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New Haven Unified Threatens Teachers

School board adopts union-busting resolution

 

At the same meeting where NHTA members pleaded with New Haven Unified school board members to support our students and provide them with the resources they deserve, the school board adopted a vicious, union-busting resolution calling for disciplinary action against teachers willing to strike to defend New Haven schools. CTA filed an expedited unfair labor practice against the district on May 3.

Your NHTA bargaining team remains committed to reaching a fair and student-centered contract settlement that improves learning conditions, and recruits and retains the best teachers for our students. But, the district has refused to budge off of zero percent, and insists on raising class sizes and making cuts to student supports. Now, the NHUSD managers and school board are threatening the dedicated teachers who support and nurture New Haven kids every day. This disrespect is what we’ve come to expect from NHUSD managers and the school board, and has led us to the brink of striking for our students.

Rest assured that it is our legal right under the California Educational Employment Relations Act (EERA) to participate in collective union activities, including in a legal work stoppage if a strike is necessary, without fear of retaliation or coercion. We know this through hundreds of strikes and other concerted activities that are protected under state law (EERA). Our rights will be expertly and completely defended by our CTA attorneys, New Haven parents and community members, and the larger labor community. 

In addition to this unnecessary and unenforceable union-busting resolution, NHUSD managers have begun offering $400 a day to lure substitutes to New Haven to act as strike breakers to try to undermine a potential strike. How can NHUSD say it cares about student learning conditions when district administrators would rather pay substitutes to break our unity, rather than use those public funds to educate New Haven students? Why is the NHUSD School Board OK with paying massive salaries to district executives and a triple rate to substitutes but refuses to offer its committed teachers more than zero percent?

Many school boards have adopted various levels of strike-busting resolutions when facing a possible job action.  Generally, their level of vehemence is a measure of how nervous they are of our growing power. But these measures also show that the NHUSD Board members will resort to actions that attempt to scare us, confuse us or divide us. So, we remain steadfast in our support for our students and we have no plans to change anything because of the district's scare tactics.

We remain hopeful that we can avoid a strike and our bargaining team remains ready and eager to reach a fair, student-centered settlement. We’re waiting for NHUSD managers to come the table, but so far that hasn’t happened. Rather than discuss how we can work together to give all New Haven students the resources and opportunities to achieve, the board has taken to threatening all of us for standing together. How disappointing that they have lost sight of what matters: Our students!

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your picket captain, OMEC Chair or another NHTA leader immediately.

About the author

NHTA President & Staff

NHTA President & Staff

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.