Bargaining Update #13 and Reopening Town Hall

11/1/2020

In today’s newsletter:  

  • An update on bargaining and sanctuary schools (check out our video update!)
  • We’re having our second Town Hall on Tuesday, November 17 at 5pm to discuss school reopening (Register here: https://tinyurl.com/USNovember17)
  • Virtual school negotiations continue
  • Support a fellow Bay Area charter teacher!

Bargaining Update
On Wednesday, we had our 13th bargaining session with Summit. A big topic of discussion was Summit’s counterproposal to our Health and Safety proposal. 

Protections for immigrant students and staff
In our original proposal from our very first bargaining session, we included protections for undocumented and DREAMer members of our community. We believe this language is vital for keeping our whole school community safe, and much of our language was modeled after language that charter teachers in Chicago won through a series of strikes last year

In their counter proposal, SPS chose to remove this section in its entirety. When asked about its removal, Diane stated it did not have to do with health and safety — and that it didn’t belong in a contract. SPS claims to be an anti racist, anti biased organization, yet its leadership removed language that protects immigrant students and staff, which suggests that their safety is not a priority. It reflects a lack of empathy, and is deeply hurtful for so many stakeholders in our schools and does not reflect any of SPSs supposed claims surrounding diversity. 

Discipline for failure to report health and safety problems
Summit’s Health and Safety proposal includes a section about teachers being disciplined if they fail to report health and safety incidents within 24 hours. Summit’s justification of disciplining teachers is that teachers do not report harmful incidents and their failure to do so is what makes school unsafe. 

We have identified actual examples of unsafe conditions.

  • lack of access to soap and water
  • harassment of students in bathrooms
  • lack of access to all-gendered bathrooms which is mandated by state law
  • incidents of student and parent harassment. 

We know that teachers report these problems.  These issues persist because SPS does not adequately, fully address them. Punishing teachers for this is irrational and unacceptable. 

We also presented counterproposals on Evaluation, Union Rights, and Organizational Security. Summit also provided a counterproposal on Academic Freedom, which took out almost all of our proposed language. 

Check out our video update here!

Town Hall 
We are holding our second all-union town hall!

  • Date: Tuesday, November 17 at 5pm
  • Purpose: gain input from teachers about what the physical reopening of schools should look like in the future. We will begin to bargain about this before the calendar year is over, so it is vital we have your thoughts to ensure all voices are heard.
  • Register here: https://tinyurl.com/USNovember17

VS bargaining update

In Virtual School negotiations on Tuesday 10/27, Summit management asked thoughtful questions about teacher priorities and we were finally able to spend time discussing the rationale behind various parts of our proposal.  We were able to summarize the priorities of the majority of teachers based on our survey data.  Thank you to everybody who completed our survey.  This is a promising change in negotiations.  

Support a Fellow Bay Area Charter Teacher!

Denise Huey, the president of the union at Envision charter schools was unjustly fired last week for speaking up on behalf of other educators in the best interests of students, and for not responding to an email from her principal. Denise has been a dedicated teacher at Envision for the last 11 years with no record of previous discipline. No teacher should be fired in this manner. This is an important reminder of why we are advocating for a strong contract that includes a fair disciplinary process.  


Support Denise by signing this petition https://tinyurl.com/SupportDenise

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