Know Your Rights

Excessive Paperwork

In Article 44-21 we have new contract language that limits the ability of principals, network administrators and district officials to pile on additional paperwork requirements beyond current levels. Specifically, our contract stipulates that if we are asked to “complete any additional paperwork on a regular basis” not required by the law, then the Board must “mitigate” or reduce other clerical work and paperwork for our members.

If you are experiencing increasing paperwork requirements, without any reduction in your other paperwork duties, you should immediately engage your PPC to bring the problem to the attention of the principal and request that there is a contractually required reduction. If discussions between the PPC and principal don’t resolve the problem, please contact your field representative and organizer to help you develop a strategy to fight back.

Another paperwork provision in Article 44 relates to lesson plans. We get to determine the “organization, format, notation and other physical aspects of the lesson plan.” If the Board requires that we work with a template, it must conform to Article 44-21 above.

One example of our members fighting back against excessive paperwork occurred at Saucedo Elementary Schools. A member describes their strategy:

“Our school is one of the 23 in the Network that take the ANET assessment every six weeks. When we were told we needed to analyze our students’ data and create an action plan, which would require additional paperwork, we immediately brought it up to the PPC. We negotiated to reduce paperwork by eliminating weekly lesson plans in exchange for this action plan. The principal agreed and just requested self-contained teachers to turn in the daily teaching points for Language Arts and Mathematics. For departmental teachers, they were required to do the same in their subject area.

In our PPC monthly meetings we discuss, argue, vent, and brainstorm ideas and possible solutions before going to the principal. We never disagree among each other in front of her. We stand our ground and justify our requests. When we meet, we meet as a whole team, usually in the morning before school or immediately after school. We come prepared with facts and paperwork to support our findings. Many things get resolved as soon as we send the agenda to the principal.”

We have also attached a workload survey that can be used to help you and your staff track and document paperwork demands to present to the administration when it might be useful. Also attached is a grievance template that can be used at the school level if you are unable to resolve the problem through the PPC.