Labor pains

By on January 14, 2015

Warwick School Board seeks pre-Labor Day start; irked at teacher’s union leadership

 

The Warwick School Board’s frustration with the Warwick Education Association resonated in a press release delivered Thursday.

The typically reserved board expressed dissatisfaction with the teacher’s union leaders, whom they say have refused to reconsider the currently configured 2015-16 school calendar.

The board contends the WEA neglected to sufficiently survey its members on the school board’s request to start school before Labor Day — which is prohibited in the current collective bargaining agreement that expires at the end of 2015-16 school year.

Warwick is the only public school district in the county to return to school each year after Labor Day.Warwick1School

School officials requested the early start due to a list of concerns including decreased school days leading up to “high stakes” testing, coordinating with the Lancaster County Career and Technology Center, Lancaster Lebanon IU 13, and possible problems synching bus schedules with other school districts.

“We are disappointed in those folks,” said Timothy Quinn, board president. “We thought we were partners looking at the best for our students. We are very disappointed that the leadership decided not to discuss it with the full complement of teachers and/or take it to the full membership for a vote.”

The release notes that Labor Day falls on Sept. 7, 2015, the latest it can possibly fall on the calendar. This means that the first day of school would be Sept. 9.

“Being proactive, we looked at those concerns and we proposed to move the start date back to Sept. 2 before Labor Day,” said April Hershey, Warwick superintendent.

Lisa Hochreiter, WEA president, on Friday confirmed the board had requested in October that the union poll members about starting school before Labor Day for the 2015 year only.

“At that time, the WEA leadership polled their membership to determine if they wished to consider the request as an item of negotiation,” Hochreiter noted in an e-mail.

Warwick officials stressed that the request for an early start is for one year only.

The board wants to begin school on Sept. 2, 2015 and finish June 7, 2016. According to the current 2015-16 calendar, students return to class Wed., Sept. 9, 2015, and finish June 13, 2016.

“No other district in the county has this type of language in their contract. As with all other CBA language, we must abide by it,” said Hershey.

The release states the school board learned the WEA leadership had polled its members but were informed WEA “did not receive enough feedback to continue the discussions or bring it to the full membership for a vote.”

Hochreiter noted the WEA’s willingness to discuss shifting the start date “if the school board would be willing to negotiate the terms of the contract change.”

“(The board) stated they were only concerned with our response and that there would be no negotiation of the terms of this change to the (CBA),” Hochreiter said.

Hochreiter said considering changes with a year left on the current CBA “solely at the request of the school board and for the benefit of one side only, is inappropriate and goes against the terms of a negotiated contract.”

The WEA noted that Warwick schools have started after Labor Day for more than 32 years.

“In eight of those 32 school years, Labor Day has fallen on a later date and no agreements were made to adjust the (CBA) to move the school year start date before Labor Day,’ Hochreiter noted.

Board member Todd Rucci expressed disappointment with the WEA.

“Our board fully supports those teachers in everything they do,” Rucci noted. “The results are clear. However, I wasn’t happy with this outcome. I thought that we were all about doing the best thing for our students. I’m disappointed in the posture the WEA leadership has taken in this situation.”

The most recent major discussion on the CBA was in March 2011 when the WEA voted by a majority to approve a one-year salary freeze for the 2011-12 school year that saved $575,000, according to Warwick officials.

Warwick’s 300-plus teachers essentially postponed raises, averaging about 3 percent in the first year of a four-year contract.

Those increases were bumped back until 2012-13 and the parties agreed to extend the contract by one year, through 2015-16.

Patrick Burns is a staff writer for the Lititz Record Express. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at pburns.eph@lnpnews.com or at 721-4455.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Social media lit up in response to a request by Warwick School Board asking its union to bump up the start of school before Labor Day in 2015-16

 

But it appears unlikely that the start date at Warwick will change, which appears to be the right move according to the majority of people who participated in a survey taken on the  Lititz Record Express Facebook page.

 

Of the 72 people who responded on Facebook, a whopping 62.5 percent favored a post-Labor Day start to the school year in the Warwick School District.

 

Initial voting, which ran from Jan. 8-11,  was strongly in favor of shifting the opening of school to before Labor Day. In fact the first nine votes lobbied for a change.

 

But in the end, only 37.5 percent of poll participants preferred a pre-Labor Day start.

 

Jessica Long echoed the sentiments of many parents who already begin school before Labor Day to attend extracurricular activities.

 

“ Kids start sports in August – band (starts) in August. Can’t go on vacation due to that. Might as well start school in August and  get out in May,” Long wrote.

 

But Krista Carvell-Cipalla quickly countered:  “Let’s not kid ourselves, school sports are year round, so it really doesn’t matter.”

 

Rick Reitz simplified the matter to: “I’m a huge fan of the later start. Wednesday after Labor Day forever!”

 

Five people who responded, including  Katie Bowman Grisbacher,

did not tender a yes or no vote and instead offered suggestions on maximizing class time and learning.

 

“More important than a shift in start/end date – which I’m used to by now – would be a shift to a later start/end times,” she wrote.   “As recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics in August of 2014:  Sleep researchers have said for years that most teens can’t easily fall asleep until about 11 p.m., experts say, and their brains stay in sleep
mode until at least 8 a.m…I would like to see Warwick start an hour later so my children don’t have to walk to the bus in the dark.”

 

Several people, including Krista Van Zandt-Martin said the extra summer time off allows families to enjoy a later, less hectic vacation.

 

“Our family has found a tremendous benefit to the late start,” she wrote.  We vacation the week before Labor Day and the crowds are minimal. I don’t see the point of going for a few days, getting a long weekend, then trying to start back. What is actually accomplished those first few days?”   pour

 

 

 

 

 

Krista Van Zandt-Martin Our family has found a tremendous benefit to the late start. We vacation the week before Labor Day and the crowds are minimal. I don’t see the point of going for a few days, getting a long weekend, then trying to start back. What is actually accomplished those first few days?

 

 

 

 

Rick Reitz

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like

 

 

 

 

ridiculous

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Labor Pains  spotlight

 

 

 

 

 

Warwick School Board: ‘Start school BEFORE Labor Day”

 

Warwick SD want to move the start date back to

September 2, 2015 (before Labor Day). The school board has asked the Warwick Education Association to consider the shift for one year. Warwick is the only public school district in the county to return to school after Labor Day.

 

According to the current 2015-16 calendar, students return to class Wed., Sept. 9, 2015, and finish June 13, 2016. Labor Day in 2015 is the latest it can possibly fall on the calendar.

 

What’s your opinion?

 

was being created this fall, it was noted that Labor Day lands on the latest date it can ever land

on – this coming year – Monday, September 7, 2015. This will make

 

 

 

its are at odds over the 2015 16 calendar Association leadership to see if we could move the date back and

have an MOU (memorandum of understanding

 

 

schedule starting class before Labor Day. mulls over changing the school calendar , considers e Warwick school district officials and the. The administration wants to shift the start of the school year earlier. In a press release sent out by the school district district officials se the woman says she is she has not taken the request to the rank and file.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contact: Lori Zimmerman, public relations coordinator, lzimmerman@warwicksd.org, or 626-3734, x 3829,

or cell: (717) 715-5538

Lititz, PA — Board Discusses 2015-2016 Calendar at Committee of Whole Meeting

At the January 6, 2015 Committee of the Whole (COW) meeting, Warwick Board of School Directors and district

administrators discussed the adoption of the proposed 2015-2016 school district calendar that will be voted on at their

next regular meeting on January 20, 2015. This is the typical timeline for calendar adoption that takes place each year.

With snow on the ground and wintery road conditions, the COW evening meeting was held without any community or

media representatives in attendance, to the disappointment of the board members who were hoping to go on record

concerning their feelings about the development of the 2015-2016 school calendar.

According to Warwick Superintendent Dr. April Hershey, who presented the proposed calendar, its development must

meet with specific guidelines following both state mandates and Warwick’s Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

The collective bargaining agreement is periodically reviewed and renegotiated in good faith between the Warwick Board

of School Directors and the Warwick Education Association. Many years ago, prior to the tenure of any sitting board

members or administrators, specific language regarding the school calendar was bargained into the CBA. Specifically,

Warwick’s CBA precludes teachers from working on certain days and sets parameters around the development of the

calendar, most notably, that the start of school for students must be after Labor Day.

“No other district in the county has this type of language in their contract. As with all other CBA language, we must

abide by it,” said Hershey.

Hershey discussed that the district administration creates the calendar each year with input from Warwick Education

Association (WEA). Drafts are shared with WEA leadership before it’s voted on by the Board to assure all parties agree

on the specifics.

As the 2015/2016 calendar was being created this fall, it was noted that Labor Day lands on the latest date it can ever land

on – this coming year – Monday, September 7, 2015. This will make the first student day Wednesday, September 9, 2015.

Under current terms of the CBA, this will also set the final day of school on June 13, 2016.

Having just come off a record wintery, snow-day plagued 2013-2014 school year, the memory of how a late start and late

end to school can impact students is still fresh. Last year a roomful of students came to the board with concerns about the

late end of school date, referencing early admits to colleges and the military, needing to work in the summer to raise funds

for college, and having to miss summer camps and athletic opportunities, just to name a few. The district also identified a

list of concerns with such a late start regarding instruction, including the decreased number of instructional days prior to

high stakes testing, coordination of days and student programs with the Career and Technology Center and the Lancaster

Lebanon IU 13. Logistically, there are concerns about fall sports (currently investigating implications with PIAA),

coordination with districts and schools with whom Warwick shares transportation, along with sufficient time for summer

in-service, cleaning, and classroom preparation.

With all of this in mind, the administration approached the WEA leadership to proactively discuss an amendment to the

CBA for the 2015/2016 school year only, by proposing starting school a week earlier in 2015-2016.

According to Hershey, “Being proactive, we looked at those concerns and we proposed to move the start date back to

September 2 (before Labor Day). We approached the Association leadership to see if we could move the date back and

have an MOU (memorandum of understanding) that addressed this issue.”

Hershey shared that WEA leaders and representatives of the board and administration met to discuss the calendar on

several occasions, but were unable to reach an agreement to allow this amendment to the CBA. The calendar will stand as

is, with a start date of September 9, 2015 and an end date of June 13, 2016 as specified in the CBA. . The calendar will be

recommended to the board for a vote at the board’s January voting session.

The Board and administration were told that the executive leadership of WEA polled its members and felt they did not

receive enough feedback to continue the discussions or bring it to the full membership for a vote.

Board president Dr. Timothy Quinn stated, “We are disappointed in those folks… we thought we were partners looking at

the best for our students. We are very disappointed that the leadership decided not to discuss it with the full complement

of teachers and/or take it to the full membership for a vote.”

Board vice-president Mr. Todd Rucci said, “I am very biased in knowing that we have the very best teaching staff in

Lancaster County. Our board fully supports those teachers in everything they do. The results are clear. However, I

wasn’t happy with this outcome. I thought that we were all about doing the best thing for our students. I’m disappointed

in the posture the WEA leadership has taken in this situation.”

Both Dr. Quinn and Mr. Rucci participated in the discussions on the calendar through the Labor and Management meeting

process.

Dr. Quinn noted, “We felt that the Labor and Management meeting was a good discussion. It was a surprise when we

learned they did not even take it to the membership for a vote.”

Board member Mr. Benedict Sahd also shared his thoughts: “I’m disappointed that students are being put in the middle

of this. The bottom line is if we have any type of winter obviously the students will be in a pickle. That’s where I’m so

disappointed. We are all in the business of serving students. I think to be clear, my feelings (of disappointment) are

directed at the representatives of WEA, those speaking on behalf of the membership refusing to bring it to a vote. I think

they are responsible for that.”

The 2015/2016 school district calendar will come before the Board for a vote at its regularly scheduled public meeting on

Tuesday, January 20, 2015 at 7:00 pm in the Warwick District Office Board room.

 

 

Now that the invented media “fix” hysteria has subsided, I’ll return to my related point  with BS (IMHO) argument vilifying “all star” ref crews.  I’ve taken some heat on it, some call it “asinine” to oppose using exiting crews.  Well let’s think about this.

  • Is anybody happy with how ref-crews performed in 2014?
  • If you’re not, would it logically be that there’s a large element of incompetence?
  • In your experience have you experienced buddies working together: more likely to A) protect/cover a co-workers incompetence and prolong the problem or

 

 

Been taking a lil heat for my I hear the BS complaints that all-star ref crews in playoffs. I think the real problem (too many penalties, too much ref control) is the cozy familiarity among crews that work together each week and feel comfortable calling anything at anytime.

As opposed to the mass hysteria that ended up in a number of controversial calls and non-calls at the end of the game, one of which the NFL has apologized for. Throwing together refs and asking them to just work together when the games mean more is just an asinine idea.

 

 

 

About editor

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *