Union Activism Compels APS to Take Unprecedented Action

Last month, over 60 ATF member-educators attended the APS Board of Education meeting, speaking out about intensifying workload issues in APS. The focus of this particular “teach-in” was the new FBA/BIP process (which has gone from a few pages to over 30) and the related changes in the SAT process.

Every member of the Board expressed their support for the employees. Superintendent Reedy said, “Thank you, you’ve been heard. We’ll get together and work on this.”

After that meeting, we asked you to add your voices in an electronic petition. We received responses from over 80 sites across APS. We submitted every one of the passionate comments to the Board and the Superintendent.

This week, the Superintendent agreed to our request to form a District-level “Instruction Council” made up of APS department leaders and ATF union leaders to work on implementation planning that includes:

  • Ample time to learn about new requirements;
  • Advance time to work with the educators who will implement the changes and honestly consider their feedback about putting ideas into practice; and
  • A sincere and thorough effort to reduce former mandates and requirements.

Until that happens, we asked that all new mandates be rescinded.

Confusingly, a recent email from the APS Special Education Department to one teacher stated, “The new FBA/BIP process is best practice, NOT a requirement. So, my apologies regarding that misinformation… Again, the new form is a best practice, it is NOT a requirement.” When this information was relayed to union leaders at our recent Fed Rep Council meeting, the representatives uttered a collective gasp of astonishment, since many had already been to “mandated” training on the “mandated” changes.

At the Board meeting on Wednesday, ATF President Ellen Bernstein thanked Superintendent Reedy for this unprecedented agreement and pointed out that this is one of many issues that were expressed in the comments on the petition. She further stated, “Many questions remain. It is urgent that we clear up in writing what is, and is not, mandated as soon as possible.”

Because of the activism of our members listed below—the hundreds of additional members who contributed to the workload petition—and the leadership of ATF President Ellen Bernstein, Superintendent Reedy agreed to form a Union-District “Instructional Council.” The intent is for the council to review all current and future mandates and make joint decisions about what is implemented, how it is implemented and what unnecessary tasks should be taken off our workload. Educators know best what works for our students. We’re proud of District leadership for acknowledging this and restoring some faith in our professional judgment.

Ellen Bernstein, ATF Presiden, Dwayne Norris, Bandelier ES, Pam Irvin, Kit Carson ES,Chelsea O’Connell, John Baker ES,Loyola Cortinas, Valle Vista ES,Angela Reynolds, Diagnostician,Sara Attleson, Kennedy MS,Donna Teuteberg, Social Worker,Catherine Jaramillo, Kennedy MS,Chemain Singh, Los Padillas ES,Sonja Kortsch, Bandelier ES, Jorge Serrano, West Mesa HS,Alethea Jahn, Truman MS,Erika Foutz, Roosevelt MS,Yvonne Garcia, Social Worker,Jenn Topley, Social Worker,Robert Feuer, Highland HS,Valerie Rodgers, Social Worker,Marianna Shoberg, Van Buren MS,Kelly Gardner, Grant MS,Nadine Morales, Lavaland ES,Sean Thomas, Eldorado HS,Mary Baldwin, Highland HS,Rachel Baucom, East San Jose ES,Mary LaValley, George I. Sanchez K-8