Natomas Teachers’ Association Bargaining Update – March 18, 2019

March 18, 2019

  Natomas Teachers’ Association
Bargaining Update…

Keep Quality Teachers in Natomas Campaign

Students are the center of everything we do.

As NTA members, we are committed to the success and well-being of every student.

Please forward feedback to your negotiations team.

Kristen Rocha, Chair

Justin Vorhauer

Mara Harvey

Randy Hodge

Emilio Moran

Lydiana Alfaro

Achim Dangerfield



The following is a summary of the NTA proposals to keep NUSD competitive with other districts in the region

March 18th was our first bargaining session after sunshining in January/February. Below are the key proposals to the articles presented and the rationale supporting the needs for certificated personnel.


Article: Key Proposals NTA Rationale
Article I- Agreement
  • One year agreement was proposed
  • MOU documents attached in appendices
  • NTA will continue to gather information on current and proposed changes to working conditions. Bargaining language will then be proposed.
  • The NTA Special Education Task Force recommendations are to be reviewed in Spring 2020. This will inform future negotiations  
Article V- Hours
  • Collaboration time to be teacher/department directed
  • Compensation for lack of substitutes in elementary.
  • Duty every other week
  • Early release MOU presented for collaboration on Wed. TK-5/TK-8 schools
  • Clarify minimum vs early release day.
  • Provide support for teachers who must prepare and supply lessons and activities for additional students.
  • Provide more teacher directed collaboration time with an early release schedule for TK-5/TK-8 schools on par with other districts in the region.
  • Provide additional time for teachers to collaborate on best practices and to support new teachers in practice
Article IV- Salary
  • Seven (7%) increase on all salary schedules
  • Compress longevity (pay increase) steps to get to them sooner
  • Remove and compress Column 0 into Column 1 on salary schedule
  • Move Natomas Unified out of the bottom of the pack compared with all other districts in our area.
  • All bargaining unit members deserve an increase in salary
  • Be competitive with other district pay schedules.
  • Create incentives to retain experienced teachers.
  • Increase lifetime earnings for all
Article VI- Health and Benefits
  • Increased monthly district contribution of:  
    • $25/single; $50/emp + 1 $75/family
  • Provide individuals and families relief for the ever increasing cost of health care.
Article IX- Evaluation Procedures
  • Nurse Formal Observation Form proposed
  • Speech Language Hearing Specialist Formal Observation Form proposed
  • Ability for teacher to provide written feedback to informal evals
  • Provide formal evaluations that accurately reflect these specific positions’ professional practices.
  • Access documents and make responses accessible.

February 27th School Board Speech


Good evening.  As the proud president of the over 600 certificated teachers of this district, through our site reps, our surveys, our organizing, and our site visits with our members, you have seen how passionate and vigorously I have brought forth with fidelity advocating for the many issues with which our members are asking for your help.  I am passionate about fighting workplace bullying, about fair and objective teacher evaluations, about protecting teachers’ time, about students’ learning conditions.  We collectively and vigorously demand quality not quantity, direct student services versus glossy booklets, and that we work to restore the joy in teaching for our NUSD teachers. We will continue to do so, independent of your attempts to malign the educators of Natomas.

It is suspect, that the District did not notice us, the Natomas Teachers Association of a closed session item concerning us at the last meeting.  Perhaps what the Board doesn’t know, is that the District office administration has been avoiding the Association in discussing discrepancies in the charges listed. Attempts to meet with District office administration has been met with silence and avoidance.  The subsequent behavior by administration is unacceptable for the educators, employees, students and community members of Natomas.

District office administration failed to notify NTA of those receiving non reelect notices this year, breaking from past practice so those teachers could be offered assistance.  

Hard working NTA leaders on site discovered some of those noticed with a non reelection letter. 

5 Special ed teachers,

2 seventh grade teachers

1 Math teacher

1 Science teacher and

2 English teachers

Retaining new educators to Natomas is of great importance to the Association, and we  trust the board has the same values. Ironically, from what we know, at least 6 of the 8 of what the District claims are “hard to fill” positions are being non reelected. When talking to these teachers it was discovered there were inconsistencies in evaluators, a bullying evaluator, and/or assistance lacking strategic application of supports. Until the district figures out how to retain and provide the necessary supports for new educators in Natomas, offering expensive incentives is not good for these educators nor the students they serve.

How do we best invest in our teachers? Through sincere support, adequate resources, and positive consistency.  Sadly, that is not the work environment that these teachers experienced during their short time here.

We have done better in the past, and we can do better now.

We encourage the Board to investigate why so many new hires decide to resign from year to year.

We encourage the Board to evaluate the District’s support program for new hires beyond the BTSA/Induction program.

Natomas Teachers’ Association advocates for students and classroom teachers

The Natomas Teachers Association represents preschool teachers, TK-12 grade teachers, nurses, psychologists, speech specialists, counselors, charter school teachers, and Special Education Specialists. NTA is dedicated to improving the conditions of teaching and learning in Natomas; to advance the cause of free, universal, and quality public education in Natomas; to ensure that the human dignity and civil rights of all children and youth are protected; and to secure a more just, equitable, and democratic society.

NTA recognizes that labor-management disputes occur, but is committed to resolving these disputes in a professional and appropriate manner, and preferably through the negotiations process or legal proceedings. In our current dispute with the District over the Union release time that the Parties long ago bargained and for which we contracted, NTA is pursuing its claims through administrative charges filed with the California Public Employment Relations Board. As the District has repeatedly shown, it prefers to engage in the hurling of public insults. This is unfortunate – but sadly not surprising to NTA and its members, who have had to put up with this infantile attitude for years now. NTA can only assure you that we remain focused on meeting the needs and expectations of our students and their families. We will continue to get this vital work done, and in the professional manner expected of educators. We invite the District to follow suit.

Setting the Record Straight, Part 2

The Natomas Teachers Association is dismayed but unfortunately hardly surprised by the District’s recent letter to the community regarding the Union. Rather than engage with NTA and the educational professionals NTA represents with respect and a sincere desire to do right by the District’s pupils, parents, and staff, the District prefers to traffic in falsehoods and smears, bluster and threats. The District’s most recent letter represents more of the same. Simply put, the District’s allegations about NTA representational activities and money owed to the District are false. The State of California Public Employment Relations Board had already issued a legal complaint against the District over its unlawful conduct towards NTA, and we look forward to addressing the District’s new misconduct before the PERB Board as well.

Bargaining Update Jan-Feb 2019




2019-2020 Successor Agreement


Superintendent Chris Evans’ attempt to divide and conquer will not succeed.  We are NTA, 630 members strong. We are affiliated with 325K CTA members strong and 3M NEA members strong.


Negotiations Team
Kristen Rocha, Chair

Justin Vorhauer

Lydiana Alfaro

Emilio Moran

Mara Harvey

Achim Dangerfield

Randy Hodge

Mission Statement:

The Natomas Teachers Association exists to protect and promote the well-being of its members; to improve the conditions of teaching and learning; to advance the cause of free, universal, and quality public education; to ensure that the human dignity and civil rights of all children and youth are protected; and to secure a more just, equitable, and democratic society.

Negotiations’ cycle begins:
✅ NTA surveyed membership in November 2018
✅ NTA submitted articles to be negotiated to District.

    (1/11/19). (“Sunshine Proposal”)
✅ NTA presented Sunshine Proposal at General

    Membership Meeting (12/7/18)
𝥷 Sunshine Proposal at February 13th School Board      


Join us!  In solidarity we will sunshine our proposal to the school board.

𝥷  You prioritized salary and benefits to attract and

    retain educators in Natomas

𝥷  You prioritized improved working conditions.
                        Articles to be Sunshined

  • Agreement
  • Recognition

IV.     Salaries (incl. Appendix &

         incl. dependent charters)

                       V. Hours of Employment

VI.     Health and Welfare Benefits

IX.     Evaluation (incl. Appendix C)

                  XVII. Association Rights
𝥷Negotiations: 1/11/19 NTA proposed dates to commence    

   negotiations and awaits the District’s response.

Q: What does “sunshine” mean?

A: To sunshine a proposal in bargaining means to bring a proposal to a public hearing. (i.e. a school board meeting)  This is part of the typical negotiation process. It is not necessary for both parties (Association and District) to “sunshine” their proposals at the same time.  

Q: What is an MOU?

A: An MOU or Memorandum of Understanding is an agreement between the Association and District that has a sunset date.  It is a temporary agreement. MOU’s are stricken generally when not in or approaching a negotiations cycle or when something unexpected occurs.  NTA values an MOU process that is collaborative, thoughtful, and takes the time to be deliberated by our leadership teams. Superintendent Evans’ proposal for salary is inappropriate and untimely as we are currently entering into negotiations.  

Q: When does negotiations typically begin? What is a negotiation cycle?

A: After sunshining a proposal, the Association and District commence with negotiations. In the course of negotiations proposals are exchanged until settlement is reached.  Negotiations in Natomas Unified has been contentious resulting in Fact Finding and near strike in last two or more negotiations cycles. Don’t allow Superintendent Evans to use propaganda and misinformation in an attempt to divide and conquer.  In solidarity, through our work together as an association, we will make Natomas the destination district again.

Q: What are the typical terms of a contract?

A: The terms vary depending on circumstances. Most recently we settled on a one year agreement as the District was not agreeable to contract language to help address the increases in NTA members’ workload.  Agreement comes with good faith efforts to discuss all of the issues brought forward, and taking the time needed to listen.

Q: How do we get our data we use in negotiations?

A: Our negotiation team uses research and data to inform our proposals for equity.   We use documents the district provides us such as the District budget, salary scattergram, and health benefits scattergram.  In addition, online resources from the California Department of Education (CDE), information from neighboring Districts, other associations, and from our own members are used to formulate Association proposals. Keep your site rep and bargaining team informed of your working conditions and willingness to be involved in order to stop the District’s disrespect of you and your colleagues.

More information can be found on our monthly newsletter, website and facebook.



NTA Sunshine for 2019-2020

Natomas Teachers’ Association (CTA/NEA)
Initial Bargaining Proposal for Sunshine 2019-2020

NTA exists as a body of members working to promote our students’ rights to a quality public education in Natomas.  It is our goal to provide the best conditions and environment for both students and teachers. Through our negotiations we will address the student experience by focusing on the resources needed for student success through the District LCAP goals and the Collective Bargaining Agreement articles.

The Natomas Teachers’ Association hereby submits the following initial proposal for the 2019-2020 Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Natomas Unified School District. All agreements reached on individual items shall be tentative, subject to a final tentative agreement on the contract. Absent a final agreement modifying the contract, the existing contract language shall remain in full effect.

The Natomas Education Association reserves the right to create, add to, delete from, amend, and modify its proposals and/or open articles of the contract during the negotiations process.

Article IV Salaries  (and all relevant appendices, including LGA schedule)

Article V Hours of Employment

Article VI Health and Welfare Benefits

Article I Agreement

Article IX Evaluation Procedures (and corresponding Appendix C documents)

Article II Recognition

Article XVII Association Rights

NTA proposes to review language in contract articles and memorandums of understandings that may have become obsolete, need updating, be eliminated, or incorporated into the collective bargaining agreement.