California Educator

February / March 2018

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Bargaining Roundup Details of these stories at By Cynthia Menzel, Mike Myslinski, Ed Sibby and Frank Wells. #OurVoiceAtTheTable Solana Beach: Unions Keep On Fighting The Solana Beach Teachers Association (SBTA) and the Solana Beach Association of Support Professionals (SBASP) have worked together for months to reach a settlement with Solana Beach School District (SBSD), San Diego County. SBSD has been an unwilling partner throughout, while continuing a policy of hoarding reserves that are 16 times the state's require- ment for economic uncertainties, and deprioritizing teachers, students and classrooms. "We will continue to fight, because every dollar over the state requirement is a decision not to spend that dollar on a Solana Beach student," says SBTA President Cyndy McBride. Fresno: Member Involvement Is Key A T E N T A T I V E A G R E E M E N T between the Fresno Teachers Association and Fresno Unified School District prevented a strike in the fourth-largest school district in the state. FTA President Tish Rice credits an unprecedented level of teacher involvement as key in reaching an agreement. More than 2,700 members showed up to take a strike authorization vote in October. "Without their collective action and willingness to strike to improve student learning conditions and working conditions, we wouldn't be where we are," says Rice. The union made gains in class size, salary and health care. The agreement also includes a joint committee on discipline and special education issues, plus plans to explore revenue options. The agreement came after an all-night bargaining session Jan. 17 and includes an 8.5 percent salary increase over three years; changes to health care, with the district paying $18,000 per employee each year; and districtwide reductions to classroom sizes, meaning teachers will have no more than 29 students at a time — and even fewer for younger grades. The agreement was ratified by both parties in early February. FTA members at their ratification meeting. Oceanside: Agreement Reached On Jan. 30, after nearly 600 days without a contract, the Ocean- side Teachers Association (OTA) reached a tentative agreement with Oceanside Unified School District, San Diego County. The California teacher shortage and how it affects students was an important focus of organizing. In times of shortage, OTA argued, the district should keep salaries compet- itive to recruit and retain the best. Parental and community support was also critical. OTA President Jennifer Skellett praises the efforts of members and parents who came to events and rallies in ever-increasing numbers through the fall and into winter. "We knew standing with parents would be the key to a settle- ment. When those parents began to passionately defend us, it gave our teachers added strength to keep the fight going." Major elements of the settlement include a 3 percent salary increase and setting up a health care retiree account for veteran teachers who may opt for early retirement. At press time, OTA expected a solid ratification vote within a few days. 40 Advocacy

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