Sunday, November 9, 2008


I haven't done this for a while but there are points to be made. Even though goader contended that the salary scale for 08-09 is the same as 07-08 (and he's a sharp guy) I need something more concrete. This hit my mailbox about the time I talked with another teacher at level 27 who was equally disappointed (though thankful to be working). Can't help but think the district and association count on this.

Did anyone notice that the district is giving CTA room at the new ISC building? (Check the board's agenda.) You can draw your own conclusions.

From the mailbox:

Dear Suzie,

Thank you for championing the cause for the veteran teachers.

The district and the CTA are screwing us over and over. The association is blind (or complicit) to the fact that the "bone-us" the district offers is crap! Here's why: up until one gets to level 27 any days you do not take off become more valuable as your step increases. Those days you saved early by being a "perfect attendance" employee at step 1 through 26 grew with every step you advanced. Money in the bank - so to speak. Now once you are at Level 27 no more increase. For 5 years those days are level! (years of experience 26 -30) and so is your retirement. Check this.

My advice to those who think saving the sick days is doing you good - they are not. Need a day? Take it! Between inflation and the compressed steps it does you no good.

I'm pissed enough to go looking for a lawyer.

Thanks again Suzie - and Happy Veteran's day to those who served.

Level 27

Thank you for your insight Level 27. I await comments.


Goader said...

In my most recent post, I suggested that Hillsborough and Pinellas County School Teachers unite to form a common front that would be much stronger than either district alone could muster. What gave me the idea was when a Pinellas middle schoolteacher, attempting to defend her disapproval of their newly implemented 6/7 instructional schedule, made some major misstatements concerning Hillsborough's 6/7 plan. She said Hillsborough teachers had voted for the plan in exchange for an eight percent raise. As it happened neither was true. Hillsborough teachers did not vote for the plan nor did they receive a real 8% raise. Additionally, she said the vote happened "a few years ago" when it was only last year that the Hillsborough 6/7 plan was forced on them by the superintendent.

If that teacher could get so many of the facts wrong about an adjacent school district, how many more untruths existed as fact? I, for one, know very little about Pinellas County School District even though it is just across the bay and has many similar problems as Hillsborough.

During the same televised board meeting the Pinellas County Teachers Association president got up to speak to the board. I found it interesting that she introduced herself as if few knew who she was. That is in direct contrast to Hillsborough's Association president who is practically kissing cousins with the board and administration. It struck me as right that Pinellas' Association president was not nearly as close to its district power base as Hillsborough is to its.

I think we need to approach Pinellas County Teachers and suggest combining forces with them. What do you think?

Thomas Vaughan said...

I agree. That was a great find. Please let me know what I can do to further this. I am at your service.

Anonymous said...

When will we see that level change in our paychecks?

Anonymous said...

If you are on 27 you won't see it included in your check - it will be a "bone us" paid before Christmas and Spring Break.

Otherwise check the steps - oh - they have yet to be published.

I wonder why?

April said she would get them for us.

Goader said...

The levels chart and the salary schedule can be accessed here in the sidebar. Click on the red text. The salary schedule is the same as last year since no additional raise occurred.

Anonymous said...

No raise occurred Then the 2% is what, a myth?

Is this a riddle?

We either get more money, the same money of less money.

What is it goader?

I feel like I'm talking to a CTA rep.

Goader said...

The levels represent about a 2% differential from one level to the next. Therefore, the increase of 2% refers to moving up one level. The levels were already built in. We did not receive anything over and above the level increase.

Anonymous said...

so there was no raise...since there was no difference....the strategy of the "levels" is becoming apparent.

more so since the dates on the documents remain the same (last year).

Anonymous said...

I'm with you on this: How is no change a change?

I looked on CTAs site and the link says 08-09 but the scale says 07-08! They claim that level 27 will get a grand before christmas, ha! Talk about pathetically lazy, alter the document to reflect reality!

Someone que: Twilight Zone.

Ricky Ricotta said...

Dear Suzie,

The district is not "giving" CTA space at the new ISC. Here's a clip from the CTA web site:


HCTA is proud to be the founding partner in the Hillsborough Consortium for Technology and Education. The objective of the consortium is to partner the resources of business, community and education interests to build a 30,000 sq. foot state-of-the-art technology training facility for teachers. It will provide educators with access to computer technology and training after school hours and on weekends. It will include a curriculum library, with multi-sensory and software curriculum aids available to educators for check-out, as well as the printing, copying, and other related services needed to prepare lessons.

The Tech Center has been housed for many years on property dedicated to that purpose by CTA, property that is in fact the old CTA building. HCPS is a partner in the consortium with CTA, and the two have shared most of the Tech Center's expenses, so it only made sense that the Center be housed in the new ISC.

There is a long, detailed, ongoing story behind the Tech Center, CTA, and the ISC. It has not been a secret. Detailed reports are made to the CTA Board and from time to time, updates are presented at Rep. Council. Perhaps just this once you might want to actually find out what you're talking about. Or perhaps that wouldn't be as much fun as sitting back, being willfully ignorant, and making a fool of yourself.


Goader said...


Had Suzie not shined the light we would not have had the benefit of your sage wisdom.

It was your vitriol at the end that made it worth the effort though.


Suzie Creamcheese said...

Secret? Nobody said it was a secret? Just another brick in the wall is all.

"5.1.1 The School Board will provide to the Association information about the Administration’s technology strategies and specific
technological initiatives."

"5.1.2 The Association will have the opportunity to provide input
during the development of new technologies and application."

Now how creative and proactive does that sound?

Consider the CTA president still being paid their salary by the district while in office. How tough are you going to be knowing that you could lose your salary and benefits and maybe even have to be paid from membership dues?

"9.12.1 The President of the Association, who is also an employee of the Board, shall be given full-time duty by the Board different from his/her normal classroom duties and from his/her normal location of duty. This duty shall be for the purpose of performing other educational and related services and for attending meetings related to said services. This duty shall be considered by the Board as being equal to classroom teacher duties."

"9.12.2 The individual performing this duty shall continue to be a
continuous employee of the Board for all purposes and shall not be considered as being on leave when performing this duty. This duty assignment shall be a regularly established position of the Board and shall have continuous existence. The employee shall be compensated at the employee’s same rate of pay as if he/she was performing full-time classroom teaching. The Association shall inform the Board of the date of the President’s term of office."

Does Jean have a teaching certificate?

How many CTA presidents go back into the classroom after their term and experience first hand the results of their decisions?

Then, you really can't put many people on district committees that might actually have a brain and hold up the proceedings with questions and concerns or the need for valid current data.

"At least fifty percent of each committee shall be classroom
teachers appointed by the Association."

I have read the contract many times. I have attended rep meetings and taken part in discussions. I watch from my vantage point. I attempt to think things through from teacher, spouse, parent, taxpayer perspectives. I want independent, transparent and aggressive representation that takes everyone into consideration. I feel for the experiences of my peers and my posters. There is nothing I want more than to have them treated fairly, respectfully, professionally, and considerately. It is apparent I step on toes.

Sorry Ricky but your level of anger is reminiscent of one of my bully professors so entrenched in the establishment that his only response to having his dogma questioned was vitriol. Thing is, I knew I had him and that was enough for me.

So chill Ricky Ricotta - warm cheese is a women thing.

Ricky Ricotta said...

Suzie, Suzie, Suzie. I don't think that's warm cheese you're full of.

You provide more examples in your reply. For example, Jean Clements is paid from member's dues. She cannot lose her job for being tough. Her job is CTA president. She is only considered "to be a continuous employee of the Board" so that she does not lose her benefits, seniority, retirement, etc.

Does Jean have a teaching certificate?! Huh? Are you serious?

All the CTA presidents I've known have been back in the classroom before retiring.

"Then, you really can't put many people on district committees that might actually have a brain and hold up the proceedings with questions and concerns or the need for valid current data."

What does that mean, and where does it come from? Talk about vitriol. You just gratuitously and baselessly insulted everyone ever appointed by CTA to district committees. By the way, I've known many of them, and have been one of them. We are all smart enough not to make these kinds of unfounded, unwarranted charges.

In reference to 5.1.1 and 5.1.2, you make the statement "Now how creative and proactive does that sound?" Uh, Suzie, it is the right of administration to make such decisions. Most contracts don't have language giving the union any say in such decisions. Creative and proactive? Actually, yeah. How many districts have contracts with better language?

My "level of anger?" This coming from you, with your nonstop, hateful, irrational vendetta against everything CTA? Who's got the anger issue? My comments might be those of a sarcastic smart ass, but they don't necessarily reveal any anger. They might reveal any number of emotions. Disgust. Contempt. Impatience. Annoyance.

So Suzie, don't overestimate yourself. You don't have the substance to make me angry or "step on toes," though you are pretty good at putting your own foot in your mouth.

Anonymous said...

OUCH!! Please, everyone take a deep breath! We need to be in this together or we will be on the losing end of everything CTA and ROSSAC!!! Things are tough enough! We need to educate ourselves and not rip into each other. ROSSAC will do that.

Goader said...


Be a love and tell me where on the CTA Website the following can be found.

Here's a clip from the CTA web site:


HCTA is proud to be the founding partner in the Hillsborough Consortium for Technology and Education.


Ricky Ricotta said...


Unfortunately, the way the CTA web site is set up, I can't give a direct URL, but you can click on "Why You Should Join" on the menu to the left, then click on "Teacher Technology Center."


Goader said...


I have looked everywhere on this Website and cannot find "Why You Should Join" or "Teacher Technology Center."

Ricky Ricotta said...

Sorry, Goader. Use

You'll see a menu on the left that is missing when you use the other URL.


Goader said...


Where does it say it is housed in an old CTA building and that HCPS is a partner with CTA in its creation? I am not sure how you expected Suzie to divine all the information you gave in your response. I appreciate the information you provided, but how is it that Suzie somehow should have known the information when it is not readily available?

Just wondering, that's all.

One of the beauties of blogs is information can begin to be disseminated before everything is known. Then, people like you and others can add to it so that it becomes more accurate and complete.

If the blogger is to wait until all the information is thoroughly vetted he or she might as well publish a newsletter instead of a blog.

Ricky Ricotta said...


It doesn’t say that on the CTA web site, but that is completely beside the point. The point is that Suzie consistently displays not only a reckless disregard for the truth, but an apparent contempt for the truth. She never “vets” anything. She always gets her facts wrong because she never checks them. You ask how I expect Suzie to “divine” information, but in reality, that’s exactly what Suzie does, and what she needs to stop doing. She always has just enough information to misunderstand, and then she divines a whole scenario around her misunderstanding or misinterpretation or complete ignorance of the facts. That’s what she does every time. Every. Single. Time.

Not only are Suzie’s rants not “thoroughly vetted,” they are consistently wrong, and not just wrong, but hatefully, spitefully, and slanderously wrong. It’s all about her little anti-CTA vendetta. Now, CTA is an association of human beings. Human beings are imperfect, so any association of human beings will also be less than perfect. I would welcome honest critiques of CTA, but that is not what Suzie offers. She offers venom based on her own near-complete ignorance of the facts. You know that old saying, about how it is better to remain silent and thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt? Now there’s a piece of advice Suzie should heed.

The problem with all this is that this blog is usually a vehicle for misinformation. This is morally questionable at best, and it is professionally dangerous at worst. Anyone who is misled by Suzie (or others spreading lies and misinformation about CTA on this blog) into not joining CTA or dropping their membership in CTA is potentially risking their livelihood. You, Goader, are the perfect example. You mentioned on your own blog that you have a CTA lawyer. While that is no guarantee of a good outcome, depending on the situation, it is certainly preferable to facing administration on your own. You could never defend yourself, nor could you hire just any lawyer (if you could afford it) to defend you as well as a CTA lawyer, who is experienced in this field.

I wonder how many teachers or paraprofessionals have simply resigned and quietly disappeared after being confronted with allegations because they had no CTA representation? Or how many tried to stand up for themselves but got the shaft because they didn’t have adequate representation? I know a perfect example. You might remember that two teachers at Gorrie were accused of FCAT improprieties a few years ago. One, a CTA member, is still teaching. The other, who had dropped her CTA membership prior to the incident and had to pay for a lawyer out of her own pocket, finally lost a long fight to keep her teaching certificate and can no longer practice her chosen profession.

At my previous school, I saw two first year teachers not renominated. It was retaliation on the part of the principal because they dared to stand up for themselves. CTA was able to arrange an administrative transfer for one of the teachers, who would have simply been out of a job otherwise. The other teacher appealed, and with CTA representing her, was able to win her appeal. Both of these teachers would have been up the proverbial creek without a paddle had it not been for CTA.

What if Suzie, with her factually wrong, spiteful attacks on CTA, had kept those two young teachers from joining CTA, or had convinced them to quit CTA? Imagine the consequences. Now multiply this across the eighth largest district in the nation. Imagine the misery that one person’s hateful vendetta could cause.

Suzie claims that “I want independent, transparent and aggressive representation that takes everyone into consideration. I feel for the experiences of my peers and my posters. There is nothing I want more than to have them treated fairly, respectfully, professionally, and considerately.” Well, if that is true, the best way to accomplish those goals is to grow, nourish, and strengthen the only means for accomplishing them- CTA. CTA is nothing more or less than Hillsborough teachers and ESPs coming together to work for the common good. Suzie claims to want that, yet trashes the only avenue we have for accomplishing that. Shame on her.


Goader said...

Second time's a charm.

Me thinks you engage in hyperbole. I don't believe anything can happen as you say: Every. Single. Time. I think the laws of chance preclude such a scenario. However, your point is well taken.

Your characterization reminds me of our favorite Conservative radio host, Rush Limbaugh; you either love or hate him. As adamant as Rush is on his show it is actually professional wrestling on radio. It is a cartoon. Most blogs, for all the good they can do, are cartoons sometimes—including everyone's favorite blog, EsKay. (Sorry Suzie, maybe it's the second favorite.) It is for this reason I sometimes scratch my head when people can take what they say so seriously.

It is disingenuous to imply that Suzie's tapping on the keyboard could possibly have such a monumental effect as you indicate. She cannot be held responsible for the decisions people make whom she has never met.

For all their inadequacies, postings on blogs can also be true and meaningful. However, it is the reader's responsibility to practice critical thinking while reading them.

You yourself might be guilty of that which you accuse Suzie of doing: Attaching too much importance to the persuasive abilities of one person.

BTW, as I have stated previously, it is here, in the comments section, where the fine-tuning occurs. The initial post is only part of the blog entry, the comments make up the remaining portion.

Additionally, make no mistake how fortunate Suzie is to have someone who comments as you do. You help create a more entertaining experience.

So there…

Ricky Ricotta said...

Well, thanks, Goader...I think! LOL!

Anonymous said...

Jean Clements is/was an ESE Specialist at Plant High School.

I don't know of any ESE Specialist that has actual classroom teaching duties. I may be wrong. That is not to say that they don't earn their money.

One would think that as an ESE Specialist she would have a keen interest in Goader's dilemma.

Connect the dots: Plant seems to have a very comfy relationship with downtown.