California Educator

November / December 2016

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Page 46 of 59

Durham School Board Refuses to Sign Agreement After a tentative agreement was reached between the Durham Unified Teachers Association (DUTA) and Durham Unified School District (DUSD), Butte County, administrators now say school board members may renege by not ratifying it. The agreement was ratified by the teachers Oct. 21. On Nov. 16, the board elected to table the item until the district and union can reach an agreement or allow the process to go to fact-finding. " This agreement was reached in good faith in accordance with the Educational Employment Relations Act, the law that governs collective bargaining for K-12 public education in Cali- fornia," says DUTA President Davis Van Arsdale. Under the law, DUTA is obligated to negotiate in good faith, and the district superintendent and business manager must support the tenta- tive agreement they signed for ratification by the school board. The three-year agreement sees a total salary increase of 12.5 percent, covering years 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18. "We are still hopeful the school board will ratify the agree- ment reached by its administrators and its teachers, and see this as a first step toward mending relationships, building trust and providing the quality education our students deserve," Van Arsdale says. See a video of DUTA members describing how they feel about the situation at Dos Palos-Oro Loma Educators Get Respect After months of negotiations and an impasse that threatened a strike, the Dos Palos Oro Loma Teachers Association (DPOLTA) and Dos Palos Oro Loma Joint Unified School District reached a tentative agreement in October. The agreement calls for a 9.2 percent increase over two years. This includes an additional $1,000 for medical benefits, a fully retroactive 7 percent raise over two years, $3,000 per year added to teacher salaries after the 28th year of service, and an additional $3,000 per year after the 30th year with the district , located in the San Joaquin Valley. "Our focus has been on getting a fair settlement that attracts and retains quality teachers by raising a salary schedule that provides competitive compensation based on funding the district is receiving and on the needs of our stu- dents," says Marty Thompson, DPOLTA president. Thompson expressed deep gratitude to the Dos Palos- Oro Loma parents and community. " We saw how much this community values and supports its teachers. That means the world to us and strengthens our resolve to make Dos Palos Oro Loma an even better school district as we move forward." Yuba City School Board Members Ousted In November, the Yuba City Teachers Association played a key role in electing three new members to the Yuba City Unified school board, Sutter County. The ousted board members were among those who had forced the teachers strike in September. Parents are starting a recall vote for the remaining board members who refused to negotiate a fair contract with YCTA. YCTA members say they support the recall efforts, noting the board is hiking administrator salaries without demanding extra work time — something they tried requiring of teachers. "Achieving a fair contract and now electing these school board members was a team effort," says YCTA President Dina Luetgens. "We are one, and we will get this one." By Cynthia Menzel, Mike Myslinski and Ed Sibby. #OurVoiceAtTheTable Transparency in Fresno Some 450 Fresno Teachers Association (FTA) members representing 82 schools turned out in early November to bargain transparently with Fresno Unified School District. FTA offered the district two scenarios: to bargain in front of all FTA members, or to bar- gain with an FTA team limited to 12 but with closed-circuit TV so that other members could see and hear the process. The district declined both options, and held to its pro- posal of a 2 percent raise, with all future increases tied to evaluations. 45 November / December 2016 Educators from Burroughs Elementary School in Fresno show their support of FTA's key issues such as class size reduction and full-time social and emotional supports.

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