Article 404

Professional Behavior

404.01 A teacher shall be entitled, upon his/her request, to

have present an Association faculty representative or

other representative of the Association when the teacher

is being given a formal reprimand or warning, is being

disciplined for any alleged infraction of rules, delinquency,

or unprofessional performance, or is being given a

recommendation that such teacher resign or take a leave

of absence without pay. The request for the presence of a

representative of the Association shall not delay such

proceedings for more than five (5) school days. A

teacher also shall be entitled, upon his/her request, to

have present an Association faculty representative or

other representative of the Association when Board personnel

in authority seek information which that teacher

reasonably could believe may lead to his/her discipline.

The request for the presence of a representative of the

Association shall not delay such inquiry by the building

administrator(s) for more than one (1) school day, or by

central office or external district authority for more than

two (2) school days.

 

404.02 A teacher shall not be given a formal written reprimand

or warning, or be disciplined for any alleged

infraction of rules, delinquency, or unprofessional performance,

without just cause. Any such action shall be

subject to the grievance procedure set forth in this

Agreement, except that any such action taken in connection

with Article 401 shall not be grieved with noncompliance

with this paragraph cited as a claimed violation.

 

404.03 The termination of the contract of a teacher shall

not be subject to the grievance procedure set forth in

this Agreement. Teachers whose contracts are terminated

shall have recourse to their rights under Section

3319.16 of the Ohio Revised Code or any successor section.

 

404.04 The reasons for a decision leading to a recommendation

not to reemploy a non-tenured teacher shall be

made available in writing to the affected teacher at

his/her option.

 

404.05 Any failure to observe the provisions of Section

404.04 of this article in regard to the giving of written

statements relative to reemployment shall be subject to

the grievance procedure set forth in this Agreement.

 

404.06 In general, direct, verbal criticism of a teacher by an

administrator in front of students or parents tends to

reduce the teacher’s effectiveness in maintaining an

orderly teaching environment. As a result, the parties

agree that this practice should be avoided where reasonably

practical. Agreement to avoid such criticism where

reasonably practical is in no way intended to limit the

right of the administrator to give direction to members

of the teaching staff. In the event a teacher believes that

such criticism has occurred, the teacher may request a

conference with the administrator to discuss the incident.

Following such a conference, in the event the

teacher believes that such criticism has again occurred,

the teacher may request a conference with the administrator

and a representative of the Superintendent. In

either conference, the teacher may be accompanied and

represented by a representative of the Association, and

the administrator may be accompanied by a Board representative

if the teacher elects representation.

 

404.07 Members of the bargaining unit shall not be subjected

to repeated and/or extreme verbal abuse by administrators

or other agents of the Board.

Wait. Don’t comment

When your administrator pressures you to quickly provide a written or verbal statement about an incident that you witnessed or were involved in, stop, think and call CEA. Do not be insubordinate, but do let your administrator know that you have the right to representation before making any statements. A number of our members have needlessly incriminated themselves because of statements they provided to their administrators.

If you get called into a meeting with your principal or supervisor for an unspecified reason, it is your right under the law (NLRB v. Weingarten) to:

Ask the principal or supervisor to clarify the reason for the meeting. Don’t refuse to attend, but ask why.

Get representation. If the meeting becomes disciplinary in nature, you are entitled to call CEA, even if your principal says you shouldn’t or can’t.

Set the meeting at a time when your representative can attend. The administrator is obligated to do so.

Take up to five school days to schedule the meeting to make sure your representative can be there.

You have the right to the representative of your choice, not your principal’s choice. You can be represented by your FR or by a staff member from the CEA office. Faculty representatives do not have to participate in hearings if they don’t feel comfortable doing this kind of work.

CEA suggests representation any time the purpose of the meeting is for one of the following situations:

• Any type of disciplinary action

• Investigation meeting

• Reprimand

• Infraction of a work rule or board policy

• Questions concerning request or use of sick or personal leave

• Allegations of abuse

• Parental, student or community complaint

For more information about professional behavior, read Article 404 of the Master Agreement.

 

Know your Weingarten rights

Thirty years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court protected unionized workers’ rights to due process during questioning by a supervisor. The case, NLRB v. J. Weingarten, has come to define what’s known as your Weingarten rights. If you are asked to attend a meeting with your principal or supervisor for an unspecified reason, you should exercise these rights.

First, ask the principal or supervisor to clarify the reason for the meeting. You cannot refuse to attend a meeting called by your principal-to do so would be insubordination. But, if the meeting becomes disciplinary in nature, you are entitled to CEA representation upon your request. (Your principal does not have to tell you this.)

The choice of representative is up to you. You can request an FR from your building or a staff consultant from CEA. This is your right as a dues-paying CEA member. Your administrator should never arrange for representation on your behalf.

Once you request representation, the administrator is obligated to arrange the meeting at a time when the representative can attend. Section 404.01 of the Master Agreement provides members with a maximum of five school days to reschedule the meeting to accommodate this representative.

CEA suggests representation any time the purpose of the meeting is one of the following:

  • Any type of disciplinary action
  • Investigation meeting
  • Reprimand
  • Infraction of a work rule or board policy
  • Questions concerning request or use of leave (personal or sick)
  • Allegations of abuse
  • Parental, student or community complaint

If you have further questions, call CEA at 253-4731.