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State Labor Board Files Complaint Against Yuba City Unified School District (Sept. 1st)

posted Sep 3, 2016, 6:32 PM by Yuba City Teachers Association   [ updated Sep 6, 2016, 11:38 AM ]

Government Accuses District of Unlawfully Intimidating Teachers-

Earlier today, the California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) issued a legal complaint against the Yuba City Unified School District (YCUSD). The complaint alleges that the YCUSD violated state law when it adopted a series of board resolutions earlier this summer threatening to discipline employees who exercise their legally protected right to strike. Recognizing the gravity of the claims, PERB processed this matter on an expedited basis.


“We’re gratified that PERB took this matter as seriously as we do,” said YCTA President Dina Luetgens. “These resolutions are the latest example of the district’s disregard and disrespect for the hardworking teachers who devote themselves to educating our community’s children. The district tried to intimidate our members and interfere with their rights, but the state of California saw through that. We’re looking forward to vigorously prosecuting these claims.”


While no date has yet been set for a formal legal hearing on the complaint, it will likely occur in short order, because PERB issued the complaint on an expedited basis.


The PERB complaint comes in the midst of a bargaining dispute between the district and its teachers. The teachers, concerned about the district’s inability to recruit and retain adequate numbers of qualified teachers, point to the fact that the district pays teachers 13 percent below the state average. By contrast, the district pays its administrators well above the state average. Though it is financially healthy, and though it started this school year with 40 unfilled teaching positions, the district has continued to refuse the teachers’ proposal for competitive salaries that will attract and retain quality, qualified teachers.


“Teacher turnover — to say nothing of unfilled vacancies — hurts students,” said Luetgens. “The district is perfectly able to afford salaries that attract and retain quality teachers; it just doesn’t want to. I find it astounding that the district’s priorities are so skewed. There is no more important expenditure than investing in a qualified, stable team of teachers to educate our students.” 


Faced with this district intransigence, the teachers voted overwhelmingly last May to authorize the YCTA Executive Board to call a strike if necessary should the parties not reach a contract settlement. “We are prepared to make this sacrifice for our students and community,” Luetgens said.


Yuba City Teachers Association is a chapter of the 325,000-member California Teachers Association, which is affiliated with the 3 million-member National Education Association.