August 6th COVID-19 Safety MOU

Dear NTA Members,

Please review the attached Safety MOU and let your NTA representative know if you have any questions or concerns. We want everyone to have a safe and smooth start to the 2021-22 school year. Thank you for all that you do for our students on a daily basis!

In Solidarity,

NTA Executive Board

https://na1.documents.adobe.com/public/viewAgreement?tsid=CBFCIBAA3AAABLblqZhA5otN4z_D6ZVSDcAG_tRA4GqnV96CiVZm123MUBz8yN7O-cnEE1ErUyNBNTXg585mEnBgUo2gvt7Z5-6wv80lh&

April 2, 2021 NTA Update

Earlier today, NTA filed an unfair practice charge with the California Public Employment Relations Board challenging the District’s unilateral decision to resume five day a week in-person instruction after spring break. With this charge, NTA is taking concrete steps to object to the District’s repudiation of our negotiated agreements and its refusal to bargain over matters of critical concern to NTA and its members. Rest assured that the Union will vigorously pursue these claims. We will keep you updated about all major developments here.

March 31, 2021 Update

Status Report

In a clear repudiation of our Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), the district has unilaterally (without TEACHER AGREEMENT or input) decided to move forward with a plan to  eliminate cohorts for TK-12 and increase concurrent elementary instructional time. In addition, there appear to be decisions being made that will undermine the health and safety protections in our MOU.

The district has disingenuously claimed that it wanted to “meet and confer” to get NTA’s opinions and get information to make a decision on a “possible larger reopening” but we all know that claim is false. The district made and announced a final decision in total disregard of its contractual obligations and without seeking any input from NTA.

Also, the district is adding synchronous screen time for the Elementary students while eliminating negotiated prep time for their teachers. Nearly 2 hours a day of synchronous “zoom” instruction is being added to the day for the youngest children in our district.  The concern here is that some of the youngest students are already having a hard time with their current zoom hours. Without the input from teachers, the district is making a blanket decision mandating a change that is more about quantity than quality education. 

The District has repeatedly and intentionally disregarded mutual agreements with our association, starting with the imposed calendar move in August. This current disregard of our collaborative Transitional model severely undermines our role in the bargaining process and mutes our voices as instructional experts. 

The District is attempting to remove parity and equity from the bargaining process once again.

We remain, as ever, committed to providing quality, equitable, and safe education to all of our students. We are considering all legal options to remedy this unilateral decision and ensure that we are included in future labor and educational decisions at the appropriate time in the process.

We are continuing to take responses to our survey. Please remember, this is a survey of three types of actions (not a vote).  There are an array of actions and activities to participate in, so please contact your site rep for more information.

Moving forward, our site reps will be reaching out with a few more members this week to complete their responses to the survey.  If you are unsure who your site rep is please contact your NTA Executive Board.  Thank you to everyone who has responded as we’ve had a tremendous response from you so far. Our 600 members deserve to be respected. 

We will be meeting with Site Reps on Thursday at our regular monthly meeting. 

Please keep up on emails to look for updates as we continue to get your input, even over spring break. (If you are not receiving messages from us, please send us your personal email address to natomasteachersassoc@gmail.com.)

In Solidarity, 

NTA Executive Board

PRESS RELEASE March 29, 2021

Teachers are happy being back in their classrooms with their students, continuing to provide a quality education through an educational model collaboratively developed by the Natomas Teachers Association/CTA/NEA (NTA) and the Natomas Unified School District with input from District teachers, and agreed upon by the parties.  This current model, implemented just over a month ago after collective bargaining, provides for distance learning and concurrent in-person instruction with smaller class sizes of consistent groups of students, known as “cohorts.” The current model provides greater safety protections for all students and staff and students benefit from the smaller class sizes in their cohort groups. NTA and the dedicated educators it represents are gravely dismayed that the District has unilaterally scrapped this collaboratively-developed model.

The District’s March 21, 2021, announcement to adopt a new model without any input from, or negotiations with NTA,  ignores the negotiated educational benefits and safety precautions for students and staff.  The District seems to want to give the impression that teachers were part of that decision-making process. In fact, NTA received notice just 12 minutes before the District made its public announcement.  Teachers are dismayed by the District’s actions and its disregard for the input of teachers, as they are the experts in education. NTA has worked collaboratively with the District throughout the pandemic and bargained agreements in good faith that NTA expected the District to uphold.  Instead, the District plans to ignore our agreements, ignore the benefits to students and staff of the current model, and plans to implement a new five-day-a-week model that teachers have not given any input to and is not consistent with our current agreements

Feb 14th – Addendum to the Oct 31st Transitional Learning MOU, to prepare for March reopening

Here is the addendum to the MOU that we just reached agreement on, outlining the steps to reopening in March 2021:

And here is the original MOU on Transitional schedules for reopening:

NTA Negotiates New Timeline
February 14, 2021
Member Communication
Hello NTA members,
NTA Negotiates Addendum to MOU
When the District took unilateral action earlier this week regarding the start of school, many of us became concerned with the rushed timeline and the numerous safety concerns that it created. Fortunately, earlier today, NTA leaders were able to successfully negotiate an addendum to our MOU that creates for a better, safer, and more responsible return for in person learning.

There is no question that the reason NTA leaders were able to make changes is due to the collective strength we demonstrated all week, particularly during Thursday’s All Member Meeting. 

Here is a summary to the relevant sections (full MOU attached here):

PreK-6th grade Transitional Week:
Monday (2/22): Early Release day to ensure that staff learn protocols that will be implemented when students return. Meeting has to include question and answer portion so that members have their needs and concerns addressed. 
Tuesday (2/23), Wednesday (2/24), Thursday (2/25), and Friday( 2/26):  Shall be minimum days and members will remain in distance learning. Members do not have to provide new materials to students. After students are done with their day, teachers shall have the discretion for planning and prep (being on campus will be optional).
Note: on Tuesday 2/23 and Wednesday 2/24, Non-NTA staff will meet with students to help students acclimate to being back on campus (members are not responsible for this).
PreK-2nd grade – First Phase: PreK-2nd grade shall begin in person instruction on March 1, 2021, utilizing the schedule included in the 10/31/2020 MOU
PreK-2nd grade staff shall receive 2 sub days for teachers to do one-on-one testing during the 2020-2021 school year.
PreK-2nd grade staff shall receive a $500 stipend for the rapid transition into in-person instruction. 

3rd-6th grade (self contained)- Second Phase:3rd-6th grade shall begin in person instruction on March 8, 2021, utilizing the scheduled included in the 10/31/2020 MOU

Secondary Schools (7th-12th)- Third Phase: Shall begin in person instruction once county guidelines allow for reopening. Based on current trends, this may be as early as March 8, 2021, but more likely, by March 15, 2021.
NTA will send additional updates as soon as possible. Transitional week (minimum days) shall start the same week 7-12 come back to in person instruction. 

All Grades (PreK-12):Parents may now only change a students designation (from virtual to in class) on March 29th, April 12th, April, 26th, May 10th, or May 24th.
Members must be given at least 24 hours notice before student attends in person instruction. Paid time for Vaccine:
Members shall be released without loss of pay if vaccine is during work day
Paid time for Vaccine: Members shall be placed on paid leave if they become ill as a result of being vaccinated (not deducted from member’s sick leave).
Additional Paid Leaves: If a member who is exposed or test positive for COVID-19 (within 14 days after performing in-person services) and are required to quarantine and cannot work remotely shall be placed on paid leave (not deducted from member’s sick leave). 

Construction at Elementary Schools
The District has assured NTA that any ongoing construction shall not interfere will in person instruction. In addition, they have assured us that Paso Verde School will be with power prior to in person instruction as well as provide movers. 

The rushed approach to reopen schools is not only creating safety concerns throughout the district, it is putting immense stress on teachers and school sites that are not physically ready. 

Updated Students for In-Person Instruction-
Divide by 50% for daily totals (Cohort A and Cohort B)

American Lakes: 246
Bannon Creek: 148
Hight:318
Heron: 384
Jefferson: 269
Natomas Park: 287
Paso Verde: 311
Two Rivers: 296
Witter: 277


Appreciation for all NTA members that have helped during the negotiation process as well as rising to the occasion  for our students and community. 

NTA United for Students, Safety, and Equity!
In solidarity,
NTA negotiations team:

Brenda Borge
Kristen Rocha
Mara Harvey
Georgia Schaaf
Lydiana Alfaro
Ranbir Bains
Randy Hodge
Rachel Green
Maria Atherley
Justin Vorhauer
Emily Baker
Michael Ferguson