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.
NHTA Ratifies Tentative Agreement with 60% Vote Ending Historic 14-Day Strike
This is the beginning, not the end – New Haven Teachers Will Continue to Make Students/Teachers/Classroom Needs a Budget Priority
UNION CITY – With a 60% yes vote (302 yes, 200 no), members of the New Haven Teachers Association ratified the tentative agreement with the New Haven Unified School District, officially ending the historic 14-day strike. Members met today at the Portuguese Hall in Union City, and voting closed at 7 p.m.
The vote should put the school board and new superintendent on notice that this is just the beginning and not the end, NHTA President Joe Ku’e Angeles said. “Our unity with each other on the picket lines was an incredible display of power that resulted in some real gains for our union. The strike brought us together and made us stronger as a union to fight for our students, connected us with parents in a way we have never seen before in Union City, and expanded the spotlight of the underfunding of public education across California. We have made history together.”
Angeles noted the agreement wasn’t everything teachers wanted, but it did force NHUSD managers to prioritize attracting and retaining teachers in the budget, and built strong parent coalitions to work on lowering class size and increasing student supports. Members say their yes votes were in support of their union and the no votes were aimed at the district management’s bad behavior.
While NHTA members are encouraged to rest up over the summer, Angeles outlined the union’s agenda to continue the fight for students:
- Participating with parents in collecting signatures on the school board recall petition.
- Meeting regularly, weekly even, with the new superintendent to ensure students and teachers are a priority in the budget.
- Continuing conversations with school board members and monitoring board actions.
- Actively engaging in NHUSD budget review and development.
- Lowering class size and increasing student services and supports (mental health services, librarians, counselors) are major priorities in the next full bargaining session (the negotiations process starts again in the fall).
- Helping drive professional development. In the past, NHUSD has received millions in grants for professional development and instead of utilizing the expertise from within the New Haven teaching ranks, the district spent it on consultants and trainings.
Going back to the classroom Monday, moving forward and mending relationships will be tough, Angeles noted. “New Haven educators are angry and feel betrayed by NHUSD administrators, especially by our retiring superintendent. Educators feel like district managers are profiting off of teachers and this strike. For teachers, this has all been for our students. And once again, teachers feel they are helping district managers fix their financial problems.”
The agreement includes:
- 3% on schedule mid-year implementation, effective January 1, 2019, a 2.5% bonus for the 2018-2019 school year, effective upon ratification and school board approval.
- 1% on schedule starting July 1, 2019, with a contingency of 1% more on the salary schedule based upon the passage of school funding legislation.
- Opportunities for retirees to earn full-year credit with 14 days of summer school or work on student assessments.
Angeles again expressed deep gratitude to members for their solidarity on the picket lines, leafleting community members and confronting school board members. “It made a difference to the bargaining team,” he said. During today’s general meeting, NHTA members thanked the bargaining team members for their time and effort on their behalf, and to the Union City and South Hayward parents and community for their solidarity and support.
“That this community values teachers so much, and is willing to stand up and advocate with us for our students, means the world to us,” he said. “Through the power and strength of organizing, parent support, and our unity, NHTA will fight even harder for our students, and to make New Haven an even better school district as we move forward.”