California Educator

February/March 2021

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Page 43 of 63

E V E R G R E E N : Educating about safety Evergreen Teachers Association in San Jose maintained active communications with members, parents and the community while continuing negotiations on the physical reopening of schools. The Evergreen School District board recently approved continuing distance learning through the end of the school year while encouraging the administration to look for ways to provide in-person support for students in need and those identified as not being engaged in distance learning. ETA has engaged parents and the community to educate them about the district's struggles to safely reopen — including using a disinfectant not approved for COVID-19 and insufficiently staffing custodial services, which resulted in the closure of all facilities and forced remote learning. Bargaining Roundup Compiled by Julian Peeples S A N R A M O N VA L L E Y: Organizing to #KeepOurStudentsSafe When district management announced its intent to manipulate state law and reopen all schools in hybrid teaching starting Jan. 5, San Ramon Valley Education Association in Contra Costa County launched the #KeepOurStudentsSafe campaign. SRVEA trained members on direct action to ensure safe and healthy schools, created and implemented winning messaging for the campaign, and worked with the CTA Legal Department on a legal strategy for the union's organizing plan. SRVEA also utilized digital organizing to ensure their community understood the facts and risks. SRVEA achieved their organizing plan objectives, and the San Ramon Valley Unified school board voted to delay reopening of schools until the county is in the red tier for COVID-19 risk. The local is also negotiating contract language to ensure educators have what they need to support students during distance learning. B A R S T O W : United against reopening In a display of the power of solidarity, Barstow Education Association in San Bernardino County successfully organized against the return to in-person instruction despite Barstow Unified obtaining a waiver to resume physical classes. Even with a limited number of staff on campus to provide distance learning from their classrooms, the number of COVID-19 cases in the district was alarmingly high, and the district office was forced to close, along with both the high and middle school campuses. 42 Advocacy

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