any change in, modification or alteration of, addition to, or detraction from, any of the provisions of this Agreement. The arbitrator may or may not make his award retroactive as the equities of the case may require and may award arbitration fees to the prevailing party if he/she determines that the opposing party position was frivolous. The arbitrator shall have no authority to make any award except in respect of the aggrieved teacher who signed the grievance pursuant to Section 26.5 (b) (or in respect of the Association, in the case of grievance by the Association pursuant to Section 26.2 (a) ). Each grievance shall be separately processed in any arbitration proceedings hereunder unless the parties otherwise agree.

The arbitrator shall furnish a written opinion specifying the reason for his decision. The decision of the arbitrator, if within the scope of his authority and power under this Agreement, shall be final and binding upon the Committee, the Association, and the teacher who initiated the grievance.

XXVIII CONTINUITY OF OPERATIONS

Neither the Association nor any Association officer, Association representative or teacher shall engage in, induce, or encourage any strike (whether sympathetic, general, or of any other kind, walkout, work stoppage, sit down, slow down, withholding of services, or any other interference with the operations of the school system). The Committee agrees not to conduct a lockout. The Association and its officers shall not be considered to have violated this Article if they have used all reasonable efforts to prevent or cause to cease the activities prohibited by this article. In the event of a violation of this Article, the Committee or the Association, as the case may be, may at its option institute any or all proceedings in court of law or in equity or in arbitration pursuant to the procedures described in Article XXVII.

XXIX  SEVERANCE OF PROVISIONS

Should any provision of this Agreement be or become invalid because of any existing or future provisions of law, court decision, or administrative ruling, the remainder of this Agreement shall remain in full force and effect for the duration of this Agreement.

XXX PRECEDENCE OF LAWS AND REGULATIONS

Achieving the educational objectives of the School System is of paramount interest to the parties hereto, as well as in the public interest. In administering all matters covered by this Agreement, the Committee and the Association are governed by the provisions of this Agreement and any existing or future laws and regulations and amendments thereto which may be applicable and this Agreement shall at all times be applied in accordance with and subject to such laws and regulations. Should any provision of this Agreement be deemed to conflict with any such laws or regulations, it may become the subject matter of discussion by the parties hereto for the purpose of attempting to negotiate a substitute provision in compliance with the requirements of such law or regulations.

XXXI              COACHING

Coaching appointments shall be made for periods not exceeding one (1) school year. The Athletic Director will conduct a minimum of two formal comprehensive evaluations per season on each coach said evaluations will be submitted to the Principal at the completion of the respective sport season. The first evaluation will be conducted no later than one-half (1/2) of the time into the specific sport season and the second at the end of the last event of the season. A signed copy of the evaluation will be presented to the coach indicating he/she has read the evaluation. The final evaluation will indicate whether the evaluator intends to recommend or not recommend the coach for the same position in the future.

Coaching positions are educational in nature and are integral to the mission of the Shawsheen Valley Regional Vocational/Technical School District to educate Shawsheen Valley Technical High School students. A teacher who has unusual authority and responsibility over an activity may receive additional compensation while carrying out that responsibility. When such authority or responsibility is assigned or when a new coaching position is created, the Association and the Committee agree to negotiate an appropriate annual stipend.

Payment will be in three (3) equal payments for coaching positions extended through the season, in accordance with the compensation schedules attached hereto as Schedule H, I , J. A teacher appointed to a particular coaching position shall be placed on the step which corresponds to his or her length of service in that position or in a similar position.

XXXII            ATHLETIC DIRECTOR AND NIGHT SCHOOL DIRECTOR

The positions of Athletic Director and Night School Director are yearly appointments determined by the Superintendent-Director. Compensation is determined by the School Committee.

XXXIII           LEAD TEACHERS

Lead Teachers shall receive, in addition to their base annual salaries, compensation in accordance with Schedule K.

XXXIV     TEACHER MENTORING

Teacher mentoring positions will be made available at the discretion of the Superintendent-Director in accordance with the conditions and job descriptions included in the Shawsheen Valley Technical High School Teacher Mentor Program Manual. Teacher Mentor Coordinator’s compensation in accordance with Schedule E, F, and G (Advisors Salaries).

Teacher mentor yearly appointments shall be determined by the Superintendent-Director. Compensation for these positions shall be $700 plus the hourly rate from Section 18.7 for attending meetings and training sessions with other mentors beyond the school day or school year. Such meetings will be scheduled in advance and placed on the School Calendar. Mentor positions will be made available at the discretion of the Superintendent-Director in accordance with the conditions and job description included in the Shawsheen Valley Technical High School Teacher Mentor Program Manual.

XXXV           EARLY RETIREMENT INCENTIVE

35.1     A teacher who has completed at least fifteen (15) years of service as a teacher for the School District and who has given the Committee notice, on a form prepared by the Committee, by August 1 of any year of this contract that he/she will retire early, will be eligible for an early retirement incentive paid as a bonus upon the effective date of retirement. For purposes of this section, the term “early retirement” shall mean retirement at the end of the school year in which the teacher attains age 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, or 64, and the term “retirement” shall mean that the teacher is immediately eligible to apply for and receive retirement pay from the Teachers’ Retirement Board, whether or not the teacher files his/her retirement papers immediately with the Teachers’ Retirement Board. Notice of intention to retire is final and irrevocable and teachers electing early retirement incentive must leave the employ of the School District effective on the date specified in the written notice.

35.2     The amount of early retirement incentive shall be a percentage of the difference between a teacher’s base annual salary, as determined by Schedules A, B, and C, as attached hereto, and that for Step 1, Column 1 and shall be based upon the age of the teacher as of December 31 of the teacher’s final school year as follows:

Early Retirement Age at Early                             Incentive --

Retirement                                                 Percentage Factor

55                                                                           50%

56                                                                           45%

57                                                                           40%

58                                                                           35%

59                                                                           30%

60                                                                           25%

61                                                                           20%

62                                                                           15%

63                                                                           10%

64                                                                              5%

35.3     The prior notice provision and/or the age 55 requirement shall be waived for any teacher who has met all the other criteria of 35.1 and who has become eligible to retire under the following circumstances:

(a)        as a result of RIF, death, disability, or other hardship;

(b)       For any reason and is between the ages of 49 and 55;

(c)        as a result of qualifying for any incentive retirement program caused by action taken by the state or federal government and accepted by the School District.

Teachers eligible for Early Retirement Incentive under 35.3, and who have not attained the age of 55, shall have their incentive pay calculated in 35.2 as if they were 55 years of age.

XXXVI DURATION

36.1 This Agreement shall become effective as of September 1, 2014 and shall continue in full force and effect until August 31, 2017. Either party to this Agreement may initiate negotiations for a successor agreement to the Agreement to be effective on or after September 1, 2017 by tending written notice to the other party on or after September 1, 2016.

SIDE LETTER

The Committee and the Association recognize that as of the effective date of this agreement the following side letter is in effect.

A.        The replacement side letter, dated June 19, 1996, concerning Supervisor of Food Services.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF the parties hereto have executed this Agreement the day and year shown below.

Shawsheen Valley Regional

Shawsheen Teachers’ Association                                   Vocational/Technical School

District Committee

By:      _________________________                     By:     ____________________________

President                                                                               Chairperson

Date:    _________________________                     Date: ________________________