California Educator

February/March 2024

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Page 47 of 59

T H E E A S T B A Y C O A L I T I O N F O R S T U D E N T S U C C E S S , com- prised of over 18 California Teachers Association chapters, held a press conference in January to announce EBCSS chapters that have authorized a strike. Other chapters are at impasse, preparing to hold a strike authorization vote, continuing to bargain or have settled. All coalition chapters have been bargaining with their respective districts on basic issues such as student resources, educator living and working conditions, and more. Dublin Teachers Association (DTA), for example, is fighting for a living wage for educators; it says the district has only offered only a 2% salary increase while receiving 8.22% in additional ongoing, per-student state funding in 2023–24. Invest- ment in educators has dropped markedly in the past six years — see top graph — while the district spends a comparatively high amount for administrator salaries — see second graph. Other coalition chapters have similar issues. " The blatant disrespect from some districts is not toler- ated within our coalition," said Celia Medina-Owens, president of the Pittsburg Education Association and coalition member, at the press conference. " Together, we are calling on our partners to remember what we are all about: the safety, health and overall well-being of every student. We must collaborate effectively to meet the needs of all our students." At press time, these were the results of individual chapters' strike authorization votes: • 100% of members of the Association of Piedmont Teachers (APT ) voted; 96% voted yes • 99% of members of the Association of Pleasanton Teachers voted; 98.5% voted yes One of multiple Dublin Teachers Association pickets on Jan. 30. Graphs from Dublin Teachers Association: • 100% of Dublin Teachers Association (DTA) mem- bers voted; 98.8% voted yes • 100% of Martinez Education Association members voted; 98% voted yes • 100% of Moraga Teachers Association voted; 100% voted yes A coalition strike — if chapter leadership deems it necessary — would occur across multiple cities and would impact thousands of students in the East Bay. Coalition chapters — even those whose membership voted overwhelm- ingly in support of a strike — continue to explore alternatives. APT participated in a second mediation session with the district on Jan. 31. It also plans to hold a second community forum; 250 people attended the first one. DTA conducted informational picketing and leafleting at all sites in its district on Jan. 30, the same day it was in mediation. Pleas- anton is going to fact-finding. Other actions are planned in the latter part of February. EBCSS, launched in 2022, is a student-centered coalition with a guiding principle that all students deserve a supportive environment, with the tools and conditions they need to thrive. It strives to bring across-the-board improvements for students: the best resources, smaller class sizes so every student gets the attention they deserve and retaining and attracting the best educators. Strength in Numbers East Bay chapters stand together "The blatant disrespect from some districts is not tolerated within our coalition." —Celia Medina-Owens, Pittsburg Education Association President 46 Advocacy

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