California Educator

October/November 2020

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Chula Vista Educators hosted a 200- car "Motor March" to spotlight needs. C H U L A V I S TA : Protecting health and safety Chula Vista Educators members stood together to demand safe procedures for reopening schools and the necessary funding to make it happen. During lengthy negotiations with the Chula Vista Elementary School District, CVE members took action, rallying and hosting a 200-car "Motor March for Schools" to spotlight the need for a comprehensive safety plan that protects students, staff and families. "Students are our most valuable resource," fourth grade teacher Courtney Green said in August. "Any reopening plan should not further endanger our already hard-hit communities." CVE adopted a comprehensive platform detailing conditions that must be in place to safely return to school, including a call for additional funding for public education. "Unfortunately, the crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic is causing our students to face inequities in their academic and social-emotional supports at the time when they deserve more, not less," CVE President Susan Skala explains. "Our students and families must have more access to nurses, coun- selors, academic interventions and enrichment in order to not only survive this pandemic but thrive. Our schools are in the position to provide these supports only if there is an increase in federal and state funding, including supporting Prop. 15, the Schools and Communities First initiative. Our state and federal government must do better for our kids and their families!" CVE reached an agreement with the district in August. S A U S A L I T O : Educators set the bar Sausalito District Teachers Association organized to negotiate a memorandum of understanding (MOU) outlining health and safety standards, and detailed conditions under which SDTA members would return to classrooms. In-person school was supposed to start in the TK-8 Sausalito Marin City School District on Sept. 8, but one staffer tested positive and the opening date was delayed. The small but mighty SDTA faced a difficult situation with district managers trying to play hardball. They persisted and focused on safety, winning what many consider the best MOU in Marin County. SDTA continues to work closely with the district superintendent to guar- antee safe teaching and learning conditions. Face masks are required for all students and staff for in-person instruction, and no one is required to work from campus, though educators can volunteer to do so. Some say they will because of the safety standards negotiated by SDTA. The highlights: While Marin County recommended 4 to 6 feet for social distancing, the MOU requires 6 feet in all student workspaces and all student-educator work- spaces. While most Marin County schools have cohort sizes of 12 to 20, SDTA negotiated a 13-student cohort, plus a limit of three cohort in-person interactions per day for teachers. Additionally, district managers agreed they will not split up or combine cohorts if no substitutes can be found. Educators can volunteer to cover classrooms but are not required to do so. District managers agreed to provide portable air filters and purification systems for classrooms with inadequate ventilation, specifically for those with win- dows that don't open. The agreement includes no-cost child care options for all staff and parents working as essential workers. It also guarantees SDTA members will not lose pay if they are out on leave, either to care for a child or because they are sick. And if educators are unable to return to in-person instruction or can't be accommodated, SDTA members can use accumulated sick leave and will, if necessary, be offered differential pay by being put on paid administrative leave for the rest of year. Bargaining Roundup Compiled by Julian Peeples 42 Advocacy

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