California Educator

February/March 2020

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Page 45 of 63

Chula Vista: Educators refuse to trade class size caps for raise D E D I C A T E D A N D E N G A G E D members of Chula Vista Educators are making huge strides to close the opportunity gap in Chula Vista Elementary School District, a fact that district adminis- trators recognize everywhere except at the bargaining table. Following the district's insulting proposal of a 1 percent raise, CVE has been orga- nizing to do whatever it takes for the resources their students deserve. Just before the end of the year, CVESD pre- sented an offer contingent on eliminating class size caps. CVE refused to consider any offer tied to class size increases and packed two straight school board meetings to voice their displeasure. "You cannot put students first when you put educators last. Every substandard offer that crosses the table only irks our members more. All of our members are deeply connected to the success of every student," says CVE President Susan Skala. "Our pay increase cannot come at the expense of our students' increased class size. That is unacceptable!" The district has increasing enrollment, reve- nue growth and a healthy reserve, but refuses to put resources where they best serve students. CVE held a work-to-rule walkout, and is planning informational leafleting and a rally as educators demand that the district invest in continued stu- dent success by investing in teachers. Washington Colony: Building power and winning results T H E S M A L L B U T mighty Washington Colony Teachers Association in Fresno ratified a two-year contract in November, winning an 8 percent on-schedule salary raise, 3.5 percent increases in stipends each year, and an increase in the district's health care contribution. Additionally, Washington Colony teachers secured a side letter that guaranteed the association a voice in the district's professional development and coaching programs — a win that many teachers felt was bigger than the wages and benefits, after years of useless and untimely coaching that didn't benefit students. WCTA continues to organize. In just a few years, it went from two members out of 26 total educators to now having 20 members. The increase in membership has made a huge difference at the bar- gaining table, with teachers winning 20 percent in salary increases since 2016-17. Mt. Diablo: Lower caseloads, pay increase Mt. Diablo Education Association in Contra Costa County organized their members and community to build support and ended lengthy and contentious negotiations with an agreement in December. The agreement provides a 5.5 per- cent pay increase from 2018 to 2021 and establishes class size maximums in full-day TK and kindergarten. MDEA also secured lower caseloads for school nurses and numerous contract improvements in hours and working conditions. MDEA President Anita Johnson says the contract is not what they wanted but the best deal they could get because of the district's finances. Chula Vista Educators are building power to fight for the resources and opportunities their students deserve. Mt. Diablo educators continue their fight for better working and student learning conditions. 44 Advocacy

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