Conservatory Lab Charter School

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DistrictConservatory Lab Charter School
Shared Contract District
Org Code4390000
Type of DistrictCharter
Union AffiliationAFT
Most Recent DocumentContract
Expiring Year2012
Expired StatusExpired
Superintendency Union
Regional HS Members
Vocational HS Members
ESE RegionGreater Boston
Kind of Communityurbanized centers
Number of Schools1
Percent Low Income Students65
Grade StartPK
Grade End8
download pdf version of this document view accessible version of this document Conservatory Lab Charter

Tentative Agreement


The Conservatory Lab Public Charter School

Board of Trustees


The Conservatory Lab Charter School Staff Union,

American Federation of Teachers - Massachusetts

August 1, 2009

(Subject to the ratification of the Board of Trustees and the Union.)


The Parties to this agreement share a fundamental and abiding commitment to the children of the Conservatory Lab Charter School ("CLCS" or "School"). To this end, the parties agree that it is essential that the School remain student-centered, and driven by performance excellence by all. The parties are committed to the viability and success of the School, and agree that the formula for achieving success requires innovation, experimentation and flexibility. The parties are also committed to developing a collaborative working relationship and creating a workplace of understanding and mutual respect for the dignity and worth of every person so that each person is able to contribute fully to the development and well being of the students of the Conservatory Lab Charter School.

Article I - Recognition

The Conservatory Lab Charter School Board of Trustees recognizes the Conservatory Lab Charter School Staff Union, American Federation of Teachers, Massachusetts, as the exclusive bargaining representative for all full time and regular part time Teachers, Co-Teachers, Associate Teachers, Specialists, Coordinators, Aides, Occupational Therapists, Nurses but excluding Head of School, Acting Principal, Vice Principal, Development Director, and Business Manager.

Article II - Management Rights

2.1                The School reserves and retains the sole and exclusive right to manage, operate and conduct all of its operations and activities, except as otherwise specifically and expressly provided in this Agreement. The enumeration of management rights in this Article is not to be construed as a limitation of management's rights, but rather as an illustration of the nature of the rights inherent in management. Nothing in this agreement shall be construed to diminish or otherwise alter the requirements and obligations of the School's Charter, as well as Department of Education mandates.

2.2                The School, subject to the express and specific provisions of this Agreement, reserves and retains the exclusive right to hire, promote, evaluate and determine placement of teachers in and within teacher levels, assign, transfer, suspend, discipline, discharge, layoff, and recall personnel; to establish, create, revise and implement the curriculum and reasonable work rules; to make changes in assigned duties and responsibilities and schedule and assign work as required; to study and use, introduce, install new or improved systems, facilities and/or equipment; to determine methods, processes, and procedures by which work is performed; to determine its educational mission, academic policies, its activities, business and location; to determine the number of students per class; to determine days and hours of operation; and in all respects to manage the School to attain its goal of excellence in teaching and scholarship.

Article III - Duration

This Agreement shall be in effect from August 1, 2009 until and including July 31, 2012, at which time it shall terminate unless extended by agreement of the parties. Should either party desire to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement to succeed this Agreement, such party shall notify the other party by certified or registered mail no later than December 15 of the year preceding expiration.

Article IV - Compensation

4.1                Salaries will increase 2% for the first contract year for incumbent staff. Thereafter, compensation will be based upon where teachers are placed in and within teacher levels. Placement of teachers in and within any level shall be determined by the Head of School based on teacher performance. Teachers have the right to appeal a teacher placement decision to the Chair of the CLCS Board of Trustees. Any appeal must be submitted in writing to the Chair of the Board within ten working days of the teacher receiving final notice of a placement decision. The decision of the Chair shall be final. Teacher placement in and within the levels shall not be subject to the grievance procedure, nor shall such decisions be litigable.

4.2                Placement of teachers in and within teacher levels will be determined by May 1st of each school year. Teachers will fall into one of three levels: Level 1 (Beginning, Emerging or Applying); Level 2 (Integrating Teacher); and, Level 3 (Innovating Teacher). Level 1 teachers are those who are newly hired, or within the first two years of service with the School, unless the School determines that the teacher should be placed in a different level. Teachers must progress to Level 2 by the end of their second year of teaching in order to be considered for renewal. Performance criteria for each level and for steps within each level shall be determined by the Professional Development Committee. Student performance on any state or federal government issued standardized tests shall not be a factor in determining salary placement.

4.3          Teachers will qualify for annual salary applicable to their placement in and within a given level. Level 1 will have two salary steps. Levels 2 and 3 will each have three salary steps. Teacher placement within the level will determine his/her salary. The teacher level salary steps shall be as follows:

          Level 1A ($40,000)

          Level IB ($44,000)

          Level 2A ($48,000)

          Level 2B ($52,000)

          Level 2C ($56,000)

          Level 3A ($60,000)

          Level 3B ($64,000)

          Level 3C ($68,000)

Compensation shall be pro-rated for teachers who work less than 40 hours.

4.4                Teachers entering years two and three of the contract will not have compensation reduced as a result of any placement decision. Staff members who do not teach students (e.g. School Nurse, Coaches and Paraprofessionals) shall receive a 2% salary increase in year 2.

4.5                The issue compensation shall be subject to a reopener, effective January 1, 2011, whereby either party may make a written request to the other to renegotiate compensation for teacher level salary steps, as well as for staff members who do not teach students. The right to reopen shall expire if neither party delivers such written request party by January 31, 2011. Any agreement on wage increases reached pursuant to a reopener shall be tentative, and subject to confirmation that the School's Tuition and Facility Reimbursement for the 2011 - 2012 school year has not been decreased. In the event of any such decrease, the provisions of paragraph 4.6 shall apply, and any such tentative agreement shall not apply. Matters addressed in this paragraph shall be outside the scope of the grievance process, and will not otherwise be arbitrable or litigable, except for claims under M.G.L. c. 150E for failure to bargain in good faith.

4.6                In the event that State income received per student for School Tuition and Facility Reimbursement ("Reimbursement") is reduced in years 2 and/or 3 of the contract, an across-the-board salary reduction in an amount equal to the percent reduction in tuition and facility reimbursements may, at the discretion of the School, apply for each such year, not to exceed six percent less than their salary in year one in any given year. The same percent salary reduction applicable to bargaining unit members in any given year will also apply to non-bargaining unit employees. The School agrees to consult the Union prior to implementing any reduction in salary pursuant to this paragraph, but any decision to implement a salary reduction shall be final, and non-grievable, nor litigable.

4.7          If, in the year following any such reduction in salary, the School Reimbursement increases, salaries will be increased in an amount equal to the percent increase in Reimbursement for that year, salaries not to exceed levels in the year immediately preceding the year in which Reimbursement was reduced, except as otherwise provided herein.

Article V - Benefits

5.1               Eligibility for Benefits: All staff members who work at least 20 hours each week at the CLCS are eligible to receive benefits. Benefits for individuals who are part-time shall be prorated.

5.2               Sick Leave: Sick days will be available to staff on an as-needed basis for a personal illness. A physician's note will be required for sick absences after four consecutive sick days, or following the use often sick days taken on an intermittent basis. Staff who are out sick for a period of time that qualifies them for disability leave must apply for leave as of the first date of qualification. Failure to apply for disability leave will result in the loss of the sick leave benefit. Sick leave eligibility for any given illness shall cease upon the granting of disability leave benefits.

No employee shall be entitled to sick leave as provided in this Article unless the employee has notified School Administration of his/her absence prior to the start of his/her scheduled work day.

5.3          Paid Personal Leave Days: Full-time staff members who have completed their six-month probationary period shall receive 3 personal days annually. Part-time employees shall receive a prorated number of personal days.

Personal leave requests are subject to approval, and requests must be submitted at least one day in advance of the proposed absence, except in the event of an emergency that precludes such notice.

5.4          Medical and Dental: Medical coverage will be provided pursuant to the current plan - Blue Cross/Blue Shield New England Enhanced Value. The School will contribute 50% of monthly premiums for all eligible employees who work over 39 hours per week. The School will contribute 37.5% of the premium for employees who work 31 to 39 hours per week. The School will contribute 25%) of the premium for employees who work 20 to 30 hours per week.

Dental coverage will be provided for eligible employees through Delta Dental Insurance Corporation, with an annual maximum benefit of $1,500.

Eligible employees must elect coverage within the first thirty days of employment, or during an open enrollment period.

5.5               Maternity/Paternity Leave: Employees who have completed one full year of service shall be eligible for two weeks of paid paternity or maternity leave, if taken during the school year.

5.6               Bereavement Leave: Employees shall be granted leave with pay for not more than five working days in the case of the death of staff member's parent, child, step child, sibling, spouse or domestic partner. In the case of the death of a grandparent, employees will receive up to three working days.

5.7               Life Insurance: Life insurance coverage will be provided to all eligible employees, with 100% of the insurance carrier premium paid by the School.

5.8               Short Term Disability Insurance: The School will provide short term disability insurance for all eligible employees, with 100% of the premium paid by the School. The plan currently provides 60% salary replacement for the period of coverage after 7 days for absences due to a qualifying sickness or accident under the plan.

5.9               Long Term Disability Insurance: The School will provide long term disability insurance for all eligible employees. The plan currently provides 60% salary replacement, to a maximum of $5,000 per month and eligibility begins after 90 days for absences due to a qualifying sickness or accident under the plan.

5.10            403(b) Plan: The School will provide a 403(b) plan for eligible employees, in which employees may defer a portion of their income under the program. The School will contribute a dollar-for-dollar match, up to 3% of an employee's salary.

5.11            Changes to Plans in paragraphs 5.7, 5.8 and 5.9: In the event that State income received per student for School Tuition and Facility Reimbursement is reduced, the School and Union agree that the School, at its discretion, may change insurance carriers, designation of the primary plan, or structure of the plan, to the extent it may alter the plan with any given carrier. The School agrees to notify the Union and discuss with the Union and consider the input of the Union prior to making such changes, together with the effective date of the change.

Article VI - Working Conditions

6.1          School Calendar and Hours:

A.            The work year for full-time employees shall be 190 days during the period from August 1 through June 30. The school calendar shall generally follow the Boston Public School calendar for fixing the 180 days of the school year, school vacations and snow closings. All staff are expected to attend ten professional development days to be held during the summer or throughout the academic year, as scheduled by the Professional Development Committee.

B.            The school day for full-time teaching staff shall be 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. If no mandatory meeting has been scheduled by the Head of School for after students leave for the day, teachers may depart at that time. Except in the event of an emergency, notice of mandatory meetings must be given one week in advance. The Head of School shall determine the schedule and hours for part-time staff (employees who work less than 40 hours), and Specialists which may change from year-to-year based on School needs.

C.            Teachers are required to attend occasional meetings scheduled outside the school day, including Parent Open House, parent meetings, student performances and home visits, or in the event of an emergency.

D.            Full time staff shall receive a minimum of 30 consecutive minutes per day between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. for a duty free lunch period.

E.            All full-time teaching staff shall receive a 45 consecutive minute planning and development Monday through Thursday, with a 30 minute planning and development period on Friday. These planning and development periods shall be teacher directed and shall be used primarily for educational purposes.

F.             Teachers may be scheduled to perform other school duties as needed during the school work day provided these assignments are not given during the duty free lunch or planning and development periods. Any such duties shall be assigned on an equitable basis to all staff.

6.2          Class size: The maximum class size for all grades shall be 25 students in any class where only one teacher is assigned.

Article VII - Professional Development

7.1          The School and the Union view teachers as important collaborators in the design and implementation of active, project-based professional development. To that end, a Professional Development Committee shall be established consisting of four teachers selected by the staff, 3 of which will be teachers from grades K1-K2, 1-2, 3-5, respectively, with the fourth being a music specialist, along with two administrators selected by the Head of School. The meeting schedule and the duration of meetings shall be decided by a vote of the Committee. All aspects of Performance Evaluations, except the actual evaluation performed by CLCS, not specifically addressed in the contract, shall be determined by the Professional Development Committee. Committee decisions concerning performance evaluations must be finalized by September 1st of each year. Committee meetings shall be open to all interested teaching and administrative staff.

7.2                The Committee shall make every effort to reach consensus and its decisions must be unanimous. If the Committee is unable to reach a decision, the Head of School shall make the final determination.

7.3                The Professional Development Committee shall have the responsibility for planning and scheduling all professional development programs, workshops and activities.

7.4                The Professional Development Committee shall provide all staff members with advance notice of scheduled professional development activities.

7.5                All training provided on-site will be at no cost to the staff members attending.

Article VIII - Union Privileges and Responsibilities

8.1                Faculty Senate: A Faculty Senate shall be formed consisting of the Union President and five other members elected by the staff. The Faculty Senate shall meet once every month with the Head of School. The Faculty Senate shall be allowed a minimum often minutes during the public comment session of each CLCS Board meeting for the purpose of raising issues of importance to the faculty, provided that the Head of School is given a one week advanced notice of the issues to be raised at the Board meeting.

8.2                Access: AFT Massachusetts staff members shall have the right of access to the school to meet with union members before or after school or during the members' non-instructional time. The AFT representative shall notify the administration of his/her arrival.

8.3                Bulletin Board: The Union shall have the right to post notices of Union matters on a bulletin board in the employees' lounge.

8.4                Mailboxes: The Union shall be permitted to place materials related to union business in employee mailboxes.

8.5                Meetings: The Employer shall permit the Union to use the building facilities one afternoon each month after school hours for a union membership meeting that will not extend beyond 6:00 p.m.

8.6                Payroll Deductions for Union Dues:

A.    CLCS agrees to deduct Union dues once each month from the pay of each employee who executes or has executed an appropriate form of authorization of checkoff and to remit the aggregate amount to the Treasurer of the local Union along with a list of employees who have had said dues deducted. The amount of dues in each month shall be based upon an amount established and certified in writing by the Union's Treasurer to the CLCS Business Manager, such amount shall be forwarded to the Union within thirty days of date on which funds were withheld.

B.    It is understood that it is the responsibility of the Union to provide the checkoff forms and to have them executed by any employees.

C.    Any authorization to withhold Union dues shall terminate and such withholding shall cease upon the happening of any of the following events: (a) separation from employment, or (b) within thirty days of written notice by the employee of cancellation of the authorization.

D.    The Union agrees to indemnify CLCS for damages or other financial loss, that CLCS may be required to pay or suffer by an administrative agency or court of competent jurisdiction as a result of the School's compliance with paragraph 1.

8.7         Agency Fee

Pursuant to Chapter 903 of the Acts of 1977, effective the first month following ratification of this agreement, an agency fee shall be deducted each month by the Business Manager of CLCS from the salary of each employee in the bargaining unit other than those paying dues pursuant to Section F of this article. Said service fee shall be the sum equal to the amount required to become and remain a member in good standing of the Union, and shall be paid over promptly to the Treasurer of the Union on a monthly basis.

The Union agrees to indemnify CLCS for damages, cost or other financial loss, that CLCS may be required to pay or otherwise suffer as a result of any action brought before, and decision rendered by, an administrative agency or court of competent jurisdiction as a result of the School's compliance with the Agency Fee provision.

Article IX - Grievance Procedure

9.1          A grievance shall mean a complaint by an employee(s) or the union ("Grievant") that there has been a violation or misinterpretation of any of the express provisions of this Agreement. Grievances must be presented in writing, and must state the facts upon which the grievance is based, an explanation as to how the facts result in a violation, misinterpretation or misapplication of the Agreement, and the requested remedy. The first six months of employment shall be a probationary period during which there shall be no right to grieve concerning the discharge or discipline of an employee. Grievances shall be submitted in writing and shall be processed exclusively as set forth below.

Step 1: All grievances shall be submitted to the Head of School within five (5) working days of the Grievant having knowledge, or of when he/she should have known, of the occurrence or failure of occurrence that is identified as the basis for the grievance. Within five (5) working days of so filing, the grievant shall have the opportunity to discuss the matter with the Head of School. The grievant may be represented at this meeting by a Union representative. The Grievant may file at Step 2 within five (5) days of the Step 1 meeting if the grievance has been denied or no response has been provided within the five days of the meeting.

Step 2: Step 2 meeting between the Grievant and a Board of Trustees designee shall be held within seven (7) days of filing at Step 2.

9.2          Any request for arbitration must be filed within twenty (20) days after receipt of the decision at Step 2, or within twenty (20) days from the expiration of five-days following the Step 2 meeting if no Step 2 response was provided within that period. Requests for arbitration must be directed to the American Arbitration Association, with a copy to the Board of Trustees and Head of School. The voluntary labor arbitration rules of the American Arbitration Association shall apply to the proceeding. Date of mailing or hand-delivery shall constitute filing under this Article.

9.3                The arbitrator shall be without power to alter, amend, add to or detract from the language of this Agreement, or to hold ex parte hearings. The arbitrator shall have no power to determine any subject not specifically provided for in this Agreement. The decision of the arbitrator shall be final and binding upon the parties to the extent permitted by law.

9.4                Grievance timelines may be extended by written mutual agreement of the parties, and in no event shall any such agreement constitute practice or precedent for any other matter.

9.5                No incident that occurred of failed to occur prior to the effective date of this Agreement shall be the subject of any grievance.

Article X - Discharge and Discipline

10.1             No employee who has completed the probationary period of six months shall be disciplined (which includes discharge) by the Employer except for just cause. Progressive discipline shall not apply to serious offenses. Disciplinary action for poor work performance shall be subject to the standard of whether the decision by management was arbitrary and capricious.

10.2             Employees may request a copy of their personnel file, or any portion thereof. No personnel documents will be provided to anyone other than school administration or pursuant to CLCS obligations under this Agreement without the express written authorization of the employee.

Article XI - Performance Evaluation

11.1             All formal classroom observations, as well as evaluations of a teacher's work performance, shall only be conducted by CLCS administrators.

11.2             All observations of work performance must be conducted with advance notice to the employee.

11.3             An employee shall be formerly observed no less than twice during the school year and observations of work performance must consist of no less than 30 consecutive minutes.

11.4             In the event that an administrator observes a teaching practice that is not satisfactory, he/she must notify the employee in writing of the specific teaching issue and schedule a meeting to discuss possible solutions or course of action to address the issue. A meeting shall be held within 5 days of the date of any such notice. The meeting does not require Union representation, however, a union representative may be present as an observer at the request of the employee, provided such representative is available.

11.5            All evaluation forms shall bear the signature of both the evaluator and the employee. The employee's signature shall indicate that he/she has seen the evaluation, but not necessarily that he/she agrees with the evaluation.

11.6            No evaluation derogatory to an employee's conduct, performance or character shall be placed in a personnel file unless the employee has had an opportunity to sign such material indicating that he/she has had the opportunity to review it.

11.7            An employee who is dissatisfied with an evaluation may grieve the evaluation pursuant to the grievance procedure, provided that the basis for any such grievance is limited to challenging how the evaluation procedure was applied in his/her case.

Article XII - Stability of Agreement

12.1             No agreement, understanding, alteration or variation of the agreements, terms or provisions herein contained shall bind the parties hereto unless made and executed in writing by the parties hereto.

12.2             The failure of the School or the Union to insist, in any one or more incidents, upon performance of any of the terms or conditions of this Agreement shall not be considered as a waiver or relinquishment of the rights of the School or of the Union to future performance of any such terms and conditions, and the obligations of the Union or of the School to such future performance shall continue in full force and effect.

Article XIII - Bargaining Obligations

With respect to any matter not covered by this agreement that is a mandatory subject of bargaining, the School agrees that it will make no change to such matter without first fulfilling any legal obligations to consult and bargain with the Union.

Article XIV - Past Practice

All past practices, to the extent they existed, shall end upon the signing of this Agreement.

Dated this ___________________day of ________________, 2009



BY:__________________________                                  BY: _____________________