California Educator

December/January 2022

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I N R E S P O N S E T O increased job demands that have only gotten worse during the pandemic, Fresno Teachers Association (FTA) filed three griev- ances against Fresno Unified School District in October for violating its contract with educators. e grievances assert the district violated educators' eight-hour workday, failed to provide contractually guaranteed prep time, and forced teachers on special assignment (TOSAs) to act as perpetual substitutes. FTA President Manuel Bonilla said that the district is still adhering to old practices and expectations for educators during a time of added stress, less prep tim e, and n ew h ealth proto col s in the classroom. "It just feels like a compliance-based system as opposed to a system that trusts the expertise of its educators," he told PBS NewsHour in November. He said the working conditions are taking a toll on Fresno educators, with 67 percent saying they have considered stress leave, early retirement or a career change this year, according to FTA. "ese are not only rights, but educators need this time to serve students," Bonilla said in the Fresno Bee. "We have so many people that are at the brink, and this is not good for the school system." FTA is seeking back pay for educators forced to work more than eight hours a day, the cessation of assignments that infringe on educators' prep time, and an end to the practice of using TOSAs as perpetual substitutes. Bonilla said teachers are less concerned about an increase in pay than they are in getting adequate time to provide what educators see as quality instruction. "Long term, we're worried that it's creating a trust crisis on top of a health crisis," Bonilla told PBS. "If the district leadership and the school board superintendent, if they're unwilling to listen, if they're unwilling to pivot to address the needs of educators in a crisis moment and probably the deepest needs educators have ever felt, what does that say to teachers? How else are they supposed to interpret that for when times are better?" Fresno Educators File Grievances Loss of prep time, forced subbing among contract violations By Julian Peeples W H E N W E R A I S E our voice together, anything is possible. Join colleagues, partners and allies in taking action on social and education issues to make positive change. This is how we win the public education every student deserves, and move toward a more just, equitable society. CTA's new Action Center ( offers quick ways to get informed and add your voice on multiple issues and topics. These include: • Current legislation — you can urge your senators to support the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, or contact your representatives to support the Public Servants Protec- tion and Fairness Act. • Local organizing. • Community schools. • Social justice. • Hone your skills. • Wellness. It's easy — and a special numerical counter that keeps track of your total actions adds some fun. Check it out! Make Change CTA's New Action Center 40 Advocacy

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