MEA Email Announces Agreement with

School Board on So Called “Hours Calendar”

MANCHESTER, NH  published at 9 AM on April 6, 2013–The Manchester Education Association enterted into a on year “memorandum of understanding” (MoU) with the Manchester Board of School Committee to accept the so called “hours calendar” for the coming school year.  In the email sent to all teachers, the union noted that the school board is expected to vote on the MoU during its meeting on Monday night.

This will go down as a political victory for Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas who’s been pushing for changes to the school calendar since learning that New Hampshire law requires 990 hours of instruction for high school students, not 180 days.  Gatsas has sought changes for several months arguing that a shorter school year would provide more instructional time in each subject during the day, efficiencies in scheduling and potentially provide additional time for the implementation of enrichment programs in the school buildings.  Gatsas has argued the city might be able not only to improve educational opportunities with a different calendar, but also generate revenue from the buildings as a result of more available time to use the.

The MEA sent a letter threatening to “grieve” the implementation of the hours calendar as a unilateral change in work conditions that was subject to negotiation.  In response, the school board, led by Ward 10 Committeeman John Avard, adopted an alternative stating that basically gave the union an option to either go along with the hours calendar or have a more traditional calendar that eliminated the school vacation breaks in February and April while creating one in March.

Seems the offering may have had the desired affect as, in its message to its members below, the union touted thhe preservation of the February/April vacation schedule.

Here is the email sent by union officials to the membership:

MEA and the School Board have entered into a one year memorandum of understanding regarding the school calendar (hours versus days).  For the 2013-2014 school year the MEA agreed to use the hours calendar versus the days calendar.  This will maintain the traditional February and April vacations.

What this means is the number of work days will decrease from 183 to 181, with 175 days being instructional days and six professional development/in-service days. Staff will not have to make up any days due to school cancelations (snow, etc).

The 6 professional development/in-service days shall be as follows:

One day prior to the start of school, one on Primary day, one on Election day, one scheduled as determined by MEA, and two at the end of the student school year.

Please note that LUNCH and RECESS have increased for elementary by 10 minutes each, and lunch has increased at the middle school.

A.        Elementary Schools (w/30 minute lunch and 30 minute recess):

1.        Teacher:
Start time: 8:10 AM
End Time: 2:55 PM

2.        Student:
Start time: 8:20 AM
End time: 2:50         PM

B.        Middle Schools (w/28 minute lunch):

1.        Teacher:
Start time: 7:32 AM
End time: 2:28 PM

2.        Student:
Start time: 7:40 AM
End time: 2:20 PM

C.        High Schools:

1.        Teacher:
Start time: 7:38 AM
End Time: 2:42 PM

2.        Student:
Start time: 7:45 AM
End time: 2:42         PM

The BOSC will be voting on this (potentially) on Monday evening.