Issues Resolved and Unresolved

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					                                               SpeakOut  The official publication for the members of
                                                       the Patchogue-Medford Congress of Teachers
                                                                    P.O. Box 539, Patchogue, NY 11772
                                  Phone: 631-475-8515                  E-mail:         Fax: 631-475-8517
         December 2006             PMCT on the world wide web:                        Vol. 31 Number 4

        Issues: Resolved and Unresolved                                  we don’t need teacher chaperones, or for that matter a well staffed
      Before we know it, the month of January will be here and
the half way point of the school year will be upon us. As we ap-         security program. These cuts in paid teacher chaperones and secu-
proach the middle of the school year, we are mindful that student        rity officers result from budget cuts.
assessments run rampant throughout all of our grade levels. From              While on the topic of chaperones, it is important that we rec-
midterms and Regents on the high school level to ELA and math            ognize we are not in the business of hiring chaperones with club/
assessments in the middle school and elementary levels, we face          activity funds nor are the PTA’s in the business of hiring chaper-
a time when many of us feel an added burden and level of stress.         ones. The school district is the only entity that can hire people and
This burden can easily drive one to a breaking point, but we must        pay for their employees. If you have sought out teachers to hire for
remember that if we do our jobs and we do them well, then all other      an event with funds from the club activity or from the PTA, you are
aspects of our craft and trade will benefit those who count the most,    in serious violation of labor and school law and this practice needs
our students.                                                            to cease immediately.
     You should know that members of the executive board have                This past November 7th had terrific results in the elections. Lo-
been meeting consistently with administrators. We have been en-          cally, we all should be happy with the victories of Patricia Edding-
gaged in many topics of discussion, and I believe we have come           ton and Caesar Trunzo. These two leaders have done a terrific job
to an agreement on many of the issues. One issue I am pleased to                                         Continued on page 3

                                                                           Inside this issue:
report that we have come into agreement is the acceptable practice
of charging teachers a percentage of the work day such as .2, or .3,
or .6, etc. for a fraction of an absence during the work day instead
of the unilateral change in working conditions that would charge
all teachers either a half day or a full day for any time missed.           Meeting Albert Shanker page 4
While we made the argument on behalf of our members that the
fair system has long been in practice for many years, it does come
at a price. The administration has said then the principals will no                Our Participation
longer hold discretion in decisions pertaining to a teacher absence
and the absence will be charged according to a strict percentage of
                                                                                        in the
the time that is missed. We all welcome this because it is the fair         New York State English Council
and right decision and an appropriate practice. Also, we all should
be forewarned administration will be strict on contractual work                         page7
time. This is an area where there is no discussion because we are
held to the 7 hour and 12 minute time work day that is part of our
contractual agreement. We all should be aware of what our work                       Reports:
day entails and hold ourselves to that standard in the minimum.
    There are a few issues that are still unresolved. On the elemen-                 Grievance page 3
tary level, there are schools where the special area duty teachers are               Elementary page 4
working two duties. The district argues this is the fallout of safety
and security of our students. We are probably heading towards                        Conference page 10
arbitration on this issue to seek indemnification. Also, paid teacher
chaperones are still a major question. I make the argument how
can the district make statements that safety and security are an is-
sue when it comes to our students, and then in the same breath, say
                   P. M. C. T. EXECUTIVE               2006-2007 BUILDING                    Treasurer's report
                        COMMITTEE                       REPRESENTATIVES
                     PRESIDENT (&DELEGATE)                       HIGH SCHOOL
                         Paul Pecorale               Joe Baglio, Beth Claps,Ellen DiFazio,
                                                      Patrick Godfrey, Nancy Goldfader,
                                                         Frank Juzwiak Jr., Tom Kelly,
                  VICE-PRESIDENT (&DELEGATE)                     Fran Kosiczky
                         Beth Warnken                       Lisa Perera, Skip Rasso,
                                                                Keiran Sweeney,
                  ELEMENTARY VICE-PRESIDENT            Michelle Thoden, Ralph Towlen
                        Jeff Peterson                         MIDDLE SCHOOLS
                  MIDDLE SCHOOL VICE-PRESIDENT               Matthew Krawczyk,
                          Jeanne Kessel            Debbie McGrath,Michael Swezey, Barbara
                  HIGH SCHOOL VICE-PRESIDENT          Terry Breen, Maureen Desmond,
                          Gail Shafer                        Anthony Frascogna,
                                                              John Passannante
                     TREASURER (&DELEGATE)                      SOUTH OCEAN
                         Brian O’Neill                 Jessica Klaric, Diane Peterson,
                                                                Jeanne Smith

     2               SECRETARY (&DELEGATE)
                         Beth Warnken
                                                             ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
                                                         Ellen Quatrale, Eileen Scott,
                  CHAIRPERSONS-MEMBERSHIP                        Kevin Toolan
                       LaNel Kavander                           Linda Locantore,
S p e a k O u t

                         Cheryl Baker                      Claudia Rais Van Florcke
                  CHAIRPERSONS-COMMUNITY                  Karen Eten, Sherri Nevola,
                          OUTREACH                                 Kim Wolf
                         Jackie Nolan                    Lisa Alberto, Lauren Lindsay
                        Linda Nowicki                             Susan Stahl
                   Student Citizens’Awards                         MEDFORD
                        Kathy Murphy                   Vicki Atkins,Melinda Mclaughlin,
                                                                 Rebecca Tyler
                  CHAIRPERSONS-PUBLICATIONS             Sharon Deland, Cynthia Zegel
                         Ellen DiFazio                             TREMONT
                          Tom Kowell                    June Gagnon, Maria Grimaldi,
                  CHAIRPERSON-POLITICAL ACTION               Karol Boddy-Wallace
                          Eileen Beebe
                                                           Health & Safety
                                                        PLEASE BE SMART:
                                                          If you have a health
                  PMRE Representative Assembly      or safety complaint or concern
                   Jane Conetta, Carol LaBarbera      in the workplace have your
                   Irene Lawrence, Marge Quinn,     building representative contact
                            Ellen Siegel                    the Union Office:
Continued from page one
of voting 100% on the issues which affect us all. Governor-elect
Spitzer should be better for everyone on school funding. We await
with interest the Democratic Party majority in both the House of
Representatives and the Senate to see how changes in No Child
Left Behind, funding of IDEA, and other labor laws play out.
We helped elect these officials, and we should and will demand
changes for the betterment of our public schools, retirement is-
sues, health care, and the labor movement.                                 The Patchogue-Medford Congress of Teachers
    With the holiday season upon us, the Executive Board of the
                                                                           Executive Board along with the Outreach Commit-
PMCT and I would like to extend our best wishes for happiness
and good health with the best of fortunes to all in the upcom-
                                                                           tee would like to thank the following people who
ing New Year. This time of year is a season to enjoy, and we all           contributed blood at our Annual PMCT Blood Drive
should appreciate being rejuvenated by rest, relaxation and the            that was held at Patchogue-Medford High School on
company of good friends and family. Happy Holidays everyone!               November 6, 2006:
In Solidarity,
Paul                                                                                       NAME
Attendance Sheet Update                                                    Tracey Baer
                                                                           Joseph Baglio
                                                                                                David Gervino
                                                                                                Nancy Goldfader
 The Office of Human Resources has received many disputed at-              Gary Bavosa          Seth Haugland
 tendance records.                                                         Katherine Benincasa Robert MacDevitt
 Paul has had a conversation with the HR office and they have yet to       Lori Botta           Pat McKenna
 respond to any of these concerns. They have stated they will get to                            William McNally
                                                                           Terry Breen
 them soon and you should receive a response to the dispute.
                                                                           Kerri Bruckner       Nicole Mistretta
Grievance Report                                                           Vincent Bruno        Kathleen Murphy
                                                                           Maureen Campanelli Sue Noble
Lunch detention duty has been discontinued. However, we have               Francis Carroylo     Linda Nowicki
not received any written agreement from the District. Arbitration          Cathleen Cavanagh    Melissa O’Brien
papers were submitted on 10/5/06.                                                               Andrew Oreste
                                                                           Dawn Ciccone
                                                                           Bernice Cunningham Scott Parris

                                                                                                                                     S p e a k O u t
PM Detention has only been negotiated for Oregon Middle School.
Anyone who is being asked to work a differentiated schedule in             Sharon Deland        Susan Radoulovitch
any other school should contact Beth Warnken.                              Barbara Doucette     Claudia Rais Van Florcke
                                                                           Suzanne Doucette     Kevin Ray
The Class Action Grievance filed on behalf of teachers who were            Stephanie Fallica    Lisa Santiago
involuntarily transferred at the beginning of this school year has         Kelly Farmer         Brittany Silver
been settled. In the future, the District will furnish the transferred     Cheryl Flannigan     Jean Marie Smith
teachers with options, if they are available, and the Congress will        Gail Fiorelli        Amanda Strong
be notified in advance of the transfers. However, no written agree-        John Fren            Kevin Vann
ment has been received from the District. Arbitration papers were                               Maureen Whittaker
                                                                           Bridgette Gallagher
submitted on 10/5/06.
                                                                           Jennifer Gatz        Wendy Wysowski
Paul and Beth continue to have conversations with administration
regarding special area teachers assigned a double duty. Arbitration        In all 38 pints of blood were collected from 46
papers are pending.                                                        people. We thank you for your support of this
                                                                           worthwhile cause.
The Class Action Grievance filed on behalf of the Social Stud-
ies Department regarding the posting of available positions was          dures will be followed. However, no written agreement
settled. In the future, all vacant/available positions will be posted    has been received from the District.
and all procedures will be followed. However, no written agree-
ment has been received from the District.                                The Level 2 Grievance filed on behalf of a social studies
                                                                         teacher who was not given the opportunity to apply for a
The Level 2 Grievance on notification of available positions to          vacant position was settled. The District acknowledged
the Congress was settled. In the future, the PMCT will be notified       any wrongdoing and the teacher will be given the oppor-
in writing of any and all vacant/available positions and all proce-      tunity to apply for the position.
                   Elementary Report                                              by Jeff Peterson – Elementary Level Vice-President
                  As I sit back and reflect on another start of a new school        It is the little things that can make some of these stresses a bit
                  year and the challenges that it brings, I am proud to be an       easier to deal with. For example, uniformity across the district
                  elementary teacher in the Patchogue-Medford School Dis-           in all seven elementary buildings makes it easier to know that
                  trict. Every year, we are ready and eager as new groups of        we are all in the same boat. Having the same amount of time
                  students enter through our doors and into our classrooms,         for PDP and extra-help sessions is very important and I must
                  to embark on learning the foundations of education that           thank Beth Warnken for working to make this a reality. In ad-
                  will take these same children through middle school, high         dition, a start time of 9:15 across all seven buildings is also
                  school, and life. We all should be very proud of the time         very helpful as those few minutes after PDP and before the
                  and effort that each and every one of us devotes to setting       students arrive are so precious for us to do essential things,
                  up the classrooms, planning our curriculum, and preparing         like going to the bathroom, finish setting up the classroom,
                  our thoughts and strategies for a new school year. It is an       writing a morning message, and getting mentally prepared for
                  ambitious endeavor that occurs every year at the end of           the start of the day so that we are truly ready for the students.
                  August into the beginning of September. The amount of             Once again, I would like to thank both Paul and Beth for being
                  preparation for a school teacher is incredible, not only at       a voice of the elementary school teachers so that we can have
                  the beginning of the school year, but throughout the entire       those few minutes to prepare.
                                                                                    I would like to welcome all of our new members to the district
                  With that in mind, I am also aware of all the challenges that     and the new principals at the elementary level. We have always
                  many of us face day to day in the classroom. We are, many         had a great, working relationship between the teachers and
                  times, asked to do so much more than just be a teacher of         principals. It has been a relationship marked with open dia-
                  academics. With a lack of federal funding and state fund-         logue, discussion, and a general respect that we are all here for
                  ing for various programs, we are often asked to do so much        the students. These conversations have led to solutions and a
     4            more with much less. It is unfortunate that at a time of such     wonderful working environment in the elementary buildings. I
                  high-stakes testing, that the demands on both teachers and        look forward to seeing this relationship continue in the future.
                  students can be increased with less resources. At the same
                  time, teachers tell me how stressful this can be when being       Stay involved! There are many ways to support the PMCT and
                  pulled in so many directions. Add onto this greater class         the community of Patchogue and Medford. Get to know your
                  sizes, and it can be very trying to successfully and fully        building representatives and your Outreach reps in your build-
S p e a k O u t

                  meet all of the needs of every student in any given day.          ings. Submit articles and photographs to Ellen DiFazio at the
                  Fortunately, we have a large group of dedicated profession-       High School for Publications showing all of the great things
                  als willing to put in the time for our students to meet their     you are doing in your schools. I wish everyone a happy and
                  needs.                                                            healthy holiday season!

                   Meeting Albert Shanker                                           step one, yet a new teacher just hired was brought in on step
                                                                                    three. Due to these gross inequities and the government’s
                   By Christina Paino                                               unwillingness to negotiate, both unions called for a strike that
                           I began my teaching career in the territory of the       began on Feb. 1st of 1976.
                  U.S. Virgin Islands on the island of St. Croix. Since the          Both unions were affiliated with the American Federation of
                  Virgin Islands are a U.S. territory, we were government           Teachers (the AFT), whose president at the time was the well-
                  employees. I taught at a large junior high school in the          known Albert Shanker. Shanker had been instrumental in the
                  town of Christiansted, on the eastern end of the island. In       NYC teacher strikes of the late 1960’s and was instrumental
                  my second year there, the teachers contract had expired and       in securing many rights and benefits for teachers in the United
                  the government was unwilling to negotiate. There were 2           Federation of Teachers (NYC). After 3 long weeks of a very
                  unions at the time: the St. Thomas-St. John Federation of         acrimonious strike with no end in sight, Shanker flew down
                  Teachers and the St. Croix Federation of Teachers. Both           to St. Croix and St. Thomas to meet with the membership to
                  unions worked closely together advocating for the rights of       show his support and to urge us to remain strong in spite of
                  teachers even though there were 40 miles of Caribbean Sea         the government’s efforts to “break” the unions.
                  separating the islands.                                           The meeting was held on a Sunday morning at a local movie
                           Since the contract had expired, the government           theater with Al Shanker being the keynote speaker. As we
                  payroll office was not offering any step increments to            gathered in the parking lot before the meeting, he came right
                  teachers, yet they were bringing in new teachers “on step”.       into the groups of teacher and not only shook hands with each
                  So you could have been there for 3 years and still be on
                                                                                                              Continued on page 6

S p e a k O u t
                               PMCT HAPPENINGS                                 Meeting Albert Shanker - Continued from page 5
                                                                               and everyone of us, but personally encouraged each of us to be
                                                                               the best teachers we could be while also working for teachers
                                                                               and student’s rights. As the meeting began inside the theater, his
                  December 4th       Superintendent’s                          speech was so moving and uplifting that you knew immediately
                                     Forum @ Medford                           why we became teachers in the first place and also understood the
                  December 6th       PMCT Rep Assembly                         need to organize for equity in the workplace.
                                                                               The next day was a Monday and there, bright and early, on the
                                     Dinner/Meeting                            picket lines with us for the entire day was Al Shanker, holding a
                  December 7th       PMRE Holiday                              huge AFT sign and showing his support and solidarity with our
                                     Luncheon                                  cause. The strike dragged on for 6 weeks eventually going into
                  December 11th-15th PMCT                                      binding arbitration with the arbitrator being sent from the federal
                                                                               government. The arbitrator ruled that every member should be
                                     Communications Week                       placed on their correct step, which was a huge victory for the
                  December 12th      Ed#22 Meeting                             unions at that time.
                  December 18th      Board of Education                        However, we were federal employees who are not eligible to
                                                                               strike. So once we went back to work, we paid fines of 2 days
                                     Meeting @ So. Ocean                       pay for everyday we were on strike. That was a hefty sum con-
                  December 20th      Executive Board                           sidering we were already out of work for the past 6 weeks.
                                     Meeting & Holiday                          As a teacher, I saw first hand the influence of Al Shanker, a life-
                                                                               long advocate for teacher’s rights and benefits. Being on strike,
                                     Dinner                                    especially a teacher’s strike, is a very difficult decision to make.
                  December 25th-                                               Due to the circumstances at the time and a very dedicated teacher
                  January 2nd        Holiday Recess                            advocate in Albert Shanker, our unions in the Virgin Islands were
                                                                               successful and still exist today with outstanding benefits and
                          SEASON’S GREETINGS!                                  rights for teachers. Many teachers in the USVI today still credit
                                                                               the strike of 1976 as the beginning of a better educational system
     6                                                                         for the children of the 3 islands.

                           NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND---THE FOOTBALL VERSION
S p e a k O u t

                   1. All teams must make the state playoffs and all           3. Talented players will be asked to workout on their own, without
                   MUST win the championship. If a team does not win           instruction. This is because the coaches will be using all their in-
                   the championship, they will be on probation until they      structional time with the athletes who aren’t interested in football,
                   are the champions, and coaches will be held account-        have limited athletic ability or whose parents don’t like football.
                   able. If, after two years, they have not won the cham-
                   pionship their footballs and equipment will be taken        4. Games will be played year round, but statistics will only be
                   away UNTIL they do win the championship.                    kept in the 4th, 8th, and 11th game. It will create a New Age of
                                                                               Sports where every school is expected to have the same level
                   2. All kids will be expected to have the same football      of talent and all teams will reach the same minimum goals. If
                   skills at the same time even if they do not have the        no child gets ahead, then no child gets left behind. If parents do
                   same conditions or opportunities to practice on their       not like this new law, they are encouraged to vote for vouchers
                   own. NO exceptions will be made for lack of interest        and support private schools that can screen out the non-athletes
                   in football, a desire to perform athletically, or genetic   and prevent their children from having to go to school with bad
                   abilities or disabilities of themselves or their parents.   football players.

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    to the following newly appointed PMCT            Our Participation
                                                           in the
            Committee Chairpersons:
      -      Ellen DiFazio
             Tom Kowell                               New York State
             Cheryl Baker
             LaNel Kavander
                                                      English Council
      -      Jackie Nolan
      -      Terry Silver
  Political Action
      -      Eileen Beebe
 These chairpersons have been appointed as of
October 2006 and each will serve a two year term.

                                                              Angela D’Amico, Christine McElwee
                                                                  and Diane Schatz-Peterson

                                                                                                          S p e a k O u t
                                                     On October 20, 2006 Angela D’Amico (High
                                                     School Reading), Christine McElwee (High
                                                     School Reading) and Diane Schatz-Peterson (So.
On his way to becoming                               Ocean Middle School Reading) presented a work-
                                                     shop at the New York State English Council’s
an Eagle Scout                                       56th Annual Conference. Their topic was, Build-
                                                     ing Tolerance in the Multicultural Classroom-A
NICE ONE!                                            Project for Secondary Students. In their work-
Patricia Stavdal’s (a teacher at the High School)    shop, they demonstrated ways to promote toler-
son, James, from Troop #79 in Yaphank, is on         ance in the classroom by having students research
his way to becoming an Eagle Scout, the highest      their own cultural backgrounds through the use
honor in scouting. James delighted the residents     of Culture Grams, family interviews, and online
of Cedar Lodge Nursing Home in Center Moriches       resources. They also shared ways to promote
with his project of making handicapped accessible    conversation amongst the students by encouraging
picnic tables. James not only designed the tables,   them to share the information about themselves,
but raised the money and constructed them as         thus alleviating classroom tensions. Their materi-
well. The residents of the nursing home were very    als were obtained through a MESTRACT grant
pleased with his project.                            and through This
Congratulations on a job well done!                  workshop was very well received.
                                                     We thank them for all their hard work and a job
                                                     well done!
                                                                                  Social Studies class at Saxton. There is contract language
                     Executive Board Meeting Minutes to address this issue. Paul will look into this issue. Jeanne
                                                                                  also reported that principals are requiring teachers to sign in
                  Representative Assembly                                         at Back-to-School night. Paul reiterated that teachers attend
                  June 7, 2006                                                    Back-to-School night as a courtesy, and therefore should
                                                                                  not be reprimanded for not attending. However, teachers
                  New Business: Andy reminded the RA of the PMCT Re-              are encouraged to attend. Gail asked about the proposed
                  tirement Party on June 16, 2006 at the Bellport Country         superintendent’s conference day on February 6th. There will
                  Club. Andy reported on the Memorandum of Agreement              be three superintendent’s conference days for the second-
                  on the half day conference day. It is still in the hands of     ary school, and four superintendent’s conference days for
                  the attorneys because of a stipulation. Middle school           elementary schools. Superintendent’s conference days count
                  representatives pointed out that the 8th Grade Moving-          as days of instruction. Gail reported that some high school
                  Up Ceremonies are scheduled for the night of June 21st.         computer courses have rosters larger than the number of
                  Postcards in support of the budget will be mailed out to        computers available. Gail discussed the color coded passes
                  the community. Volunteers are needed to make phone calls        being issued in the high school. Gail asked about the progress
                  and walk through out the community touching base with           in class size equity. Gail reported on the moldy and corroded
                  NYSUT members. Andy discussed his decision to retire.           ceilings in several areas of the high school. Gail asked about
                  Andy reported on the seniority list. Andy distributed data      4/6 split situations. Any teacher with this type of schedule
                  sheets to the RA. These data sheets will help to update         should contact Paul. Gail discussed a bus situation. Gail
                  our records. Paul reported on Special Ed issues. He met         also discussed Inclusion compliance issues. Paul asked that
                  with Marj Bernstein. Paul discussed the particulars on the      teachers forward specific facts on their situation. The lack of
                  “Walk Throughout the Community.” He distributed lawn            training and problems with E-School were discussed. Frank
                  signs and phone banks are set up.                               asked about the memo regarding badges. Paul reported
                                                                                  that he has a block of Islander tickets available for $25.00.
                  Actions Taken: It was moved to accept the 2006-2007             Terri reported that the flyers for the Making Strides Walk are
                  budget and to amend the PMCT Constitution to read               ready. Terri and Jackie will be at the Suffolk NYSUT tent.
                  “NYSUT/NEA NY and its national affiliates.”                     The blood drive is scheduled for November 6th. Jeff asked if
                                                                                  information regarding grants that teacher’s have been award-
                  Executive Board Meeting                                         ed be shared in SpeakOut and Connections. Ellen reported
                  September 27, 2006                                              that the format of Connections will be changed to include
     8            New Business: Paul congratulated LaNel Kavander who
                                                                                  more pictures and white paper. They are considering color
                                                                                  pictures. They are researching prices to present at the next
                  is the new NYSUT/AFT Delegate. Paul appointed Terry             meeting. Frank discussed updating the mailing list. Teachers
                  Silver as the Outreach Co-Chairperson. Paul discussed           are encouraged to forward pictures of special events. Eileen
                  election procedures. Paul has contacted D. Gamberg              reported that Vote/Cope reminders have been sent. Eileen is
                  regarding MESTRACT grants. Paul discussed the nego-             working on the voting list. Paul is developing a personalize
                  tiations survey. Paul announced the LIPC essay contest          letter informing people of endorsed candidates.
S p e a k O u t

                  submissions are due by November 6th. Paul reported on
                  November election and phone banks. Paul discussed NYS           Actions Taken: It was moved to increase Cheryl Flannigan’s
                  retirement convention delegates. Beth presented informa-        salary and to also increase her IRA contribution to 6%, for
                  tion from the Long Island Federation of Labor meeting.          PMCT to pay for the printing and shipping of the shirts not
                  Delegates are Paul, Beth, Eileen, and Linda. Discussion         to exceed $480, and to retain Jane Conetta as consultant not
                  was held regarding Instructional Support Program (ISP).         to exceed $2000.00.
                  Paul reported that November 7th is a school holiday. Paul
                  requested that teachers forward information about changes       Executive Board Meeting
                  in chaperone coverage in their buildings. Beth reported         October 11, 2006
                  we are going to be filing a Level 1 grievance on behalf of
                  teachers who have been assigned a double duty. Beth is          New Business: Discussion was held regarding teachers as-
                  considering filing improper practice charges against the        signed a 6th teaching period for pay. Paul reported that class
                  district regarding chaperones, on behalf of the coaches         sizes are now equitable. Paul and Jeff discussed elementary
                  who will not be paid the first half of their coaching stipend   representation on the negotiation committee. Questions were
                  on September 29th and the Instructional Support Program         asked regarding interns. Jeannie reported on BEDS forms.
                  at the high school. We are awaiting a response from the         Jeannie also reported that a traveling teacher has not been
                  Superintendent for the Level II grievances that were filed      provided sufficient travel time. Jeannie asked about the math
                  on behalf of the teachers assigned the newly created lunch      plus program. The program is not considered a prep and,
                  detention duty. Jeff had questions about inclusion teachers     therefore, lesson plans do not need to be submitted. Jeannie
                  being assigned duties. Inclusion teachers should not be as-     reported that keys are still missing for classrooms. Jeannie
                  signed duty. Jeff asked about the results of the discussion     also reported that phone cords are too short. Work orders
                  with D. Gamberg regarding student arrival and dismissal.        should be submitted for all repairs. Jeannie also reported that
                  Jeff and Beth have proposed a schedule for Parent Teacher       an issue with progress reports has been resolved. Teachers
                  Conferences. Beth will discuss this issue with David. Jeff      have three days to complete progress reports. Jeannie asked
                  is writing a NEA grant to purchase books for distribution       about the Xerox paper allotment. The district distributed Xe-
                  at teacher conferences. Jeanne discussed the inequity           rox paper on a per student basis. Jeannie reported that copy
                  in Xerox paper distribution to each of the three middle         room turn around is approximately three weeks, not the 5 – 7
                  schools. Jeanne reported that a principal is teaching a         days listed on the form. Gail reported that interim comments
                                                                   Services, Inc. “When You Wish Upon A Star” evening in the
have changed. Gail asked about the operation and staffing of       amount of $100.00, to purchase membership for the 2006
the testing center. Gail also asked if teachers should be on       – 2007 in the Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce for
the crisis team. Gail asked about the coaches receiving their      the amount of $225, and to purchase a 1/16 page journal ad in
stipends according to past practice.                               the amount of $200.00 from the Nassau County and Suffolk
                                                                   County Building and Construction Trades Council.
Action Taken: It was moved to donate $700 to the Making
Strides Walk.                                                      Executive Board Meeting
                                                                   November 8, 2006
Executive Board Meeting                                            Brian discussed a dispute with the State Insurance Fund.
October 26, 2006                                                   New Business: Paul discussed Election Day results. Paul re-
                                                                   ported that 38 pints of blood were collected at the blood drive.
New Business: Beth reported that the December 6 RA will            Paul has posted the seniority list in each faculty room. Paul
be a dinner/workshop. Beth also reported that we collected         discussed the 1⁄2 day, full day sick day charges. Paul has in-
over $9,000 for the Making Strides Walk, putting us as the         formed the district that this is a change in working conditions
top contributor for Suffolk NYSUT. Beth discussed holiday          and will continue conversation with district administration re-
cards to be sent to local labor unions. Beth reported that         garding this issue. NYSUT pamphlets on testing will be sent
there is a conflict between the Student Citizen Awards and a       to teachers of grades 3 – 8 for distribution. Paul discussed the
board meeting. To solve this, Student Citizen Awards will be       purchasing of holiday gifts for the District Office secretarial
moved up 1⁄2 hour and the board meeting will be delayed 1⁄2        staff. Paul announced that Jeff will be part of the negotiations
hour. Beth also reported on her attendance at the Patchogue        committee. Gail reported that ESL teachers were relieved of
Theater for the Performing Arts. PMCT was recognized as            a duty to complete testing of students. In addition, some ESL
a sponsor in an announcement that night and in publica-            teachers have been asked to complete administrative work.
tions. The election procedure committee will consist of            Paul will look into this issue. Gail discussed a memo distrib-
Paul, Beth, Gail and Jeff. Beth reported that petitions have       uted in the high school regarding the new attendance policy.
been received for committee chairpersons. All chairpersons         Paul reported that he and members of the executive board did
have been appointed by Paul. Beth discussed purchasing             a first reading of the policy last summer and submitted feed-
a political cartoon to use in SpeakOut. Beth reported on           back to Mrs.. Bernstein. We did not receive a second reading.
the negotiation survey. Jeff and Sharon Deland have been
awarded a $5000 grant to purchase books for distribution by
                                                                   The policy has been approved by the Board of Education.
                                                                   Jeff asked if leave replacement teachers accrue sick time. This
Pre-K through 3rd grade teachers at Parent Teacher confer-         needs to be determined on an individual basis. Jeff asked
ences during the 2007-2008 school year. Jeff thanked Paul          questions regarding the BEDS form and the ramifications of
and Beth for attending the elementary building rep meetings.       being not “highly qualified.” The district is required to make
Paul and Beth have also attended meetings at some of the el-       all teachers “highly qualified” through professional develop-
ementary buildings. Jeanne discussed the lack of chaperones        ment. Jeff asked if teachers are entitled to prep time during

                                                                                                                                      S p e a k O u t
at school events. Jeanne reported on Teacher-to-Teacher            the parent-teacher conference days. Teacher prep time is the
Support services assigned to inclusion teachers. Gail asked        5 minutes between conferences. Jeff discussed the new IST
questions about the inclusion program. There is not a written      and CSE regulations regarding documentation required by
inclusion model used throughout the district. Gail reported        elementary school teachers. Teachers must start documenting
on the Intruder Drill at the high school held October 24th.        Response to Intervention (RTI). Jeff discussed the distribu-
Gail also reported on SPAM received on district e-mail. Gail       tion of the tickets to “Peter and the Wolf” at the Patchogue
also reported on reserved parking spots. Ellen reported on         Theatre for the Performing Arts. Jeff asked about making
the next issue of Connections. Next deadline for Connec-           copies in each building. All supplies were distributed based
tions is December 29th. Tom reported on the next issue of          on student population and each principal decided on paper
SpeakOut. Grievance Report: Beth reported that a Level II          allotments for the building. Jeff asked about charges for lost
grievance was filed due to the failure of the district to notify   badges. Paul will review the PERB decision. Jeanne reported
the President of the Congress of vacant and available posi-        that three middle school principals and three faculty members
tions as soon as availability was known. A Class action Level      will attend the “Breaking Ranks” conference on November
II grievance was filed on behalf of the SS Dept. with regards      13th, 2006. Jeanne discussed the use of PDP time. Ellen also
to the posting of available positions. A Level II grievance        reported that December 20th, 2006 is the deadline for the next
was filed on behalf of a teacher not afforded the opportunity      issue of Connection. Ellen also reported that future articles
to apply for an available 6th teaching period.                     will report on distribution of backpacks. Paul and Beth have
                                                                   been invited to attend a Lion’s Club meeting for official rec-
Actions Taken: It was moved to print holiday cards not to          ognition of PMCT support of this program. Tom discussed
exceed $250, to enter into executive session at 4:35 PM, to        the next issue of SpeakOut. The deadline will be December
exit executive session at 4:41PM, to purchase the copyright        21st, 2006. Tom also discussed the printing of Speakout. He
to publish a political cartoon to be used in SpeakOut in the       suggested that we consider changing the way we print Speak-
amount of $15.00, to purchase a block of 28 tickets not to         Out. Currently we take it to a printer. Tom suggested looking
exceed $800 to “Peter and the Wolf” at the Patchogue Theater       into printing it in-house to increase efficiency of printing. In
to be used as recognition awards, to form an election commit-      addition, he suggested moving toward publishing SpeakOut
tee consisting of Paul, Beth, Gail, and Jeff to review election    electronically to reduce costs. Tom will research costs of
procedures, and to purchase positive postcards for Outreach        changing our equipment.
not to exceed $1800.00. The GWC moved to purchase a                Grievance Report: Beth reported that lunch detention duty
journal ad for the Patchogue-Medford Youth and Community           has been discontinued. Paul is working with Mr.. Mostow
                                                                                                       Continued on page 10
                                                                                      Conference Reports
                  Continued from page 9
                  for compensation for those teachers affected. Beth reported
                  on the signed MOA at Oregon that allowed the principal to
                  ask for volunteers to work a differentiated work day in order               Paul's and Tom's Excellent Adventure
                  to hold after school detention. This has only been negotiated
                  for Oregon Middle School. Beth has filed arbitration papers         NYSTRS (New York State Teachers Retirement System) del-
                  regarding teachers involuntarily transferred and the failure of     egates Paul Pecorale and Tom Kowell recently attended the
                  the district to notify the PMCT President in advance of trans-      NYSUT Benefits Conference in Albany (November 3-4) and
                  fers. Beth reported on the issue of teachers at the elementary      NYSTRS’s 86th Annual Delegates Meeting held in Saratoga
                  level being assigned double duties. Paul and Beth will con-         Springs (November 6-7).
                  tinue to discuss this issue with Mr.. Mostow. Beth reported on
                  three Level II grievances filed concerning the posting of avail-    First the Benefits Conference:
                  able positions, the failure of the district to notify the PMCT
                  President of available positions, and on behalf of a SS teacher
                  not given the opportunity to apply for an available position.       What is an Employee Benefit Fund?
                  The district has acknowledged fault, and is drawing up the
                  paperwork to correct the situation.                                 An Employee Benefit Fund is a collectively bargained pro-
                                                                                      gram designed to provide a plan of benefits to the members
                  Actions Taken: It was moved to spend an additional $103.97          of the bargaining unit and their dependents.
                  for Community Outreach toy donation to before and after care
                  centers and to purchase $300 worth of Fair Trade products
                  to distribute as holiday gifts to the District Office secretarial   What does it do?
                  staff. The GWC moved to donate $100 to Brookhaven Hos-
                  pice and to donate $100 to NYS Labor-Religion Coalition.            A fund is an autonomous entity governed by union appointed
                                                                                      trustees. The trustees have the power to purchase insurances

                             BUY UNION!
                                                                                      and/or to self-fund employee benefits. Typically, these might
                                                                                      include: dental plans, optical/vision insurance, life insurance,

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                                                                                      short or long term disability insurance, legal plans, and rid-
     10                                                                               ers or enhancements to employer-provided health insurance

                    AFL-CIO’s online                        What are the advantages of a Benefit Fund?
                    Powell                                      Given the same benefit dollars, Funds almost always provide
                    – the largest unionized bookstore in America
S p e a k O u t

                                                                                      the members a superior benefit program when compared to
                                                                                      an employer-operated benefit program. The primary purpose
                    Justice                          of a Fund is to make the most out of every available dollar.
                    No Sweat or                        Fund trustees, having a vested interest in their benefits, usu-
                                                  ally do a far better job of shopping for benefits and negotiat-
                    - sweatshop-free 100% union made clothing                         ing with insurance carriers. Many Funds eventually self-
                                                                                      fund many benefits, reducing and often eliminating insurance
                    Guild                                company overhead and profit from the cost of providing
                    - high quality union-made acoustic guitars
                                                                                      What is the NYSUT Member Benefit Trust?
                    Holiday –
                    For union-made & union-themed cards, posters, cloth-              In 1983, NYSUT created the Member Benefit Trust as a tax-
                    ing & more                                                        exempt, not-for-profit Trust Fund for the purpose of provid-
                    Global Exhange’s 2007 Peace Calander@http/                        ing members and agency fee payers with access to quality,
                                                     competitive insurance plans and benefit programs. The Trust
                    United Farm –                            acts in an advocacy role, helping members to obtain and
                    Selling signed prints by Simon Silva                              maintain quality benefit programs at competitive prices.

                                                                                      Does PMCT have an Employee Benefits Fund?
                    Also remember
                    Cingular Wireless for cellular phones                             At the present time, no it does not, however; President Peco-
                    Union Built PC for new computers                                  rale and the executive are looking into the possibility of such
                    + Old Favorites such as Scrabble, Etch-a-Sketch and               a fund for the PMCT.
                    Radio Flyer wagons + classic films like
                    NormaRae, Salt of the Earth or Harlan County. USA
   The following PMCT members are recipients of
      MESTRACT Mini-grants for 2006/2007.
    MESTRACT received many excellent applications for funding. Sixteen (16) teachers from
    Patchogue-Medford were award a $1,500.00 grant. This is quite an honor since there were many
    applications submitted this year. It shows, once again, the dedication of our teachers to the im-
    provement of education.
    TEACHER               SCHOOL                         GRANT TITLE
    Robert Alonso         @ Bay                          Huzzah! Three Cheers for the
    Sarah Gordon                                         First Regiment!
    Diana Newman
    Joan D’Urso            @ Medford                     A Bug’s Life
    Linda Locantore        @ Bay                         Dancing Through the Decades
    Carole Charach
    Sherry McPherson      @ High School                  E.A.S.Y – EB – Effective Alternatives (to)
                                                         Smoking (for) You – Evidenced-Based
    Linda Conway          @ Oregon                       Recyclers to the Rescue
    Linda Nowicki
    Lisa Kovitz
    Robert DeFichy        @ Bay                          There is No “I” in Team
    Gina McGuire          @ Bay                          Audible Audubon                                                            11
    Edward Ohlsen         @ Eagle                        Leaping Into Learning:
                                                         Tadpoles and Technology
    Cheryl Carr           @ Oregon                       The Spine Crackers Book Club
    Kerryn Fries          @ Bay                          Writing with the Stars!

                                                                                                                                   S p e a k O u t
    Barbara LoGuidice
    An additional CONGRATULATIONS goes out to
    Robert Alonso at Bay Elementary School
    who was also awarded a $1,500.00 Technology Mini-Grant.
    Thank you ALL for a job well done and for your commitment to education!
Second the NYSTRS Delegates Meeting:                            Legislation:

Show me the Money:                                              There doesn’t seem to be a great deal happening. A “55/25”
                                                                did pass in both houses of the state legislature only to be ve-
The Board of Directors reported that NYSTRS had its third       toed by the governor. The Legislation page of the NYSTRS
consecutive year of strong performance. During this fiscal      web site (www. is the best place to check out the
year, the System’s assets grew by $6.6 billion and our fund     latest information on pending and previously enacted laws.
rate of return was an impressive 11.8%.
The System’s net assets, which represent funds available to
pay current and future benefits, were $91.5 billion as of the   The two hot topics at the meeting were the issue of Tier
end of the current fiscal year. Since 1990 the Fund has more    equity and believe it or not the improbable creation of a Tier
than tripled in size.                                           5 (Individual 401ks for new teachers). NYSTRS has stated
Benefits paid to retirees and members grew, rising from $4.1    that it will continue to press for Tier equity and would vigor-
billion in 2005 to $4.4 billion in 2006.                        ously oppose a Tier 5. Current members, of course, need not
The System’s funded ratio, a comparison of the actuarial        worry; the New York State constitution guarantees your pen-
value of assets to the accrued pension liability was 98.8% as   sion. See Article V, Section 7 which states: “…Any pension
of the June 2005 valuation. This is way above the national      or retirement system of the state or a civil division thereof
average and marks the System as one of the strongest in the     shall be a contractual relationship, the benefits of which shall
nation.                                                         not be diminished or impaired.”
                           THE PMCT EXECUTIVE BOARD
                              WOULD LIKE TO WISH
                                  EVERYONE A
                              HAPPY, HEALTHY AND
                             SAFE HOLIDAY SEASON.

S p e a k O u t

                  H   A PP Y HOL

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