Bargaining Update 7-13-20

District Finally Admits that it is NOT Prepared to Safely Reopen Schools, latest updates, NTA Survey
Hello NTA members,

As previously reported, NTA will go back to the table with the District on Wednesday, July 15, at 1:00pm. An update will be sent out after the meeting.

Moreover, earlier today, NTA learned through the Districts public email blast, that it plans to delay the start of schools until Thursday, August, 27, 2020. This was a move that was not negotiated and not discussed with NTA.

In its email blast, the district admitted that they are delaying the start of schools because it is not prepared, stating in part, “allow extra time to hire more staff, add even further layers of safety, and assess Sacramento County’s virus conditions, as we enter August”. Despite acknowledging its unpreparedness, particularly in regards to safety (a fact that NTA has been raising since the start of school reopening negotiations), the district is still planning on reopening schools with a 5 day a week option. The 5 day a week option has been lauded as the most unsafe model for schools reopening.

What makes the District’s current plan even more disappointing, is that it comes on the heels of dozens of school districts announcing that they will reopen in a 100% distance learning model. Districts include:  Los Angeles Unified, San Diego Unified, West Contra Costa County, East Side Union, and Oakland Unified (click here to read Los Angeles Times report).

Negotiating Start of School Date:
While it may be useful to delay the start of school, the District’s illegal and unilateral action, has created additional questions and concerns. Later today NTA leaders will be sending the district a letter regarding its illegal action, as well as, asking the following questions:
1. Will August pay check (our regular pay cycle) be affected?
2. Will any District STRS reporting for the month of august be affected?
3. Since the negotiated calendar was unilaterally changed, does the district believe that it can add the missed days (because of the change of the first day of school) to the end of the school year?

NTA members Willing to do What it Takes to Safely Reopen Schools

Last week, NTA has held virtual site visits with members at the Elementary schools to discuss a bargaining update, how to safely reopen schools, and have polled members on a willingness to stand united  to demand the the district bargain in good faith and a demand to safely reopen schools. With an average ratio of well over 90% NTA members are stating a willingness to stand united and ensure that our students, families, and members are protected.

Later today, NTA members from the high school are scheduled for their virtual site visit.

Picture (below) from last week’s K-5 schools virtual site visit.

NTA Resolution – Black Lives Matter

Resolution – Black Lives Matter

Natomas Teachers Association (NTA) stands in solidarity with the family, friends, and loved ones of George Floyd, with the Black community, and with everyone demanding police accountability and justice. 

WHEREAS, on May 25, 2020, a Minneapolis police officer murdered 46-year-old George Floyd, kneeling on his neck for nearly nine minutes while he pleaded to be allowed to breathe; and 

WHEREAS, three other police officers aided and abetted the death of George Floyd; and 

WHEREAS, the Black community repeatedly faces the deaths of loved ones at the hands of the police; and 

WHEREAS, the core principle of unions and the labor movement – “An Injury to One is An Injury to All” – requires all working people of conscience to take a stand for justice; and 

WHEREAS, Black Lives Matter. 

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that NTA will engage in an ongoing dialogue of compassion and understanding that brings to life a vision for our community and schools that is culturally engaged, globally aware, safe for all points of view, and actively involved in supporting equal access to education, healthcare, and other fundamental needs. NTA acknowledges the existence of institutionalized racism and commits to actively confront the racism that exists in our systems and structures. We are committed to being part of the solution by promoting diversity hiring, awareness of history and data, and teaching students using anti-racist curriculum.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we call on our membership to safely participate in or otherwise support actions called by those seeking justice for George Floyd and all other victims of police brutality. 

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that NTA will issue a statement to our entire membership to the effect of the resolution above.

End of Year Update – May 22, 2020

Hi everyone,

Congratulations to all of you for finishing up a very unusual, and challenging school year.  We have not yet determined the details of what next fall will look like, however we did work with the district on preliminary plans such as:

  • MOU on an early start program (to test conditions)
  • MOU on independent study programs for the fall
  • MOU on committees to plan for special programs: PE, science labs, CTE, Art, and Music/Band
  • MOU on the plans to start on distance learning/hybrid classroom instruction for the fall

Congrats to all the NUSD retirees.  May your retirement years be wonderful and restful.

Transfer and Reassignment has been completed by the district, and all of you should get letters in your email about your placement next year.  Some of you may not get letters, as a few positions (mainly sped) have changed, moved, are still being determined so HR will be contacting you with more information.  Many of you have emailed asking about T and R, and it will take some time for us to return these numerous emails, so please be patient with us.
NTA sent out a survey to get input from you (unofficial) about your preferences and ideas for the fall, such as are you preferring the classroom, or distance learning, or independent study.  We realize it’s a difficult dilemna since those have not been completely and publicly defined yet.   We appreciate all of you who have completed the survey so far.  Results will be shared the summer.  Members received the survey in their personal emails.
Keep in contact with your site reps, stay visual, stay informed, and look out for our summer zoom meetings to be scheduled to keep you updated.  In our last meeting, we talked to you about the need to support and participate in our PAC (political action committee) in order to actively support and elect teacher friendly school board members in Natomas.  Also, we want you to be aware that in November on the ballot, it’s important to support the Schools and Communities First Initiative which closes a tax loophole for CA corporations.  The money will help funds our schools, which is badly needed in these uncertain times.  (It does not tax regular homeowners, agriculture, or small businesses.)
Finally, at the last NUSD school board meeting, the school board approved the following cuts:
  • Categorical shift of $500,000
  • Eliminate  vacant SEL TOSA
  • eliminate RFDC after school program
  • reduce travel costs
  • eliminate college field trips for elementary and middle schools
  • new revenue SELPA ($1,000,000)
  • get rid of contracting out SPED positions ($1,000,000)
  • move technology to one-time money ($1,000,000)
  • retirement incentive savings ($270,000)
  • District office admin cuts 25%
  • cut pilot counseling program at Heron
  • cut three unfilled (contracted out) transportation positions (cutting door to door transp for IEP kids whose IEPs don’t ask for door to door)
Superintendent Evans said they need 10.4 million in cuts in 1 year, but in reality may do 13 million over 3 years.  All of the cuts above gets them to 5.3 million cuts for this year.
No one is expected to lose their job.  Used up the reserves that were set aside for a rainy day.  Cuts in 21-22 may be different/more, depending on if feds send money for schools.
Remember to please continue to only use your home emails for union communication, and email this email or only.  Questions asked on school email cannot be accessed by the association leadership.  If you or someone you know has not given us your home email (non-school email), please send your home email address to us.
Thanks and happy summer break to you all!