Welcome Back. Let's make it count.

posted Jan 9, 2012, 7:58 AM by Yuba City Teachers Association   [ updated Apr 22, 2013, 6:24 PM ]
Welcome Back.

I hope that the new year finds you refreshed and ready to make a difference for our students.  My three weeks were quite full.  Graded final exams - still entering them tonight.  Spent some time here in the YCTA Office on a variety of tasks.   Completed some projects around the house.  Traveled to southern California to visit family.  Frequently woke up whenever and followed whatever schedules struck my fancy - no bells.   I am rested, recharged and ready to go again.  I hope you enjoyed your vacation as well.  Let's make each of these remaining 95 days the best they can be for our students and each other. 

It would seem
73% of you favor the three weeks at winter break.  Thank you to the more than three hundred (300+) members who returned their surveys regarding calendar options.  The full week at Thanksgiving is preferred by 71% of you as is a mid-week start for the first student attendance day of the next school year.  The power of professional development and its impact on our work was evident as 81% would like to return to professional development (formerly known as Buy-Back days) as a regular part of the work year rather than an add-on at the end of the day (passport) or a release day with substitutes or none at all.  Whether those days should be at the beginning or within the year was more split.  But what was clear was that YCTA members should play a key role in planning the professional development to assure that it is a good use of time to serve our work with students.

We asked for your input regarding calendar options to prepare to bargain calendar options.  YCTA has the right to negotiate the work year and thus the calendar.  
While the Board adopted a student attendance calendar at the last board meeting (Dec. 13), several board members made assurances that the calendar would be negotiated.  Generally one does not negotiate by adopting your first proposal in a public meeting and then assuring the other side that the issue will be negotiated later.  But alas YCUSD does not always do things as you might reasonably expect.  Last year, they opted to unilaterally adopt the calendar in May instead of negotiating.   Our contract (Article 37)  indicates that proposed calendars shall be submitted to YCTA and the District by January 1.  We planned our timelines to ready to negotiate beginning in January; we asked for your input at two successive Rep Council meetings.   This year the District felt some compelling need to adopt a calendar in December (five months earlier than last year) once again without negotiation.  Sorry to start the year with this latest frustration; I would much prefer a collaborative mode of operation with our District and will continue to work towards that end whenever possible. 

Please be prepared to stand together as we assert our expectations that we play a bigger role in the decisions of our district as they are being made rather than after they have already been made. 

I look forward to the best part of this job tomorrow morning - our students and our colleagues as we share a commitment to the education of our students.  Have great first day back.  Please stay in touch.  Share your questions, comments or concerns with me or your YCTA Site Rep.  I am absolutely committed to listening and representing the interests of our unit.  We do that best through our communication.  The next Rep Council is January 24.

Stay in touch, Dina