MORE SCHOOL EMPLOYEE UNREST NATIONALLY – AND LOCALLY
As we mentioned in our April 23 update, school employees (both teachers and classified staff) in various states (such as West Virginia, Kentucky, Oklahoma) have been walking off the job recently to protest unfair treatment and unacceptable working conditions.
Earlier today, classified employees throughout Arizona joined teachers in a walkout that shut down 75% of all public schools statewide. Meanwhile, teachers in Colorado also walked off the job today, shutting down 30 different school districts. Closer to home, classified employees at Los Angeles Unified School District voted last week to strike over delays in their contract negotiations. And here in San Diego County, teachers in National City are also gearing up for a strike. For members interested in following the #RedForEd movement by education workers nationally, we encourage you to “like” our Facebook page, where we will be sharing additional updates.
WHERE THINGS STAND AT POWAY UNIFIED
On April 24, we let all PSEA members know that Unit I negotiations had broken down over the District’s bad faith bargaining conduct. We asked PSEA members to attend the PSEA Board of Directors meeting the following day (April 25) to learn more and to discuss potential next steps.
We were overwhelmed by the response! With just one day’s notice of what happened in negotiations, over 150 PSEA members overflowed the PSEA offices, with people sitting on the floor because we ran out of chairs. We gave away every single PSEA shirt in the office. PSEA members from all corners of the District were passionate and clear: Classified employees are willing to do what it takes to hold the District accountable!
PSEA currently has two more negotiation dates scheduled with the District for next week – May 2 for Unit II and May 3 for Unit I. While the District’s conduct on April 23 does not bode well for these future negotiations, PSEA is committed to exhaust all efforts to get an agreement. Therefore, the PSEA Board of Directors will hold a Special Board Meeting on May 3 at 5pm at the PSEA offices to assess where things stand with the District and announce next steps.
At this meeting on May 3, the PSEA Board of Directors will consider whether to give final approval to a motion that passed its first read on April 25 to set aside $100,000 for preparations for a potential strike. The PSEA Board of Directors will also consider at this meeting whether to move forward with a secret ballot vote of PSEA members authorizing PSEA to call a strike if necessary. We encourage all members to attend the PSEA meeting on May 3 at 5pm at the PSEA office.
As always, our ability to gain improvements for classified employees depends on having an active and engaged membership. If you have not yet signed a PSEA Membership Application, complete the attached form or contact your PSEA Site Representative.