California Educator

June / July 2018

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Bargaining Roundup Details of these stories at By Cynthia Menzel, Mike Myslinski, Ed Sibby and Frank Wells. #OurVoiceAtTheTable ITA members protest outside the Inglewood Education Center. Inglewood: Settlement averts strike An eleventh hour tentative agreement between the Inglewood Teachers Association (ITA) and the Califor- nia Department of Education team in charge of the Inglewood Unified School District has averted a strike by ITA members. The district was taken over by the state six years ago, and despite warnings from ITA officials, incorrect budget projections by the state have placed the troubled district in even more difficult financial straits. ITA members, already among the lowest-compensated educators in Cal- ifornia, were asked to pay for the state administration's mistakes by taking benefits cuts averaging 7 percent. In April, they cast a vote of no confidence in the state administrator and Super- intendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. They later voted overwhelm- ingly to strike if necessary. The agreement, reached through mediation following a state fact-finding hearing, protects member health bene- fits and includes comprehensive safety language. Because the settlement is contingent on additional funding tied to state budget finalization later this summer, ITA will hold off its ratification vote until the fall. "ITA members have stood strong throughout this process," says ITA Pres- ident Aba Ngissah. "With a settlement in place, we can keep our focus on getting this district back on track and making sure all Inglewood students get the education they deserve." Lemon Grove: More staff development time After 13 bargaining ses- sions and an additional meeting with a state mediator, the Lemon Grove Teachers Association (LGTA) signed a three-year tentative agreement with Lemon Grove School District (LGSD) in mid-May. Both parties identified the need for effective staff development time. LGTA agreed to an additional day to be added to the school year, while LGSD agreed to enhance the salary schedule by 0.5 percent to cover the additional work time. The agreement also includes a salary increase that, according to LGTA President Pierre-Lynne Finney, will "ensure Lemon Grove can compete for the next genera- tion of outstanding educators for this community." LGTA President Pierre-Lynne Finney speaks to the media. 43 J U N E / J U L Y 2 018 A

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