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Yuba City Teachers’ Commitment to Students Unwavering (July 21st)

posted Aug 31, 2016, 7:12 PM by Yuba City Teachers Association   [ updated Sep 3, 2016, 6:21 PM ]

Recommendations Ignore Need to Attract and Retain Teachers

 

“The advisory recommendations ignore the needs of our students, our schools and our community. Teacher turnover hurts kids, so this contract must help this district attract and retain quality people for Yuba City students,” declared Yuba City Teachers Association (YCTA) President Dina Luetgens as she read through the fact-finder’s report that was released today.

 She noted the chair’s advisory recommendations also ignored the financial health of the Yuba City Unified School District (YCUSD) and the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP), which outlines how school funds will be spent. “In its LCAP, our school district pledged teacher recruitment and retention is a priority. YCUSD has been forced to attend out-of-state teacher recruitment fairs and employ interns and substitutes because highly qualified teachers are not attracted to the district’s compensation package and are discouraged by the district’s unprofessional treatment.”

Records show 42 teachers resigned and 17 retired at the end of the 2015-16 school year. School starts next month and there are 40 unfilled positions. The district has filled six positions by hiring interns, and teachers are concerned about the number of classrooms that will not have fully-credentialed teachers.

The YCUSD never claimed they could not afford the teachers’ proposal, Luetgens noted. During the fact-finding hearing a review of the YCUSD's current financial status and multi-year projections showed that the district can afford to invest in creating a competitive salary schedule that will attract and retain quality educators to Yuba City.

“We would never ask for something that the district could not provide,” Luetgens said.

The advisory recommendations come from the chair of the fact-finding panel, the final step in the negotiations process under the Educational Employment Relations Act (EERA). “We will continue to review the entire report for a possible settlement. We will consider all our options, including the possibility of a strike. We remain ready to reach an agreement, but our commitment to our students and our community is unwavering,” declared Luetgens. “Without competitive salaries during this growing teacher shortage, our district will not be able to attract and retain great teachers for every child in every classroom in Yuba City Unified.”

“I’m afraid Superintendent Nancy Aaberg and the school board are misleading the community and taking advantage of the hard-working parents in Yuba City who may not realize their school district is running good people out because of their disrespectful behavior,” she said. “Yuba City teachers are standing up for students and fighting for the future of the schools and community. There is no more important expenditure than investing in a stable and highly qualified team of teachers to work directly with our students.”

A possible strike remains on the table as the local teachers consider all options. Members voted overwhelmingly in May to authorize YCTA’s executive board to call a strike in the event a contract settlement is not reached. A strike is legal upon completion of the fact-finding process. Teachers have been preparing for a possible strike, training strike captains and trying to determine how a possible strike will play out.  “We are prepared to make this sacrifice for our students and our community,” said Luetgens. “We don’t want to strike, but we will for our students, our schools, and our community.”

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The 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.

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