Know Your Rights, Use Your Association
(The following article appeared in the SJTA Connections, March 2004. It is reprinted here by permission.)
Teachers have many rights granted to them by both the Education Code and their Association Contract or Collective Bargaining Agreement. Some of your more important rights include:
The right to union representation at all meetings with administrators which could potentially result in disciplinary action.
The right to review the contents of your personnel file and to place written responses in your file to any derogatory material.
The right to be informed of any potentially violent or dangerous students who are placed in your class.
The right to a safe classroom environment, including freedom from classroom disruptions by parents or guardians.
The right to reasonable accommodation should you become disabled.
The right to be free of harassment based upon your age, race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation.
The right to determine the grades your students receive.
The right to an evaluation process which follows the procedures established by the Contract.
The Poway Federation of Teachers (PFT) is available to help you enforce your rights and will refer you to our legal counsel for further assistance if necessary. However, in order for PFT to help you, you must contact them when you are experiencing problems. Please remember that your union representatives will be better able to assist you if you contact them right away rather than waiting until the problem has gotten out of control. It's your union, use it wisely.