With the end of the year right around the corner, and observations and personnel letters being filed, now is a good time to review:
What are the basic protections of my PFT Contract?
The PFT contract is a detailed and valuable document worth reading in its entirety—but at 200 pages, it can also be useful to have a summary of the most important points!
Below are some brief descriptions of certain protections provided by the contract. If your building does not follow these procedures, we encourage you to work with your PFT Building Rep and Regional Rep to address these issues.
You can also download this information as a printable PDF to distribute to your colleagues!
How much prep time am I guaranteed by my contract? (Article XVIII, Sect. B1)
- Elementary Teachers receive 225 minutes of prep time per week, which equates to 1 preparation period/day.
Middle and High School Teachers (please speak to your individual building representative because each school will vary based on scheduling)
- Advisors receive 360 minutes of prep time per week, which equates to 8 prep periods per week.
- Non-Advisors receive 270 Minutes of prep time per week, which equates to 6 prep periods per week.
- Secondary Teachers are also guaranteed a 30 minute duty-free lunch each day, which is separate from prep time. Elementary Teachers are guaranteed a 45 minute duty-free lunch.
What happens if my administration asks me to miss my prep?
- Lost prep time must be documented in writing with the date and the reason. Notice is to be given prior to the missed prep but no later than the following day. Note: this excludes preps that teachers cover for each other directly.
- You are to be repaid for any lost prep time after the first 4 prep periods lost per school year. Repayment in the form of actual time does not require your permission if granted within 30 days.
- Prep time not repaid in the form of actual time within 30 days of the original lost prep is eligible for repayment. You have two options for repayment of missed preps after 30 days:
- You can elect to have it repaid as personal days for the following school year. Seven prep periods equals one personal day.
- You can elect to have it repaid in your last paycheck of the year at the current extracurricular activity rate of $39.87/hour.
Do I have the right to have someone with me in a meeting with my principal, parent or other non-PFT persons? (Article XIV Sect. 4,5,6)
Yes! You have the right to representation in any meeting.
- Notice for meetings with administration (that could affect your rating or your file negatively) s) )hould be in writing and must state the reason for the meeting and that you are allowed to have representation from the PFT in the meeting.
- You can request that ANY PFT member join you in meetings that take place with any non-school district employees (i.e. parents) present.
What can be placed in my personnel files? Am I allowed to see what is in my files? Who is allowed to place information in my file? (Article XIV, Sect. B)
- You have 2 files. You have one official personnel file kept at 440 for official district and PADOE documents. You also have a personnel file kept at your building for unofficial documents and memos.
- The only people allowed to place anything in your files are:
- Employees from District Human Resources
- A ratings officer (with your permission), usually the school administrator charged with observing you in a professional capacity.
- Anyone who is witness to events pertaining to any kind of disciplinary action at your school (again, with your permission, this will take place during a meeting with representation).
- You have the right to review your personnel file kept at 440 every year. You can ask your PFT Building Representative for a file review request form at the end of the school year.
- You also have the right to review your building level personnel file. You should be given the ability to check this file in the presence of your PFT Building Representative at the end of every school year. They will advise you on what can be destroyed and what must remain in your building level file.
- Any information considered derogatory or that could cause you to be suspended or fired (such as a 204 formal discipline letter) cannot be placed in your personnel file at 440 without a formal meeting and your consent by signature.
- You have the right to dispute or correct any information placed in an informal observation by a written letter and/or evidence to be attached to the observation. You are also allowed to attach evidence to any memos given to you.
- Any unfavorable anecdotal records you receive can be removed from your personnel file after 18 months, as long you have not had any more unsatisfactory events in the intervening time.
- After 5 years, the following items may be removed from your file and destroyed: Letters of suspension or demotion, personnel transaction forms and state ratings forms.
- You must apply to have this action performed.
- You cannot have any additional incidents during the 5 year period you wish to have destroyed.
If you have any questions regarding these policies, please ask your PFT Building Representative or Regional Representative. For more resources like these, connect with the Caucus of Working Educators at www.workingeducators.org.