California Educator

April 2017

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Page 32 of 57

FRESNO EDUCATORS HOLD COMMUNITY SUMMIT More than 1,000 people attended the first-ever Fresno Education Summit on March 28 and shared their opinions with Fresno Teachers Association (FTA) leaders and school board members about what they want in a superintendent (to have significant classroom experience), retaining teachers, and creating the best learning environment. The event was recorded live at A panel of Fresno Unified School District board members and FTA President Tish Rice fielded questions from parents, teachers and community members in a public town hall meeting. " Tonight's discussion is about how to set up our edu- cators and students for success," Rice said. She invited school board members to attend another smaller meet- ing with community members on April 25. FTA and the district are still at the bargaining table. While FTA helped oust former superintendent Michael Hanson, some of his proposals are still on the table. FTA does not agree with, for example, a proposed 5 percent raise that is contingent upon evaluations and educators putting in more time. Teachers have been working without a contract since June 30, 2016. BARGAINING ROUNDUP Details of these stories at TEHACHAPI FIGHTS UNFAIR WORKDAY DEMAND The Tehachapi Association of Teachers (TAT ) continues to put pressure on the Tehachapi Uni- fied School District to settle a fair contract and avoid a strike. In late February, TAT members rejected a tentative agreement that would have extended the elementary school day by 40 minutes (the equivalent of 18 additional work- days) with no commensurate salary increase. Tehachapi salaries already lag significantly behind those of neighboring and comparable districts. TAT Co-Presidents Joan Cooper and Tracey Cunningham praise the union's solidarity and the support the secondary teachers have shown for their colleagues. "Our members are standing strong against this ridiculous and unfair one-size-fits-all approach to our professional day," says Cooper. " Tehachapi is already at the bottom in salary comparisons to similar districts, and now the district wants to impose a ludicrous increase to the work year with no benefit to students and no compensation increase to make up for it. TAT members are demanding respect and to be treated as professionals, and they are rejecting an approach to preparation with no educational basis." A fact-finding hearing, the final step before a possible strike, is scheduled for April 17. SACRAMENTO CITY TEACHERS AT IMPASSE After Sacramento City Unified rejected teacher proposals to lower class size, provide more arts and music, and provide student support in the form of nurses, psycholo- gists and social workers, the Sacramento City Teachers Association (SCTA) declared impasse and headed to medi- ation April 9. More than 1,000 educators rallied at the March 17 school board meeting to urge the board to effectively put its money where its mouth is. Photos: Simone Cranston Photo: Arleigh Dean Kidd Photo: Courtesy SCTA 31 April 2017

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