California Educator

December/January 2019

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Fillmore: Agreement Breaks Stalemate Fillmore Unified Teachers Association members reached a tentative agreement with Fillmore Uni- fied School District on Nov. 25, following months of stalemate and frustration with the district and school board. The contract, set to be ratified in early December, allows for a 4 percent salary increase retroactive to July 2018 and a 2.5 percent increase retroactive to July 2019. The agreement comes after the parties were in their second round of state mediation. Fillmore educator salaries had ranked at the bottom among Ventura County school districts. FUTA members rejected the district's modest salary offer in Sep- tember, instead fighting for a contract that will help attract and retain teachers. Actions included a rally and turnout at a November school board meeting, where members urged the district to stop delaying and reach a fair agreement. "We are hopeful that this is the beginning of mending what is broken in our relationship for the benefit of Fillmore students," said FUTA President Tammy Ferguson in announcing the agreement. Mt. Diablo: 16 Months, No Contract About 500 educators, students, families and community members rallied to support Mt. Diablo Education Asso- ciation at a rally before a packed school board meeting in October, where many called on the school district to stop stalling on its teachers. MDEA President Anita Johnson demanded that the school board direct Mt. Diablo Unified School District management to negotiate fairly and reasonably. "It is past time to settle," Johnson said. "The delays and lack of effort by management prove they do not value us. We demand a fair contract now!" Educators in the district, located in Contra Costa County, have worked more than 16 months without a contract. MDEA filed an unfair labor practice charge when the district refused to provide information that could help reach a settlement. MDEA members insist hefty class sizes and teacher turnover are hurting students. They demand lower class sizes in all class categories, especially Title I schools; sup- port for bilingual programs; and more nurses, counselors and librarians. "We have 14 nurses for 30,000 students. Some school libraries are closed four days per week," Johnson says. "Student safety is at risk, and this district's management doesn't seem to care." Union District: Request for Mediation The Union District Education Association filed an unfair labor practice charge against Union School District in San Jose for dragging out bargaining as the two sides got set to enter mediation. UDEA educators and parents are rallying to fight for resources that prioritize teacher retention and support student learning conditions. UDEA President Kathy Hudson says it seems like teach- ers are asked to do more and more all the time, yet their pay and benefits remain stagnant. "While district revenues have increased year after year, our salaries have decreased in the percentage of the district's total budget," Hudson says. "Also, USD teachers pay more in out-of-pocket expenses for health care than all other districts in the county." UDEA requested state mediation in November as it ramped up organizing efforts. Students and their families turned out at a November school board meeting, packing the room to show solidarity with their teachers. 43 D E C E M B E R 2 019 / J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 0 A

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