In an article from Guam PDN, President Tim Fedenko stated that the expiration of the Teachers’ contract has resulted in a “climate of fear” for teachers, who are afraid of voicing their opinions against certain administrators. Members have raised concerns with the union on several violations from certain administrators. To name a few violations:
- Teachers ordered to work during preparation periods
- School gates being locked during the school day
- Teachers ordered to get permission to leave school campus during preparation periods
- Teacher preparation periods split into two, 15 minute periods
- School aids teaching Chamorro classes and assigning grades
- Chamorro teachers ordered to teach reading classes outside of certification
- Teachers ordered to start teaching at 7:45am instead of 8:00am in elementary schools
- Teachers ordered to attend meetings during preparation period
- Increased class sizes over the contract
- Teachers forced to purchase basic supplies that should be provided by the school
- Refusal of union staff at schools during teacher lunch break
GFT has advised members to file grievances on these violations but they have expressed hesitation due to the fact the contract is expired. Superintendent Jon Fernandez has stated in an email sent today to all DOE teachers and staff, “…when I hear of a ‘climate of fear,’ it is hard for me to believe. Yes, I do hear a few issues here and there that we try hard to address.”
However, it is quite clear that without a contract, teachers are afraid to speak up. We hope the Superintendent recognizes that teachers do want a contract in place and will support the union’s efforts in asking the board to resume negotiations.
Members are highly encouraged to contact their union steward or GFT field representative if they are experiencing issues and concerns at their workplace.