News

Update from CTA and NTA on Corona Virus – FAQ

Important update regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) for NTA members

Yesterday, the Elk Grove Unified School District confirmed that one of their families was placed into quarantine for testing positive for COVID-19. As a result,  the Elk Grove Unified School District decided to close schools down for the upcoming week (3/7/2020-3/13/2020). In addition, it has been reported that students from two schools in the Sacramento City Unified School District may have been exposed to COVID-19. However, Sacramento City Unified School District has decided to not close any schools.

Currently, there have been no current reports regarding any NUSD students or families being exposed or testing positive for COVID-19. However, we will remain in contact with the District leadership as we collaborate to create an adequate plan and engage in clear communication with all employees.

As of now, NTA has confirmed that District leaders are in close contact with the county regarding any changes and that schools will remain open (no schools will be closed). If anything changes, we will send an update as soon as possible.

Lastly, below are Frequently Asked Questions that were recently published by our California Teachers Association. Please review and let us know if you have any additional questions.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What should school employees do to help prevent the spread of coronavirus? 
The CDC has issued guidance regarding prevention of coronavirus, including tips like washing your hands with soap thoroughly and frequently, not touching your mouth, nose or face, and regularly disinfecting frequently touched surfaces. The CDC’s guidance can be found at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/ 2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html. 
More information from the CDC, including information about how coronavirus spreads and what to do if you are sick, can be found at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html. 

What happens to the district’s funding if a school temporarily closes to contain the spread of the virus? 
The district should not lose funding in this situation. The Education Code contains a hold harmless provision specifying that in the event a school is closed due to an epidemic or emergency order by a state, city, or county official, the district is credited for the estimated average daily attendance (ADA) funding the school would have received if not for the epidemic or emergency order (Educ. Code Secs. 46390, 46392). The Code further specifies that a district unable to operate a full school year due to an epidemic or an emergency order by a federal, state, city, or county official is to receive “the same apportionment from the State School Fund as it would have received” if it had operated for a full school year of 175 days (Educ. Code Sec. 41422). 

Will schools that are closed have to make up the days at the end of the year? 
The Education Code excuses districts from complying with the full school year requirements in the event of an epidemic or order by a federal, state, city, or county official in response to an emergency (Educ. Code Sec. 41422). See also Educ. Code Sec. 37202 (excusing such schools from the “equal time” requirement). 

Are districts obligated to pay staff at schools that are closed? 
Nothing in the Education Code excuses districts from their contractual obligations to pay staff in the event a school is closed due to an epidemic or emergency order. The fact that the Education Code protects the district’s funding makes it extremely difficult for districts to argue that they cannot comply with contractual commitments due to the school closure. For these reasons, the past practice in California has been to pay school staff even when schools are shut down due to an emergency. 

It is important to understand, however, that the legal basis for this obligation is the commitment the district made in the collective bargaining agreement, which the district cannot modify without bargaining. 

What are my legal rights to take a leave of absence if I get coronavirus? 
The same sick leave provisions apply to illness from coronavirus as apply to other illnesses. 
In addition to leave provided for in your collective bargaining agreement, the Education Code guarantees certificated employees who are employed five days a week a minimum of ten (10) paid days of leave due to illness for a school year of service (Educ. Code Sec. 44978). A prorated amount of leave is due to part-time certificated employees. Classified employees employed five days a week for a full fiscal year are entitled to twelve (12) days of paid leave due to illness (Educ. Code Sec. 45191). A prorated amount is due to classified employees working less than five days a week who are employed for less than a full fiscal year. Employees who have exhausted all available and accumulated sick leave and continue to be absent for up to five months due to illness are eligible for differential pay leave (Educ. Code Sec. 44977 for certificated employees and Sec. 45196 for classified employees).

Additional unpaid leave may be available under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and California Family Rights Act (CFRA).

Finally, the Education Code specifically gives districts discretion to grant paid leave to certificated staff due to an epidemic. This is in addition to the leave the district already provides, and includes not only leave due to illness, but also due to quarantine. (Educ. Code Sec. 44964). Similarly, districts have discretion to grant additional leaves of absence, including with pay, to classified employees for purposes including illness and quarantine (Educ. Code Sec. 45199; see also Educ. Code Secs. 45190, 45195, 45198). 

Can a district force someone off work if s/he is suspected of being infected but is not officially quarantined by any health agency? 
As stated above, in addition to other leaves a district provides, Education Code Sections 44964 and 45199 give districts discretion to grant paid leave to certificated and classified staff due to an epidemic – both for illness and quarantine. Therefore, if a district wishes to compel someone to take leave due to suspected illness or exposure, chapters should insist that such leave be paid under Section 44964 or 45199 and not be deducted from the employee’s accumulated leave time. 

My district rewards students and/or staff for good attendance. Is continuation of this practice a good idea under these circumstances? 
No. Chapters should urge districts to suspend all student and staff attendance-related programs, incentives and/or awards and instead urge those who are sick to stay home. 

Are hand sanitizers allowed in schools? 
Association leaders should insist the district maintain a safe and sanitary school environment, such as by providing adequate sanitary supplies (like alcohol-based hand sanitizer) and additional cleaning of school facilities to prevent the spread of the virus. There is nothing in the law that prohibits the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers in school settings. The California Department of Education (CDE) has issued guidance for the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers at this link: www.cde.ca.gov/ls/he/hn/ handsanitizers.asp. 

What else can districts and associations do to prepare for the possible spread of the virus? 
The Education Code requires every school district have a comprehensive school safety plan (Educ. Code Secs. 32280-32289). To respond to the current coronavirus, the CDE is urging districts to review their plans and to follow their existing protocols for responding to a flu pandemic. 

For a list of those elements, see “The Pandemic Flu Planning Checklist for K-12 School Districts,” which is found at www.cde.ca.gov/ls/he/hn/coronavirus.asp and www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources/pdf/ schoolchecklist.pdf.

NTA Bargaining Update, Aug 12, 2019

NTA Bargaining Update August 12, 2019 (use this link)

12 August 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.

NTA Negotiation Team 
Please forward feedback to your negotiations team. 

Kristen Rocha, Chair

krochanta@gmail.com

Justin Vorhauer

ntajmv@gmail.com

Mara Harvey

maraswan@gmail.com

Randy Hodge

hodgemath42@gmail.com

Emilio Moran

emoran1972@gmail.com

Achim Dangerfield

dangewrite@gmail.com

 

NTA and the District met for the second day of mediation on Monday August 12. The NTA bargaining team is working diligently toward a mutually agreeable outcome. The lack of movement from the district has been frustrating however, NTA is continuing to work toward a settlement being reached in mediation. 

Don’t let the district’s rhetoric about state receivership and bankruptcy fool you. Every other district in our region spends a higher percentage of their funds on teachers and yet none are facing insolvency. This conversation is about priorities. Our goal is to attract and retain teachers in NUSD. The district employs four attorneys and just the cost of one of those could translate to about a 2% salary increase for all members! According to the district salary data, in the last year the Superintendent – who is already paid more per student than any other Superintendent in the region – received a 6.1% salary increase for 27 less days of work per year. Remember – this district has choices in how they spend their money. Sadly, teachers are not their current priority.

If an agreement is not reached in mediation the parties will move to fact finding which is the final step before the imposition of a contract or moving toward a strike. Meetings led by organizing team members will be held at your site in the within the next two weeks. Please watch for upcoming meeting dates and make sure you attend. NTA represents 630 professional educators who deserve a competitive wage. The district is proposing pay increases which are distributed unevenly among the staff. 

AS WE MOVE FORWARD – STAY ENGAGED – STAY INFORMED – STAY CONNECTED! YOUR ACTIVE SUPPORT AND YOUR SOLIDARITY ARE NEEDED

Who is Left Out? – What they won’t tell you…

Class/step District Proposal  Increase 
Class III/Steps 1-11 No Increase from the 18/19 Schedule 0%
Class IV/Steps 1-15 No Increase from the 18/19 Schedule  0%
Class V/Steps 1-8  No Increase from the 18/19 Schedule  0%
A payoff of 1,000 dollars (pre-tax) is not an ongoing raise!
The NTA proposal includes and raise of 5.18% for ALL members

 

It’s NOT just the money – There are many other proposals below that NTA members have asked for and the bargaining team will continue to fight for these priorities.
Article:  Priority Proposals and Updates:
Article IV- Salary Proposal: A 5.18% raise on all current salary schedules, along with a compression (longevity boosts are sooner) that will impact all schedules at a cost of  1.42%.  This would increase career earnings and help to keep quality teachers in Natomas.  See proposed language and example certificated salary schedule below. Unlimited in-district units applied to the salary schedule: moving more than one column per year:  compensation for sub coverage when classes are split among teachers for ½ and full day; recognition of CTE experience. 
Rationale: Move Natomas out of the bottom of the pack compared to other districts. Keep teachers from leaving our district. A budget is a statement of values. The district is not choosing to value teachers. Teachers should not be the last line item.  
Article VI- Health and Benefits  Proposal: Increased monthly district contributions $25/single; $50/emp + 1; and $75/family
Rationale: Provide relief to healthcare premium costs (ongoing 0.40% increase)
Article IX- Evaluation Procedures Proposal: Nurse and Speech Language Hearing Specialist evaluation forms. Ability to attach response to summative evals
Rationale: With the support of specialists created relevant evaluation forms for both
Article V- Hours Proposal: Collaboration agendas are created by teachers, departments or grade level teams. Elementary teachers are compensated for split classrooms when a substitute is not secured. Equitable duty schedules
Rationale: Teachers have the ability to determine where they want to focus collaborative meeting time 
We Reiterate: Teachers continually express the need for quality, self-directed, collaboration time not necessarily more time.
Article XVII- Assoc. Rights Proposal: Clarifying language for membership dues, release time, new employee orientation, employee privacy, academic freedom, and vendor restrictions 
Rationale: Natomas teachers are treated as professionals and have voice and control over curriculum use.  
Article I- Agreement  Proposal: One year agreement;  Attaching agreed upon Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs) to appendices 
Rationale: Continue to have the opportunity to work toward our goals and keep all current agreements 

Bargaining Update – May 16, 2019

May 16, 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.

NTA Negotiation Team
Please forward feedback to your negotiations team.

Kristen Rocha, Chair

krochanta@gmail.com

Justin Vorhauer

ntajmv@gmail.com

Mara Harvey

maraswan@gmail.com

Randy Hodge

hodgemath42@gmail.com

Emilio Moran

emoran1972@gmail.com

Lydiana Alfaro

lydiana.alfaro@gmail.com

Achim Dangerfield

dangewrite@gmail.com

 

KEEP QUALITY TEACHERS IN NATOMAS

Natomas Teachers’ Association has put forth all of our initial proposal for our articles.

NUSD has put forth all of their proposals. Both sides are currently writing counter proposals.

Invest in Collaboration, Compensation and Curriculum

HOW MUCH LESS IN NATOMAS?

Article: NTA Priority Proposals and Updates : District Proposal:
Article IV- Salary
  • Seven percent (7%) increase on all salary schedules Every step & column cell gets the increase in percentage.
  • Compress longevity (pay increase) steps to reach the steps sooner.
  • Remove and compress Column 0 to combine into Column 1 on salary schedule
  • Move Natomas Unified out of the bottom of the pack compared with all other districts in our area.
  • Offers to move column 0 ( interns) into Column 1 BA
  • Offers to combine/move Column 1 BA people to join people in Column 2 (BA + MA).  No money across certificated salary schedules for other teachers.
  • 3% offered for LGA ,

Speech, Psychologist, Counselor and Nurse salary schedules

  • Token one time $1000 check for any person who is not already moving into a raise of step or column cell  
  • In a second year, then add 2% on certificated salary schedules.
Article VI- Health and Benefits
  • Increased monthly district contribution of:  

        $25/single; $50/emp + 1 $75/family  (.42%)

  • Committee to provide staff input on applicable HB topics
  • Proposed a Health and Wellness committee
Article IX- Evaluation Procedures
  • Nurse and Speech Language Hearing Specialist evaluation tools shared..
  • Ability to attach response to summative evals
  • Proposed a committee to design evaluation tool for Nurse and Speech.
  • Ability to attach response to summative evals
Article V- Hours
  • Collaboration time to be teacher/department directed
  • Compensation when no substitutes (split class) in elementary. $10 per day per child.
  • Limit Duty to every other week- equity site to site
  • Clarify minimum vs early release day.
  • Extend staff and collab meetings 15 min. Per week  (increase of 9.25 hours)
  • For second hour of an IEP then allow $40 per hour for IEP time after school
  • Early release clarification from minimum day
Article XVII- Assoc. Rights
  • Added clarifying language for membership dues, release time, new employee orientation, employee privacy, academic freedom,and vendor restrictions
  • Academic Committee
  • NO protections for employee privacy,  academic freedom or vendor restrictions.
  • While some language in agreement for release time and new members, different committee criteria than NTA proposes.
Article I- Agreement
  • One year agreement was proposed
  • MOU documents to be attached in appendices
  • Two year agreement

Topics of discussion:

 

 

  • Review the Governor May revise of Projected COLA (COST of Living Adjustment) projected at State Budget adoption to 3.46% is projected in May revise to become 3.26%. It will be revised or finalized June 30th.

 

 

 

  • Continue discussion on district choices and priorities for NUSD budget.  District has a 13% RESERVE! Remove excessive administrative, attorney, and consultant fees.  Step Natomas up from the bottom.

 

 

 

  • Governor’s Budget for STRS proposes funds to reduce STRS contribution by the District, which means more money back in the district budget.

 

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