The Announcements on this page were previously on the Home Page. Periodically, we move them here to reduce clutter on the Home Page.
On Wednesday, February 22, 2012, the PSEA Network Operations team will be performing maintenance on network resources; this includes our psealocals websites. Any disruption to the Agora EA website should be temporary. Thank you for your patience.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to participate on the February 8th conference call. We commend you for researching both sides of the union organizing campaign and making an informed decision!
In a common delay tactic, Jackson Lewis requested - AGAIN - and was granted - AGAIN - a postponement in its hearing brief due date. The school's brief is now due on February 13. PSEA will submit its brief within 10 days. The hearing examiner will make a decision on whether or not to include Instructional Coaches and the RTII Coordinators after reviewing both briefs. View related documents in the Document Library.
Check out the first "issue" of Unite for Insight, AEEA's weekly email designed to keep employees informed and in the loop.
AEEA introduces "Insights from Your Colleagues"! Each week, we will upload one or two testimonials from your colleagues about why they think unionization is necessary for the employees at Agora and critical to the school's success. We start this week with insights from LaDonna Martin and Michael McNulty, both veteran high school cyber teachers. From their lips to your ears - or in cyber speak... from their fingers to your eyes. Read on!
There has been much discussion on the Share Your Thoughts page about staff turnover, particularly since information was shared at the New Employee meeting that appears contradictory to past Board Minutes. What are the real numbers? Which positions were included and eliminated? In the interest of open, honest, and transparent information, and to dispel rumors, AEEA contacted Assistant Head of School Kevin Corcoran with specific questions. View the correspondence. As always, we will do our best to keep you posted!
The Agora Employee Education Association (AEEA) welcomes newly hired staff to the Agora family. We hope that you will take a few minutes to review our information and join us in our effort to make our school better for staff, students, and families. Welcome aboard! Read AEEA Welcomes New Staff.
AEEA believes that an open dialogue is critical to a healthy work environment. This is especially true during union organizing campaigns. Toward that end, AEEA and PSEA jointly requested an opportunity to address new and recent hires at an upcoming meeting. View the correspondence that was faxed and mailed on January 6, 2012, and the response from Agora that was received on January 11, 2012.
||Hot off the press! Check out the December issue of the AEEA Newsletter which features an article on our Family Teacher Coaches and a side-by-side comparison of what PALO employees gained when they voted to unionize. Great job, AEEA!|
HEARING UPDATE >>> Transcripts of the November 21 PLRB hearing are done! Jackson Lewis has 30 days from the date of receipt (December 7) to provide the PLRB with its brief. PSEA's brief is due 10 days after theirs. The hearing examiner will make a determination on the inclusion of the RTII Coordinators and Instructional Coaches in the AEEA unit shortly thereafter.
Remember... the sooner Agora Cyber Charter School and Jackson Lewis submit the brief to the PLRB, the sooner you get to vote!
Recently, PSEA was made aware that some supervisors are contacting employees and asking them about their position on the union and the upcoming election. Because this step can be considered coercion, which is illegal under the Public Employees Relations Act, PSEA contacted Head of School Sharon Williams. View the correspondence to and from Sharon in our Document Library.
Check out the latest update from AEEA - written by and for AEEA - in the Document Library. Happy Thanksgiving!
Hearing Update: On Monday, November 21, 2011, the PLRB heard testimony regarding the appropriateness of the potential unit. AEEA believes that the RTII Coordinator and Instructional Coach positions should be included and eligible to vote in the upcoming election.
The burden of proof rests with Agora Cyber Charter School since it is the school that wants the positions excluded from the unit. Toward that end, the employer has 30 days from receipt of the hearing transcript to provide a closing brief. PSEA's brief is due 10 days after that. The PLRB will make a final determination on the matter.
The sooner Agora Cyber Charter School and Jackson Lewis submit the brief to the PLRB, the sooner you get to vote!
Conference Call Update - be sure to check out the latest information in the Document Library.
AEEA is pleased that, after further review, Agora Cyber Charter School has agreed to classify Family Teacher Coaches as professional employees for the purpose of the union election.
AEEA strongly believes that the positions the district administration is seeking to exclude - Instructional Coaches and RTI Coordinators - are not supervisory/managerial in nature, should be included in the bargaining unit, and have the right to vote. The decision ultimately will be decided by a PLRB hearing examiner.
In an attempt to clarify confusion about the latest Right to Know Request, PSEA recently uploaded some documents to the Document Library. This includes a copy of the request and subsequent appeal filed by PSEA and correspondence with Agora Cyber Charter School.
A heartfelt THANK YOU to PSEA President Mike Crossey and PALO President Carol Mintus for joining us on Wednesday, November 9 for a candid and respectful discussion about joining the PSEA family!
We apologize for the technical glitch at the end of the call. Feel free to forward any additional questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Answers will be posted on the Share Your Thoughts page.
Conference Call and Hearing Ordered!
PSEA received the order and notice of hearing from the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board. You can view here. PSEA is committed to providing information about the upcoming election via this website as soon as it becomes available. Stay tuned!
Recently, PSEA posted copies of individual employee contracts provided by Agora Cyber Charter School in response to a Right to Know request. An additional 96 contracts were posted on October 28 after discovering that one of the emails from Agora never transmitted.
View the email correspondence.
PSEA believes that we are still missing /-49 contracts. Additional information will be posted as it becomes available.
Please be sure to check out additional documents in the Document Library.
Petition for Election Filed!
On Wednesday, October 19, representatives from PSEA filed the formal paperwork to request an election under the Public Employe Relations Act (PERA) through the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (PLRB). View the petition.
Over the next few weeks, the PLRB will verify that those who returned authorization cards are active employees of Agora Cyber Charter School and are eligible to vote. Representatives from Agora Cyber Charter School and PSEA will meet at some point in the future - first, by conference call and then by in-person hearing if necessary - to finalize details of the election.
We vow to keep you updated as we receive information from the PLRB!
Ask and ye shall receive... several of you indicated that a SAFE forum for sharing your thoughts and/or stories was needed. And we heard you! Be sure to visit our Share Your Thoughts page to submit your thoughts, comments, stories, etc. All postings are confidential!
Since the October 15 email from Rights for Agora Teachers, there has been much discussion over the release of salary figures. Rights for Agora Teachers and PSEA are committed to provided open, honest, and accurate information to the employees of Agora Cyber Charter School. We encourage you to view the information requested of and received from Agora adminstration.
View the request and response
Note: The 2011-12 data was entered into a spreadsheet based on the response to our Right to Know request. We did not feel it was necessary to include salary information from 2010-11.
On Saturday, October 15, Rights for Agora Teachers sent out and posted to facebook a document entitled Know the Facts. Among the information included is salary and staffing figures. Based on the "chatter" over the weekend, this information surprised many of you. Make sure YOU also know the facts so you can make an informed decision!
Thank you to everyone who came out to ABC West on Monday night (October 10, 2011) to find out more about PSEA and what it can do for the teachers at Agora Cyber Charter School.
The conversation was healthy, the venting was necessary, and we appreciate the opportunity to clarify some misconceptions about "the union." Remember... YOU are the union and the union is YOU!
Legal limit to file for election reached... but it's not enough!
According to the PA Labor Relations Board (PLRB), 30% of employees need to return an authorization card for an organization to file for an election. The good news is, we're there! The less than good news is that PSEA won't file for an election until we have 60-65%. After all, the goal is to WIN an election, not just have one.
Change your future!!! If you haven't yet returned your authorization card, please do so by October 16. The cards remain completely anonymous from Agora management; no one will know if you returned a card and/or how you vote(d). A detailed explanation of the authorization card process is available on our Rumor Control page.
If you have questions about the authorization cards or the process, please contact one of PSEA's Agora organizers: Kelby Waltman (email@example.com), Jessica Sabol (firstname.lastname@example.org), Bim Arthun (email@example.com), or by phone at 1-800-944-7732. All contacts are confidential.
Conference Call Update
Representatives from Rights for Agora Teachers and PSEA were on hand Tuesday and Thursday nights to explain the organizing process and answer questions. THANK YOU to the nearly 200 people who joined us for those conference calls - we commend you for gathering all of the information so you can make an informed decision should we go to an election!
During Tuesday's call, organizer Kelby Waltman referenced some of the benefits that are associated with membership in PSEA; benefits that can save you money.
See for yourself how Membership Doesn't Cost... It Pays!
Rights for Agora Teachers Responds to Administration
On October 4, PSEA received a copy of an email sent to Agora staff by Rights for Agora Teachers (view the email). This group was created solely by Agora teachers. Their goal has been and continues to be to serve as a source of accurate and useful information regarding teacher rights and the benefits of unionizing. PSEA supports Rights for Agora Teachers and is committed to helping YOU achieve a voice in your workplace!
United We Stand, Divided We Fall!
On September 26, PSEA was copied on an email message sent to the email address firstname.lastname@example.org. View the email. Although PSEA staff did not send this email, we commend the courage of the Rights for Agora Teachers Group! PSEA will continue to offer our support and expertise as you find your voice in the workplace. All contacts are confidential.
We Hear You!
Agora administration must be at it again... calls and emails are coming in at a surprising rate.
PSEA is committed to helping you have a say in the terms and conditions of your employment. To move forward, however, we need to have current authorization cards signed by the school employees who want representation.
Sign and return your card today, and remember to check this site for updates.
As always, feel free to contact us if you have questions, comments, concerns, or want a card mailed to your home address. You may contact any one of our Agora organizers - Kelby Waltman (email@example.com), Jessica Sabol (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Bim Arthun (email@example.com). All contacts are confidential.