California Educator

January / February 2017

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Page 43 of 59

Bargaining Roundup Details of these stories at Parent Involvement Key to S tock ton Agreement After 18 months of often conten- tious negotiations, the Stockton Teachers Association (STA) and the Stockton Unified School District (SUSD) reached a ten- tative agreement in December. The school board ratified the agreement Jan. 10. On Jan. 19, STA membership voted by 90 percent to ratify the agreement. " This agreement is a good first step in addressing our concerns regarding the district's inability to attract and retain qualified teachers for our students," says STA President Erich Myers. The agreement resolves the 2015-16 impasse with a three-year con- tract that includes no cap on health benefits — a major concern for teachers — and three paid days for professional development and class preparation. It provides a 4 percent compensation increase the first year, 3 percent the second year, and 2.5 the third year, with the opportunity to reopen talks in the final year. The contract also addresses assignment and transfer, sick leave and teacher safety. Myers expresses gratitude to the Stockton parents and community. "We realize how much this community values and supports teachers. That means the world to us and strengthens our resolve to continue to work collaboratively with parents and community members to make Stockton an even better school district." Stockton Teachers Association members voted to ratify the tentative agreement. Nor walk-L a Mirada Educator s Rally The Teachers Association of the Norwalk-La Mirada Area (TANLA), frustrated that little prog- ress has been made in contract negotiations with Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District (NLMUSD), held a rally in December before a school board meeting to urge the district toward a contract settlement. Teachers are upset that while their con- tract talks stall, the NLMUSD superintendent continues to gain additional salar y increases far exceeding those of educators and sup- por t personnel. "Our members are frustrated with stalled negotiations that prevent our community from attracting the next generation of educators to our local schools," explains TANLA President Clay Walker. "Meanwhile, NLMUSD has given the superintendent a guaranteed 3 percent increase over that which the employees nego- tiate for each of the next four years. This sets a negative precedent whereby educators are being devalued in comparison to administra- tors who have no contact with the children of our community." Perris Goes to Fac t-Finding Mediation has failed to bring about a negotiated settlement between the Perris Elementary Teachers Association (PETA) and Perris Ele- mentary School District (PESD). Outstanding issues include classroom preparation time for teachers, compensation, health and welfare ben- efits, and length of work year. The next step is for the parties to bring infor- mation to a fact-finding panel. Once the panel issues its report, if PESD imposes its "last, best and final" contract offer, PETA can respond through job actions including general strike by the membership. PETA leadership is hopeful a settlement will be reached that will avert further division and enable PESD to recruit the next generation of teachers for the Perris community. Alum Rock teachers' candlelight rally in January. Photo: Mike Myslinski 42 advocacy

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