South Bay Teachers Contract Dispute Escalates
KRIS SANCHEZ 11/26/2012 2:14 PM
In the South Bay, shoppers near Eastridge Mall will see a stream of protesters making their way to the Evergreen School District headquarters on Quimby Road on Monday afternoon.
School district leaders declared an impasse in negotiations with the Evergreen Teachers Union. And union leaders accuse the district of declaring an impasse too soon in contract negotiations.
In a statement, Evergreen Teachers Association president Brian Wheatley said, “We believe in working together with district officials to solve real economic problems based on actual numbers rather than hypothetical issues in the future predicated on dire budget projections.”
Already, the contract dispute is affecting students. Many teachers have stopped coaching sports and sponsoring after school programs because of the stall in negotiations.
In an email to NBC Bay Area, one administrator responded: “Should current coaches opt out of coaching, we are beginning to look at other options and remain hopeful we will be able to continue to provide an after school sports program.”
Many of those teachers are now considering whether to walk out of the classroom.
November 21, 2012
We Did It! Sweet Election Victories for our Students,
Schools and Profession!
There are no sweeter words than “We did it!” The November 6 Election was a tremendous victory for our students, for public schools and colleges, and for all working families as voters approved Proposition 30 and rejected Proposition 32. Your hard work in your schools and in your communities achieved these monumental victories. We organized and used our collective voice to make a difference for the future of California. You made phone calls – lots of phone calls. You rang door bells, carried signs, and attended rallies. You talked to your friends and family and got them all out to vote. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
The approval of Prop. 30 demonstrated voters’ willingness to invest in public education. They want to see funding restored to our schools and colleges. Prop. 30 stops an additional $6 billion budget cut. They want to stop the tuition hikes and class size increases. They want to see that students have music, arts, libraries, and access to counselors and nurses. They want to see that our schools flourish and our students succeed. They know the way to a stronger economy is through investing in education.
The passage of Prop. 30 was also a vote for tax fairness and ensuring that everyone is paying their fair share to build a better California. Prop. 30 was built on the principles laid out by State Council and CTA’s Public Education Funding Workgroup nearly two years ago. I am so proud that CTA’s actions helped set the agenda for this campaign, including early discussions with the governor and other community groups, as well as collecting the signatures needed to put the initiative on the ballot. We took the opportunity to be proactive in this election, and our students were the winners.
For the third time in less than 15 years and by the largest margin ever, California’s voters saw the truth and rejected a ballot scam funded by wealthy corporate interests that aimed to silence the voice of working men and women and their unions. Prop. 32 was a sham designed to give billionaires the power to write their own rules, while the middle class paid the price. This was an important coalition victory as we worked with other unions and community groups across that state, but I’m also proud that CTA members and staff were at the forefront of these efforts and strategy throughout the campaign.
This hard-fought victory for democracy exposed the real agenda of the corporate special interests behind Prop. 32. Those millionaires and billionaires never cared about the checks and balances of our democracy, only the checks they could write to buy even more political influence in Sacramento and Washington. Our voice is stronger from this victory, and we will continue to speak out for our students, our public schools, our colleges and our profession.
Local, State and Federal Victories
It was also a good election for local school board members, state legislators and members of Congress who support public education and working families. More than 200 CTA-recommended candidates won on November 6, including a few classroom teachers who were elected to Congress. CTA also provided funding to pass 25 out of 28 local school parcel taxes and bond measures.
Kids Not Cuts
Now that we’ve succeeded in getting more money to our schools in California, the federal government is looking at massive budget cuts to education. Please join me in taking the Kids Not Cuts pledge and speak up for America’s students by urging Congress to make the right choices to support public education and working families. It’s time to stop giving tax breaks to the wealthiest two percent while our students pay the price. If Congress doesn’t take the right action, about $5 billion in across-the-board cuts to education will take effect on January 2. That means more overcrowded classrooms and a potential loss of 80,000 jobs. Watch and share this video. Sign the pledge. And tell your members of Congress to stop the sequester cuts to our students and schools.
Most Chapters and Districts Reject Race to the Top-D
In the midst of the election, California school districts and local chapters were deciding whether to apply for the third round of federal Race to the Top competitive grants. Known as RTTT-D, this round focuses on money going directly to local districts and schools rather than states. Seeing the program for what it is – a one-time grant that comes with a bunch of federal mandates and strings attached – most California chapters and school districts decided not to apply. Analysis showed it could cost districts more money to implement the requirements of RTTT-D than they would get from the federal government. I want to commend local chapter leaders for seriously evaluating this proposal before making any decisions. In the end, about 20 California school districts applied for funding, including five districts that applied without the agreement of the local union, which certainly speaks volumes to their intent of working with educators. Grant winners are expected to be announced next month.
It’s been an incredible year, and I am thankful to my CTA family for their support and courage to take a stand for our students and our union. I wish you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving and holiday season. I encourage you to take time to be with and enjoy your family and friends as we get ready to lead and set the education agenda in California in 2013.
The preeminent voice for educators in California's public schools and colleges, CTA is also a powerful and passionate advocate for students and public education.
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California Teachers Association
Dear Redwood Members,
Our victories in passing Prop. 30 and defeating Prop. 32 were huge. It was a great victory for public education, unions, regular people versus billionaires, and reason over insanity. Redwood Service Center would like to thank everyone for all your efforts made on behalf of this election. Whether you are CTA staff, Release Timers, State Council Representatives, or a local chapter leader, your contribution was significant and important.
We are CTA. Our talking to colleagues, neighbors, family, or people in line at the grocery store, our phone calls and precinct walking, our rallies and letters to the editors, and our various other activities all led CTA to victory.
For that, we thank you for all you did.
With Much Appreciation,
Larry Allen, CTA Board of Directors, and
John Haschak, Redwood Service Center Council Chair
Planning for Long-Term Care
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care, over 70% of us who live to retirement age will need long-term care at some time in our lives. Are you prepared? If you live past 65, there is a good chance you'll need some long-term care services.
CTA Disaster Relief Fund
Are you aware that the CTA Disaster Relief Fund provides financial assistance to CTA members who have experienced significant losses due to disasters in California?
Read More about this special fund for CTA members!
Vocational Specialist Helps Get CTA Members Back to Work after Disabilities
Don Earwood has been a vocational case manager with The Standard for more than 25 years. In his role, Don helps get CTA members back to work after a disability, and he facilitates any adjustments that he determines need to be made to their workspaces.
"I work with our claim analysts and examiners to see if we can help members who want to return to work," Don explained. "If someone has the desire and capacity to return to work on even a part-time basis, there may be some accommodations that we could help with so the person can then evolve into working on a full-time basis."
Read More about Don's work!
Don't Miss This Special Enrollment Opportunity
If you're a newly hired CTA member this year, you may be eligible for a special, limited-time opportunity to apply for CTA-endorsed Disability and Life Insurance from Standard Insurance Company (The Standard).
If you apply within your first 120 days of starting your new job, eligible CTA members can get up to $200,000 of Life Insurance coverage without answering any health questions.
You can also apply for Disability Insurance, which can help with the everyday bills like your mortgage and utilities, that continue even when you can't work -- expenses that health insurance won't cover. The CTA-endorsed Disability Insurance plan was specially designed to address the gaps in coverage that many California educators face.
Read More about this unique opportunity!
As scary as it sounds, the end of the year is approaching and we are routinely asked questions about planning for the upcoming years Flexilbe Spending Accounts (FSAs). For those of you that have an FSA, you understand the benefits of paying for your orthodontic care with pre-tax dollars. You may have already heard from your employer that these benefits will be changing for 2013. Beginning Jan 1, 2013, employee salary reduction contributions to health FSAs will be limited to $2500 per plan year.
This is the perfect time to call to evaluate your future orthodontic needs or if you need to restructure your present payment plan to take advantage of the current tax laws (i.e. using all your 2012 FSA benefits now to reduce your current contract).
CTA Campaign Update for Leaders
Thank you, thank you, thank you. Because of all of you and your work in your chapters, we have achieved a monumental victory. Because of your outreach, California voters demonstrated their willingness to invest in our public schools and colleges, and also rejected a deceptive ballot measure aimed at silencing educators, other workers and their unions.
You know how hard you worked. You made phone calls, you rang doorbells, you talked to your friends and relatives. You made speeches to community groups and remarks at press conferences. You carried signs and attended rallies. You wore buttons and attached window clings to your car. You posted on Facebook and tweeted. You signed cards that you were committed to voting Yes on 30 and No on 32. You showed up at the polls, and you got your friends there, too.
You were awesome!
Dean E. Vogel
The moment we’ve all been waiting for is almost here: Election Day! Only five more days until Californians go to the polls to cast their ballots. For us, that means five more days to Get Out the Vote for Prop. 30 and against Prop. 32. We can win, but we must mobilize all of our supporters. Please make time over the next few days to volunteer at a phone bank near you. Our message is working, but we have to make sure our members, our allies and the public hear it and vote. That’s the only way to ensure victory.
Dean E. Vogel
Here’s what you can do this week: Participate in one of our CTA phone banks around the state. We need callers! Phone banks will be open this weekend as well as on Monday and Tuesday for our GOTV effort. To find the phone bank closest to you, just check out our GOTV location map. Get into the spirit. Bring your family, bring your friends. Getting out the vote is the most important activity we can do right now.
Don't Miss: CTA’s new TV ad features Reagan Duncan, an elementary teacher and Vista Teachers Association member, who once again reminds the public that teachers support Prop. 30. And check out this behind-the-scenes interview with Reagan.
Things to Know: Santa Barbara City College President Lori Gaskin and Bill Cirone, the county superintendent of schools, talk about the need to pass Prop. 30 in an eloquently written article in Noozhawk. I was particularly struck by their message on voting. They write:
“The beauty of our democratic system of government is that the future health and well-being of our communities, including our strong track record of quality education, truly lies in the hands of voters at the ballot box. Please exercise your right and responsibility to vote."