California Educator

April/May 2023

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Page 39 of 61

F O R Y E A R S , Twin Rivers Unified School District in Sacra- mento has struggled to attract and retain educators, which has had an impact on every school in the district despite unprecedented funding and resources to hire and retain educators. It had also allocated increasingly less to student services and support, resulting in poor learning conditions. Twin Rivers United Educators (TRUE) leadership knew that the outcome of their bargain in 2022 was critical for every Twin Rivers student and their families. "Our students should be able to count on having teachers in the class- room when they come to school," said TRUE president Rebecca LeDoux. "Our district spent years disinvesting in educators. They dedicated less and less to educator sala- ries and benefits and direct support for students. We saw the powerful impact of expanded bargaining teams, including our neighbors in Sacramento City Teachers Association, and decided to try it in Twin Rivers." TRUE leaders and members were determined to win transformative change in their district. On Jan. 23 of this year, members voted in historic numbers to ratify their tentative agreement with the district. The vic- tory came after an arduous bargaining process and remarkable campaign to build solidarity among its members — some 1,500 strong — as well as families and community. The campaign was a casebook study of traditional and new methods of bargaining to build power. TRUE 's open and transparent bargain and often adversarial relationship with the district did not include the old, confidential dealings with management A few of the 800-strong members at an October 2022 rally. TRUE bargaining team member Diana Franklin, President Rebecca LeDoux, Vice President and lead negotiator Jackie Howard. "Our district dedicated less and less to educator salaries and direct support for students. We saw the powerful impact of expanded bargaining teams and decided to try it in Twin Rivers." —TRUE President Rebecca LeDoux How to build power through open bargaining A TRUE Tale 38 Advocacy

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