PLYMOUTH COUNTY EDUCATION ASSOCIATION, INC.
This document contains all amendments to the Bylaws through June 2017
Suzanne Smith, President
Attest: Amanda Fitzgerald Secretary
ARTICLE 1. NAME The name of the organization shall be the Plymouth County Education Association, Incorporated.
ARTICLE 2. OBJECTIVES Section 1. The objectives of the Plymouth County Education Association, Inc. shall be to provide leadership, to work in behalf of all educators in school and civic affairs, and to offer those services that will stimulate cultural and professional growth for the benefit of the students.
Section 2. Pursuant to the above objectives, the Association shall be affiliated with the Massachusetts Teachers Association and the National Education Association.
ARTICLE 3. MEMBERSHIP. Section 1. Active Membership Shall be open to all professional and educational support personnel including tutors, in the public schools of Plymouth County, state and community colleges in Plymouth County, and other public schools approved by the Board of Directors regardless of gender, race, age, sexual orientation, national origin, religion or citizenship.
Section 2. Associate Membership Shall be open to citizens of the county interested in the welfare of public education other than those eligible for active membership.
Section 3. Honorary Life Membership May be conferred by a two-thirds vote of the Board of Directors. Honorary Life Members shall have all the rights of active members.
Section 4. Retired Membership Retired membership shall be open to any retired member who at the time of retirement was an active member of PCEA.
Section 5. Only active and retired members of the Association, as defined in Article 3, Sections 1 and 4 of these By-laws, shall have the privilege of voting and holding office in the Association.
Section 6. Adherence to the Code of Ethics of the Education Profession shall be a condition of continuing membership.
ARTICLE 4. OFFICERS. Section 1. The officers of the Association shall be a President, Vice President, a Secretary, and a Treasurer.
Section 2. Executive Committee There shall be an Executive Committee consisting of the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and the Immediate Past President.
In addition, there shall be three Directors elected (from) and by the Board of Directors for a three-year term. One-third of these directors will be elected to the Executive Committee each year. No person so elected will serve more than two consecutive three-year terms.
ARTICLE 5. BOARD OF DIRECTORS. Section 1. There shall be a Board of Directors hereinafter called the Board, which shall consist of the officers, the Immediate Past President, any National Education Association Directors from Plymouth County, the Massachusetts Teachers Association Directors from Plymouth County, and those who shall be elected so that each school system, regional district, State and Community Colleges in Plymouth County and Cohasset Public Schools shall be entitled to be represented by one or more members on the Board
Section 2. Additional Director One Director shall be elected, in accordance with Article 6 (sec.2) when local membership exceeds one hundred, multiples of one hundred, or a fraction thereof.
Section 3. In the event of an increase or decrease in local membership, the local association shall be advised immediately by the PCEA Treasurer of the representation to which it is entitled. Each local shall determine which director(s) shall serve.
Section 4. Officers, Directors and Committee members shall be required to abide by all rules and policies established by the Board. These policies and/or additions shall be published by the administrative assistant sixty days after the adoption of the amendment and yearly thereafter.
ARTICLE 6. ELECTIONS. Section 1. The President, and Vice President, shall be elected at the annual business meeting for a term of two years or until their successors shall have been chosen. No person so elected shall serve consecutive terms in the same office. Section 2. Directors Directors shall be elected by and from PCEA membership in local associations. Local association presidents shall certify, in writing, the names of the Directors elected from their local by June 1 of each year.
Section 3. Vacancies-Director When the position of a Director becomes vacant, the local association should replace the Director.
Section 4. Vacancies-Officers In the event a vacancy occurs in an office of the association, the Board of Directors shall be empowered to fill such a vacancy for the remainder of said term.
Section 5. Nominations Any active or retired PCEA member may file for nomination as an officer with the Credentials & Ballots Committee, counter signed by twenty (20) active members of the Plymouth County Education Association.
Section 6. The Treasurer and Secretary shall be elected at the annual business meeting for a term of two (2) years or until their successors shall have been chosen.
ARTICLE 7. MEETINGS. Section 1. The annual business meeting of the association shall be held during the month of June at such an hour and place as may be determined, unless ordered otherwise, by a two thirds vote of the Board.
Section 2. The Board may call special business meetings.
Section 3. Conferences and/or Convention(s) may be held each year.
Section 4. Regular meetings of the Board shall be held each month from September through June, excluding the month in which the Annual Awards banquet is held, on a date and at a place designated by the Board or by the President. Special meetings may be called by the President or upon written request of ten members of the Board. Only members of the Board may make motions and vote at these regular meetings.
Section 5. If a member of the Executive Committee, Board, or any Committee shall be absent, without being excused, from three consecutive meetings of the body on which the member sits; the member’s seat shall be declared vacant. In the case of a Board seat, it shall be filled by the local association; of a Committee, by the President, of the Executive Committee, by the Board. For the purpose of this section, a member’s presence must be made known to the Secretary of the body prior to the expiration of the meeting; otherwise the member will be recorded as absent.
Section 6. The official year shall be July 1 to June 30.
ARTICLE 8. FINANCE. Section 1. Dues The annual dues for active and associate members shall be determined at the annual meeting upon the recommendation of the Board of Directors. Said dues shall be payable on or before December 31 to the local association Treasurer who will transmit it to the PCEA Treasurer. If the reserve fund of PCEA falls below one (1) years operating budget, dues will be increased upon recommendation by the executive committee to the board of director for action at the annual meeting.
Section 2. Members of the Board shall be entitled to compensation for travel, at a rate set by the Board, when attending meetings of the Board, or when representing the Association at other meetings.
Section 3. Delegate(s) representing the county association at state or national association meetings shall be allowed the necessary expenses as determined by the Board.
Section 4. The incumbent President of the Association shall be allowed the necessary expenses, as determined by the Board, to attend the annual NEA Convention provided the President is elected as a local delegate. In case the president has not been elected from the local association, the Board may choose to fund an alternate who has been elected by their association.
Section 5. All contractual agreements and all bills of payments exceeding $100 must be submitted for approval by the Board at the monthly meeting. However, contractual agreements, once approved, will be automatically paid.
Section 6. The Board of Directors will set the stipends of all positions based on recommendations presented to it by the Executive Committee.
Section 7. The accounts of the Treasurer shall be audited annually at the conclusion of the fiscal year.
ARTICLE 9. DUTIES OF THE PRESIDENT. The President shall: 1. Preside at all meetings. 2. Be a member, ex-officio, of all committees. 3. Supervise all plans for the efficient work of the association. 4. Perform other duties as are involved in the office. 5. Appoint the chairs of all committees with the approval of the Board. 6. Be a delegate to the M.T.A. House of Delegates.
ARTICLE 10. DUTIES OF THE VICE PRESIDENT. The Vice President, shall assume the duties and responsibilities of the President in case of the President’s absence, disability or request. The Vice President shall be a delegate to the M.T.A. House of Delegates.
ARTICLE 11. DUTIES OF THE SECRETARY. The Secretary shall assume the duties, which commonly pertain to this office, including but not limited to, recording the proceedings in the Official Minutes.
ARTICLE 12. DUTIES OF THE TREASURER. The Treasurer shall be the custodian of all funds belonging to the association and shall deposit them in the name of the Plymouth County Education Association, Inc. At each regular meeting of the Board and at the Annual Business Meeting the Treasurer shall present a written statement of the financial condition of the association, and perform such other duties as pertain to this office. The Treasurer shall be bonded by the Association.
ARTICLE 13. DUTIES OF THE BOARD. Section 1. It shall be the duty of the Board to have entire control of the affairs of the association, except when an annual or special business meeting is in session.
Section 2. The Board will direct the Secretary and the President of the Association to sign any and all contractual agreements of the association, once approved by the Board.
Section 3. Auditor The Board will appoint an auditor, as recommended by the Executive Committee. The Auditor’s report will be submitted to the Board for their approval.
ARTICLE 14. DUTIES OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE. Section 1. The Executive Committee shall meet as needed, upon the call of the President or majority of its members.
Section 2. It shall serve as the Finance Committee of the Association, recommend a dues amount at the June meeting, prepare the annual Budget for approval by the Board at its September meeting, authorize transfer of funds within the approved Budget, recommend an auditor and recommend policy for expenses and reimbursements.
Section 3. A copy of the proposed annual Budget shall be included in the September call to the meeting.
Section 4. It shall discharge such other responsibilities as may be referred to it by the Board and may finalize proposals for Board consideration.
ARTICLE 15. COMMITTEES. Section 1. Members of all committees shall be appointed by the President. The Chair of a committee shall not be appointed for more than two consecutive years.
Section 2. Professional Development Committee The committee shall promote programs in curriculum development, classroom instruction, teacher training and ESP training.
Section 3. Public Relations Committee The committee shall prepare for publication periodic newsletters and press releases, maintain a web page and be responsible for taking pictures and publishing in local newspapers all PCEA events, including, but not limited to, the Legislative Conference, PCEA Seminars, and the Annual Awards Banquet.
Section 4. Legislation Committee The committee shall vigorously promote political action, civic affairs, and legislation.
Section 5. Credentials and Ballots Committee The committee (limited to not more than one member from any association) will certify the nomination papers to determine if the papers are in order. Once certified, the names shall be placed on the ballot for the office designated. These shall be the only candidates for election other than those proposed by the committee.
Section 6. Resolutions Committee The committee shall make its recommendations to the Board for presentation to the membership at the Annual Business Meeting.
Section 7. Professional Recognition Committee The committee shall recommend to the Board names of candidates for awards.
Section 8. Hospitality Committee The committee shall welcome new Board Members and guests to the Board, and be in charge of hospitality at any event.
Section 9. Bylaws and Rules Committee The committee shall make a report to the May meeting of the Board and subsequently make its recommendations to the annual Meeting or a Special Business Meeting of PCEA, Inc. M.T.A. Board Members from Plymouth County shall serve on this committee as ex-officio members.
Section 10. Other committees may be designated by the President and approved by the Board as the need arises.
ARTICLE 16. ANNUAL AWARD. The Loretta Quinlan Annual Award of the PCEA will be presented, with the approval of the Board, to a member who, in the opinion of the Board, best exemplifies the objectives of the Association.
ARTICLE 17. ROBERT’S RULES OF ORDER, REVISED. Robert’s Rules of Order, when not inconsistent with these Bylaws, shall govern the proceedings of the Association.
ARTICLE 18. QUORUM. Section 1. The Board of Directors: One-third (1/3) of the total number of Directors, shall constitute a quorum. The Executive Committee: Four Executive Committee Members shall constitute a quorum. Committees: One member more than half, shall constitute a quorum.
Section 2. A quorum for the Annual Business Meeting or Special Meetings shall be 25 members.
ARTICLE 19. AMENDMENTS. These Bylaws may be amended at the Annual Business Meeting of the Association or at a Special Business Meeting called by the Board. An affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members present and voting is required. The proposed amendment must be submitted to the members of the Association at least TWO WEEKS prior to the meeting at which it is to be acted upon.
PLYMOUTH COUNTY EDUCATION ASSOCIATION
The Plymouth County Education Association, as a part of the united teaching profession, is an advocate for public education. The PCEA is committed to advancing the cause of public education, promoting educational excellence, gaining recognition of the importance of the teacher, protecting the rights of educational personnel, uniting educators for effective citizenship, and promoting and protecting human and civil rights. The following resolutions, as adopted by the Annual Meeting of the Plymouth County Education Association, reflect these commitments. Resolutions are intended to guide the members and the PCEA organization in all its structure. (2017)
A. SERVE AS AN ADVOCATE FOR EDUCATION
A-1 QUALITY PUBLIC EDUCATION
The Plymouth County Education Association believes that without a quality public education system as its foundation, a free democratic society is not possible. The PCEA believes that a democracy is dependent upon a shared commitment to public education. The Commonwealth must express its commitment through economic, legislative and moral support. We encourage the Legislature and governor to foster a positive political climate towards public education, and promote educators having a voice in the political process.(1991, Amended: 1992, 1994, 1997, 2017)
A-2 EQUAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY
The Plymouth County Education Association expects the Legislature and the governor to continue to provide equal public educational opportunity for all students in the Commonwealth as mandated by the Massachusetts Constitution and the Supreme Judicial Court. The PCEA urges the legislature to increase funding for equal public educational opportunity. (1985, Amended: 1989, 1990, 2002, 2017)
A-3 EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION
The Plymouth County Education Association believes that every 3 and 4 year old child should have the opportunity for a quality public preschool education. (1999)
A-4 CLASS SIZE
The Plymouth County Education Association advocates a reasonable student-teacher ratio within the public schools. The PCEA believes that an optimum class size benefits both students and teachers, and increases the quality of public education.(1993, 2017)
A-5 INSTRUCTIONAL TIME
The Plymouth County Education Association believes that the Commonwealth’s interpretation of instructional time is too restrictive and rigid. The PCEA believes in a full educational experience that benefits the whole child. The determination of what constitutes valuable instructional time should be made by the professionals at the local/school level. (1987, Amended: 1988, 1990, 1996, 2017)
The Plymouth County Education Association promotes literacy for all and recommends that parents read to their children daily. Reading for information and pleasure should be fostered as a life-long activity.
The PCEA encourages locals to participate in MTA and NEA programs that promote reading especially during National Reading Week. (1985, Amended: 1997, 1998, 2000, 2006)
A-7 PHYSICAL EDUCATION
The Plymouth County Education Association believes that physical education is essential to good health. Therefore, the PCEA believes that a comprehensive program of physical education – one that is developmental, sequential, cooperative in nature and culturally sensitive – should be provided for pre-kindergarten through grade 12 in a facility designed for that purpose. The PCEA further believes that such a program should be planned, directed and instructed by certified physical education teachers. Physical Education classes for all students should be provided on a frequent and regular basis. (1992, Amended: 1997)
A-8 SPECIAL NEEDS PLACEMENTS
The Plymouth County Education Association believes there are a variety of educational environments which may meet the needs of special needs students. Decisions regarding appropriate placement must be made by the multidisciplinary Chapter 766 Team which considers the legal requirements, the academic, social, and emotional development of the individual student as well as the classroom setting and curricular expectations. (1988 amended 1995, 1998, 2006)
A-9 FINE ARTS PROGRAMS
Fine Arts are a life-long endeavor. The Plymouth County Education Association believes the “Fine Arts Program” is an integral part of the curriculum and should be expanded by local districts. Additionally, the PCEA believes all programs should be properly funded and instructed by teachers certified in the appropriate areas. (1984, Amended: 1988, 1990, 1992, 2002)
A-10 MULTICULTURAL EDUCATION
The Plymouth County Education Association recognizes the importance of raising the awareness and increasing the sensitivity of staff, students, parents, and the community to our culturally diverse society. Since understanding and acceptance of diversity will strengthen the total educational program, the PCEA supports multicultural education as one of the ways of helping students appreciate cultural diversity. The PCEA believes the goal of multicultural education is the development of self-esteem as well as respect for others. Therefore, the PCEA supports effective ongoing staff training programs whose purpose is to recognize and to eliminate discrimination both in the educational setting and the curriculum. The PCEA further supports the use of educational materials and activities which accurately portray cultural diversity and the contributions of minority groups. (1993, amended: 1997, 2015)
A-11 ADULT LITERACY
The Plymouth County Education Association recognizes the importance of adult literacy programs for both native and non-native English speakers/learners, and urges the federal and state governments to provide full financial support to such programs. (1989 amended: 1995, 2017)
A-12 IMPROVEMENT OF INSTRUCTION
The Plymouth County Education Association believes that the improvement of instruction should be a primary focus of educators. The PCEA advocates priority funding of programs and in-service training to support this focus. (1990, Amended 1993, 1995, 1997)
A-13 PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
The Plymouth County Education Association encourages school administrators to consider the needs of the teachers and Education Support Professionals (ESP’s) when creating and planning for professional development. A balance needs to be struck between teacher recertification needs and the professional needs of the district. The PCEA encourages districts to provide no cost alternatives for meaningful professional development to staff members. (2010, Amended: 2015)
B. ADVANCE THE CAUSE OF EDUCATION FOR ALL INDIVIDUALS
B-1 AID TO PRIVATE EDUCATION
The Plymouth County Education Association strongly believes that public funds should be used for public schools, and opposes all attempts to grant public aid to private schools which would weaken efforts in public education, and aid in the creation of a two class system whereby the fortunate would benefit, and the academically and financially disadvantaged would suffer. (1985, Amended: 1987, 1988, 1994, 1995, 2017
B-2 CHARTER SCHOOLS
The Plymouth County Education Association continues to support innovation in public education. However, the PCEA opposes the implied belief that Charter Schools, as defined by the Education Reform Law, are the only way that innovative, quality programs can be developed and implemented within the public schools of the Commonwealth. Furthermore, the PCEA condemns the funding mechanism as defined by the Education Reform Law for the operation of these Charter Schools. The PCEA believes that this funding mechanism is divisive in purpose and harmful to the educational achievement of the majority of public school students who will not be in these Charter Schools. Monies should not be diverted from the funding of the existing public school systems. The PCEA strongly opposes legislation aimed at lifting the Cap for Charter Schools. (1995, Amended: 1998, 2000, 2016)
B-3 FEDERAL SUPPORT FOR EDUCATION
The Plymouth County Education Association believes that the strength of this nation is directly related to the quality of public education. Therefore, the PCEA strongly supports increased federal funds for public education. (1986, Amended: 1988)
B-4 GIFTED AND TALENTED
The Plymouth County Education Association recognizes that gifted and talented children also have special needs. Therefore, the PCEA supports federal, state and local funding for gifted education. (1985, Amended: 1986, 1987, 1989, 2003)
B-5 STUDENT LOANS
In keeping with the American ideal of equal opportunity, the Plymouth County Education Association promotes the goal of higher education at an affordable cost. The PCEA strongly urges the federal and state governments to restore funds and increase monies available for student loans, grants and scholarship programs. (1983, Amended: 1988, 1989, 1992, 2017)
B-6 STATE AID
The Plymouth County Education Association recognizes that since public education comprises a large part of local budgets, severe revenue shortfalls, for whatever reason, are devastating. Therefore, the PCEA insists that the Legislature find every humane means available to restore and increase state aid monies to the cities and towns of the Commonwealth. We further believe that funds should be earmarked for public education. (1987, Amended: 1990, 1992, 1997)
B-7 SCHOOL BUILDING ASSISTANCE
The Plymouth County Education Association urges full funding for the many communities that need new buildings and/or extensive repairs. The PCEA strongly urges the legislature to continue the funding to existing buildings and ensure timely distribution of these funds. (1987, Amended: 1990, 2002, 2005)
B-8 ASSESSMENT TESTING
The Plymouth County Education Association insists upon the appropriate use and reporting of the results of assessment testing in evaluating students, personnel, and schools. PCEA believes in the education of the whole child, and that assessments should not be overly emphasized to the detriment of student learning. (1987, Amended: 1988, 1989, 1990, 1994, 1996, 2016, 2017)
The Plymouth County Education Association recognizes the value of the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System’s goal of raising the standards of public education. However, the PCEA has serious concerns about the test design: administration time, grade appropriateness of the test questions, the scoring procedures, and reporting standards. The PCEA recommends the implementation of more specific guidelines and criteria to determine eligibility for exemptions, consistent methods of accommodations, procedures for reporting scores, and provisions for alternative testing.
The PCEA strongly believes that the MCAS test should not be the sole tool used to evaluate individual students, schools, or districts, nor should it be used as a tool to evaluate teachers.
Furthermore, the PCEA expects the state to fund local districts’ academic support services for students who have been identified as needing improvement in their academic knowledge and skills, based upon the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System exam. (1998, Amended: 2001, 2014)
B-10 HEALTH EDUCATION
The Plymouth County Education Association strongly recommends that all School Committees in the Commonwealth adopt system-wide health education curricula to raise the awareness of children in the areas of nutrition, fitness, human sexuality, gender identity, sexually transmitted diseases, substance abuse, suicide prevention and current health issues, including mental health. (1987 Amended: 1993, 2003, 2017)
B-11 STUDENT HEALTH RIGHTS
The Plymouth County Education Association endorses policies ensuring free, appropriate, least-restrictive public education for all students who are diagnosed with medical conditions. The PCEA believes placement of such students is a medical decision that should be made on a case by case basis by qualified health care professionals. (1993, Amended: 2014)
B-12 PARENT INVOLVEMENT
The Plymouth County Education Association supports efforts to encourage parents to become appropriately involved in the educational process. Parent advisory groups and school councils can provide vital community support for public education. The PCEA recognizes the valuable resources that parents and members of the community can be to the programs and professional staff of the schools. (1987, Amended: 1990, 1992, 1993, 1994)
B-13 FUNDING OF SPECIAL NEEDS PROGRAMS
The Plymouth County Education Association is concerned with the substantial special needs costs which severely impact already under funded local school budgets. PCEA expects both the federal and state governments to live up to their funding commitments. Therefore, the PCEA strongly urges full federal and state funding of legislation designed to serve the needs of handicapped and disadvantaged students. Inclusion should not be used as a means to additionally reduce funding. (1988, Amended: 1989, 1996, 1998, 2017)
B-14 STATE HIGHER EDUCATION
The Plymouth County Education Association is opposed to the balancing of the State budget through a disproportionate amount of cutting of the State’s college and university programs. The PCEA opposes efforts to make State College and University tuition based on the ability to pay. The PCEA believes state funds should be used to support Massachusetts’ institutions of higher education. The PCEA also opposes efforts to shift costs to a “fee” status. (1988, Amended: 1990, 1992, 2002)
B-15 STATE FUNDING
The Plymouth County Education Association supports full funding of Department of Education programs, as well as state mandated public educational programs. Therefore, the PCEA urges the state to investigate and implement alternate methods of funding public education which would be more equitable for all school systems in providing an equal educational opportunity for all students. (1989 Amended: 1995, 2017)
B-16 MERIT PAY
The Plymouth County Education Association is opposed to the concept of merit pay. The PCEA is against the fundamental inequity of a system that rewards teachers based on test scores, classroom ability, or any other quantifiable criteria. This type of system encourages a competitive rather than a collaborative teaching environment. (2010)
C. PROMOTE EXCELLENCE AMONG EDUCATORS AND SUPPORT PERSONNEL
C-1 EDUCATION, A VALUED PROFESSION
The Plymouth County Education Association believes that social and economic pressures discourage current teachers from continuing in and potential teachers and ESP’s from “entering” the education profession. The PCEA urges educators to take an active role improving economic incentives and restoring public respect for the profession. (1986, Amended: 1988, 1991, 1998, 2015, 2016)
C-2 PLYMOUTH COUNTY EDUCATION ASSOCIATION MEMBERSHIP
The Plymouth County Education Association is one of the most active county associations in the Commonwealth, providing leadership, communication on all levels (local, state, and national), professional development (courses, and conferences), and services to its members. The PCEA, therefore, strongly urges local associations to make every effort to increase membership in the PCEA. Membership in the National Education Association (NEA), Massachusetts Teacher Association (MTA) Plymouth County Education Association (PCEA), and local associations is encouraged.(1983, Amended: 1984, 1998, 2002, 2016)
C-3 PLYMOUTH COUNTY EDUCATION ASSOCIATION MEMBERSHIP PARTICIPATION
The Plymouth County Education Association is committed to offering professional development opportunities to its members. The PCEA encourages its members to participate in county-sponsored programs, conferences, and courses. (1974, Amended: 1980, 1991, 1994, 2017)
C-4 SCHOOL NURSES
The Plymouth County Education Association believes that school nurses are an integral part of the professional school staff. Therefore, the PCEA believes every building needs a full-time nurse. School nurses should be included in collective bargaining agreements with other school professionals and are entitled to the pay and benefits of the professional school staff. (1997, 2002)
C-5 PROFESSIONAL SCHOOL COUNSELORS
The Plymouth County Education Association believes that professional school counselors, who are all members of the regular school faculty, play an important role in the education of children. With child mental health issues on the rise, the PCEA urges all school systems to implement a comprehensive, planned system of counseling, beginning at the elementary level, that guarantees all students access to professional school counselors and adjustment counselors. (2003, 2017)
C-6 EDUCATION SUPPORT PROFESSIONAL
The Plymouth County Education Association recognizes the valuable partnership and assistance provided by educational support personnel. The PCEA believes that Education Support Professionals (ESP’s) provide essential services and should be entitled to meaningful compensations and benefits. (1997, Amended: 2015)
C-7 SUBSTITUTE TEACHERS
The Plymouth County Education Association believes that quality substitute teachers are important to consistent excellence in the classroom and recognizes that current levels of compensation and working conditions for substitutes are inadequate. Therefore, the PCEA urges support for assisting substitute teachers in the areas of orientation, salary, student discipline, and staff cooperation. (1980, Amended: 1984, 1989)
C-8 NATIONAL CERTIFICATION OF TEACHERS
The Plymouth County Education Association urges caution in approaching the issue of mandatory national certification of teachers. Any national teacher certification board must be composed of a majority of practicing public school teachers.(1988, Amended: 1989, 2005)
C-9 MASSACHUSETTS LICENSURE OF TEACHERS
The Plymouth County Education Association believes there is no single, best way to certify or recertify teachers. As changes are being made in the process, the Department of Education must adhere to certain broad principles. These principles include: assurances of changes based on professional, not political, considerations; full funding of all components; and a reasonable implementation schedule.
The licensure requirements should be reasonable enough to attract rather than discourage prospective teachers. We also believe that the Department of Education should provide sufficient and diverse course offerings which will allow teachers to recertify in their areas of expertise without incurring any financial obligation.
In addition, the PCEA believes that the Commonwealth has an obligation to honor the lifetime teaching certificates, which it issued. (1989, Amended: 1990, 1995, 1996, 2006, 2015)
C-10 QUALIFIED EDUCATOR IN EVERY PROFESSIONAL POSITION
The Plymouth County Education Association believes that all educators must have the knowledge and skills necessary to perform their duties. Therefore, the PCEA insists that every professional position, including specialized positions, must be filled by an educator holding the appropriate credentials. (1992)
C-11 EDUCATOR EVALUATION SYSTEM
The Plymouth County Education Association believes that the new Educator Evaluation System mandated by the DESE constitutes a change in working conditions, and therefore the specifics of its implementation should be a matter of collective bargaining for locals. PCEA supports a collaborative effort between teachers, administrators and the DESE to fully develop and implement this system. (2013)
D. GAIN RECOGNITION OF THE BASIC IMPORTANCE OF THE TEACHER IN THE EDUCATIONAL PROCESS
D-1 CENSORSHIP OPPOSED
The Plymouth County Education Association maintains its strong opposition to any and all efforts to curtail academic freedom. (1982, Amended: 1984, 1995)
D-2 TEACHER INVOLVEMENT IN DECISION MAKING
The Plymouth County Education Association recognizes the need for growth and change in the educational community. Educators should be the ones primarily responsible for initiating and instituting these changes. Educators are decision makers and must be given the power to exercise their skills. (1990)
D-3 TEACHER MENTORS
The Plymouth County Education Association believes that mentor teacher programs are an important factor in the development and retention of future teachers. The PCEA encourages the continued development and funding of effective programs in every school district. (1999, Amended: 2002)
E. PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF EDUCATIONAL PERSONNEL AND ADVANCE THEIR INTERESTS AND WELFARE
E-1 TEACHER RETIREMENT AND SOCIAL SECURITY
The Plymouth County Education Association supports improvements in the Massachusetts Teachers Retirement System including lowered retirement age and lowered length of service. The PCEA also supports continued efforts in the administration of the system and in its reporting to members. Furthermore, the PCEA is unalterably opposed to any legislative action which would mandate the inclusion of public employees solely under the Federal Social Security Retirement System. The PCEA supports the repeal of the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO). (1980 Amended: 1993, 1997, 2014)
E-2 TEACHER RETIREMENT FUNDS
The Plymouth County Education Association urges the Commonwealth to adhere to its continuing obligation to fully fund the state retirement system and not shift this responsibility to the local communities. (1991, Amended: 2003)
E-3 TEACHER EARLY RETIREMENT
Plymouth County Education Association honors the valuable contributions of experienced teachers and recognizes the worth of Early Retirement Incentives for our members. The PCEA opposes any funding caps which would prevent the retirement of those teachers who would otherwise be eligible. In addition, the PCEA deplores the tendency of some people to associate age with ineffectiveness and believes that Early Retirement Incentives should not be used to unduly pressure teachers to leave the profession before they so choose. (1992 Amended: 1993)
E-4 RIFed PERSONNEL
The Plymouth County Education Association supports the right of RIFed teachers to be rehired to any position for which they may be qualified. The PCEA objects to interpretations of RIF language which allow new professionals to be hired while qualified RIFed personnel remain unrecalled. (1993, 2000)
E-5 CLOSURE FOR COLLECTIVE BARGAINING
The Plymouth County Education Association recognizes that Chapter 150 E (The Collective Bargaining Law) does not provide a way of resolving impasses during collective bargaining. Therefore, the PCEA supports legislation which will provide a closure mechanism. (1979, Amended: 1980)
E-6 TIME AND LEARNING
The Plymouth County Education Association believes that changes in existing local working conditions caused by meeting the terms of the Time and Learning or other Department of Education requirements are matters of mandatory collective bargaining and should reflect proper compensation for all changes. (1995, Amended: 2003)
E-7 MINIMUM SALARY
The Plymouth County Education Association recognizes the great need to attract qualified people into the teaching profession. Therefore, the PCEA strongly urges the adoption of a $45,000 minimum salary. (1986, Amended: 1987, 1988, 1997, 2000, 2014)
E-8 EMPLOYEE HEALTH RIGHTS
The Plymouth County Education Association opposes mandatory medical/drug testing of school personnel. Furthermore, the PCEA believes that school personnel should not be subjected to any adverse employment action(s) solely because of a medical condition. (1993Amended:2014)
E-9 SAFE & HEALTHY SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT
The Plymouth County Education Association believes that the health and safety of both students and staff in school buildings must be safeguarded. Therefore, the PCEA strongly urges School Committees to take appropriate and immediate steps to guarantee the highest possible standards for health and safety. PCEA strongly supports increased measures aimed at keeping students, staff and the school environment safe.(1988, Amended (1991, 1999, 2013)
E-10 RIGHT TO PRIVACY
The Plymouth County Education Association believes that school employees must be guaranteed rights of privacy at least equivalent to those afforded students and parents under state and federal legislation. (1988)
E-11 HEALTH INSURANCE BENEFITS
The Plymouth County Education Association opposes any action by the State Legislature to balance state and municipal budgets by reducing health insurance benefits or options and increasing individual health insurance costs. The PCEA affirms that these are matters of collective bargaining. (1989, Amended: 1991)
E-12 VETERAN TEACHER TESTING
The Plymouth County Education Association opposes the concept of testing veteran teachers. (2000)
E-13 POLITICAL ACTION
The Plymouth County Education Association maintains that there is a direct interrelationship between the quality of public education and the political process. Therefore, public employees must support and contribute to the effort to elect friends of public education to all elective offices. (1983)
E-14 CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT
The Plymouth County Education Association encourages all efforts by the Massachusetts Teachers Association, its affiliates, and its members in promoting the adoption of an amendment to place public education firmly in the Constitution of the Commonwealth. (1990, Amended: 1991, 1995)
The Plymouth County Education Association strongly encourages the local districts and/or the state to cover the cost of fingerprinting of educational personnel. The PCEA does not think this should be an additional expense for educators and support staff. (2015)
F. PROMOTE AND PROTECT HUMAN AND CIVIL RIGHTS
F-1 POSITIVE DISCIPLINE
The Plymouth County Education Association encourages the adoption and implementation of positive behavioral supports to foster the growth of each student’s self-esteem, self-worth, and self-confidence and to promote the development of each student’s academic, personal and social responsibilities. (1991, Amended: 1992, 2017)
F-2 CLASSROOM LEARNING ENVIRONMENT
The Plymouth County Education Association believes that all students and staff have a right to a safe learning environment; free from physical, verbal, and emotional abuse. The PCEA urges that, in designing programs and providing services for students who disrupt this environment, the needs of other students in the classroom should be taken into consideration. The PCEA also believes that excessive class size and cuts in counseling services hinder the teaching and learning process and are major contributing factors to the disruptive behavior of students. (1993)
F-3 SEXUAL HARASSMENT
The Plymouth County Education Association believes that classroom teachers, staff, and students should be protected from sexual harassment. All acts of sexual harassment should be reported and acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. (1994)
F-4 GENDER EQUITY
The Plymouth County Education Association supports equality of opportunity for women throughout the educational, political, social, and economic life of this country. The PCEA supports federal programs which help local schools comply with both the letter and the spirit of Title IX and other regulations which promote gender equity. (1993 Amended: 1995, 2000)
F-5 WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION
The Plymouth County Education Association recognizes the inherent danger of nuclear arms and all weapons of mass destruction.. The PCEA, therefore, applauds efforts of all nations who are pursuing a policy of restraint and responsibility, looking forward to the time when such weapons will be multilaterally retired from national arsenals. (1984, Amended: 1990, 1992, 1997, 2004)
F-6 WORLD PEACE
The Plymouth County Education Association applauds all efforts to establish and maintain world peace. We urge all nations to seek peaceful solutions to conflict. Furthermore, the PCEA believes the United States government should take a leadership role in promoting peaceful settlements throughout the world. (1991)
F-7 CHILD ABUSE/SEXUAL ABUSE/BULLYING
The Plymouth County Education Association supports all efforts of the Commonwealth to detect and eliminate child abuse, sexual abuse and bullying. The PCEA urges the cooperation of all educational personnel in these efforts. (1979, Amended: 1990, 1991, 2014)
F-8 ECOLOGY &GREEN EFFORTS
The Plymouth County Education Association vigorously endorses all efforts to protect and defend our ecological environment. It also urges educators to make students aware of the fragile balance of nature. PCEA supports the use of technologies to reduce paper, and encourages efforts made by schools to reduce waste and support a greener environment. (1988, Amended 2013)
F-9 SOCIETAL DEMANDS
The Plymouth County Education Association recognizes the demands placed upon the public schools by the multitude of societal problems. These problems impact the schools’ ability to properly deliver services to students and their families. The PCEA encourages the cooperation of all social agencies in providing appropriate resources to meet the ever-changing needs of our children and students. (1990)
F-10 USE OF SYMBOLS, EMBLEMS AND MASCOTS
The Plymouth County Education Association believes that negative stereotyping of people through the use of symbols, emblems and mascots promotes prejudice and misunderstanding. Therefore, the PCEA supports the use of positive images in the public schools. (1992)
F-11 INCLUSIVE PRACTICES
The Plymouth County Education Association believes in an inclusive educational environment, which supports making schools a safe and inclusive space for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender students, teachers, staff, and their allies.
G-1 SCHOOL BUILDING ASSISTANCE FUND
The Plymouth County Education Association commends the Commonwealth for reinforcing its commitment to public education; resulting from the restructuring of the School Building Assistance Fund. This action has eased the financial burden faced by the cities and towns as they assess and update their physical plans to meet the educational needs of all children.
Additionally, PCEA encourages the Commonwealth to seek ways to expedite the process through reduction of time in the application and construction process, as well as expanding the pool of certified contractors.