As you know, ETA Leadership has been working extremely hard to reach an agreement with the District regarding reopening. It has been a struggle to get the District to prioritize these negotiations. The District continues to demonstrate a lack of timely communication not only with all of certificated staff, but with ETA Leadership as well. We are the ones who reach out to the district team first to set up necessary meetings and often need to reach out multiple times to receive a response. We have also been frustrated to first learn of important information through Parent Square emails.
This is not acceptable. Your bargaining team made every effort to negotiate health and safety protocols before the beginning of the school year. Bargaining these protocols is imperative so we can clarify any guidelines that may be unclear. We also have the right to bargain for more than the minimum required by the state, but it takes two sides to bargain. Our district administration continues to show that negotiations are not a priority.
We were further frustrated to hear the district talk about contracting out our jobs to a third party company, Edgenuity. We made it clear to the board and administration that outsourcing certificated work was not allowed under Ed Code even with the requirements of AB 130. The Santa Clara County Office of Education and the California Department of Education have stated this as well. Suzanne met with several members of our school board and Dr. Flores to make sure they had a clear understanding that our work could not be contracted out. This is not to say the district cannot use the company’s platform, curriculum, or other items Edgenuity may offer. But the student interaction must come from a district or county employee. At the board meeting last Thursday night, district administration said they would be using district employees for the student interaction. We are obviously pleased that they are no longer talking about outsourcing our work. Protecting jobs is one of the fundamental responsibilities of a union and we take it extremely seriously.
The District continues to show a lack of interest in collaboration, which we know is necessary for success. It is in the best interest of the district to ask for our input and understand our perspective, as we are the ones who will be directly implementing student programs. ETA has the legal right to consult with the district regarding new programs, and to bargain the impacts and effects of those programs. Yet our administration consistently treats us as an afterthought.
ETA Leadership will do our best to continue advocating for our students and staff. We will work to come to an agreement with the district that will keep our students and colleagues as safe as possible and bargain an Independent Study Program that is a benefit to students and staff. We will do all of this as we return to our schools and welcome our students into our classrooms.
As we know you are aware, we are all the union and we all have a voice that can be used to advocate for our students and staff. Our school board has a responsibility to listen to us as stakeholders in our community. We can tell you from personal experience that organizing as an entire union can create change. We need the district to change. We need them to understand the importance of better communication with not only ETA Leadership, but with all of our staff. We need them to improve in the area of collaboration. We need them to prioritize working with ETA to come to an agreement so we all feel safe, heard, and respected.
Below are the email addresses of our school board trustees. Feel free to share with them your perspective on how things are going in our district. Let them know we expect them to require the administration to come to the table and work collaboratively with our team to complete the reopening MOU. Our next bargaining session is tentatively planned for Wednesday, August 18th – right after the first day of school.
Your voice matters. It is powerful. We strongly encourage you to use it.
We know this year is sure to be unique. We wish all of you the best possible year with your students. As always, it is an honor to work with all of you.
Board of Trustees:
President Chris Corpus at firstname.lastname@example.org
Leila Welch at email@example.com
Marisa Hanson at firstname.lastname@example.org
Patti Andrade at email@example.com
Jim Zito at firstname.lastname@example.org