August 16, 2020
Information is Power
Inside this Newsette:

  • President’s Letter
  • Action Alert: Digital Equity
  • Open Enrollment for Sick Leave Bank
  • Join a Committee for Next Year
*Action Alert: Caravan Protest Wednesday, August 19th, Details Below

Dear Colleague,
Here we go back to school! Monday was a busy start. Thank you to the volunteers who prepared the membership folders and gift bags for new members on Monday. Our bags were enhanced by our member partners NEA Member Benefits, American Fidelity donated items. After the folder stuffing, there was a special Zoom Call meeting for returning Reps to share the plans for virtual FAC/Faculty Rep elections. If you missed the meeting, no worries it was recorded and you will receive a link to the meeting, virtual election materials, and the PowerPoint.
(J.Otis Harris MLK, Jr. MS prepares materials for
PEIP Distribution at PGCEA)
Special gratitude goes out to our brave amazing members who volunteered under tents in the rain to greet new teachers as the picked up their technology at Duval High School and Gwynn Park. Each school was covered by members and staff all day Thursday and Friday. There are more pictures on our Facebook!  
-Magnolia ES Faculty Rep. Demetrice Bettis greets Sylvia Vasquez 2nd grade teacher at Overlook Spanish Immersion
New Board Member Philomena Owano, PGCEA President Theresa Dudley, Office Manager Melissa Robinson, and GR Chair Chrystie Lynch at Gwynn Park HS

The final version of the Reopening Plan was posted on the PGCPS website on Friday, August 14. The plan was submitted to MSDE as well on Friday. You must review the document and know your responsibilities to the students, their families, and your coworkers. It is also important to have a copy of your Negotiated Agreement (contract). 
Please send concerns to

Please note that you can choose whether you do Distance Learning from home or at your school. You do have to let your administrator know whether you are working from home or school. You get to determine where you teach. If you find you need to change you must alert your administrator. If you have any technology issues, contact the

What is the Negotiated Agreement? Every three years or so, PGCEA members sit down with representatives of the Board of Education to discuss salary, benefits, planning time, classroom discipline, school safety, non-teaching duties, materials, and more. We are in the second year of a three-year agreement. Agreements reached as a part of these talks become the contract between the Board of Education and PGCEA members. The contract governs wages, benefits, and working conditions for everyone in our bargaining unit, which includes teachers, specialists, guidance counselors, speech and occupational therapists, pupil personnel workers, and psychologists.

As we are walking through Distance Learning and the Reopening Plan implementation, please understand the working conditions agreed to in our Contract are in place. The salary enhancements, the five days for Special Educators, and planning time have not changed. Faculty Advisory Councils and Building Representative elections should be held before September 15. The site elections will be virtual, and our Nominations, Elections and Credentials Committee has prepared virtual election procedures including nominations, balloting, and reporting forms. Building representatives from last year are being asked to organize an election at their site and will receive an email early this week with instructions. If you do not have a Faculty Representative to conduct an election, please email NECC Chair Lenora Scott

Faculty Advisory Council (FAC)
Elected by the faculty before September 15, the Faculty Advisory Council (FAC) is a contractually-mandated, school-based committee which serves to voice concerns of the general membership to the Principal, and acts, when needed, as an interface between rank-and-file members and the Principal to address issues of concern to the school community as a whole. (Regardless of the size of the worksite, the FAC shall have an absolute minimum of five (5) members, at the rate of one for every ten (10) unit members or portion thereof). The role of the FAC is to relay the legitimate concerns of Unit 1 members and to offer solutions to problems as they arise in a reasoned & non-adversarial manner. Meetings take place at the building/site level. Monthly meetings should occur at a mutually agreed to time with Administration and FAC leadership.

Faculty (Building) Representatives represent the faculty of each school at monthly PGCEA meetings. Their function is to pass the PGCEA annual budget, support local and state elections, and share information on political activities pertinent to our working conditions. The Faculty Representatives and the FAC are elected at the same election. 
We can schedule a virtual meeting with a representative of PGCEA. Either I can come, or a member of the Board of Directors can visit. We will even set up the Zoom call! 

Now the adventure begins! 

Theresa Mitchell Dudley 
CALL to ACTION: Car Caravan and Rally,
Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Join PGCEA, and Community Partners as We Rally at the Comcast HQ in Largo, MD to Demand Digital Equity

Join us in an action to demand internet access because it impacts our students, educators, and community. Our students and educators deserve digital equity and access to the internet to be able to learn and teach during this global health pandemic.
PGCEA is coordinating with students, parents, and community members to Demand Digital Equity for K-12 Students and Educators. We are planning this action to help ensure that everyone has the high-speed internet necessary to access education during the period of distance learning. We are demanding that Comcast and Verizon step up and do their part.
Join us in a caravan demanding that Verizon and Comcast help close the digital divide. We will hold the action on Wednesday, August 19, 2020, with a 4 PM arrival and a 5 PM caravan departure time. The starting location will be at Thomas Pullen School of the Arts and will end at the Comcast Largo office 10432 Campus Way S, Largo, MD 20774.

We look forward to you standing in solidarity with us. Please RSVP in advance BELOW

  1. We demand that Comcast permanently increase Internet Essentials’ upload speeds from 3 Mbps to 25 Mbps and download speeds from 25 Mbps to 100 Mbps. 
  2. We demand that Verizon permanently increase its upload speeds from 2-5 Mbps to 25 Mbps and download speeds from 50 Mbps to 100 Mbps. 
  3. We demand that Comcast and Verizon offer internet access to all students and educators regardless of their current internet plans, and make it free until 60 days after full restoration of school. 
  4. We demand that all hotspots, including those from leased Comcast and Verizon modems, be free to the public starting now until 60 days after the full restoration of school.

SIGN THE PETITION: Demand action from elected officials and internet giants Comcast and Verizon to improve education by providing free internet for educators and students and give them an #OpportunitytoLearn.
Reminder! Sick Leave Bank Open Enrollment is underway and will end on September 30th. Click here to access the application.  Please submit your completed form to
Questions? Contact: Melissa Robinson, 240-492-3360
What is the Sick Leave Bank?
The PGCEA Sick Leave Bank ([Contract 4.19: J-8]) is a leave system designed for Unit 1 employee’s use for qualifying incapacitating personal illnesses during regularly scheduled duty days.
See sick leave bank guidelines here

PGCEA Distance Learning FAQs

The following answers to frequently asked questions from PGCEA members are based on the current Negotiated Agreement, the PGCPS Teacher/School Staff Distance Learning Guide and responses to PGCEA from the CEO and other school system leaders. Due to the existing Covid-19 health emergency and a continually evolving situation this document may be updated as needed.
Get involved! Join a committee.