AFT versus Mon Schools

THE AFT NEEDS ITS OWN MEDIA TO DO ITS GOOD WORK

Below is a vital letter from the American Federation of Teachers objecting to Mon Schools’ scandalous new administrative position and posting.

But there is a problem: this letter should have been made public by now on the AFT’s own local website or weblog. Directly public. The AFT absolutely kills itself by not doing so. How can the public support something that they are not even informed about directly?

Most all of the issues that the letter mentions, the public has little or no idea about. Because there is no ready place to go read up on it all and get involved with it. Or even to know about it in the first place. The AFT of Monongalia County has a website – why not use it? Much more.

Letters like this should immediately be placed on the local AFT website or associated blog, coupled with a press release. And then blogs like this one in Woodburn could link to it, and comment on it, and the public could be ever more informed, not least for when they have issues of their own with the schools. And the posted letter should have links within it, which the workers and public can use to learn about the issues. And the post should allow for comments and discussion to help generate further ideas and action.

The AFT cuts off its legs, arms, and head by not being directly and thoroughly public with this issue. And it is a public issue. That is, it’s far bigger than an AFT issue. The public not only needs to be informed so that it can act well in support of a good organization, but should be informed because the issue impacts them directly.

The AFT is doing Mon Schools’ administration and BOE a huge favor, giving them a huge gift by not making this scandalous issue public directly, along with many other issues on a frequent rolling basis.

For reasons of effect and principle both, AFT of Monongalia County should improve their media center and organizational site. Doing so is the only way to build the power of the public, where power belongs. In Canada, the unions helped get universal health care for the entire country. In the USA, the unions have gotten (limited) health care mainly only for themselves. The situations in the two countries are different but the example is telling. The AFT would help more than itself by becoming more accessible.

And that is the only way to build organization and communications that would allow the public to stop wasteful, negligent, and damaging administration/BOE endeavors, like this new sweetheart admin position, or, say, a negligent school siting. Where has the AFT been on the latter issue, besides invisible?

Though the AFT is taking an important and appropriate stand on the new admin position, it plays right into the hands of the irresponsible Mon Schools administration and BOE by not directly and repeatedly publicizing this issue (and many others constantly) and by failing to provide instant forums for discussion.

AFT needs its own active local public media portal or blog. Do none of the literature teachers or other teachers know how to write? Hardly. If they are afraid for their jobs they can write and report anonymously, as can those who comment.

Until then, see the vital release here:

American Federation of Teachers Position on New Mon. Co. Administrative Post

ANOTHER BALE of HAY on THIS CAMEL’S BACK

Yet Another Mon. BOE Administrative Position?

The AFT continues to be the watchdogs of Monongalia County.  AFT Monongalia County was amazed to learn while attending the January 25th county board meeting, that yet another county administrative position has been created and was approved for posting.  That posting is available and on line at the time this article is being written.  As you will see in the sample of the letter that was sent to the Superintendent and the Board our opinion of yet another bale of hay on this camel’s back.  It is our finding that Monongalia County is among the most top-heavy education systems in the state.  We will continue to address this type of spending that directs money away from our classrooms.  We will continue to combat exorbitant spending by the hands of decision makers. We will stand firm in our beliefs that smaller classes and individualized instruction improves student achievement.

Letter as follows:

To:                    Dr. Frank Devono, Superintendent of Monongalia County Schools

From:                Samuel J Brunett, President Monongalia County AFT

Subject:            Director of Ancillary Services (New Professional Administrative Position)

Dr. Devono,

We are highly alarmed, disappointed, and vehemently opposed by the Monongalia County Board of Education’s approval of the newly created administrative position of Director of Ancillary Services. This new Director will be working arm in arm with 8 other directors 2 Assistant Superintendents, 9 Coordinators, 26 or more Curriculum Coaches/ TIS, and the list goes on and on… The American Federation of Teachers has used samples of this county’s administratively-heavy central office to drive the point to lawmakers how this type of decision making directly affects student learning through class size. It was upon these Monongalia County statistics that lawmakers and the WVDE have moved forward to conduct a statewide audit of educational practices and where that money is going.  And yet among all of these discussions in Charleston, news articles, and promise of an audit, this county decides to dig deeper into that pool of professionals to accommodate another position that has no direct contact or impact with our students. Our central office continues to grow larger as we lose those positions that work directly with students.

Several educators and service personnel received letters this year that informed them that their positions are in jeopardy.  We are talking about the livelihood of up to 70 of individuals in this county who work directly with students.  The potential loss of this many positions will have a major impact upon our growing class size and the ability of those remaining educators to provide individualized instruction which directly affects the quality of education.

This is awkward to every tax payer in Monongalia County who has historically supported our education system.  How can this board justify to its employees and those taxpayers the over 70 RIFs and transfers, at the same time they wish to hire an additional county-level administrator.  It makes no sense and further confirms the ominous top-heavy trend this county has pursued.

There have also been questions about the posting of this position.  The work experience is extremely questionable and severely limits the pool of applicants, which is a direct violation of WVC 18A-4-7a, Section 1-D, leading us to believe that this position has been created for a specific individual, which conflicts with WVC 18A-4-7a, Section 1-E.

Attached to this document find a copy of the actual job posting and the section of code to refer (below).

The Duties and Responsibilities of this posting are those that are already being handled by current administration.  If the purpose of this posting is to primarily lessen the duties of existing administrators, we as classroom teachers and service personnel are asked on so many occasions to do more with less.  We simply ask for equity and that our leaders lead by example.  Anything less would be hypocrisy.

Therefore we request this Board of Education and the Monongalia County Administration to rescind this posting and do away with this wasteful position.

Sincerely,

Samuel J Brunett, President

on behalf of

The Monongalia County AFT Executive Board

 

______________________

Applicable code follows:

WVC 18A-4-7a

o) Openings in established, existing or newly created positions shall be processed as follows:

(1) Boards shall be required to post and date notices which shall be subject to the following:

(A) The notices shall be posted in conspicuous working places for all professional personnel to observe for at least five working days;

(B) The notice shall be posted within twenty working days of the position openings and shall include the job description;

(C) Any special criteria or skills that are required by the position shall be specifically stated in the job description and directly related to the performance of the job;

(D) Postings for vacancies made pursuant to this section shall be written so as to ensure that the largest possible pool of qualified applicants may apply; and

(E) Job postings may not require criteria which are not necessary for the successful performance of the job and may not be written with the intent to favor a specific applicant;

(2) No vacancy shall be filled until after the five-day minimum posting period;

(3) If one or more applicants meets the qualifications listed in the job posting, the successful applicant to fill the vacancy shall be selected by the board within thirty working days of the end of the posting period;

(4) A position held by a teacher who is certified, licensed or both, who has been issued a permit for full-time employment and is working toward certification in the permit area shall not be subject to posting if the certificate is awarded within five years; and

(5) Nothing provided herein shall prevent the county board of education from eliminating a position due to lack of need.

 

5 Responses to “AFT versus Mon Schools”

  1. Concerned Teacher Says:

    AFT did send an email to all AFT teachers. They also sent the letter to over a dozen news agencies. (yes, the Dominion Post) However, you are the only group to print the letter.
    PS – As we speak, the new position has disappeared form the Board Job search, for now, but it will resurface as something else….

    • newcommunityschool Says:

      Sure, but AFT initially sent the letter to everyone except the general public. That allows the message to get warped by the media, to lose control of it. That’s failing to spread the badly needed views and understanding as widely as possible, easily possible. And that fails to facilitate public discussion of the issue, which can generate ideas and further action, which will be greatly needed, as you note. AFT needs all the allies it can get among the general public, parents and students, taxpayers, the university community, and so on. A direct general public release greatly facilitates that.

      Yes, already a victory, as you note, but again likely a temporary victory that will require more work and public understanding and engagement to sustain.

  2. snowman Says:

    Snowman has a question for the concerned teacher.
    If the board approves the position that went up for posting of Director of Ancillary services.It was voted and approved by the board,who then has a right to pull the job?They just go through pulling jobs like this?I was just curious how that system worked?

  3. Fred Sanford Says:

    AFT this may have been a victory for you guys, but it was a real defeat for us bus drivers we was so excited that a position was created for this transportation director we thought all our major pain in the ass was history, maybe the bus problems was a thing of the past but it is sad when you pay a person 85,000 anually and nobody wants this person to get the opportunity to destroy another department. If this was me my ass would be history, lets just empty the trash can and consider a lesson learned. nobody is unable to be replaced,give him a mop and a broom and let him clean a dirty toilet.

  4. unhappy bus driver !!!! Says:

    AFT YOU TAKE HIM!!! I’m not one to beg but do you guys have a position for this director? give us a chance to Show you the public what is the problem with transportation problem !!!! the bus drivers are not a uneducated bunch of people. we could get subs if the BS was gone drivers have a lot of stress on them we have a cargo diffrent then hauling coal or other cargo not a LIFE OF A CHILD, we don’t need a director that cant even drive a bus to try to make things even more stressful. Drivers don’t need to be treated like a heart beat we can’t get drivers if they keep hearing how bad it is to work here for a small amount of pay. This director is a relgious man (lol) thats what he claims. He lies only when his mouth comes open and the public is starting to catch on to his cover up with religion. Take him and see for your self what a diffrence our transportation center can do on our own, then fire him take his large income split it up between all the drivers and watch the diffrence it will make. I do have some college behind me but a real dumb ass could fix this problem.


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