California Educator

April/May 2023

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Page 41 of 61

Bargaining Roundup Compiled by Julian Peeples Educators at Santa Cruz' Pacific Collegiate School (PCS) orga- nized around three bargaining platform goals and won a contract in early March that satisfies all three. It took a lengthy bargain, but United PCS members showed solidarity with each other, their stu- dents and the school community to win an average 15.72 percent pay increase over two years, eight weeks of paid parental leave and language clarifying the meaning and intent of "temporary employee." The victory is hoped to help stem the high turnover that has plagued the well-known charter school — United PCS educators were among the lowest paid in the county, causing many to leave every year for other districts. United PCS President Mary Gardner says the contract agreement has made an immediate impact. "I see an incredible boost in morale among our faculty," Gardner told the Santa Cruz Lookout. " The school wants to build with us and grow with us — and cares about us as a community. That has an immediate positive impact on our students." United PCS' bargaining platform was: 1. Preserve our student-centered mission: We seek to steward inclusive access to high quality edu- cation that protects our class sizes, classroom autonomy and a culture of learning in which all departments and disciplines are supported. 2. Fair compensation for educators: In order to retain and attract a diverse group of the best educators, PCS teacher salaries must be compet- itive with other schools' and commensurate with the cost of living in Santa Cruz. 3. Community collaboration & transparency: Faculty and all other community stakeholders must have meaningful participation and voice in important school decisions and processes. Read more at SANTA CRUZ: United PCS educators organize and win 40 Advocacy

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