California Educator

September 2016

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Page 41 of 57

Bargaining Roundup Yuba City Teachers Strike Members of the Yuba City Teachers Association (YCTA) went on strike Sept. 8 after enduring months of disre- spect during contract negotiations with the Yuba City Unified School District (YCUSD) in Sutter County. Get updates at The California Public Employment Relations Board issued a legal complaint against YCUSD in late August alleging that the district violated state law when it adopted a series of board resolutions during the summer that threatened to discipline employees who exercise their legally protected right to strike. "These resolutions are the latest example of the district's disregard and disrespect for the hardworking teachers who devote themselves to educating our com- munity's children," says YCTA President Dina Luetgens. "Teachers always have been and still are ready and will- ing to negotiate. It's time for the Yuba City school board to stop browbeating teachers, to stop disrespecting students and parents, and to stop engaging in deception and intimidation around negotiations." The contract dispute stems from the district's refusal of the teachers' proposal for competitive salaries that will attract and retain qualified, quality teachers. YCTA points out that the district pays teachers 13 percent below the state average, while it pays administrators well above the state average. Though it is financially healthy, the district started this school year with 40 unfilled teaching positions. "Teacher turnover — to say nothing of unfilled vacancies — hurts students," says Luetgens. "The district is perfectly able to afford salaries that attract and retain quality teachers — it just doesn't want to. I find it astounding that the district's priorities are so skewed. There is no more important expenditure than investing in a qualified, stable team of teachers to educate our students." Details of these stories at 38 advocacy What one YCTA educator wrote on the class whiteboard the day before the strike.

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