A Guide to Doing Union Work - United Educators of San Francisco

A Guide to Doing Union Work - United Educators of San Francisco
A Guide to Doing Union Work
A Guide to Doing Union Work - United Educators of San Francisco
JQ/AS/bi opeiu-29 afl-cio (209)
A Guide to Doing Union Work - United Educators of San Francisco

1.   The UBC and Contracts…...……………………………………………..…………… 1

2.   A Grievance Is…………………………………………………………….………..….. 2

3.   The Structure of the Union……………………………………...………….………….4

4.   Making the Union Important on the Job   ………………………………………… 21

     A.    Emergency Coverage…………………………………………….….…….….. 22

     B.    Class Size……………………………………………………….….….………..27

     C.    Work Day/ Work Hours……………………………………………………… 29

           1.    Certificated Contract…………….…………………….…...………… 30

           2.    Classified Contract…………….……………….…..…………………. 33

5.   How To Get The Information You Need…………………………………………….. 36

     A.    School Site Budget……………………………….……………………………..37

     B.    Class Size………………………………………………………………………..38

     C.    Facilities Management and Planning………………………………………….39

     D.    Staffing and Assignment……………………………………………………….40

     E.    Staffing and Allocations………………………………..………….…………...41

     F.    Department Heads ……………………………………...……………………. 42

     G.    Request for Subject Matter Re: Your “Request to See Me”……………...…44

     H.    General Requests……………………………………………………………… 45

6.   Appendix A School Site Council………………………………………...…………. 45

1. The UBC and Contracts

            Who do I contact if I have a question about the union, my
            contract, or an issue at my school site? Which employees
            does UESF represent?

                     The Building Representative and the Union

A:        Building Committee at the site are the first point of
          contact for the union. It is advised that you become
          familiar with the contract.

            What Is A Grievance?
   A Grievance Is…
   A grievance is the member’s or a group of members’ claim that the contract has been
      ● Violated
      ● Misinterpreted
      ● Applied unfairly

If the member or members and the Building Rep don’t find a specific article of the contract to
point out, there probably isn’t a grievance.
We always want justice for our members in all situations.
Grievance Procedure
The definitions and steps to follow are in Article 19 of the Certificated (Teacher) contract and
Article 18 of the Classified (Paraeducator) contract.

There are three simple steps in the procedure. The first, at the school level, is the most important.
It is the point where the grievance is either settled or carried further. If it must go further, this is
crucial to understand: then the work done at the school must provide a solid foundation to
support the next two levels.

At the school:
        1.       Grievance is presented in writing.
        2.       Grievance must be initiated within 15 work days (days the district office is
                 open) of the violation.
        3.       The site administrator must respond in writing within 10 work days of
                 receiving the grievance.

Use the Grievance Form on the next page.

If the grievance is not adequately resolved, it goes to level two and possibly arbitration. Staff
Representatives can help at all levels of the process. Consult with your Staff Representatives
before filing a grievance. If there is no agreeable solution at the step two level, then we may
pursue mediation or expedited arbitration.

Step 1 – Grievance Notice of the
                                United Educators of San Francisco
1.      Last Name of Aggrieved Party(s), First                       2. Date Commenced:

                                                                      Case Number:

3.      Home Address:                                       4. Worksite:

                                                                Site Phone:

        Home Phone:                                             Assignment:

5.      I authorize the exclusive representative:
        2310 Mason Street, San Francisco, 94133-1800                   Phone: (415) 956-8373
        to represent me at each step of the grievance.

        ________________________________                              ______________________________
        Signature of Aggrieved                                        Signature of Representative

6.a     Statement of Problem/Concise Statement of Grievance:
        (Additional paper may be used.)

        Contract Articles violated:

        And any other article of the contract, district policy or state law that may pertain.

6.b     Specify Remedy Desired (The remedy that would equitably adjust your grievance.)

        And    the Grievant(s) shall otherwise be made whole.

Filed with: Principal
___:tl opeiu 29 afl-cio (209)

3. The Structure of the Union:
UESF has a structure that puts the decision-making power in the hands of the members. The
Building Representative is an essential part of that structure and is an elected representative of
the members at the site.

                                What is my responsibility?

                                Is there really only one meeting a month?

                               How do I vote?

               UESF is shaped like a cake constructed of four different layers.

       A.      The membership forms the foundation. Policy decisions, including gravely
               serious ones regarding strikes, can be made at general membership meetings.

       B.      Most of the business of the union takes place at the next level, the Assembly. The
               Assembly acts on behalf of the membership. Each site and division is entitled to a
               certain number of representatives (see page 6 of this manual for chart). The
               Assembly meets monthly and the elected delegates vote to determine the policies
               and actions of UESF. The Assembly meets on the 3rd Wednesday of every month
               at 4:30pm at Rosa Parks Elementary. Assembly Meetings are open to all members
               to attend.

       C.      The next level is the Executive Board. Forty-one members of the Executive Board
               are elected by the membership at large. These elected members are responsible
               for the financial and personnel actions of the union. The Executive Board
               conducts the business of UESF, including policy decisions, and decides on
               sending matters to arbitration.

       D.      The seven officers, plus the chair of the Retired Division, form the Executive
               Committee. This group is advisory and is intended to assist the president.

       E.      The Building Reps and UBC members fit between the layers like the frosting on
               our cake metaphor. They help hold the cake together. Each Site UBC is essential
               to making this union of ours work.
The UESF Governance Layer Cake


                                UESF Members

Union Meetings:
Every month there are four union meetings. All occur on Wednesdays.
1st Wednesday: UESF Executive Board (elected members – all UESF members may
2nd Wednesday: Organizing and Training workshops (open to all members)
3rd Wednesday: Assembly Meeting (elected delegates – see next section)
4th Wednesday: Divisional Meeting (Elementary, Middle, High, Paraeducators,
                Substitutes, and other divisions may be formed throughout a school year)

Union Structure In The Schools and Central Office Departments
       Roles and Responsibilities

       A. The Elected Building Rep/s is/are:
       1.     Representative/s of the union at the worksite.
       2.     Chair/s of the UBC.
       3.     Member/s of the Assembly (The Assembly and the Executive Board are the policy making bodies
             of the Union)
       4.    Liaison/s to the UESF staff and leadership.
       5.     Distributor/s of union materials and information.
       6.     Able to be released from non-classroom duties to serve as Building Rep (Article 23.2.1).

       B. Union Building Committee members:
       1.     Implement and enforce the contracts on site.
       2.     Maintain clear lines of communication between the staff and administration.
       3.     Design and conduct elections of the teacher and paraeducator representatives on any other
              shared decision-making body at the site besides the UBC, such as the SSC.
       4.     Meet regularly with administration to share ideas and information with the goal of achieving
              consensus and agreement on matters of mutual concern (Article 23.3.1).
       5.     Represent UESF at the site and represent the site to UESF and the District.
       6.     Serve as either members or as alternate members of the Assembly.

       C. Assembly Members and Alternates
       1.     Attend monthly Assembly meetings and represent site opinions on issues.
       2.     Lead discussions of union issues and site issues to inform decisions made by the Assembly.
       3.     Report to staff at the site on issues raised, and decisions made, at Assembly meetings.

   Each school is entitled to 1 Assembly member per 15 UESF members. The Building Rep is automatically an
   Assembly member. Each other member of the UBC is either a member or an alternate.

                     Assembly                                                       15


                                                                             UESF Members

Electing Your Union Representatives
     A.   Eligibility to serve and vote:

     The right to vote is limited to only UESF members assigned to a specific school, center, or
     other central office department. In order to serve as Building Representative, on the Union
     Building Committee and at the Assembly, you must be a union member as well.

     Upon request the UESF office will provide the Building Rep with a faculty/staff list showing
     Union members at the site, both Teachers (certificated) and Paraeducators (classified). If the
     union list has incorrect information, please collect and provide updated information to UESF as
     soon as possible.

     B. Election Procedures:
     Election procedures need not be identical at every school or work site, but they must be
     conducted with integrity. The number of members at sites varies greatly. Size of staff,
     school traditions, and staff relationships are some considerations that will help decide
     how to proceed. Nevertheless, there are essential common elements:

          1. Nomination:
     Every union member at a school, center or site, teachers, other certificated staff, and
     Paraeducators must have the opportunity to be a candidate for any and all positions. The
     opportunity should be made available by the use of a nomination form. There are two
     generally acceptable choices for nomination:

             a.      Blanket nomination: This is the method specified by our UESF Bylaws for
          elections for union-wide offices. The nomination form says all members are nominated,
          and calls on members to accept nomination by returning the signed form, indicating the
          position(s) for which nomination is accepted, or
              b.     Open nomination: Members are given a nomination form that allows a member
          to nominate themselves, or to nominate another eligible colleague. This requires the extra
          step of assuring that the nominee accepts the nomination. Most schools use this open
          nomination form.

          2. The nomination process should not be a passive one. Sometimes the best potential
          candidates have many demands on their time and energies, and they need to be personally
          asked and persuaded that this service is valuable and professionally praiseworthy.

          3. Regardless of the form of nomination used, it is important that the entire staff
          recognize this process as fair and legitimate. The desired outcome is a body of respected
          colleagues, who will be an integral part of the process of shared governance and effective
          representation of individual and collective concerns.

4. The size of the Union Building Committee should suit the needs of the site.

    a.      In very small schools, two members in addition to the Building Rep may fully
    represent the faculty and staff. In larger schools, five, seven, even nine or more
    members may be viewed as necessary to adequately represent the constituencies at the
    site. At some sites the number may be determined by the number of people willing to
    serve, but, in any case, the members need to be “duly elected.” There is no contractual
    limit to the size of the UBC. There is only a limit of seven (7) with whom the principal
    is contractually obligated to meet. (Article 23.3.1).

    b.     The UESF Bylaws provide that members at a site may choose to have a
    Building Representative for certificated UESF members and a Building Representative
    for Paraeducator members of UESF elected separately by their respective
    constituencies. In such a case, both Building Reps are members of the UBC, and the
    UBC determines its chair. A site that finds this arrangement appropriate will still elect
    the other UBC members “at large”.

5. The format of the election can be established once the number of nominees and the
number of open positions is known. Even if the number of nominees equals the number of
open positions, a confirming election with paper ballots should be held. If there are more
nominees than positions, a secret ballot election is necessary. How rigorously structured an
election is depends on the size of the membership as well as the competitiveness of the
election. An election committee composed of two or three members who are not candidates
should be appointed. The election committee is charged with conducting a fair election that
all members will accept as legitimate and conclusive. The most rigorous format is the
double envelope method. Each voting member signs an outer envelope and seals his/her
vote inside a blank inner envelope. The election committee checks off each signed
envelope against the membership list before the inner envelope is opened and counted. The
UESF office and staff can provide assistance in using this format.

6. Creating a UBC for the first time: If a school community has not had a UBC recently,
or if there have been massive staff changes, a meeting of all UESF members to establish
the parameters for a UBC and the election of representatives to it is the way to get started.
The members who attend the meeting will make decisions about the size of the UBC, and
will decide the specifics of how the election should be conducted. An election committee
of members who will not be running for office should be selected. The election committee
will then conduct the election and report the results within the school community and to
UESF. After the election the UESF Site Election Reporting Form must be filled out at the
site and sent to the UESF office. UESF staff is willing to help.

7. Assembly Members: The UESF Bylaws make every member of the UBC either a member
or an alternate member of the UESF Assembly. It is the responsibility of each UBC to identify
its Assembly members and alternate members in accordance with Article I of the Bylaws. It is
not necessary to seek additional candidates for the Assembly. A few large schools will find that
they are entitled to an Assembly delegation larger than their UBC. The Bylaws provide for the
separate election of Assembly members who are not UBC members in these cases. Although
major policy questions may not come before the Assembly at every meeting, regular attendance
at Assembly meetings allows UBC members to be better informed about district-wide issues,
what is happening at other sites, and to report on events at the site.
The Nomination Process
     A.      UBC role:
             The UBC can be and should be the most important and influential representative
     body in the school and be equally recognized by administration and members. The UBC
     is the collective voice of teachers and Paraeducators to ensure they are involved in the
     school-wide decision making that affects their work lives and their students’ education.
     The UBC ensures that the rights achieved over time are not violated.

     B.       Election Committee role:
              The election committee should make certain that motivating and informative
     material accompanies the nomination forms. If electing Building Rep and
     UBC/Assembly members at the same time, the election committee may wish to copy Part
     I of this election kit, “Union Structure in the Schools,” and send it along with the
     nomination form to each teacher and paraeducator. A copy of the Certificated Contract,
     Article 23, “Union Building Committee,” may accompany the nomination form. Finally,
     the nomination form may include a brief statement from the candidates.

     C.     Mechanics of nomination:

            1.      Identify two or three members who will not be candidates and who will
            volunteer to serve as an election committee. Nominations can then be returned to
            one of those members rather than to the Building Representative or a member of
            the UBC.

            2.     Specify the date by which nominations must be turned in.

            3.     Specify the size of the UBC, hence the number of positions open.

            4.      Specify the number of Delegate Assembly positions (UESF Bylaws,
            Article I.c.) and make clear that UBC members will also serve as Assembly
            members or alternates.

            5.     Specify that only UESF members are eligible to vote and run for office.

UBC Election Process
     1.     Some questions to be decided by the members or the outgoing UBC:

            - How many members should constitute our UBC?

            - How will we ensure that both certificated and classified members are represented?

            - What will constitute being elected? A confirmation election? A contested

            - Should members nominate themselves or themselves and others?

            - How will we report results within our school community?

            - What else do we need to decide before we start the election process?

            - Who will be our election committee? (two or three members who will not run
              for office)

     2.     The election committee then develops a nomination form and sees to it that every
     UESF member receives it. A date and time for closing nominations will be specified on
     the form.
     3.      The election committee next develops a ballot based on the nominations received
     by the closing date and time. If more people are running than the specified number of
     UBC members, this will be a contested election. If the number needed or fewer members
     choose to run, this will be a confirmation election. The election committee will see to it
     that every UESF member receives a ballot, and that there is a clear deadline for voting.
     The election committee will determine how they will collect the ballots.
     Some things to consider:

     - A contested election deserves a double-envelope secret ballot.

     - A confirmation election should allow members to say if they want a particular
       person to represent them by voting “Yes” or “No” on each individual.

     - There should be printed ballots.
4.   The election committee will count the votes, record them, sign, and publish results.
     The results will then be posted on the UESF bulletin board and ballots will be stored for
     one year or until the next election cycle.
5.   The election committee will fill out the official UESF Site Election Reporting Form
     and send it to UESF.

                                                                                     10 | P a g e

                                 Sample Nomination Form
At a school or site that already has a UBC, a nomination letter and form might look like this.

Dear Colleague:
It is time once again to elect our Building Representative and Union Building Committee (UBC).
The UBC has agreed that we will continue to have five members including the Building Rep
comprise our UBC. We are also entitled to three members and two alternate members of the
UESF Assembly, so all UBC members are also members or alternate members of the Assembly.
All UESF members at our school are eligible to run and to vote for membership on this vital
committee. So that we are reminded of the responsibilities of the UBC, I have attached
information that I urge each one of us to carefully review.

Election Committee Chair

Please tear off and return to _____________________by_____________ (date)

I.     You may nominate yourself:
I, ______________________________, am a member of UESF and a candidate for the position
checked below.
II. You may nominate another member:

I, ________________________________, nominate __________________________for the
position checked below. She/he is a member of UESF and will accept this nomination.
Positions: (check one or both)
       Building Representative
       Union Building Committee

                                                                                       11 | P a g e
                                          Sample Ballots

 A. Competitive Ballot
 At a large school with a competitive election the double envelope method assures both a secret
 ballot and the integrity of the process.
 Voting Instructions:
 1.      Mark your ballot.
 2.      Put it in the small envelope to insure secrecy.
 3.      Put the small envelope inside the larger one; seal it and sign your name.
 4.      Put your ballot in the locked ballot box _________________________________ (clear
         description of where and by precisely what date and time).

                 Union Building Committee                           Building Representative
                 Vote for not more than ____                                Vote for one
                 ____ Candidate A           ____ Candidate C          ____Candidate X
                 ____ Candidate B           ____ Candidate D          ____Candidate Y

 B. Non-contested election
 If the number of nominees equals the number of positions agreed on, and there is only one
 candidate for Building Rep, this ballot gives members the opportunity to confirm the nominees.
 Even in this circumstance some schools use the double envelope ballot.
 Dear Colleague:                                                              Month/Day/Year
 The following Union members have accepted nomination for Union Building Committee. They
 need to be confirmed by your vote. After casting your vote please place this ballot in
 Ms./Mr._____________________’s mailbox no later than _______________ (date and time).
                        Nominees                                      Yes                      No
 Building Rep:
 Union Building Com.
 First nominee
 Second nominee
 Etc. to the number of nominees.

                                                                                           12 | P a g e

Please fill out this form and send it to UESF, 2310 Mason St., San Francisco, CA 94133 or fax it
to 956-8374. This form will be the official report for your school for this school year. UESF
officers, staff, and members will then know the current union representatives at your site.
School or Site Name

Building Representative(s)*
*(Some schools elect a teacher BR and a paraeducator BR or Co-Building Reps)


_____________________________________            ____________________________________

_____________________________________            ____________________________________

_____________________________________            ____________________________________

Please identify the UBC members above who will serve as your representatives to the UESF
Assembly with an asterisk (*).

Date of most recent UBC election

Election committee members

Briefly describe the election process:

This form was filled out by

Please return this form to the UESF office immediately following the site election. Thank you.

                                                                                     13 | P a g e

The following is a guideline to use when developing the operating rules for your site’s UBC. It
contains issues that need to be addressed by the body. Except for the items annotated by
references to UESF By-Laws, you may choose all of these suggestions or add/delete as
appropriate to your situation. Items in italics are presented as suggestions for the specific rules
you may develop. You should decide these rules at the beginning of the school year and
distribute the rules to all UESF members at your site.
1.     All UBC members shall be members in good standing of UESF and shall retain that
       status throughout the term of their service. (UESF By Laws Article VII 1.a).
2      Each site shall determine the number of seats on the UBC. UESF members on the current
       UBC may decide the size.
3      A site may make provisions for electing additional members at a later date.
4.     UESF members at the site shall duly elect all UBC members annually. (UESF By-Laws
       Article VII. 4.a).
5.     UBCs should have both teacher and paraeducator representatives. (UESF By-Laws
       Article VII.1.b).


1.     Meetings of the UBC will be held every Thursday at lunch in room 100.

2.     Meeting agendas will be distributed to UBC members two days prior to the scheduled
       meeting and posted on the union bulletin board.

3.     The building rep or a majority of UBC members may call special meetings, as necessary.


1.     Agenda items may be carried over from last meeting.
2.     Any union member may submit an item in writing to the designated secretary prior to the

3.     Any UBC member may ask that any item be considered for the agenda at that meeting.

4.     Agenda items shall be posted with the meeting notice two days prior to the meeting.

5.     UBC members in attendance shall determine the final agenda of each meeting as the 1st
       order of business at that meeting.

                                                                                         14 | P a g e
1.     The Building Rep or in his/her absence a UBC member selected by UBC members, will
chair meetings. (UESF By-Laws Article VII.2.a).

2.      Attendance at meetings may be limited to UBC members/ open to any union member/
open to all staff members. This decision shall be made by a majority vote of UBC members
either at the prior meeting or as the 1st order of business at the meeting in question. If it was
made at the prior meeting, it shall be noted in the posted meeting notice.

3.      Participation in discussion of agenda items is limited to UBC members. Discussion may
       be opened up to other attendees by majority vote of UBC members present.

4.     A quorum for decision-making purposes shall be majority of elected UBC members.

5.      All decisions of the UBC shall be made by consensus of UBC members present at the
meeting. In the event that a reasonable effort has been made by the group to reach consensus,
and that effort failed, the chair may rule that the issue shall be brought to a vote. UBC members
may override the chair by a 2/3 majority of UBC members present. Issues to be considered in
making this decision should include time already spent on the issue, need for timely decision,
alternatives available for further working on the issue outside of UBC meetings.

6.     All issues brought up for vote shall be decided by a vote of majority of UBC members

Meetings - A brief guide to effective UBC Meetings
In order to translate our individual efforts and talents into effective collective actions, we need to
communicate with each other. How well we do this, will likely determine the success of our
UBCs. Below are some very basic guidelines to help you meet effectively.

Preparation for meeting:
a.     Make an agenda based on agreed-upon items from last meeting and/or new issues from
       constituents. You can add or subtract from this agenda at the meeting.

b.     Print up enough copies for each meeting participant and for public posting.

c.     Send reminder notices to anticipated participants two to three days in advance
       announcing time and place.

                                                                                          15 | P a g e
Assigned tasks for meeting participants:
Chair (Building Rep)
a.     Keeps discussion on topic
b.     Assures participation by all
c.     Helps move each issue towards closure
d.     Encourages consensus building
e.     Checks for agreement on each issue before moving on
f.     Puts question to a vote of the UBC in absence of clear consensus
g.     Prepares agenda for meeting with the administration
h.     Schedules meetings with administration

a.    Records minutes, especially decisions and agreements (if confidential – only for UBC
      use, not administration)
b.    Records brainstorming ideas if that technique is used
c.    Prepares legible copies of minutes for each meeting participant and for constituents
d.    Assures distribution of minutes to colleagues: in boxes, on bulletin boards, in person


Notifies group when time limit for each item is reached

At the meeting:
a.     Review agenda and modify as necessary.
b.     Prioritize agenda and allot times for discussion of each item.
c.     Assign tasks for meeting if it hasn’t been done in advance.
d.     Discuss issues and work towards agreements (Try to minimize digressions).
e.     Before closing, review agreements, decisions, and tasks that people agreed to do.
f.     Set the next meeting time and place for the UBC.
g.     Set the next meeting time and date with the administration.

After the meeting:
a.     Communicate outcomes of the meeting with constituents.
b.     Implement decisions.
c.     Prepare for the next meeting.
d.     Prepare for the meeting with the administration.

                                                                                     16 | P a g e
Union Building Committee Roles and Responsibilities

                                     Sharing Responsibility

Your UBC will run more efficiently if you are able to share the following roles and

Building Representative
School Site Council (SSC) Representatives
Attend UBC/Principal meetings
Organize and create agendas – Principal meetings
Keep and distribute notes – Principal meetings
Attend monthly UESF Assembly meetings
Attend monthly UESF Elementary, Middle, or High School Meetings
Contact person with union area and field representatives
Report UBC issues/concerns at staff meetings
Receive/clarify member issues and concerns for UBC
Represent members at meetings with administrators
Bulletin Board Update and Upkeep
Conduct staff surveys as necessary
Distribute union materials to staff
Develop and maintain communication tree

UBC-Member Meetings:
Prepare Agenda
Time Keeper
Keep minutes
Prepare and distribute meeting info for staff

Many UBCs use email to communicate with site members. Do not use sfusd.edu email

                                                                                      17 | P a g e
The UBC and the Contracts
Article 23 - Union Building Committee: This article gives UESF members at sites the opportunity and
the explicit right to participate fully and knowledgeably in site-based decisions that affect the operations
of their schools. Through the vehicle of the UBC, Article 23 of the Certificated Contract and Appendix D
of the Certificated contract teachers and Paraeducators have a clear and immediate process for achieving
direct access to the administration in all matters related to site operations.
UESF believes that teachers and Paraeducators, working with administration cooperatively and as
partners in the educational enterprise, can do a better job of serving the students of San Francisco. The
language of Article 23 was not conceived or intended as a license to obstruct or delay. The role should not
be more adversarial but more cooperative, not more confrontational but more collegial. Nevertheless, at
many sites it will no doubt take time to develop and nurture a partnership with the administration.
In Article 23 and Appendix D, the UBC and the Building Rep are given two distinct, although not always
separate, roles, to play within the school community together with a few specifically assigned
Enforcing Teacher and paraeducator Rights: The traditional role of the Building Rep and the Building
Committee continues: the UBC “is responsible for implementing and enforcing” the contract (Section
23.1). In carrying out this role, the UBC “shall meet at least once a month” with the site administrator
“on matters of contract administration,” and “shall have a place on the agenda at each faculty
meeting...” (Section 23.3.1).
Ensuring Participation: The 2017-2020 Contracts, Sections 23.3.6 and 23.3.7 of the Certificated
Contract and Appendix D of the Paraeducator contract ensure that teachers and Paraeducators are
involved in the operation of the school: “The UBC shall have timely access to all pertinent, non-
confidential, information available to site administration... including timelines, and deadlines as set
by district administration.” The article then enumerates the kinds of information included in the
mandate. This is a right to knowledge; don’t expect that information be given automatically. You will
probably have to ask for it. You may have to ask repeatedly and persistently, even file a grievance, in
order to establish the UBC’s right to information as a routine part of school procedures. (See sample
letters in this kit.)
Along with the right to know goes the right to be part of the decision-making process at your school. “The
UBC shall meet with site administration to share information and ideas with the goal of achieving
consensus agreement on matters of mutual concern regarding the operation of the site.” Once again the
article cites examples of possible topics of mutual concern but explicitly includes “all other matters
pertaining to school policy and operations.” Recognize that there are many contractual issues that impact
school quality which give the UBC the ability to use the grievance process, if necessary, to resolve them.
Some of these articles are Staffing and Assignment, Evaluation, Class Size, Days and Hours.
Representation: The UBC ensures that teachers’ and Paraeducators’ views are represented on the School
Site Council (SSC), which also includes the administration, parents, other school employees and students
in secondary schools. The UBC conducts elections for teacher and paraeducator representatives to the
SSC (23.3.1). Elections for paraeducator representatives to the SSC are to be conducted by the UBC also
(Appendix D, Certificated contract).
School Site council elections are held every other year in the SFUSD. These elections usually occur in
October. As the UBC conducts the election for certificated and classified members, the UBC election
should take place before the SSC election cycle.
Communication: Another responsibility that is self-evident and essential to the success of the UBC at any
school is that, “The UBC functions to maintain clear lines of communication between administration and
faculty” (Section 23.3.2). Equally important, of course, are the clear lines of communication between the
UBC and the UESF members at the school.

                                                                                               18 | P a g e
From your

        Article 23   Certificated and Appendix D, Classified Union Building Committee (UBC)
            23 — Union Building Committee
            23.1     At the site the duly elected Union Building Committee (UBC), designed to represent both UESF
                     bargaining units, is responsible for implementing and enforcing provisions of this Agreement. The duly
                     elected Union Building Representative shall serve as the chair of this committee.
            23.2     The Union Building Representative at each site represents UESF at that site, represents the site
                     district-wide and serves as liaison between the faculty and the site administration.
            23.2.1   Each school site faculty may choose to determine whether to relieve the site’s Union Building
                     Representative of equitably rotated school site duties under Article 7.2.4 in order to accomplish the
                     duties associated with the Union Building Representative position. (Note: Inclusion of homeroom as a
                     school site duty shall be determined by the site administrator.) This secret ballot shall be conducted by
                     the site UBC – but not the Building Representative – and should be conducted prior to the first student
                     day of instruction. The election tally shall be posted and made available to the site staff, including the
            23.3     Roles and responsibilities of the Union Building Committee (UBC)
            23.3.1   The site administrator shall meet at least once a month with up to seven (7) members of the Union
                     Building Committee on matters of contract administration. This committee shall also coordinate site
                     elections to identify representatives for various other functions within the contract. The UBC shall
                     have a place on the agenda at each faculty meeting, and shall have the opportunity to make a brief
                     statement/report on matters of Union concern or business.
            23.3.2   The UBC functions to maintain clear lines of communication between administration and faculty.
            23.3.3   Teacher representatives of the School Site Council shall be elected by teachers at the school site in an
                     election designed and conducted by the Union Building Committee (UBC).
            23.3.4   UBC members shall be permitted use for Union business of school reproduction and audio-visual
                     equipment (excluding materials and supplies) at times which do not interfere with or disrupt normal
                     school functions.
            23.3.5   The UBC may schedule meetings before or after the instructional day or at such times that are not in
                     conflict with normal school functions.
            23.3.6   The UBC at each site shall have timely access to all pertinent, non-confidential information available
                     to site administration regarding staffing, assignment, programming, facilities management and
                     planning, staff development, and budgeting, and including timelines and deadlines as set by district
            23.3.7   The UBC shall meet with site administration to share information and ideas with the goal of achieving
                     consensus agreement on matters of mutual concern regarding the operation of the site including
                     staffing, assignment, programming, facilities management and planning, staff development, and
                     budgeting, and including timelines and deadlines as set by district administration, and all other
                     matters pertaining to school policy and operations.
            23.3.8   The UBC serves as a liaison to the Restructuring Council (Article XXI).
   The UBC shall conduct the election for teacher and paraeducator positions on the School Site Council
                     or other similar governing bodies.
   The Union Building Representative shall be a member, either elected or ex-officio, of any shared
                     decision-making body. The Union Building Committee at a school site is encouraged to work in
                     conjunction with the shared decision-making body as a unified representative body.
   In the case of any school identified as a low-performing school by the process described in Article 21,
                     the UBC shall work with the Accountability Support Team to schedule meetings regarding
                     disseminating information and planning, to coordinate site activities with the School Site Council, and
                     to conduct any elections by the instructional staff that may be required to approve the proposed site
            23.3.9   In order to promote cooperation and a collegial relationship at the school site, the UBC and the
                     administration are encouraged to work collaboratively.

                                                                                                                19 | P a g e
4. Union Work at the School Site

Here are a few areas where members can see the union at work on their school site.

      A.    Emergency Coverage

      B.    Checking on Class Size

      C.    Watching the work day/ work hours

      What has the
     union done for

                                                                        20 | P a g e
What is an emergency?
               How do I get paid for coverage?
               Who decides who does the work?

      One good way to get the attention of the site administrator (and to show the
members that their Building Rep is doing something for them) is to invoke the
Emergency Coverage provision of the contract. It allows people to be paid for
covering classes when substitute teachers cannot be provided.

                                                                         21 | P a g e
Professional Rights – Emergency Coverage
Article 6.8 Emergency coverage plans

    6.8.1 Teachers, through the UBC, are encouraged to work collaboratively with site
          administration to develop a mutually acceptable site plan which adequately
          handles situations where emergency class coverage is a need. Definition of
          emergency, equitable rotation of responsibility, and substitute compensation
          paid to the individual or school shall be among the items considered by the
          UBC. The District shall provide to such schools an amount equivalent to the
          substitute’s pay for purposes of compensation. Past practices shall prevail
          until a mutually acceptable site plan is developed.

Some possible sample language follows this page.

The process basically works like this:

•      The UBC develops the plan and reviews it with the principal.

•      The principal submits the plan to the Human Resources Department.

•      The school keeps track of the dates that emergency coverage is required, and who
       covered for how much time.

•      The form Emergency Class Coverage is then filled out and signed by the principal and
       turned in to the Human Resources Department by the 15th of each month. (To ensure
       accountability, the UBC should monitor the processing of forms.)

•      The Human Resources Department checks the form against the plan on file and submits
       the request for payment to the Payroll Department.

•      If the money is going into the school fund, it will go into category 4316 Instructional

•      If the money is going to teachers or Paraeducators (including substitute teachers who are
       assisting with coverage) the money will be seen on the paycheck following the
       submission and approval of the form.

    Note: Every school year, early in the fall semester, an announcement, similar to the one
          provided in this kit, is contained in the Weekly Administrative Directive. The
          appropriate form for that school year will be included in the WAD.

                                                                                       22 | P a g e

 SAMPLE LANGUAGE – Elementary and Early Education Department

 This agreement has been reached between _____________________________,
 title___________________ and ___________________________________, Chairperson of the
 Union Building Committee.

 For the purpose of this document, an emergency shall be defined as an absence of a teacher, or
 paraeducator for whom a substitute is normally assigned and, for whom the District has failed to
 provide a substitute. An emergency shall also be defined as an unplanned and unpredictable
 absence of a teacher or para for which the school district cannot reasonably be expected to
 provide a substitute. Such emergencies shall include, but not be limited to: Teacher’s illness or
 accident during the school day; an illness or accident which occurs in transit to school; an
 assigned substitute reporting to school after the start time, the failure of the District to provide a
 substitute for an absent teacher or paraeducator for whom a substitute is normally assigned.

 In the case of absence of a teacher, or paraeducator for whom a substitute is normally assigned,
 when a substitute teacher is not provided or not available to teach the classes, teachers who are
 available and who volunteer will agree to provide emergency substitute coverage and be paid for
 said services at the prevailing rate as specified in the SFUSD/UESF Teacher Contract. Teachers
 covering absences will be assigned in a fair and equitable rotation. If the person covering the
 absence so desires, or is ineligible to receive extra compensation, or for any other reason the
 compensation is not to go to an individual, the amount of money will be credited to the school
 site and its use will be determined by the UBC in consultation with the principal. Paraeducators
 will not be asked to provide emergency class coverage unless the coverage is for an absent
 paraeducator for whom a substitute is normally assigned, not replacing the regular work schedule
 of the paraeducator.

 ______________________________________                         ______________________________
 Principal                                                      Date

 ______________________________________                         ______________________________
 Building Representative                                        Date

                                                                                           23 | P a g e
LANGUAGE – Secondary Schools
Middle or High School Site Plan for Emergency Class Coverage
This agreement has been reached between                                        , (title) ______ ___________
and ____________________________________, Chairperson of the Union Building Committee.
For the purpose of this document, an emergency shall be defined as an absence of a teacher, or paraeducator for
whom a substitute is normally assigned, and for whom the District has failed to provide a substitute. An emergency
shall also be defined as an unplanned and unpredictable absence of a teacher or para for which the school district
cannot reasonably be expected to provide a substitute. Such emergencies shall include, but not be limited to, a
teacher’s illness or accident during the school day; an illness or accident which occurs in transit to school; the failure
of an assigned substitute to report to school punctually, the failure of the District to provide a substitute for an absent
teacher or paraeducator for whom a substitute is normally assigned.
1. Substitute coverage will be voluntary. Teachers who do not wish to cover classes will not be required to do so.
2. The principal will establish an emergency coverage list of teachers arranged by preparation period each semester.
Teachers who do not wish to be considered for emergency class coverage will not have their names placed on the
a. Assignment of emergency class coverage will be made in the following manner:
• Per Diem substitutes with less than 5 teaching periods, without extra compensation.
• Per Diem substitutes will be asked to cover a sixth class with compensation.
• Teachers from the emergency coverage list.
• Paraeducators will be assigned emergency class coverage in the same manner to cover only for absent
Paraeducators who would normally be assigned a substitute.
3. The principal’s secretary will keep the preparation period list.
4. When an emergency arises and the district does not send a substitute, this site list will be used to determine the
next available teacher willing to cover for the absent teacher’s classes.
5. No teacher will be asked to cover a class a second time until the list of teachers available during that preparation
period has been exhausted.
6. The substitute monies will be paid directly to the teachers who earn them by covering classes and will be part of
total salary. If the person covering the absence so desires, or is ineligible to receive extra compensation, or for any
other reason the compensation is not to go to an individual, the amount of money will be credited to the school site
and its use will be determined by the UBC in consultation with the principal.
7. When a member of the bargaining unit other than a classroom teacher (for instance a dean, counselor, resource
teacher, librarian) is absent and no substitute is assigned, an amount equal to a substitute’s pay shall be allocated to
the school site in a fund to be administered by the UBC in consultation with the principal.
8. In no case shall any teacher perform emergency substitute coverage without specific compensation.
9. This agreement is retroactive to the first day of the school year.

  Principal                         Date                      Building Representative            Date

                                                                                                    24 | P a g e
4B. Class Size

       There are class-size “goals” and there are staffing allocations. Contracts in
San Francisco have not traditionally had class-size limits except for RSP (caseload,
Certificated Article, in Early Childhood Education classes (Certificated
Article 9.5.6 and subsections), and TK-3rd grade classes (Article 9.3.1 and
subsections). The Building Representative needs to know the allocation number
and the goals to which the District has agreed. The UBC should see that the
school’s classes are balanced and no one bears an unfair burden. (Articles 9.1.2 &

                                                                          25 | P a g e
From your

      The UBC and the Contract - Class Size
      The contract gives us some tools to work with. In Article 9 the district acknowledges that we
      need to create the “... lowest class size possible” within the constraints of limited resources.
      Each year in spring, principals receive a preliminary Weighted Student Formula for the next
      school year from the District. The UBC should ask for a copy of this staff allocation document. It
      can be a basis for working with the principal in planning for the next year and for understanding
      the special needs of the school. Staff allocations are revised based on changes in anticipated
      enrollment, recognition or acknowledgement of special programs or needs, and, perhaps, on the
      persuasiveness of site staff and administration in articulating their needs as part of the School
      Site Council.
      The following digest of subsections of Article 9 highlights the UBC’s role at the school site as
      well as some rules that administration should come to recognize and follow.
      •       Article 9.1.2 specifically provides for the “participation of the UBC with the principal in
      the shared decisions determining utilization of allocated staff.”
      •      Article defines the “Staffing Allocation Ratio” and specifies that the
      classroom teachers allocated to the school by the formula “…shall be assigned to regular
      teaching duties,” and should not, therefore, be assigned by the principal to non-teaching duties.
      The intervening subsections specify personnel not included in the classroom staffing allocation.
      •      Article says the district must provide “appropriate staff allocation” for “any new
      programs added to a site.”
      •       Article 9.3 states “The Union and the District agree to work cooperatively to reduce class
      size and to determine the focus of such class size reductions.”
      •      Section and subsections specify how to deal with class size overage in grades TK-
      3 and specify how a teacher is to be compensated for being assigned additional students.
      •      Article 9.4.1 addresses the need to balance classes early in the fall semester and identifies
      both district and site responsibilities. “The UBC shall have input on such site decision (s).”
      •       Article 9.4.2 mandates that “…the principal shall meet with the UBC periodically to
      make every reasonable effort to balance class sizes…” and that there is the opportunity to bring
      the district and the Union in to help resolve unresolved problems.
      •        The UBC Article in the contract, specifically Sections 23.3.6 and 23.3.7, gives the UBC
      the right to have “timely access to all pertinent, non confidential information available to the site
      administration,” and states “UBC shall meet with site administration ... with the goal of
      achieving consensus agreement on matters of mutual concern regarding the operation of the

                                                                                               26 | P a g e
4C. Work Day / Work Hours

Teachers and paras often work beyond the time for which they are paid. If they
choose to do so, there should be no problem. The contract sets the days and hours
for which they are paid and during which they may be directed to work.

       As a result of negotiations, elementary teachers are guaranteed 150 minutes
of prep time each week. Prep time is part of the seven-hour work day and is to be
spent in a manner decided by the individual teacher.

The Building Representative, UBC, and site administrators should meet and
schedule the weekly prep time so that the schedule is understood by everyone
on staff.

                                                                         27 | P a g e
From your

      The UBC and the Contract - Work Year and Day, Certificated Contract
      Article 7 - Days and Hours of Employment for TK - 12 Teachers – Teacher Contract
      A. Article 7.1 defines the annual calendar for teachers regularly assigned for the full year:
            7.1.1   The length of the work year for all teachers shall be as follows: 184 days of service,
                    except that department heads and deans/head counselors shall have 189 days of
                    service, which includes the three (3) District professional development days.

      B.       All work required of teachers outside of the service calendar must be paid at per diem rates. In
      order to implement this section successfully, an understanding of the workday is necessary. A discussion
      of the workday provisions follows.

            7.1.2 A teacher required to do work beyond his/her service calendar shall be paid at his/her
                    per diem rate of pay.

      C. Article 7.2 defines the workday for teachers:
         7.2.1 The length of the teacher work day, including preparation time and time regularly
                required before and after school, exclusive of the duty-free lunch period, shall be based
                on a work week of seven (7) hours per day or thirty-five hours per five (5) day week.
                Teachers may work an approved schedule which includes time expended outside the
                assigned site. Such time approved away from the site shall be considered time worked
                for purposes of this Article.

      1.      The union recognizes that teachers actually work much more than the 35-hour week specified in
      the contract, but what the contract defines is the extent to which the District can mandate the instructional
      time teachers are required to work with students and the time teachers are required to spend on site or
      engaged in other mandated duties. This provision was the subject of an arbitration settlement in 2004.
      The District agreed that principals can count preparation time spent off campus as part of the work day.

                                                                                                       28 | P a g e
From your
C.     Instructional Day                                                                         contract

Dealing with the workday for teachers, the instructional day for students as defined by the
Education Code and Board of Education policy needs to be considered. The teacher instructional
day within the workday is defined in The teacher instructional day within the workday shall be: five (5) periods daily for the High Schools and Middle Schools. three hundred minutes (300) for grades 4 and 5. two hundred eighty (280) minutes for grades TK-3.

1.     The instructional day within the workday for kindergarten teachers is 280 minutes.
“TK/Kindergarten teachers will be provided the same supervision relief as other elementary
teachers.” (
2.      The teachers’ contract does not and cannot define the students’ school day or the
configuration of their instructional time, although the contract certainly does give teachers the
right and the opportunity to participate in the site-based decisions required to implement District
policy. (,, 7.2.2,, 7.2.5,, 23.3.6, 23.3.7,,
3.     The teachers’ instructional day for elementary teachers is unambiguously defined in
minutes. For middle and high school teachers it is defined as “five (5) periods daily.” (
While periods are not as precise as minutes, the intent is clear. The District cannot arbitrarily
increase teachers’ instructional time by reconfiguring the students’ day. The instructional day for
middle school students is 320 minutes, and for high school students, the instructional day is 360
minutes. The instructional day for elementary students varies from 200 to 300 minutes. The
preparation period for middle and high school teachers ( is built into the instructional
4.      The “duty free lunch period” guaranteed in Section 7.2.2 is not part of the workday, and
is not compensated, and therefore, no part of it is subject to mandatory assignment.
5.     TK/Elementary teachers have 150 minutes of duty-free preparation time during the work
week, in blocks no smaller than 20 minutes. (Article
6.     All other duties that may be required of teachers (7.2.5 and, meetings,
supervision, etc., are “to be considered part of the work week described above,” i.e., thirty-five
(35) hours. Therefore, any time assigned by the District beyond the contractual work-week
should be appropriately compensated.

                                                                                        29 | P a g e
From your

      D. UBC and the Workday
      Once the required instructional day is clear, the UBC, working with the administration, should be
      involved in the decisions regarding the use of workday time beyond the instructional day.
   All teachers regularly assigned to a school shall be at their respective
                    classrooms or other places of service at least fifteen (15) minutes but not more
                    than thirty (30) minutes before the regular opening of school as communicated
                    by the administrator. The UBC, following consultation with the faculty, may
                    designate additional before or after school time within the workweek
                    described above.
   At sites where common planning time is built into the schedule, the
                    minimum report time referred to in Section shall be five (5) to ten (10)
                    minutes. Common planning time shall be used for the following types of
                    activities: team planning, student study teams, parent conferences, curriculum
                    development, faculty meetings, and other professional activities.
            7.2.2 Teachers shall be provided a duty-free lunch period, equivalent in length to the
                   lunch period of the teachers’ students, exclusive of passing periods, or thirty
                   (30) consecutive minutes, whichever is longer.
            7.2.3 Every good faith effort will be made to schedule all I.E.P. conferences during
                   the seven-hour workday.
            7.2.5 The site administrator of each school may require teachers to perform related
                   duties on a reasonable and equitably distributed basis among teachers, such
                   time to be considered part of the workweek described above.
   Teachers may be required to attend no more than two (2) faculty meetings per
                    month, such time to be considered part of the work week described above.
                    Time for all other meetings shall be considered part of the workweek
                    described above and shall be scheduled with the concurrence of the UBC,
                    except in case of emergency.

      Parent – Teacher Conferences
      Article 8 deals with instructional minutes for Parent-Teacher Conferences. The UBC is to work
      with the administration to determine how to make up the minutes for shortened days for parent

            8.1.3 Situations differ from site to site in terms of staff preference and program
                    requirements. Decisions on how to make up the minutes for minimum days
                    are best determined on a site-by-site basis and shall become a part of the
                    shared decision-making process involving the site administration and UBC.
                    Each plan must be approved by Elementary Instructional Support and
                    Operations for conformance with minimum instructional requirements and
                    compatibility with bus schedules. A copy of the plan, including UBC sign-off,
                    shall be sent to the union.
                                                                                                30 | P a g e
You can also read