California Educator

August / September 2017

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Page 57 of 75

Bargaining Roundup Details of these stories at Hemet Contract Puts Students First The Hemet Teachers Association (HTA) made retention of their local edu- cators and student learning a priority in their latest contract settlement. After several state mediation sessions with Hemet Unified School District, assis- tance from CTA's Negotiations and Organizational Development Department, and member action at board meetings about noncompetitive pay and recruit- ment, HTA secured a two-year contract starting July 1 with a 3 percent wage increase that will help keep teachers in service in the Hemet community. " This outcome belongs to every educator who came to our organizing activ- ities and refused to be devalued by a substandard offer," says HTA President William Valenzuela. "When we organize, great things happen." Hemet Superintendent Christi Barrett says of collaboration with HTA: " We are thankful that the relationship between the district and HTA remained strong throughout the negotiations process. This resolution will allow us to remain focused on the most important work of the district, our students' success." San Bruno Educators Battle Turnover With their salaries ranking at the bottom among San Mateo County school districts in a high-cost region, San Bruno Education Association members hope modest gains in a contract settlement ratified in June will help keep quality teachers in the classroom and improve student learning. Turnover is high: About 50 educators have left the 2,700-student San Bruno Park School District over the past two years. After one year of difficult nego- tiations, the new pact gives teachers a 2.2 percent one-time bonus for last school year and a 1.5 percent raise for the 2017-18 school year. Administrators are enjoying an ongoing 3 percent raise. One administrator who was pro- moted got a 39 percent increase at the June 28 school board meeting, where new SBEA President Karen Byrne criticized the raise. "If the district's true goal is to attract, develop and retain highly qualified teachers, how can the school board justify such a raise for yet another administrator?" Byrne asked. "When teachers are priced out and leave due to low pay, our students and community suffer." Calaveras: Reduce Class Size The Calaveras Unified Educators Association (CUEA) has yet to reach a settlement with Calaveras Unified School District for the 2016-17 succes- sor contract. In a fact-finding report released in June, the state-appointed auditor validated teachers' requests for lower class sizes and an increase in salary, but the district disputed the findings. While its reserves are growing and it did not claim an inability to pay, the district proposed to maintain the status quo in the contract. Teachers are willing to compromise, but absent a settlement, they may legally strike. CUEA members say the district refused to deal with class size in tran- sitional kindergarten to third-grade classes as required by state law, despite CUEA's repeated attempts to address the issue, even though the district has been accepting K-3 Grade Span Adjustment monies provided by the state to reduce class size. Both class size reduction and a pay raise are to help attract and retain teachers in the district, CUEA President Lorraine Angel says. "We don't want to strike, but we will for our kids," says Angel. "We want to settle this. Calaveras USD teachers are standing up for our students. Teachers are leaving our district, and that hurts our kids." Hemet educators and community members pack a school district board meeting. 56 Advocacy B A R G A I N I N G

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