California Educator

October 2014

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Page 35 of 59

Advocacy Bargaining Bargaining Update See what's happening statewide at SANITY PREVAILS IN SAN DIEGO The San Diego City Unified School District is sending back a military vehicle it had planned to use in rescue op- erations, saying it would car- ry supplies and even teddy bears. Yielding to residents' concerns, the district is returning the 18-ton MRAP, or Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle, that its police department recently acquired from the Depart- ment of Defense's surplus equipment program. CLASS SIZES, STUDENT ACCESS TO TEACHERS MOVE SAN YSIDRO TEACHERS TO STRIKE A 6.5 percent pay cut, class sizes, member health and welfare benefits, and an 11th-hour attempt to create full-time kindergarten have teachers in the San Ysidro School District in San Diego County on strike. Teachers want to reduce class sizes while maintaining classroom size limits to en- sure students have appropri- ate access to their teachers. They are concerned about "dubious and inaccurate projections" that even the state-appointed fact-finder admitted have been an on- going practice of the district. Teachers also have not had a raise since 2007. SYEA President Carol Wallace was resolute in her response to the ongoing crisis. "The district has lied to our community about the budget, and we will not be bullied into believing that lie." HEMET TEACHERS' FOOD DONATION = VOLUNTEER "WORK" TIME This creative protest idea showed the Hemet Unified School District's school board in Riverside County just how much extra work teachers do before and after school. Educators brought to last month's school board meeting a can of food for each hour per week they spent volunteering, piling up some 2,400 pounds of canned soup, vegetables and fruit that was later donated to the local food pantry. "We had this huge pile of food to show the school board that our time is valuable," Hemet Teachers Association President Robert Hudson said. "We donate so much time at our schools on a weekly basis that we need- ed to find a way to make it tangible to the school board. We definitely made a state- ment… and helped out our community, too." Feeling disrespected by the district, teachers stopped volunteering to work the non-academic tasks that California teachers routinely do out of dedication to students. SACRAMENTO CONTRACT = RAISES, SOME CLASS SIZE PROGRESS Somewhat smaller class sizes, restoration of two furlough days, and salary increases are included in the new two-year contract ratified by members of the Sacramento City Teachers Association. Raises will total 4.08 percent over two years. The union and the district agreed to work together to reduce class sizes to levels required by the state's Local Control Funding Formula. C O M P I L E D B Y M I K E M Y S L I N S K I 34

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