Archives for August 2013

Know your Weingarten rights

Thirty years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court protected unionized workers’ rights to due process during questioning by a supervisor. The case, NLRB v. J. Weingarten, has come to define what’s known as your Weingarten rights. If you are asked to attend a meeting with your principal or supervisor for an unspecified reason, you should exercise these rights.

First, ask the principal or supervisor to clarify the reason for the meeting. You cannot refuse to attend a meeting called by your principal-to do so would be insubordination. But, if the meeting becomes disciplinary in nature, you are entitled to CEA representation upon your request. (Your principal does not have to tell you this.)

The choice of representative is up to you. You can request an FR from your building or a staff consultant from CEA. This is your right as a dues-paying CEA member. Your administrator should never arrange for representation on your behalf.

Once you request representation, the administrator is obligated to arrange the meeting at a time when the representative can attend. Section 404.01 of the Master Agreement provides members with a maximum of five school days to reschedule the meeting to accommodate this representative.

CEA suggests representation any time the purpose of the meeting is one of the following:

  • Any type of disciplinary action
  • Investigation meeting
  • Reprimand
  • Infraction of a work rule or board policy
  • Questions concerning request or use of leave (personal or sick)
  • Allegations of abuse
  • Parental, student or community complaint

If you have further questions, call CEA at 253-4731.

No first Thursdays

We know that school schedules can be tricky. But be aware: No parent-teacher conferences or any other events that require the majority of the school staff should be scheduled after school on first Thursday of any month. This is because Association business occurs chiefly on Thursdays. We have negotiated the right for CEA representatives to take care of Association business. Please let CEA know if this bargained right is being violated.










File early for religious leave

Our contract ensures that teachers have the right to participate in their religious traditions. Section 702.11 of the contract allows teachers to be absent, with pay, for a maximum of three days to observe established religious holidays throughout the school year. This leave is not deducted from any other time off. Remember that a request for religious leave must be made in writing to the Department of Human Resources at least five school days prior to the holiday.