Frequently Asked Questions
What is the chain of command of the UTEA?
Member, Rep, Head Building Rep, At Large Member, Vice President, President
If I am a non-tenured teacher, how does the new tenure law affect me?
If you are a non-tenured teacher who started in the Union school district BEFORE the2012-2013 school year, it does not apply you. It only affects new hires. To achieve tenure, teachers must complete a district mentorship in their first year of teaching. They must also be rated effective or highly effective in two of their next three years’ end of year evaluations.
What is different about evaluations for this year?
The evaluation process is going to be changed, however those changes have not been finalized yet. That evaluation process just completed its first pilot year in 20 districts, and 30 more districts will pilot different evaluation systems in the coming year. We are one of those districts, and will be piloting them in Battle Hill, Kawameeh, and Union High School. Tenure and evaluation have always been linked, but this bill makes that linkage more specific. Please remember that the tenure bill states student test scores may NOT be the “PREDOMINANT” factor in a teacher’s evaluation.
I am pregnant, how to I apply for maternity leave?
Your request must be submitted in writing six weeks before the anticipated birth of the child and may last from the day after the child’s birth until the end of the school year. Refer to 12.04 of our contract and be sure to reach out to the district Human Resources department for further assistance.
When do I need representation?
ANYTIME you enter a meeting with a supervisor, principal, or upper administrator. If you called to attend a meeting, ask what it the meeting is about. If the administrator does not tell you or you feel uncomfortable about it, tell the administrator you want representation, and do not have the meeting without one.
What are Weingarten rights?
If you attend a meeting on your own and begin to feel that it is not at all what you expected. You are protected by the Weingarten rights and you have the legal protection to say the following:
“If this discussion could in any way lead to my being disciplined or terminated, or affect my personal working conditions, I respectfully request that my union representative be present at this meeting. Until my representative arrives, I choose not to participate in this discussion.”
If the administrator does not comply, it could be considered an unfair labor practice, which is illegal. If you do not feel comfortable paraphrasing that statement, your Head building reps have wallet size cards of that statement.
Do I have to do what an administrator says even if I do not agree?
Yes. If you do not, they may then have the ability for to write you up for insubordination. Immediately begin to document the dates and times of alleged misconduct and contact our grievance chair immediately.
What is a grievance?
A grievance is a claim of violation of our contract. If you feel a conversation, directive, action, or practice was a contradiction of our contract, please reach out to your rep immediately. There are specific timelines that must be followed.
Where do I go if I have an issue with an administrator?
If you have a specific issue or concern, speak informally with the administrator first. Please document the date and time of conversation and what was said. If the issue is not resolved to your satisfaction, go to your rep for further assistance.
Where can I find the UTEA contact information?
Go to our website at NJUTEA.com and look under the “About” tab
What if I have an issue and I don’t want my name involved?
If the issue involves a group of individuals, your specific name does not have to necessarily come up. However, if the issue affects you specifically, you would naturally have to be involved for the problem to be appropriately addressed.