YCTA: Blue Thursday and the Board meeting

posted Apr 26, 2013, 7:14 AM by Yuba City Teachers Association   [ updated Apr 26, 2013, 7:17 AM ]

Hello YCTA,

You should have received your latest Blue Thursday Crisis Flier.  We hope that each flyer gives you something to consider and talk about.  The latest issue addressed comparable salaries by citing the District website.

Did you see a blue sea of support in our new shirts today?  If you need a size adjustment or just missed the order or even want to order an extra one, contact Paula Manning.  The original order form is attached.  If you are ordering a second shirt, please add $5 to the price quoted.  We subsidized the cost of one tee shirt per member to get everyone a tee shirt at no cost. 

Have you heard about the Board meeting Tuesday night?  YCTA members spoke before the closed session and during the open session.  Their articulate and well crafted statements put forth the personal stories from individual teachers or sites that show we are all YCTA.  Their statements and those of others in previous and future board meetings, help our board to remember that YCTA is all of us not just our leadership.   You may want to listen to their statements (link).  They were wonderful.

Please join me in thanking these people for speaking for all of us.  Derek Morrison from Lincoln and Julie Barkley from Bridge Street spoke at the very beginning before closed session.  While Mark Canfield, Whitney Still, and Ronald Dotson from RVHS spoke at the end of the open session.  It makes it easy to find their statements within the recording (the beginning and the end).  The Board President responded after each set of speakers.  Listen here.   Our teachers represented us with dignity and professionalism as they shared our stories.

Our board will continue to hear from us. YCTA will address the board again at the
next board meeting May 14We want our board to see that we are YCTA and that YCTA is more than our leadership.  We are asking the District to Value Us, Respect Us. and Negotiate with Us.  Our expectations are reasonable and our progress will depend upon our unity.

I summarized a bit as best I could.  But instead of reading my words, I encourage you to listen to theirs.  They will make you proud of our profession and our collective work as educators in YCUSD.

Derek Morrison, Lincoln School teacher acknowledged his many Lincoln colleagues in their Lincoln shirts as he demonstrated to the board what respect looks like at Lincoln School.  He described the impact of professional development provided at teh expense of teacher time with students.  He has missed five days with his students and invested 1.5 hours to plan lessons for the sub and 0.5 hour to clean up after the sub on each of those days.  He addressed the rising costs of benefits and the missed opportunity for the District to help.  He cut his prepared statement short due to the three minute time limit.  He had intended to address the shared decision making at Lincoln.  He closed his impact as teacher as he teachers kindergarten students to value and respect each other and negotiate to resolve conflicts.  He urged the board to do the same.

Julie Barkley with many fellow Bridge Street teachers standing behind her did a terrific job of describing the team work at Bridge as teachers and other educators adjust their practices to serve students.   She described the Bridge Street commitment to a reflective practice that leads to their continued improvement.  She addressed the impact of relationships in the classroom, school, and negotiations.  She linked this to the lack of progress in negotiations.

Mark Canfield thanked the board for their support of AVID and described the emotional commitment teachers make to our students and our work.  He also addressed that the goal of board is to attract and retain the best teachers and acknowledged that you accomplish that by paying competitive salaries. He urged progress in negotiations. He also addressed the negative tone established when the ABI letter was sent to our homes.  He urged the board to take control to change the tone. 

Whitney Still spoke to tell the board her story starting her dream job at RV as an art teacher, her marriage and motherhood in the following years.  She told us about her three children and the impact on her family of the district's arbitrary decision to change the advancement practice.  She urged the board to see the human impact on her family of more than $5,000 per year and over the course of 20 years more than $100,000.  Her story was a moving one of a mother and teacher.

Ronald Dotson also spoke though he indicated he had not intended to do so.  He gave some perspective to the challenges of special education in a PI world, but also addressed the board goal of keeping quality teachers.  He shared his personal questioning as to why he should stay in the district.  He urged the District to move forward in negotiations.

If you read to the end, I am amazed.  Listen to the audio my words cannot do their efforts justice.  I am proud to serve with all of you.  See you next week in Blue.

We are YCTA, Dina


Dina Luetgens

YCTA President

United as Professionals

YCTA Shirt Order Form