There was a concerted effort by a few of the “Bosses” at DOE to extend teachers' duty year by an additional 10 days, with no additional pay for absolutely no reason other than to get busy work out of teachers for free. Fortunately, because GFT has exclusive recognition for teachers at DOE they cannot change teachers working conditions unilaterally. They must be negotiated.  Thanks to the email Vice-President Fedenko sent to members of the Board-Union Calendar committee and GFT’s representative to the GEB, Frank Perez, the Board decided not to break the law at today’s GEB meeting.
 
To the calendar committee,
 
While making the school calendar is under the purview of the GEB, unilaterally changing working conditions isn’t.  By law, both the letter and intent, working conditions for teachers must be negotiated with the exclusively recognized bargaining unit, which is the GFT.  In spite of the blatant disregard for the law by certain members of the GEB, our attorney’s in both California and Guam are preparing massive lawsuits not just against DOE and the GEB as a whole but also against individual members that willfully acted in their official capacity to break the law.  I know that very few board members understand the complexities of labor law and good faith negotiations but as the old saying goes, “Ignorance is no excuse for the law”.  If all any boss had to do is let a contract expire and then they could ignore it and their duty to negotiate, they would have done it long ago.  Even Juan Flores wasn’t that foolish.
In the past we have worked together very well to establish a school calendar that best facilitates teaching and learning within DOE and we would like to continue that tradition. But we will not be complicit in the use of the calendar committee to break the law in the attempt of making teachers work additional days without additional pay.  This is not what the calendar committee, nor the school calendar are there to do.  If it is your intent to try to use this committee as a backdoor method to get around the law and the GEB’s duty to negotiate in good faith, I warn you now, we will use every resource that we have to hold each and every participant in this illegal action accountable. (email sent by VP Fedenko)
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