The New haven Teachers Association (NHTA) was established to ensure that the rights of the most valuable professionals, teachers, are protected. NHTA is an affiliate of the California Teachers Association (CTA) and the National Education Association (NEA). By being part of the local, state and national conversations of education issues, NHTA is current on all the challenges and changes that impact service in public education.
Teachers Shocked by Arlando Smith’s Refusal to Meet with Tony Thurmond - NHTA Bargaining Team Ready to Bargain at 2 p.m. Today, As Promised
UNION CITY – Today’s negotiations session between New Haven teachers and district administrators looks to be one-sided, as district managers say they refuse to show up. California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond urged New Haven Superintendent Arlando Smith to return to the table today, but he refused, reportedly rebuffing the elected leader overseeing all of California's public schools for his attempts to help both sides end the strike and get students back in classrooms.
“I’m embarrassed for our community and for our schools. Arlando Smith told our state Superintendent of Public Instruction that it was not his place to be involved, and that he didn’t want him here. I can’t believe he disrespected the superintendent of public instruction,” said NHTA President Joe Ku’e Angeles. “This situation, and Arlando’s behavior, is getting more and more outrageous. First, he dictates to our locally elected school board members what to do and what to say when they are supposed to be his boss. They do have the authority to hire and fire him. And now, he’s refusing to meet with Mr. Thurmond, who was elected statewide.”
On Twitter, Thurmond said he and his team “will remain involved and will work with all parties for as long as it takes to get this resolved.”
“Arlando Smith is the problem and is the one who is keeping teachers on strike,” Angeles said. “It’s clear all he cares about is punishing teachers. Now more than ever we ask our elected school board members, whose side are you on? A dictator who is unwilling to compromise and is hurting teachers by keeping them out on strike, yet will retire with a huge salary and full health benefits in a few weeks? Or our students? I can tell you – as teachers, we always stand for our students.”
Angeles says the NHTA bargaining team will show up as promised and will be ready to negotiate at 2 p.m. today. Supervisor Richard Valle, who has been trying to facilitate an agreement, indicated he, too, will be at the Alameda County Office of Education at 2 p.m. Another negotiations session is scheduled for tomorrow.
Thurmond met with both teams yesterday and discussed financial issues, including the fact-finding report, and had offered to rearrange his schedule to continue facilitating negotiations in hopes the two sides could reach an agreement.
New Haven teachers have been on strike since May 20. Parents and teachers say NHUSD management and school board are not interested in ending the strike.