Frequently Asked Questions

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QUESTION: Should EAs move books from one classroom to another?  Is this the janitor's job?


ANSWER: EAs are not hired or paid to move books or anything else from one classroom to another. Moving boxes, desks, files and other classroom items is the responsibility of janitors.


: Should EAs be doing office work like filling out cum folders and portfolios?


ANSWER: EAs are not hired, or paid, to do office work such as filling out cum folders and portfolios. Such school work should be performed by teachers, clerks and secretaries.


: If you have to take students to day care vans and the vans do not arrive on time, are EAs required to wait for the vans? 


ANSWER: If day care vans are not arriving on time, employees should report the day care van tardiness to the principal. If the principal directs employees to stay on duty until the vans arrive, then the principal will be required to pay for duty beyond the 6.5 hr. day. That pay will be at straight time until the employee goes over 40 hrs. a week. After 40 hrs., the pay shifts from straight time to time and a half. For example, if the EA is being paid $10 hr., overtime would be $15 hr.


: Wednesday afternoons are not being used for prep time or teacher collaboration time. Instead, EAs are asked to do things that the office employees should be doing. Is this right?


ANSWER: EAs are hired and paid to assist teachers, or other certified personnel, in delivering educational programs to students. EAs are not required, or authorized, to perform jobs that office employees preform. If the principal directs EAs to do office work, then the employee or the Union needs to talk to the principal ASAP and get it stopped. It is a violation of the School Board and Union Contract. Teachers and secretaries do not have the authority to assign EAs to this kind of secretarial and clerical work. The principal can assign EAs to professional work which is appropriate to the EA's job description and professional work which is covered by the APS Board of Education & AEAA Union Contract.


QUESTION: How does comp time work? I like to take time off from work instead of being paid for my extra work.


ANSWER:  "Comp time" is extra work, which is assigned by the principal, beyond the regular duty-day. This work must be compensated. For example, if an EA is directed by the principal to work beyond the regular duty-day, then that extra work is "comp time".


Federal and state labor laws, as well as the APS Board of Education & AEAA Union Contract, say extra work beyond the regular duty-day must be compensated. How the extra work is compensated is up to the employee, not the supervisor or principal. For example, the employee can choose to take time off from work, or the employee can choose to be paid money for the extra work.


If the employee decides to take time off from work, then the amount of time off must equal the extra time worked. For example, if an employee is assigned by the principal to work one (1) hour beyond the regular duty day, then the employee gets one (1) hour off without her/his paycheck being docked. The employee and principal are required to agree as to when the employee can use the comp time. If the employee decides to take comp time off from work, then the employee is required to do it within 90 days. After 90 days, the employee is required to take cash payment for the extra work.


If the employee chooses to be paid cash instead of time off, then the principal is required to pay the employee's hourly rate of pay for 40 hours or less in a week. More than 40 hrs. per week will require time and a half payment.

: Do EAs have the right to refuse to substitute for teachers?


ANSWER: YES, an EA can refuse to sub, but only under two (2) specific conditions:

  • It must be an all-day assignment.
  • The principal will not "declare an emergency".

If the principal declares an emergency, then the EA would be required to accept the sub assignment. To find-out if it's an emergency, the Union recommends EAs ask principals the following:

  • Is SIMS out of subs?
  • Is the school's permanent sub available?
  • Is the school's emergency list of parents adequate to substitute?
  • Is this an emergency?
  • If the principal says, "YES - THIS IS AN EMERGENCY", then ask the principal put that in writing with a directive assigning the EA to sub.

If the principal is assigning one or two particular EAs to sub all the time, that's a possible contract violation. Subbing must be assigned fairly and equally among all EAs at the school/job site.


: If an EA or other employee who is covered by the APS & AEAA Union Contract substitutes for a teacher, how are we paid?


ANSWER: If an EA or other employee covered by the Contract substitutes the entire day for a teacher, then the employee does not give back (or work for free) the first 30 minutes. The employee is paid an increment (time and a half of her/his hourly rate) for 6.5 hours. If an EA subs for a teacher, and another EA is in the same classroom, then both are paid the increment. For example, if you earn $10 per hour and sub all day, then you will be paid $15 per hour for 6.5 hours. If your teacher is at school, but she pops in-and-out of the classroom more than 30 mins. in 5 days, then you are paid the increment for time beyond 30 mins.