California Educator

March 2013

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Y A O V A Bargaining Updates Across the state CTA members are fighting for improved teaching conditions and professional compensation. Here are just a few examples... Nevada County Sonoma County Rally moves Alameda settlement A huge East Bay community rally supporting Alameda teachers' battle apparently helped convince the district to settle after 10 months of negotiations. Supporters included Castro Valley and Fremont teachers, Alameda firefighters, California School Employees Association members, the Teamsters union and United Food and Commercial Workers. Hacienda-La Puente settles Hacienda-La Puente Teachers Association's new contract calls for a 1 percent salary increase effective Feb. 1, a $1,000 ongoing increase in the district's contribution to health benefit costs, and a one-time $450 total contribution toward health benefits for the rest of this school year. Millbrae's fight to keep quality teachers in the classroom No improvements to salary or benefit levels for six years prompted the 110-member Millbrae Education Association (MEA) to file for impasse on Feb. 8. Educators are seeking fully paid health and dental benefits for single employees and a 3 percent raise. The district is only offering a 2 percent raise and wants to restrict a post-retirement benefit that helps defray some health coverage costs. Teacher retention is a concern, says Trish Althaus, MEA's bargaining chair. "There will be no incentive to stay here." Teachers took 4 percent pay cuts each of the last two school years. MEA members voted down a tentative agreement reached last summer, and contract talks continued. Nevada County retirement options Nevada Joint Union High School Teachers Association members in Grass Valley, Nevada County, have a teacher retirement one-time incentive for this school year with two options: Educators can accept $40,000 toward health benefits for five to seven years, or two years of retirement service credit with CalSTRS. Ocean View feels impact of "revolving door" superintendents Five different superintendents — one lasting only four days — have whirled through the Huntington Beach district like a "revolving door" in the last eight months, creating uncertainty and instability. Now contract talks are bogged down over cutting four school days and the district's refusal to pick up minimal health insurance costs amounting to less than what was paid last year. "If fiscal necessity really impels cutting additional student instruction days, then how can the district justify recent unnecessary expenses, including the employment of a superfluous director of communications at a salary equivalent to the cost of one furlough day?" asks OVTA President Marcy Drum. Alameda Millbrae Visalia HaciendaLa Puente Ocean View San Ysidro Sonoma County adds one student day The St. Helena Teachers Association in Sonoma County added an extra student instruction day in a Feb. 4 agreement. Teachers will get a 2.34 percent raise and an additional pay step at the top end of the salary schedule. Standing up for due process rights "We simply could not open the door to letting the district weaken the rights of our members to have fair, impartial hearings when disciplinary action is taken against them," says San Ysidro Education Association President Carol Wallace, "and now, our persistence has paid off with new language that makes those protections stronger." Due process language, plus class size and instruction days, led to an impasse last October. SYEA organizing efforts impelled the district back to the table, where an all-day session resulted in the tentative agreement members ratified. The new contract includes language establishing just cause for discipline and strengthens grievance language, modest class size increases in grades K-3 and five furlough or "no pay" days. Visalia members win back "no pay" days "We are restoring our school year back to 185 days," says Karl Kildow, Visalia Unified Teachers Association president. Teachers get back three "no pay" days and get two lump payments to reflect 1.65 percent in salary restorations. MORE INFORMATION For the rest of the story, see March 2013 21 <

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