California Educator

August/September 2019

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Page 53 of 68

San Diego: Agreement after marathon bargaining Following a marathon 14-hour bargaining session, San Diego Unified School District accepted the last, best and final offer from San Diego Education Association (SDEA), marking a major victory for educators, sign- ing an agreement on June 20. SDEA won a $2,500 longevity stipend for educators with 22 years of service, effective in 2020-21. All SDEA members will receive a 3.7 percent raise on Jan. 1, 2020. "This raise will also help keep newer teach- ers here in San Diego," says SDEA bargaining team member Ron Reese. "It will help us afford to live in the city we teach in." Sonoma County: Deal reached in mediation Sonoma teachers stood together during impasse mediation with the county office of education and made a deal that will raise their salaries by 12 percent over three years. The Association of Sonoma County Office of Education successfully defended their health care benefits, which will remain unchanged for three years. Educators will also receive increased stipends for advanced degrees. SDEA flier showing members how collective action led to an agreement, and the next steps. In January, more than 250 educators and parents spoke out at an SDEA special ed accountability forum with district leaders. Collective action by SDEA educators & parents results in big win: SDUSD to hire 26 special educators, plus caseload cap! Supt. Marten implemented a policy of understaffing special ed.: SDUSD was not hiring enough special educators this year. At least 200 special educators over caseload, stretched too thin. Not enough staff to meet stu- dents' IEP requirements Students rights were being violat- ed. Supt. Marten knew about the problem, but wasn't fixing it. We took collective action to keep turning up the heat on SDUSD: Nov.—More than 30 union educa- tors marched on special ed. office to deliver a 50-foot petition against understaffing Dec.—Union educators filed more than 25 grievances against SDUSD for understaffing special ed. Jan.—More than 250 educators and parents spoke out to top dis- trict leaders at union-hosted Spe- cial Ed. Accountability Forum. Feb.—More than 100 union educa- tors and parents marched on Supt. Marten's office with bullhorns and news cameras. Mar.—This Accountability Forum with Supt. Marten Yesterday at the final hour, SDUSD gave in to our pressure: SDEA educators negotiated with Supt. Marten's staff for 15+ hours, reaching agreement on Tue. short- ly after midnight. SDUSD signed an agreement to alleviate special ed. understaffing. SDUSD will hire 26 more Mild/ Moderate special educators in 2019-20. This hiring should let SDUSD re- solve the problem of caseloads being over for most special educa- tors. Plus, SDUSD agreed to phase in lower caseloads for Mild/Moderate special educators starting next year. By 2020-21, the caseload hard cap for Mild/Moderate will be 20 stu- dents. Thanks to educators and parents, SDUSD will be the first in California! Tuesday's agreement moves us for- ward in fixing understaffing, but there is still work to be done: Let's tell Supt. Marten our stories of how special ed. understaffing has affected us and our students. We have 2 questions for Supt. Marten: 1. Will you commit to expanding hir- ing to other areas of special educa- tion to truly end special ed. under- staffing across the board? (Examples: Speech language pa- thology, paraeducators, and Early Childhood) 2. Will you commit to speedy and smart hiring of the 26 special edu- cators? (Examples: Hire full-time not part-time teachers, hire early before teachers take jobs with other districts, give stable probationary jobs not temporary jobs that end in one year) SDUSD Understaffing Special Ed. Educators & Parents Stand Up — "Students first! Stop understaffing special ed.! Tuesday's Big Win There is still work to be done when it comes to staffing special ed.! 51 A U G U S T / S E P T E M B E R 2 019 A

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