California Educator

August/September 2020

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Page 47 of 81

Bargaining Roundup Compiled by Julian Peeples W H A T W O U L D N O R M A L L Y be a time to rest and recharge has been filled with activity for local association leaders across the state standing together for their health and safety as school districts sought to resume in-person instruction despite the growing spread of COVID-19. With guidance from CTA regarding the safe reopening of schools, locals statewide entered lengthy videoconference negotiations, ranging from collaboration and quick resolution to ensure the health of school communities to weeks of contentious meetings where educators pleaded with school district administrators to acknowledge the pandemic's threat. In ever y instance, educators joined their voices to advocate for each other, their students, and the health of their communities. N AT O M A S : Teachers rally around health issues Natomas Teachers Association negotiated a num- ber of safety and teaching provisions in their COVID-19 agreement with the school district. Their term starts Aug. 27 in a full distance-learning environment. In addition to four additional paid days to prep for distance learning, Natomas teachers secured the option (but not requirement) to work out of their classroom, health safeguards including personal protective equipment and cleaning procedures, and assurances that educators will not be recorded with- out their permission during class sessions. NTA will negotiate hybrid plans at a later date, based on state and county health guidelines. Natomas teachers secured safety and teaching provisions. L O D I : Educators organize to win safe options Lodi Education Association members stuck together and rallied for their health and safety, lead- ing to an agreement with Lodi Unified that will allow educators to provide distance learning instruction from their home or school site. Initially, the district sought to require educators to work from school sites, but LEA organized and rallied before a recent school board meeting to show their concern. This display of unity helped move the school board to make the right decision, allowing teachers, coaches, librarians, coun- selors, speech-language pathologists, psychologists, school nurses and program specialists the option to work from home or at their school site. Lodi educators rally with social distancing to defend their health and safety. 46 Advocacy

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