Friday, January 17, 2014

Work to Rule Begins January 21st

Work to Rule Begins Tuesday:  To show our commitment to earning a fair, competitive contract settlement, we ask all AHEM members to begin working to rule this Tuesday, January 21st.  Work to Rule is where we only do those things for which we are compensated and withhold the extra duties we take on voluntarily.  One reason this action is effective is that our school board understands how difficult it is for educators to pull back. When we are facing offers that trail well behind other districts' settlements and an attempt to reduce our health insurance benefits, we need to take a strong stand.

Work to Rule Can Look Different from Teacher to Teacher: Remember that Work to Rule can look different for teachers who are on extra service agreements that require time outside the duty day, special education teachers who risk losing their teaching licenses if they don't fulfill paperwork requirements, athletic coaches, and a number of other special assignments. If you have questions about Work to Rule, please email us at

Learning From Work to Rule: Let's use this time to examine our teaching through the lens of sustainable, productive workloads. Note what you set aside and what you choose to keep in terms of your instructional practices. The last time we Worked to Rule, I used this action like a kind of professional development activity. The result was I focused my practice on the most effective activities and improved my overall performance. I added time with my family that improved my overall mental health. You don't have to go as far as writing a blog like I did ( - be kind, it was an early writing attempt), but pay attention to the changes you make and the effects they have on your work.

Thank You for Taking a Stand: As the negotiations team prepares for our first mediation session this coming Wednesday, January 22; we want to thank you for all you are doing to help achieve a fair, competitive settlement. That kind of effort makes a big difference at the table – the more unified we are, the more power we have to bring about a good result. Even beyond this goal, your efforts will improve  education as a whole. Pulling away obstacles like oppressive workloads helps us all focus on what matters most to our students and that is good for our entire profession.