Feeling Overwhelmed by Excessive Workload?
Union contracts are filled with job protections. For instance, did you know that the PEA workday is clearly defined in our Union contract? This provision is essential from
Many employees have contacted the PEA and informed us that they feel overwhelmed. You and I could spend a significant amount of time listing all of the responsibilities which can not be accomplished during the regular contractual workday. In fact, many supervisors and administrators quickly forget the anxiety that these demands place on ourselves and our families.
After speaking to members of various buildings and worksites, I felt that it was more than appropriate to send a few quick reminders, and ways to deal with these issues:
- Our contract clearly defines the workday. If an employee takes work home with him/herself you are essentially sending the message to the District that you are willing to work for free.
- All employees at every worksite should agree that whatever is NOT able to be completed at work should NEVER be taken home. If work cannot be completed during the regular workday, and enough of our employees are unable to complete the work, the District will be faced with the reality that either their requirements are excessive, or that they need to pay overtime for this to be completed.
Clearly, the Union would never seek employees to purposely disobey a directive. Therefore, if any member of the District’s administrative team directs an employee to complete a task please know that you must complete the task. Although, what happens if you are unable to complete that task within the regular workday? What should you do?
- All employees who are unable to complete the task within the confines of the contractual workday should send an email to h/her supervisor that assigned the task. The email should read:
I am in receipt of your directive to ………… by (xx/xx/xxxx). Please know that I wish to be in full compliance with your directive. However, due to my current excessive workload, I have been unable to complete this task within the confines of the contractual workday agreed to by the District and the Union. As a result, I am respectfully requesting an extension of time so that I can be compliant with your directive.
If you are unable to provide me with additional time, please know that I will comply with your request by the due date/time by utilizing time outside of the contractual workday. In such case, please be advised that I will be submitting a request for paid compensation in accordance with Article 12:7 “Non-Scheduled Salaries”
2. If your supervisor fails to provide you with the necessary time during the regular workday, employees should file a grievance for the personal time that they spent completing the directive.
The PEA feels very strongly that all employees should organize around this issue at every worksite.
The Union has developed a form http://patersonea.org/non-scheduled-salary-compensation-form/ for you to utilize if you are required or requested to perform work outside of your contractual workday. When submitting this to your administrator that assigned the work outside of the workday, always remember to keep a copy for your records. Should the administrator fail to return the form, or deny you the compensation as outlined in Article 12:7, here is what you should do:
1. File a grievance with your building delegate.
2. Present the grievance to your supervisor or administrator with your building delegate.
3. If the grievance can not be resolved, bring a copy of the directive, Non-Scheduled Salary Compensation Form, as well as your log of hours/time to the PEA (along with a copy of the grievance.)
4. Repeat as necessary.
The best way to deal with the excessive workload is for all of us to take a stand against this practice which saps our energy and enthusiasm. Excessive workload also takes away precious time for us to spend with our friends and family when our day is complete.
John McEntee, Jr., President
PEA President Addresses Tenure Charges
September 27, 2017
Now that my tenure hearing has concluded, I wanted to take a minute to provide you with an update on the next steps. There were two days of hearings—the first on September 14 and the second on September 19—where both sides had an opportunity to present their case to an arbitrator. Official briefs must be submitted within the next three to four weeks, and then the arbitrator will render a decision. This generally occurs within 30 days of receipt of the briefs, which means that we won’t know the outcome until sometime in the middle of November.
Until then, I would like to reiterate my commitment to you, the students, and the community of Paterson. As I have said on many occasions, I am not, nor ever will be, cowed by this baseless attempt at intimidation for standing up for what’s right. No matter what the outcome of the case, I hope I’ve shown that, as union representatives, we should never be afraid to advocate for our contractual rights.
I want to thank all of you who have, in one way or another, shown your support during this time. Every smile, kind (or colorful!) word, handshake and message does not go unnoticed, nor does it go unappreciated. You continue to emulate what it means to be a union, and I am proud to be your president.
I would also like to acknowledge the hard work and outstanding representation of our NJEA field rep, Sasha Wolf, and our NJEA attorney, Sanford Oxfeld. They are among the best in the state, and their faith in me is yet another reason that I am a proud, unapologetic union member.
Let’s continue to work together to show everyone just how amazing the Paterson Education Association really is.
John McEntee, Jr.
John McEntee, Jr., President
Paterson Education Association