We’ve written before about how weak and useless the current BUSD employee unions are when it comes to even beginning to protect their peoples’ rights.
Danielle Baez for instance at the beginning of her case tried to confide in the California School Employees Association to help her out of the bad situation and represent her against her supervisors — as is legally appropriate — only to find out later on that the president of the local chapter was immediately running to management and telling them all about the confidential details of her side of the story.
Can you imagine? We would have wrung their necks if this had ever happened to us. In the old days it would have been cement overshoes time for them.
But this new story takes the cake. Thirty years ago something like this would never have been allowed. At the very least, these are CSEA classified-employee duties we’re talking about here that are being ridiculously pawned off on certificated teaching employees.
Counselors who advise students in academics or assist them with personal challenges at Burbank’s three middle schools made a plea to Burbank Unified officials recently when they asked to be relieved of also supervising students during lunch.
The dual role that middle school counselors carry has led some to take on disciplinarian roles they do not want because it could stifle their relationships with students, according to Luther Burbank Middle School Counselor Traci Fellman.
Fellman spoke on behalf of several counselors during a March 17 school board meeting, asking that middle school counselors no longer oversee students during lunch.
“Much of our time during supervision is spent correcting behavior, disciplining students, pestering them to clean up after themselves, and teenagers do not view adults who constantly harp on their behavior as a safe harbor when times are tough,” she said.
“The adolescent brain just does not work that way,” she added. “Being viewed as disciplinarians by our students actually hampers the development of caring, nurturing, supportive relationships that we attempt to foster with our students during their time in middle school.”
Instead, students could visit a counselor in their office during lunch, and parents could also drop by during the lunch break, Fellman said. Currently, students must visit counselors during their class times.
Unlike counselors at middle schools, high school counselors are not required to do lunch supervision, according to an agreement in their contract which was reached a few years ago, said Les Cohen, a Burroughs High School counselor.
How in the world did the BTA union ever allow this kind of unfair labor practice? These are not counselor duties at all — they’re classified employees’ tasks being appropriated by another totally separate bargaining unit — and no union worth its salt would have allowed such a transgression of its members’ rights and responsibilities. It’s a clear downgrade of position as well for the counselors to be turned into lunchroom monitors.
And where’s CSEA on this? The have a separate job category for this duty that’s not being filled. The district’s apparently getting the counselors to do it instead– which means loss of work for the classified union. Do they not respect their own association rights?
Instead of this stunt never being allowed to happen under decent BTA and CSEA union leadership, the counseling employees now have to plead to the school board about how it’s harming their own relationships with the students.
Really? That’s the least of the problem.