Posts Tagged ‘adult education’

Building an ABE union in Massachusetts: Yes We Can!

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

We had a great meeting last Friday and are moving forward in trying to organize the field!

Where we stand right now, we are researching the best model for organizing our field. 

NEXT STEPS

We need to know what our bargaining unit would look like. That is, we need to build a list of the names and contact information of everyone working in ABE programs.

You can help by:

Learning more about the steps to forming a non-traditional union by looking at the MECEU Candyland flyer. These steps would be the same for ABE as for Early Childhood educators.
Gathering the names and home contact information (e-mail, address and phone) of the people in your adult education program (whether or not they are currently interested in the union*). (Print this sheet and pass it around at your next staff meeting. Follow this link to enter your information!)
Talking to your coworkers about this non-traditional union and organizing effort. Share this informational flyer and MECEU Candyland.
Talking to your contacts at other ABE programs and getting them involved!
• Coming to the next Organizing Committee meeting: Friday, May 4 at 10 a.m. at the Jamaica Plain Library (12 Sedgewick St., Boston 02130)
• Organizing your own local meeting to discuss this unionizing model.
Read our previous posts on organizing the ABE field:
Early Educators’ Union a Model for Adult Ed? (4/13/12)
Can ABE Piggyback off Early Childhood Ed. Unionization? (12/1/11)

 

*We need to talk to people to find out their interest. Down the road, when we have a better idea of the size of our bargaining unit and are expanding our campaign, we will start signing union authorization cards giving our union the ability to bargain a contract for ABE workers.

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COABE Conference to be held at Union Boycotted Hotel

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

This year, the attendees of the COABE Conference in San Francisco might have to cross a picket line to get to their workshops, plenaries, and networking sessions.

That’s because the Hilton San Francisco Union Square is currently under boycott by the UNITE/HERE hotel and restaurant workers union.

Photo courtesy of UNITE HERE Local 2

Despite Hilton’s parent company, Blackstone Group, having recently received many millions of taxpayer dollars in Federal bailout money, Hilton is demanding benefit and pension cuts from its workers, a 40% workload increase, and no raises. Yet Blackstone saw an increase in net income of 23% last quarter. Workers, who are the San Francisco counterparts of our ABE and ESOL students, are currently working without a contract. By any measure, this is not fair or just. (more…)

What are you expected to do in your prep time?

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

Unless you make $34.77* per hour, your program should be paying you for prep time. But what does that really mean?

Take this survey and tell us:

*(taken from our FAQs):

The rates support a teaching to prep time ratio of 2:1. This results in a “contact hour rate” of $34.77 for teachers, based on a direct service rate of $18.54/classroom hour plus 25% fringe benefits, plus prep time: $23.17 X 1.5 = $34.77/hour. Paid prep time is not required when the hourly rate meets or exceeds the contact hour rate.

Boston Teaching Salaries: Does ABE Measure Up?

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

Back-to-school food for thought: a rookie teacher in the Boston Public Schools makes $46,000 a year. How does your salary measure up?

Does your job reward your experience, education and professional development? Where do you fit in? What comes to mind as you look at this chart? Leave a comment below!
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Improving Working Conditions at the Haitian Multi-Service Center

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Sara Jorgensen, Adult Education Program Director at the Haitian Multi-Service Center in Dorchester, interviewed by Andy Nash

Sara Jorgensen

When you became adult education director, what did you do that affected staff working conditions?

First, I built a culturally representative management team of long-term staff. I gave them some hours paid at a higher rate to do administrative tasks and improve our tracking systems. We share leadership – decision-making, planning, problem-solving, hiring. We meet every week (the full staff meets every other week). It was this management team that decided to move toward more full-time jobs. (more…)

When a Teacher or Counselor Leaves…

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

by Hilda Johnston*

Hilda Johnson

From an adult student’s perspective, when a teacher or counselor leaves her position, it has a huge impact. The teacher or counselor has the power to bring out the best in their students. When this happens, a bond is formed between that teacher and the student. The teacher may be the reason why that student comes to class on a regular basis.

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Pre-Tax Health Insurance for Part-Timers? Who Knew?

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Attention part-timers! While we’re waiting for national health care reform to take effect, are you taking full advantage of the Massachusetts reforms?

This doesn't cut it anymore.

Did you know that employers must offer eligible part-time employees the option to use their wages to pay for health insurance premiums on a pre-tax basis?

Who’s eligible? (And who’s required to offer this?)

• Do you work more than 64 hours a month (on average) for your employer?
• Does your employer have 11 or more full-time equivalent employees?

Then if you buy insurance through the Mass Health Connector, your employer must offer you the option to have the cost of the premium taken out of your paycheck pre-tax. This option is called a “Section 125 Plan”.

You would save money on state, federal and FICA withholding taxes. Your tax savings could be as much as 40% of the premium cost. Employers also save on FICA taxes.
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I love my work, but I just can’t afford it.

Monday, March 29th, 2010

Roaches and mice are alive and well and quite possibly learning English.
-Boston-based ESL teacher

I have been in the field for 6 years. I work 3 part-time jobs (totaling 32 hours/week; 18 teaching hours) to earn $27,000. My pay ranges from $18/hour (with 1:2 prep time) to $30/hour (with 1:6 prep time).

I get paid sick time at my one unionized job, but nowhere do I get any vacation time or health benefits. I get no pay for school vacations or when programs are closed.

Technically, I have access to a program computer but, if someone else is on it, I can’t wait because I have another job to get to. So I end up using my home as my office, paying for my own paper, ink cartridges, on-line fees, etc. Then I schlep my materials around from job to job.
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