Your PAT Bargaining Team is happy to announce that on Friday, December 11, 2020 (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3), we made significant progress with PPS towards finalizing an agreement regarding Limited In-Person Instruction (LIPI). The Agreement guarantees that educators have autonomy in determining how to carry out Limited In-Person Instruction.
Though NOT in signed form, the discussion led to verbal agreements as follows:
1) Guaranteeing that LIPI instruction will be provided by educators on a voluntary basis. If the district cannot find a volunteer from the regularly employed PAT membership, PPS will open the positions to PAT substitute educators.
2) Recognizing the added workload on educators who do both LIPI and regular on-line instruction. Volunteers who agree to provide LIPI during teacher-directed time in their regular schedule will be paid at their individual per-diem hourly rate for all lost teacher-directed time plus for an additional hour per week for time spent planning LIPI sections.
3) Guaranteeing that educators who volunteer can rescind their volunteer offer if they do not feel safe once they inspect the space provided for LIPI, or if they feel that the time required or safety issues are too great to continue.
What helped the two teams make such quick progress was the presentation of the PAT’s COVID-19 LIPI Interests survey results. It was clear to both teams that most PAT members believe that the workload and safety concerns related to in-person instruction prohibit large-scale LIPI activities.
Your team and the PPS team agreed that the state’s cap of twenty students in a LIPI cohort could be divided up however the volunteer educator feels provides for safety, student needs, and pedagogical efficacy. For example, if a classroom has an in-person capacity of 14 students (35 square-feet per student), the professional educator could divide the two-hour time period of LIPI into two groups of 7 students, with one hour for each group.
The two bargaining teams are so close to agreement on language that they will exchange proposals via email in order to speed up the process.
Unfortunately, we did not have time to address the PAT proposals that would guarantee adequate support for families and communities. (View PAT’s Permissive Community Interest Proposal here.) While the PAT team originally put forward a version of these proposals back in August, we provided the District with a newer version of them the day before bargaining on December 11. Our proposals include adding dedicated staff teams to consistently support students whose needs are not being met by CDL, providing physical materials to students who need them, and providing communications and supports to families in their preferred language. PAT continues to believe that supporting our students and families is vital to making distance learning more successful. We will address those proposals when we return from winter break.
Your PAT Bargaining Team-
Steve Lancaster, Chair