May 2001 (Click on a link below to read the article)
our recent struggles with the VI government it became obvious, at times, that both
AFT Locals were not operating from the same hymn book.
This was not the first time our locals disagreed on a clear path to
address issues common to both locals. Over
the years the joint council met and made decisions which were forwarded to both
locals Representative Council and/or the General Membership for ratification. However, due to the seriousness of conducting union affairs
it became necessary to codify the relationship between both locals.
Hence, this lead the members of both locals Executive Board to establish
joint by-laws. After the strike was enjoined by the courts AFT 1825 Executive Board
discovered at a joint meeting that these by-laws were not being recognized by
the new Executive Board of the St. Croix Federation of Teachers.
This situation became problematic because it was critical for both locals
to decide jointly on a course of action. Should we move towards mediation through PERB or pursue other
courses of action? Since that time several attempts have been made to put in place a set of
joint rules, a memorandum of agreement or a substitute set of by-laws which the
St. Croix Federation would find acceptable.
We are happy to report that during recent conversation with the President
of the St. Croix Federation of Teachers, Mr. Molyneaux, we were informed that he
formed a Committee to draft a “memorandum of agreement” which will be
presented to our Joint Council for discussion.
Clearly, the future and strength of both AFT Locals depends on our
ability to build a stronger more effective joint council.
The entire labor relations landscape in this territory has changed so
much during the last decade. Our past practice of resolving critical issues
facing the lives and livelihood of our members through a “gentlemens’
agreement” is no longer viable.
Moreover, we are the only two AFT Locals which jointly negotiate a
Collective Bargaining Agreement with an employer although we were certified by
PERB as two separate unions. That’s
why its critical for us to codify our joint relationship.
There is simply too much at stake for our Locals not to cement the bonds
which have brought us where we are today. Moreover,
in a few more months the AFT will be returning to the bargaining table based on
the reopener clause in our recent agreement.
It is in our best interest to re-establish
joint by-laws which would outline a clear procedural path for us to build
a more effective Teachers Union Movement in these beloved islands.
Once drafted and reviewed by the joint-councils, both Local(s) Building
Representative Council and General Membership will have an opportunity to ratify
We must understand clearly that the struggle to maintain our viability as a trade union is being threatened not just by those we perceive to be our enemies;but also by individuals pretending to be “Friends of Labor.” Therefore, strengthening the bond between AFT Locals 1825-26, will place us in a better strategic position to defend our cause and continue our struggle for economic justice in this territory!
Alison Degrasse-Ford Receives AFT Highest GPA
Ms. Degrasse-Ford is the resident graduating Elementary Education major with the highest grade point average (GPA=3.80) in her professional education courses. She received a plaque and a savings bond of $100.00 on May 4, 2001 at the Annual Awards Program at the University of the Virgin Islands.
ER&D program of Local 1825 will be sponsoring two courses this summer:
“Early Reading Intervention” and “Managing Anti-Social Behavior.”
“Early Reading Intervention is geared towards grades K-3 and provides
strategies for developing phonemic awareness and decoding skills in early
readers. “Managing Anti-Social Behavior” is for all grade levels
and provides strategies for dealing with disruptive behavior in the classroom
courses will run from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. the week of August 20-24.
The location has not been finalized.
The courses are open to all AFT members(teachers, paras, support staff).
We will be requesting approval of CEU credit from the Board of Education
and anticipate a positive response as has been given in the past.
you know of or work with an inclusive school that would like to improve its
paraeducator supports? Our federally funded project is seeking 21 schools from
across the country to continue field-testing “A Guide to School wide Planning
for Paraeducator Supports”. We
offer the schools the planning materials and $1,000 in exchange for information
about their use of the planning process. For
all the specifics, check out our website at http://www.uvm.edu/~uapvt/parasupport/
Click on the link labeled “Paraeducator Mini-Grants”, then click on the link
labeled “mini-grants available for 2001-2002. The application can be
downloaded and mailed or faxed. We
will fund the first 21 schools that meet our selection criteria, so we encourage
interested schools to get their applications in as soon as possible.
Michael Fl. Giangreco Ph.D.
Center on Disability and Community Inclusion
University of Vermont
5 Burlington Square, Ste.450
Burlington, Vermont 05401-4439
Dear Carver Farrow:
acknowledge that from time to time, the Education Administration Association has
represented their members during grievance hearings filed by members of
the AFT. This practice will no
longer be allowed because it violates Act 4440.
Educational Administration Association can only represent its’ members at
hearings when their collective bargaining agreement is being violated by the
Department of Education.
full understanding on this matter shall be greatly appreciated.
Glen J. Smith
how time flies! This culminates 20 years of service in the Educational Issues
Department. It has been a
tremendously rewarding experience that has contributed to my personal and
professional growth. I will,
however, continue to work with a few AFT projects.
greatest importance has been my relationship with you–especially those in the
ER&D family–Local Leaders, Local Site Coordinators, national trainers,
local trainees, state and national staff, district leaders, and educational
researchers. We have accomplished
so much together. We built on our
successes and learned from our failures. We
are stronger and smarter than ever, as so many of us have “stuck it out”
from the very beginning (almost two decades ago).
Yet, we have sustained our vitality as we welcome more and more members
into our family, increase the quality and quantity of ER&D courses and
extend our services to larger groups of AFT constituencies.
treasure every gift you have given me, both intrinsic and extrinsic.
Each one is on display in my home, on my person or in my heart. Among my Christmas cards was one with this special message,
“Whenever I think about the things that make me happy and the people who mean
so very much to me...I always find myself thinking of you.”
Thanks for the memories!
The Friends of the St. Thomas
Library Association is soliciting members. One
goal of this group is to establish a new community library in the Tutu area.
This library would provide services for all groups in our community
children, adolescents, young adults, adults and the elderly.
Become a member of the Friends and you can help make the dream of a new
community library come true for our students and teachers.
If you would like to become a member, please
contact the Membership Committee Chairperson Bill Grogan.
from letter written by Kwame Motilewa of Law Offices of Alkon, Rhea & Hart
Law Offices of Alkon, Rhea and Hart would like to represent the membership of
the St. Thomas and St. John Federation of Teachers in non-labor matters. To this
end we propose to offer a package of services to those MEMBERS who would like to
use our offices.
Rhea and Hart is a well established law firm with a history of more than thirty
years of service in the Virgin islands. There
are a total of six attorneys on staff to handle a wide variety of cases.
It has established an office on St. Thomas at #19 Norre Gade, and can be
reached by telephone at 714-5409, in order to better serve this island.
The goal of this firm is to provide competent legal service at an
exchange for the privilege of being recognized as the lawyers of the union, and
a monthly fee of $7.50 per member, ARH is prepared to offer the following:
Two one-hour presentations(seminars or workshops) during the school year
free of charge to union members. The
topics of same will be selected by the union.
Provide a twenty percent(20%) discount on all legal services to all
members who accepts this offer.
Provide a free 30 minute consultation on non-labor matters.
The following AFT members
haven’t received one or more of the following: step increase, nopa, retro. Reuben
Alamby, Jean Figueroa, Ellen Lewis, Susan Julius, Scott Johnston, Jan Rashid,
Shana Francis, Kava Emanuel, Kathy Hudson, Liston Sewer, Jennifer Norford, Carla
Howard, Rubye Tisdale-Todman, Diana Rogers, Andrea Hendrickson, Cynthia Anthony.
AFT members who are still waiting for NOPA, step increase, or retro please call
the AFT office with your name and employee number.
is said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder! The apple plaque presented to
me at the recognition program on March 30, 2001 defies that statement.
It is a thing of beauty!
convey to the membership my sincere thanks for the exquisite apple crystal
plaque and your partnership in obtaining the printer.
Both gifts are appreciated. The
plaque brightens my mantle and the printer raises my level of technology.
Thank you again for your kindness.