PWEA Asks that PWCS Guarantee Teachers Uninterrupted Lunch Periods

and to eliminate restrictions on using personal days


Hi PWC neighbors, community members and parents!  Your students' teachers, bus drivers, custodians, food service staff and all school staff NEED YOUR HELP.  We are negotiating a contract and want to ensure that every school employee has the ability to eat a meal during the workday. We are also asking that we have time to plan for our students and use the restroom when needed. These requests are reasonable. We only have ONE MONTH to get some of these very critical terms of employment written into our contract to ensure our contract is fair, but that means the school board has to agree to do so. 

Educators are supposed to get a lunch period, but the regulation states your child’s teacher will only get lunch, "when able." The sad reality is many won’t get that lunchtime. 

Principals may ‘try’ to give educators lunch. However, it is NOT a priority to administrators and the policy is not enforced.  The educators with some of the MOST challenging caseloads, our special education teachers, are often the ones who forego lunch to ensure all students receive the special education services they deserve. 

Retaining our teachers is important.  The level of burnout is HIGH.  PWCS educators are struggling.  We chose education as a career because we are passionate about teaching; however, the job is becoming more and more unsustainable, especially as our schools have almost 400 vacancies. 

We need your support while we continue to call on the school board to strengthen the policies that they pass by placing those policies in our contract to ensure these critical policies are enforced.  

Our top priorities for our contract are non-economic: 

  1. Protect lunch with the current lunch policy in the contract.

  2. Protect planning with the current planning policy in the contract.

  3. The ability to take leave both sick and personal leave. Currently, principals can and do ask for a doctor’s note for one day of sick leave. We are asking to have the ability to take sick leave and provide a doctor's note after three consecutive absences.  We receive three personal days during the school year and principals can and do place restrictions on leave, including making such rules as staff are not allowed to take personal days on Mondays, Fridays, or before or after a holiday. We are asking to take our three personal days without restriction during the ten months of the school year.  

Thank you for your support. We are only asking for things most employees take for granted. To show your support we ask that you reach out to your school board member and share our reasonable asks with them. 

We are proud to serve the families of Prince William County.  We need a fair contract to provide more sustainability in our careers as we work to recruit and retain quality, certified educators for our schools.  

PWEA, Prince William Education Association, Prince William County Schools, contracts, fair contracts, school board, negotiating, teachers union, lunchtime, lunches, lunch period, personal days, sick days, November 1, 2023