GEA Update, April 7, 2018

posted Apr 8, 2018, 4:16 AM by GMHSLibrary

Dear Colleagues:

I wanted to take a moment and update you on a few important items as well as update you on our current contract negotiations.

1.  IPDIP- By now, an IPDIP folder should have found its way into your school mailbox.  This folder was provided to you by MTA.  It is an organizational folder to store all your PDP information.  Many members have found it useful for recertification, which most of us will have to do in 2019.  If you did not receive one, please let your building representative know and we will get one to you.

2.  GEA Annual Meeting- The E-Board met last Thursday and we are looking to have our annual GEA Meeting on Thursday, May 31st.  The meeting will be held at Penn Brook and begin promptly at 3:15 PM.  At this meeting, by-law changes will be voted upon, GEA election information will be discussed as well as all other important information pertaining to our union will be discussed.  Pleas make every effort to make this important meeting.  

3.  Contract Update-  The Negotiation Team has met with the Superintendent and the School Committee three times over the past month and a half discussing proposals.  The meetings thus far have not been very productive.  As usual, teacher raises have been the biggest obstacle.  The team has fought hard at the table for our proposals and will continue to do so.  I am not certain that we will have a tentative contract for ratification by membership by the end of this school year.  As we continue to meet, we will update membership regularly on where we are in the process. 

A few members have inquired about a few of the proposals, one being, preschool discount for members.  Currently, full time preschool costs $8,200 a year.  We have many young members that have indicated that they would send their child to preschool in Georgetown, if economically feasible.  Currently, the school committee is looking favorable at providing some financial relief to children of members, ranging anywhere from 10-25 % discount.  This proposal has no financial burden to the district and would be a great perk for members.  Also, the team is fighting hard to get contractual language that would allow the children of members to attend Georgetown Schools.  That language too is being looked at favorably by the school committee.  However, these two proposals are part of a bigger proposal package.  We are still far apart on many other proposals.  I am urging members to enroll their children in their own school district as a safe guard.  If we have a breakthrough and the contract does come up for ratification by the end of this school year then you can register your child into Georgetown.

Finally, I am urging members to stay away from and off all parent social media pages pertaining to the Georgetown Schools.  As we know, these pages are filled with emotionally charged comments that are not based on facts, merely opinions.  I know many members are on these pages.  They read the comments, which gets them upset and then discuss what was written with other members getting them upset.  You do not need the drama or the stress of reading comments that only hurt and incite.  

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.



How Janus v American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees affect our Union.

posted Feb 25, 2018, 10:52 AM by GMHSLibrary

I wanted to share an article with you from The Economist concerning a case that will be coming before the Supreme Court in the upcoming months.  Paul

Thoughts on the shootings in Florida.

posted Feb 25, 2018, 10:45 AM by GMHSLibrary

Dear Colleagues:

I remember thinking after the Sandy Hook tragedy that dramatic changes would occur nationwide regarding gun control laws and it did not.  Yet, here we are again, this time, seventeen high schoolers were murdered.  After every one of these events, I email my representatives in Congress and sign petitions requesting tighter gun laws but more voices are needed.  I have emailed both Senator Markey and Senator Warren and Congressman Seth Moulton to continue this fight to strengthen our gun laws, even though Massachusetts has some of the strictest laws in the nation. Also, I have emailed Superintendent Jacobs and Chief of Police Cudmore to look at installing active shooter technology in our schools, similar to that currently used in Methuen.  See the link below for more information.  Furthermore, there is a nationwide "March for our Lives" on March 24th where students will be marching in support of tougher gun laws.  I have already discussed this with Superintendent Jacobs and she is in full support of any of our students and colleagues actively participating in this march.  

The bottom line is that something needs to be done.  Email our Senators and representatives in Congress demanding action. Email our Superintendent and Chief of Police and demand that this active shooter technology be placed in our schools.  Do not believe that someone else will take care of this or that your voice will not be heard or that you are too busy.  The time is now.


Technology, designed to help police catch a school gunman, billed as first of its kind operating in public school

Contract Negotiations Update - January, 15, 2018

posted Jan 16, 2018, 6:24 AM by GMHSLibrary

Dear Members:
A few members had asked where the Negotiation Team was in the process of negotiating our next contract.  Thus far, the team has met with Superintendent Jacobs and the School Committee representatives only once.  At that meeting, we discussed and agreed upon the ground rules that both groups must adhere to throughout the negotiation process.  One of the agreed upon ground rules is that we will not make public any of the discussed proposal packages prior to a ratification meeting.  We were scheduled to have our first official proposal meeting this upcoming week but had to postpone.  We will be meeting next at the end of January.   When appropriate, I will update membership about where we are in the process.  Hopefully, sooner than later we can meet to finalize our next contract.  Thanks, Joe

Contract Negotiations Update

posted Dec 2, 2017, 5:54 AM by GMHSLibrary

Dear Colleagues:

On December 11th, the Negotiation Team will have our 1st meeting with Superintendent Jacobs and the School Committee and begin the process of negotiating our next contract.  The team has compiled all the proposals brought forward by members and have discussed them in depth.  I had a preliminary meeting with Superintendent Jacobs yesterday to begin the groundwork for a successful process.  We shared our collective interests and proposals that were important to each group.  In that discussion, I brought forward the proposal that has been mentioned numerous times for a few years now, the ability to allow the children of staff members to attend Georgetown.  Superintendent Jacobs heard our informal proposal with sincerity and has requested that I survey teachers to see the possible impact on class sizes.  

If you could do the following, ASAP, it would be greatly appreciated.  If you think you would utilize this language, could you please respond to me only stating the following:

How many of your children would come to Georgetown,if contractual language allowed and what grade(s) would your child be entering in September 2018?

If this language does not apply to you or you do not foresee your children coming to the Georgetown School District then you do not need to reply at all.

Furthermore, by replying it does not mean that you are committing to anything.  We are just trying to gauge the impact,if any.



GEA announces our negotiating team for our upcoming contract talks.

posted Oct 12, 2017, 6:32 AM by GMHSLibrary   [ updated Oct 12, 2017, 6:36 AM ]

Dear GEA Members:

I would like to take a moment and introduce our Negotiating Team for our contract.  Representing Perley & Penn Brook will be Jess McPhail and Meg Johnson and representing the middle/high school will be Chris DiFranco and Mike Murphy.  We received all proposals forwarded to us and thank you for your input.  If you think of any more contractual proposals you would like the team to look at, please forward them, ASAP.  

Next week, Vice President Mike Murphy and I will be meeting with Charmaine Champagne, our MTA Representative to discuss and strategize for our upcoming meetings with School Committee.  Our first meeting with the School Committee will probably take place just before Thanksgiving break. 



Changing school start times on hold for now.

posted Jun 20, 2017, 5:39 AM by GMHSLibrary

2017 elections results

posted Jun 8, 2017, 4:55 AM by GMHSLibrary   [ updated Jun 8, 2017, 4:57 AM ]


Joe Pittella - 45

Ryan Corbett -3

Mike Murphy - 1

Sandra Schwarzkopf - 1


Mike Murphy - 50

Chris DiFranco - 1

Linsey Little -1 


Paul Swaim -53

Kristin Power -1


Corey Chenette - 51

Liz Marchetti - 1

Deb DiFruscio - 1

High School Building Rep 

Ryan Corbett - 26

Colleen Gibs  -1

Liz Marchetti - 1

Middle School Building Rep

Tim Larsen -18

Pat Corr -1 

Mariel Gearty -1

Linda Husak - 1

Perley/Penn Brook PrK-grade 2 Building Rep

Kristin Power -16

Heidi Begin - 1

Julie Homans - 1

Penn Brook Grade 3-6 Building Rep

Mike Walsh -20

Update May 15, 2017

posted May 15, 2017, 6:45 AM by GMHSLibrary

Our annual GEA meeting is scheduled to be on Wednesday, May 31st beginning promptly at 3:15 PM in the Penn Brook Library.  If any member has a by-law proposal for membership to vote on, please forward it to me no later than Friday, May 19th.  Any by-law proposal sent to me will be forwarded to membership no later than Wednesday, May 24th.  

Also, any member who is interested in running for a GEA position and would like their name added to the GEA Election ballot, please forward your name to me, ASAP.  Also, nominations can be made on the floor on May 31st.  All positions are elected on a year to year basis.  The following GEA positions are:

Penn Brook Building Representative:pre-k- Grade 2
Penn Brook Building Representative Grade 3-6
Middle School Building Representative
High School Building Representative
Vice President

Our GEA Elections will be held on Wednesday, June 7th.

Union Update, April 6th, 2017

posted Apr 6, 2017, 12:14 PM by GMHSLibrary

Dear Colleagues:

A few weeks ago, the Board of Selectmen decided to stick with MIAA, our current health care provider for the foreseeable future.  The town finally did the leg work on receiving health care comparisons and MIAA came in with only a 4 % increase.  Early projections had MIAA coming in around 8-10 % increases.  The comparisons that the town were able to gather together were all coming in substantially higher.  Health care continues to be a hot topic and the GEA is fully committed to making sure that the town is seeking the best and least costly coverage for our members.  I want to thank member Ryan Corbett and MTA Representative, Ben Roy for attending.

I had an opportunity to speak with both School Committee Chairperson Barbie Linares and Superintendent Jacobs after the Start School Later meeting held this past Tuesday.  They both reiterated to me that they heard membership loud and clear at the meeting, as well as at the staff meetings and thanked all members who actively participated in the discussions.  A final decision will be made in the next two months and the GEA will inform membership as soon as a decision is made.

I reached out to Senator Tarr's office to extend an invitation to our state representative and gauge the interest level of Senator Tarr coming to Georgetown and to speak to members about education funding and the state of education funding, both here in Georgetown and the Commonwealth.  Senator Tarr has agreed to join us in a conversation.  On May 1st beginning at 3:15 PM in the Penn Brook Library, Senator Tarr will be HERE to meet the Georgetown staff and discuss funding issue.  I urge all members to come to this meeting to meet and discuss this serious issue.  It is not often that we get the ability to discuss these issues with policy makers and this is a golden opportunity.

On April 26th, I will be attending an MTA sponsored meeting at the Distance Learning Center in Reading from 4-6 PM.  The meeting will be centered around the issue of attacks on unions and protecting both the agency fee component of our union and attacks on the pension system of teachers.  Like the fight against Question 2 and the extension of charter school in Massachusetts, I am certain that MTA will be looking for all members to actively campaign through phone banking or sending emails to our representatives rallying behind these important issues that affect all of us.

Finally, please hold May 31st as a tentative date for our annual GEA Meeting.  At this meeting, we will discuss any bylaw changes, updates and discuss the GEA elections.  As the date gets closer, I will update membership and confirm the place, date and time.


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