LATEST UPDATES from the san Leandro Teachers association
Greetings SLTA Members,
Happy May Day. A little history lesson, May Day is a Union holiday, celebrated to honor workers who fought for the 8-Hour Work Day in Chicago at Haymarket Square. This event has become an international holiday, celebrated by workers around the world.
It’s hard to believe we are finishing our 7th week of Quarantine. Under normal times, we would be in the middle of testing, and starting to look forward to closing out the school year. Many of us would be putting final touches on our Summer Vacation plans. Our students would be thinking about field trips, class trips, dances, promotion and graduation. I am constantly in awe of you, San Leandro’s amazing educators, as I hear new stories about how you’re working to “make up” for these lost student experiences. Thank you for the truly heroic work that you are doing.
State Budget and Bargaining
In most years, the SLTA Bargaining Team would be at the table by now. The COVID crisis has changed everything. First, the State Budget process has been thrown into disarray, which means we don’t really have a picture of what the District Budget will look like. With later tax receipts, the State Budget is not likely to be approved until the end of the summer. While the degree of economic loss is difficult to predict, we know the news won’t be good. For the last 8 years, SLTA’s negotiations with the District have resulted in the highest overall growth in wages of any District in the State, but it looks like the focus this year will be how to protect our collectively bargained terms and working conditions.
We have modified the election process for SLTA representation. As you know, we put out the call for candidates for CTA State Council Representative and NEA Representative Assembly Delegates just before the Shelter-in-Place order started. Normally, our election would have been conducted by paper ballots at each of your school sites. Hopefully, you saw the electronic ballot, which was sent to personal emails using SurveyMonkey. The ballot was initiated using my personal email, firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for voting will be Tuesday, March 5, at Midnight. If you did not see your ballot, first check your Spam folder, then let me know.
SLTA Human Rights and Social Justice Committee
SLTA’s newest committee, the Human Rights and Social Justice Committee, has been meeting since February. The committee’s first goal is to examine social justice issues, including racial justice, gender justice, and all forms of discrimination that relate to our schools. The committee reports will be a part of every Executive Board and Representative Council meeting. The Committee responded this week to the police killing of Steven Taylor, a former San Leandro Unified student and the parent of a student in our schools. You may read the Committee’s letter on https://www.weareslta.org/news. Thanks to committee members Joya Brandon, Glenn Brodeur, Nancy James, Lydia Oey and Gene Romano for taking on this work.
Charter School Petition
Under the banner, “Keep San Leandro Charter Free,” SLTA activists rallied (virtually) to encourage the SLUSD Board of Trustees to reject the charter application. The Board voted unanimously to reject the petition at the School Board meeting on April 14. I am deeply grateful to all of you who participated. The charter organization is likely to submit their petition now to the Alameda County Board of Education. I will continue to work with the team as this process unfolds. If you’d like to join our team, please let me know!
Schools and Communities First
The SCF Initiative QUALIFIED for the state ballot in November. It actually “more than” qualified, gathering more signatures than any initiative in the history of California. You will be hearing from us as we ramp up the campaign between now and November. San Leandro turned in more than 500 signatures, 103% of our membership. Thanks to those of you who went out and gathered signatures, and a special SHOUT OUT to our top signature gatherers… Marc Lopez-Cepero, Valarie Sowers, Laura Michaels Fox and Jeff Bruno. Prizes are coming!
Memorandums of Understanding
Many of you have been asking to see the three MOUs which have been negotiated to guide us through this Distance Learning experience. They have all been posted on our website, https://www.weareslta.org/news.