California Educator

December/January 2021

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Page 47 of 67

B E V E R LY H I L L S : Organizing to protect students Beverly Hills Education Association organized members and three other bargaining units to push back on the school district's plans to physically reopen schools. The district intended to order all employees to report to their worksites to teach and work, but bar- gaining unit members successfully organized virtual tactics to pressure the administration and school board to reconsider that proposal and negotiate comprehensive distance learning agreements with all three units. BHEA followed that victory with successful agree- ments for special education assessments, small group cohorts and athletics. L O N G B E A C H : Distance learning issues Long Beach City College Faculty Association, which represents full-time LBCC faculty, finalized its distance learning agreement with Long Beach Community College District, securing a number of victories: a $500 stipend for faculty members who return in the winter 2020 intersession to complete a suspended class, faculty- favorable amendments to large class stipends, an additional 10 percent release time for the association president during the current academic year, and a reasonable approach to faculty evaluations during the pandemic. Long Beach City College Certificated Hourly Instructors continues to negotiate a distance learning agreement. They want fair compensation for required distance learning training, as well as a stipend to offset the added costs to part-time faculty delivering instruction from home. T O R R A N C E : Uniting for safe schools Torrance Teachers Association members have been working hard to protect one another and their school communities, successfully negotiating five agreements with the school district to ensure the safe return to classrooms. The agreements call for PPE and other accommodations for members who were required to return to campuses, as well as those who have returned voluntarily. TTA also led an effective organizing campaign to ensure that returning nonteaching members have necessary intake meetings and are fully accommodated with whatever they need to be safe while interacting in person with students and staff. S A N TA C L A R A : More teacher input United Teachers of Santa Clara recently com- pleted negotiations with Santa Clara Unified for in-person special education assessments. The bargaining team started negotiations for hybrid learning and teaching (before Santa Clara County moved into the state's purple tier). UTSC mobilized more than 250 members and 100 email comments to a recent school board meeting to advocate for a stronger safety plan and more teacher input on the hybrid instruc- tional model. Hybrid has now been delayed until January 2021 and will be phased in over a nine- week period, as of press time. The bargaining team was also negotiating a pilot for small-group instruction based on teacher volunteers, to begin in December. UTSC held two listening sessions with general and special edu- cation teachers for these voluntary pilots. F I R E B A U G H : Bargaining small cohorts Firebaugh-Las Deltas Teachers Association in Fresno County has been busy — actively bargaining small cohorts, waivers, and a return to in-person instruction. FLDTA engaged its members to determine how to proceed. For the small cohort special education work, 80 percent of their special education teachers were engaged at the bargaining table to decide how to safely return to school with identified students. FLDTA was able to bargain an agreement that ensures safety for staff and a uniform approach to the small cohort implementation. S A C R A M E N T O C O E : The power of unity Sacramento County Office of Education Teachers Association's unity powered the way to a successor contract that will mean a more than 7 percent pay increase over the next three years. Other highlights of the agreement: an additional $720 a year in health benefits; an early retirement incentive; and stipends to recruit and retain speech-language pathologists. 46 Advocacy

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