California Educator

April / May 2019

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Ba rga i n i n g Ro u n d u p Details of these stories at By Cynthia Menzel, Julian Peeples and Ed Sibby #OurVoiceAtTheTable Oakland: Strike wins historic contract On March 3, the Oakland Education Association ratified a new con- tract. OEA won major gains in every key area, laying a solid foundation for the challenging fight ahead to ensure all Oakland students have access to fully funded and properly resourced public schools in their neighborhoods, staffed with committed educators and ESPs who can afford to live in the communities where they educate kids. Highlights of the agreement: • An 11 percent salary increase, plus a 3 percent off-schedule bonus. • Class size reductions in high- need schools next year and all schools the following year. • Reduced caseloads for coun- selors, school psychologists, resource specialists and speech pathologists. • Additional staffing for schools with significant numbers of "newcomer" (newly arrived immigrant or refugee) students — the first contract in the state to guarantee this support. • An additional salary increase and bonuses to improve recruitment and retention of school nurses. • A commitment from the OUSD school board to call on the state to issue a mora- torium on new charter school approvals. • A moratorium on school closures for five months, allowing the community to organize to fight to keep neigh- borhood public schools open. San Ramon Valley: Victory for students San Ramon Valley Education Asso- ciation members showed they were completely unified and prepared to strike, but ultimately did not have to, winning much-needed student resources. SRVEA educators ratified the deal in mid-March with 98 per- cent approval. "Today is a victory for our stu- dents!" SRVEA President Ann Katzburg said when the contract was ratified. "Our educators recognize the importance of standing together with our community to provide the best education possible for our children." SRVEA scored huge victories that directly improve student learning conditions: lower student-to-staff ratios for counselors, nurses and teacher librarians; caps on class sizes and caseloads, including special day classes and secondary case- loads; and new contract language for reduced fourth and fifth grade staffing ratios and secondary daily student contacts. SRVEA also secured a 4 percent salary increase and improvements to their health benefits, as well as improvements for school nurses, speech-language pathologists and educators who support new teachers. 47 A P R I L / M AY 2 019 A

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