California Educator

August / September 2018

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Bargaining Roundup Details of these stories at By Ed Sibby #OurVoiceAtTheTable Banning Teachers Association members went on a three-day strike beginning Aug. 8, the first day of school. Banning teachers were unhappy over contract violations and an unfair labor practice by Banning Unified School District. BTA and the district reached a settle- ment on the evening of Aug. 10. BTA has been battling the district over student resources, contract issues, salary negotia- tions, and competitive pay to attract and retain qualified teachers for the Banning community. "For two years, BTA has attempted to work collaboratively with Superintendent Robert Guillen on decisions affecting teachers, students and our community," said BTA President Anthony Garcia before the strike. "Unfortunately, our professional voice has been continuously ignored by the Banning school board, and the climate has turned toxic. How many times must we lose 20 percent of our educator workforce before we hold leaders accountable?" The final straw came when the district unilaterally implemented a one-hour increase to the workday for teachers at Nicolet Middle School — without negotiating with BTA or communicating to the teachers. BTA filed an unfair labor practice charge in July 2017 and sent cease- and-desist letters, which were ignored by district officials. In early August, members voted to strike. Garcia says the ten- tative agreement calls for $300,000 to be split among Nicolet teach- ers for the additional instruction time last year, which works out to $6,000 each. The district will also cut the extra instructional time to 20 minutes per school day. In addition, Garcia says, three days will be added to the school year to let students make up for lost time and teachers recoup lost salary from the strike. CTA President Eric Heins expressed CTA support for Banning educators during the strike. " Thank you for stand- ing up for your profession and for your students. It's not an easy decision to go on strike, but when we feel we need to stand up for what's right, we do." Banning Teachers Association members (with CTA Vice President Theresa Montaño, in black). " How many times must we lose 20 percent of our educator workforce before we hold leaders accountable?" — BTA President Anthony Garcia National City: Seeking a better deal Bargaining between the National City Elementary Teachers Association and the National School District for 2018- 19 has commenced. NCETA members remain committed to a better deal for students and teachers. In late May, after months of stalled negotiations, NCETA members stood together to demand a fair settlement. With a 90 percent strike authorization vote for both the 2017-18 reopeners and the 2018-19 successor agreement, they demonstrated their resolve and forced the district back to the table. NCE TA settled 2017-18 with a 2 percent on-schedule salar y increase, a $1,000 increase in the health ben- efits cap, and workload language providing teachers more time to plan and prepare. Parents and the community embraced their educators during the strike and provided support during emergency school board meetings and rallies, even marching on the district to demand an audience with the superin- tendent to resolve the issues that led to the strike. Banning: Strike Settled 51 A U G U S T / S E P T E M B E R 2 018 A

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