California Educator

December 2015

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Modesto: Stop Shortchanging Our Students Modesto Teachers Association (MTA) members are rallying in support of schools and education before school board meetings. Modesto teachers are frustrated over the lack of teacher involvement in education decisions, and disrespectful treat- ment at the bargaining table. MTA members want the Modesto City School District to put monies earmarked for classrooms into teacher recruitment and retention, and to stop the bullying behavior by Superintendent Pam Able and her administrators. "For our schools to be the best they can be, we need more input from teachers, not less. We need to be partners in student learning," MTA President Doug Burton says. Santa Ana: Settlement Adds Student Enrichment Santa Ana Educators Association (SAEA) members put their students and profession at the forefront of the bargaining process. Their ratified agreement adds additional student instructional minutes to the calendar, includes preparation and planning time for teachers, and adds a third week of winter break for students to engage in voluntary enrichment activities and other interventions with teachers. e agreement extends the school year by 1 1/2days; increases compensation 9 percent; and creates flex time for educators to work with colleagues, meet with parents, and complete professional duties during the regular school day. SAEA President Susan Mercer praises the team's efforts in winning the settlement. "We've shown that when district offi- cials and educators put the focus on student success, we can accomplish a great deal for the community of Santa Ana." Glendale: Teachers Secure New Workplace Rights After nearly 15 months of hard bargaining, members of the Glendale Teachers Association (GTA) overwhelmingly ratified an agreement in November that offers new stipends for teach- ers of combination grade classes and teachers in Glendale Unified School District's Foreign Language Academies dual immersion program, and increases salaries by 8 percent over two years. GTA also secured a new right to union representation in any administrator-member meeting related to working condi- tions, and will now have a voice in determining how yard duty is staffed. "I'm incredibly proud of our members," says GTA President Taline Arsenian. "ey were ready to do whatever was neces- sary to achieve a fair settlement. e ratification puts that extra layer of stress that comes with prolonged bargaining behind them so they can focus fully again on the classroom." Campbell: Special Education Class Sizes Reduced After nine months of negotiations, Campbell High School Teachers Association (CHSTA) members have a new one-year contract that reduces special education class sizes and secures badly needed raises in their high-cost Silicon Valley area. At least one-third of all existing teacher collaboration time will now be teacher-driven. "If we've learned anything from this protracted dispute, it is that we are stronger together, and when we collectively raise our voices and speak out, change can happen," says Santiago Gomez, CHSTA president. In the agreement, approved Dec. 10 by the school board, class size targets will be 14 students for certain special educa- tion levels, and 25 students for other levels. If Campbell Union High School District exceeds these targets, teachers will be compensated. Educators will see a 5.5 percent raise for the 2015-16 school year, and an additional 1.5 percent one-time payment. Bargaining Roundup Details of these stories at 43 December 2015 / January 2016 Modesto Teachers Association educators rally on city streets. Credit: John Haley Scott

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