BTU deploying reps to answer contract questions, may provide more time before vote if necessary
Officials with the Baltimore Teachers Union said Tuesday that they have deployed field representatives to schools across the city to answer the flood of questions that have been spurred by the recently proposed contract, due to be voted on for ratification Oct. 14.
The union has also said that if necessary, it would consider pushing back the voting date so that teachers could cast an informed vote. The contract has until the end of the month to sink or swim.
Loretta Johnson, executive vice president of the AFT and longtime city schools union rep, told us today that the union is fully aware that the contract has spurred more anxiety than relief as teachers try to sift out the details. But Johnson said that the union wants as many questions answered as possible.
"We’re out there in the schools trying to explain it," Johnson said. "We want teachers to understand, there’s nothing to hide.”
She said that if there has been some delays in teachers receiving a crash course on the contract, it could be because some field reps have been denied access to schools by school leaders.
But the union notified North Avenue, and schools CEO Andres Alonso alerted principals that they should be allowing field representatives in buildings, and he also released the contract's negotiating team to schools to field questions.
Just a note: I've seen your questions, and am trying to get as many answers as possible. I would encourage teachers to go here and read the contract, as I've noticed many of the questions are answered in the 10-page tentative agreement provided on the Web site.
By the end of the week, I hope to answer the questions I've seen most frequently with information I've been able to track down in the reporting process.
Keep the feedback coming.