West Sonoma County Teachers Association Goes On Strike Wednesday
Following intimidation and scare tactics and a final offer that would send many veteran teachers home with less money WSCTA has officially notified WSCUHSD of their intent to strike on Wednesday, November 13th.
After going a year without a contract, the Fact-Finder agreed with the teachers on the need for a 12% raise over three years, but also suggested a cap to benefits. The teachers’ original ask was for 12%, and they are sticking to it, without a cap to benefits. The district lawyer, Paul Boylan, is being paid well to say the district can’t afford the raise. Those paying attention recognize his name as working with other local districts making the news with negotiation conflicts.
We know that budgets are based on priorities, and it is time for those teaching in expensive Sonoma County to stand together to raise our living and working conditions.
Sonoma West Newspaper Article
WSCTA FB Page
RED FOR ED Wednesday!
SRTA is having Red For Ed solidarity action on Wednesday in support of WSCTA. Please wear Red to school. Take a picture with your colleagues in red and post it to social media. Please tag @WeAreSRTA and #WeAreSRTA as well as #WeAreWSCTA so that we can share that support publicly.
You can print and hold these We Support WSCTA signs if you like. They also look great in your car window. Click for JPG Version, PDF Version
Union Busting Alert in West Sonoma County
Lily Smedshammer, the WSCTA President was served with 2 lawsuits, filed on behalf of WSCUHSD at her home. Lawsuit #1 seeks to break WSCTA solidarity and illegally stop a group of their Special Ed teachers from exercising their protected right to strike. Lawsuit #2 seeks to stop WSCTA from striking NEAR school property. These frivolous lawsuits are a violation of their right to strike and an attempt to weaken their line by dividing their bargaining unit and threatening their ability to assemble on public property. The injunction will be before the court Tuesday morning from 8-10 am.
SRTA Stands with WSCTA
Do something to support this growing movement of teachers standing up for themselves and their students. Attend their fundraiser, or donate online. Stand with them on the picket line. Visit them on the picket line and provide verbal support or sustenance. Email their board members asking for a long overdue fair contract. The impact of the broader community supporting the prioritization of teachers is what makes the difference. Your actions and or voice are needed in this effort. Show up at the board meeting at the El Molino library at 6 pm Wednesday, and/or email their Board member (emails are below.)
Tomorrow, Monday Nov. 11th 2pm at Hopmunk Tavern in Sebastopol
Your $20+ donation gets you a drink, appetizers, and community. The teachers of West Sonoma County need this support to fund strike expenses and provide some relief to members with immediate salary stress. All unused proceeds will be donated to the Ed Foundations at El Molino and Analy High Schools!
WSCTA Fundraiser Facebook Event for the fundraiser
If you can’t make the fundraiser tomorrow but would like to support WSCTA’s strike fund you can donate through GoFundMe.
WSCTA Strike Fund - GoFundMe
Tell the WSCUHSD to come to the table with an offer the teachers can accept
Email the West Sonoma County Union High School District school board members to demand a fair contract now for their teachers. Below are their email addresses:
Santa Rosa City Schools has made extraordinary measures to create equity for our students, but not so with income inequality for our staff. They are considering giving the superintendent a 17.5% increase over two years while teachers and site administrators will receive 7%. This is income inequality, and it is disgraceful. If 7% over two years is good enough for teachers and site administrators, then it should be good enough for the boss.
In 2018-19, SRCS teacher salaries were 8.6% BELOW the state average (and healthcare was 61.5% below the state average!) The superintendent’s salary was AT the state average of $200k.
If this salary increase is ratified, in 2020-21 SRCS teacher salaries are projected to improve to 5.9% BELOW the state average (but not healthcare); the superintendent salary is projected to be 12.9% ABOVE the state average. This, while dozens of our classified staff make less than $15 an hour, and Santa Rosa ranks among the five least affordable cities for teachers to live in the US (link).
A budget is a values statement. Board members and district officials who support this inequitable salary increase should be ready to field tough questions about why they value the superintendent 2.5 times more than teachers and site administrators in future salary negotiations and School Board elections. What will they say if SRTA or CSEA asks for a 17.5% raise over two years, or asks for an immediate jump to 12.9% over the state average? SRTA and our community will be asking and watching.
Source: Sacramento Bee Search average teacher, superintendent pay for California school districts
SRTA encourages our members to speak out. Please email the school board and come to the school board meeting to express your concerns about this disproportionately large raise for the boss. All employees should be brought up to the state average as soon as possible and in a fair, honest, and equitable way raising all boats together.
Please email the board and tell them what you think of the proposal.
School Board -- Santa Rosa City Schools
President Jen Klose:
Vice President Laurie Fong:
Clerk Stephanie Manieri:
Texts welcome per June 12th board meeting
Alegría De La Cruz:
If we stand for respectful treatment of all SRTA members, we must stand united in support of one member who is being treated more than disrespectfully and is being threatened with termination by the district. SRTA contends this is in retaliation for advocating for students by asking difficult questions.
To further support our union sister who is being unfairly prosecuted, we are sharing the Unfair Labor Practice charge prepared by our CTA attorney with our members. At the recent CTA State Council meeting, the unjust treatment of teachers in our district and particularly Kris Bertsch-Rydell was adopted as a statewide cause for action. The CTA monthly magazine, California Educator, is scheduled to run an article about Kris Bertsch-Rydell and the unfair charges against her in their next issue.
When members are bullied or threatened, it has a chilling effect on their ability to speak up for themselves, each other, and their students. The most effective way to combat this is to stand up for each other en masse.
Please find below a link to the Unfair Labor Practice SRTA/CTA has filed on behalf of Kris Bertsch-Rydell, counselor at Santa Rosa High School. This document refutes the claims against Kris, our SRTA High School Level Rep. This transparency should help even the most skeptical observer join their voice in the chorus to end this persecution and demand respectful treatment of all staff.
SRTA Unfair Labor Practice Charge Filed On Behalf of SRTA Member Kris Bertsch-Rydell - February 2019
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