SRTA News and Updates
Be Informed, Be Engaged, Be Active.
On Tuesday and Wednesday September 5th and 6th SRTA and SRCS made their presentations to the three person Fact Finding panel. One of the three panel members was appointed by SRTA, one by SRCS, and the third was mutually agreed upon. If SRTA and SRCS are not able to come to an agreement that can be presented to SRTA membership then the Fact Finding panel will write a non-binding report that can be expected in approximately six weeks.
SRTA's presentation was made by the SRTA Negotiating Team led by SRTA Chief Negotiator Kathryn Howell and supported by SRTA President Will Lyon, SRTA Vice-president Tawni Johnson, and Mark Mitchell from the California Teachers Association (CTA), as well as the Negotiation Team: Dan Swedenborg, Danita Haynes, Ginger Matich, Maddie Doyle, and George Peterson.
SRTA began its presentation with an opening statement by our Chief Negotiator Kathryn Howell (see below).
SRCS's presentation was made by a lawyer representing the district office. At least one other lawyer represented the district along with District staff. One legal firm was hired at a rate of $230/hr. (source, Board Agenda 6/28/17, item E-5, in the attached contracts list item 3,4 business services.) This has cost the school district an undisclosed amount over the course of negotiations. Tuesday alone this cost the district $3,910 for ONE of their attorneys ($230/hr for 17 hours of negotiations).
On Tuesday, in support our negotiating team more than 70 SRTA teachers and community members picketed in front of Santa Rosa High School to raise awareness in the community. At approximately 4pm the demonstrators marched to the District Office to make our voices heard and to support our negotiating team.
See photos and videos below the statement.
SRTA Opening Statement to the Panel
SRTA Members Working Hard for a Better Contract
Post updated 9/8/17 (see below).
On September 5th and 6th SRTA and SRCS met for more than 25 hours (17 hours Tuesday, 8 hours Wednesday) to make their presentations to the Fact Finding panel and negotiating to come to a tentative agreement.
There will be a negotiations update forum Tuesday, September 12th at 4pm at Piner High School Auditorium to answer any questions about the tentative agreement.
SRTA understands that this agreement is not what we deserve, but it the best the district can do at this time. SRTA will continue our diligence in compelling the district to become a destination spot for teachers, instead of a last resort. We need to create an environment for bargaining that makes taking care of us central to taking care of our students. The Executive Board and Negotiating Team members will be visiting sites soon.
The joint statement and tentative agreement are posted below.
UPDATES TO POST
New attached documents below: The special ed documents attached below are the starting points for negotiations about special ed caseloads and class sizes.
The following is from an email sent to members on the morning of 9/8/17. Minor edits made to fix an error in the original email.
Tentative Agreement Backstory
SRTA and SRCS signed a Tentative Agreement on Sept. 6, 2017 to settle negotiations for the 2016-2017 school year. The TA needs to be ratified by the SRTA members, SCOE, and the SRCS Board before it goes into effect.
The lead fact finder made it clear that her report would not show any more money available than what the district had put on the table in their first proposal. The district is suffering from poor fiscal choices and mistakes made by the former CBO, mistakes made by the former CFO, and the district’s inability to know where their money was going and how much they had. The district needs to be able to prove to SCOE that they will remain solvent for the next three years. They are in deficit spending, and teetering on the brink of disaster due to these poor fiscal choices.
The parameters of fact finding were very narrow. We were able to move the district on language in all areas that were originally “sun shined”.
Designated Hourly Teachers
The Designated Hourly teachers are SRTA members, but historically they have been treated horrifically. The TA moves these members onto the same salary schedule as the rest of us and folds them into our unit with the same rights as the rest of us. This includes their medical benefits.
Special Education Class Size and Case Load
The TA creates an agreement with the district to create a committee to implement the best practices in creating manageable class sizes for Special Education. Our proposal will be used at the starting point for the committee.
Adjunct Duty and Staff Meetings
The TA puts the existing MOU back in place, but we reserve the right to negotiate the terms.
This is a turning point in the district’s attitude with regard to negotiations around compensation.The dollars for compensation were set up in such a way to prevent a negative status with SCOE and could not be changed or wiggled around. The district is obligated to prove to SCOE that they are financial stable three years out.
Summary of Numbers:
Couple Healthcare Benefits when both work in our district
Not included in the document, but agreed to during negotiations, is that these couples will be fairly compensated. These couples had to choose to be on one plan, and only get one $2500 benefit, or be on separate plans to both get the $2500 benefit. We had scheduled arbitration in our fight to correct this practice. Now, they will receive back-payment for the $2500 that was kept from them, and they each will receive the full benefit compensation moving forward.
Many thanks and gratitude to everyone who participated in Blue and Gold days, packed the board meetings, spoke up for your friends and colleagues, leafleted and picketed to raise community awareness and show the district that we fully supported our bargaining team.
YOU are the reason we were able to reach this deal.
End of Update
Joint Statement by SRTA and SRCS
Tentative Agreement Between SRTA and SRCS
Special Ed Documents
14.6 Special Education Caseload
School Psychologist Coordinator
16.6.3 Lead School Psychologist Coordinator/Lead Nurse Coordinator
14.6.5 Caseload/Class Size
Caseload/Class Size Proposal
SRTA Welcomes the SRCS School Board to Their Special Board Meeting at the Hilton Sonoma Wine Country - August 30, 2017
On Wednesday, August 30th the Santa Rosa City Schools School Board held a closed session board meeting at the Hilton Sonoma Wine Country. Only two items were on the agenda, the performance evaluation of SRCS Superintendent Diann Kitamura and a conference with SRCS's Labor Negotiator.
Thirty-eight SRTA members welcomed the board members to their meeting with signs and flyers to bring awareness of the current labor difficulties between SRTA and SRCS to the local community.
During the public comments preceding the closed session twelve SRTA members shared stories of the hardships they and their colleagues face due to the woefully insufficient health care coverage currently offered by SRCS.
Please listen to their stories and share them with your friends, families, and colleagues.
Photos © SRTA Member Genevieve Lilligren - Used with permission.
SRTA's Informational Flyer
This post will be updated as new articles become available.
Santa Rosa Press Democrat
KSRO News Talk Radio
Need a new SRTA shirt?
Then this update is for you! SRTA is running a tshirt drive now through September 17th.
Shirts are available in both Blue and Gold and in several styles. SRTA makes a few dollars off of each shirt purchased. All funds received will be added to the Member Support Fund.
The tshirt drive ends on Sunday, September 17th.
Click Read More ---> to see other styles.
On August 23rd, 2017, SRTA members and concerned community members packed the School Board meeting for Santa Rosa City Schools.
Heaps of praise on our ten SRCS teachers (named below) who addressed the board during open comments on the topic of our attract and retain crisis. They shared personal stories of colleagues who departed SRCS for other districts because of the untenable health care situation currently impacting our district.
Then President Will Lyon delivered SRTA's presentation to the board urging them to shift the District's priorities to address the attract and retain crisis that is hurting our students. He shared the facts of the impossible choice facing young educators in our district: stay or depart for other districts in Sonoma County that provide larger medical contributions. Every other district in our county provides at least three times as much medical benefits as SRCS, and in one case more than eight times as much health care benefits as SRCS. Over the span of a career, this can be the difference of nearly half a million dollars. This is a serious contributor to our attract and retain problem.
Please take the time to watch and listen to our members' stories.
Speaker Start Times
Photos © SRTA Member Genevieve Lilligren - Used with permission.
SRTA's Presentation to the Board
There was a math error on slide 11 as presented to the board. It has been corrected in this version of the presentation and is noted on the slide.
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