What a better contract would include:

1.   A larger pay increase

2.   Real contract language on special education staffing and services that provide tools for classroom educators to use to defend services for students.

3.  Real contract language on restorative justice and support for students that provide tools for classroom educators to fight the school to prison pipeline.

4.  Real contract language that provides tools for classroom educators to address ever-increasing duties and expectations placed on them.

… add your own …

Why not tax the tech companies?

AirBnB, Google, Twitter, Uber, Facebook, and SalesForce, some of the largest and most powerful corporations in the world are based right here is SF.  Why can’t we put an initiative on the ballot to put a tax on them to pay for schools and other public goods.

Let’s work for a progressive tax on the extremely wealthy, rather than the proposed regressive parcel tax, which hurts working class homeowners in SF for whom an extra $200 per year is a lot to pay.

Make them pay on our terms, subject to public control, rather than on their terms, through pet philanthropic education projects like “the Primary School”, which will be opening soon in SF, and is jointly funded by the SFUSD (and likely the new parcel tax as well), and is a project in which the super wealthy call the shots.

SFUSD actively recruits big donors through its SPARK program.  Can these funds be used for educator salaries and the supports for the classroom chosen by the people in the classroom?   Why not?   Isn’t the most important element in successful schools the actual people who are in the room working with the students?

Check out the list of donors to SPARK: How much money do they donate? What is the money paying for?  Who decides how the money is spent?  What do they actually mean by “innovation”?

Former Superintendent Carranza on launching the SPARK program.

Agendas and minutes for SPARK board meetings

SPARK Board of directors

First concern about the UESF parcel tax survey – PD vs salary

Its great we are getting a survey on our priorities!  Hopefully the results will be shared with us. I have two concerns about the survey, one shared here, the other in a following post.

Choosing between PD and salary seems like a way to get support for re-purposing some of the PD funds from the existing parcel tax towards 1% of the 4% raise in year two of the tentative agreement, which would be making UESF members to pay for part of their own raise.  The survey results could be used to say,” See you wanted salary more than PD”.

Several more detailed handouts on the TA were passed out at the November UESF assembly meeting last week.  I don’t see them in either an email blast nor on the website.  I’ll scan and post them here, maybe today.

 

Second concern about UESF parcel tax survey – what’s this about community schools?

Here are a few things I know about community schools.

At a UESF meeting earlier this year, it was talked about how the new SF school partly funded by Zuckerberg and Chan, “the Primary School”, will be a community school, and UESF should support (consider supporting? we didn’t vote on it) this effort.  Is the survey asking for UESF members’ support for using parcel tax funds for this school?  Remember only part of the parcel tax money goes to salaries, and part of it goes to the SFUSD.  See my earlier post about who controls how parcel tax funds (tens of millions of dollars) are spent.

Will UESF members be canvassing and phone banking to raise money for a project of two of the richest folks in the world?

WTF?  Hope I’m wrong.

There is a growing movement for community schools across the US and California right now, which is an attempt to support public schools and to push back against the wave of privatization that going on.  The following are two examples.

California Alliance for Community Schools:   UESF is part of this group, although we have mostly opted to NOT participate in state-wide actions.  Here is the link to their founding event, and their platform.  Note that this is not calling for partnerships with billionaires.

We Choose campaign:  This is a rapidly growing campaign initiated by Journey for Justice, a group from Detroit. Here is the platform.  I think they are in 23 states now.  Again no billionaires involved.

It’s a 10% raise – in terms of its cost to SFUSD

One percent of the raise in the second year comes from re-purposed funds from the QTEA parcel tax, taking from one part of your contract at give to another part.  No net cost to SFUSD, but a financial loss to some UESF members.

Somewhere there is a table explaining the changes to QTEA stipends over the next three years.   An officer tells me that each individual teacher would see a small loss from PD stipends, but bigger increase from the raise.  But the title of this post remains true.

 

Rejecting the TA – two examples

Here are two recent examples of union members rejecting a tentative agreement and getting a significantly better contract as a result.

Cleveland Teachers union 2016-2017:  Cleveland teachers rejected the first tentative agreement brought to them and approved the second one, thereby fighting off most of Republican backed merit pay plan.   They won a better contract.

Fiat Chrysler 2015:   Auto workers succeeded in rejecting a multiple tier system where new hires get less than older employees.  They did this by rejecting the first TA, and then approving a second better contract.

 

Does rejecting the TA mean a strike?

NO.

There are two parallel processes that have to be completed before UESF could legally strike.  One, according to our By-Laws, there have to be two strike authorization votes by the members before the UESF leadership has the authority to call a strike.   Following CA law, a second series of steps has to be completed as well, which are as follows.  If bargaining breaks down (one side or the other gives up on it), then it goes to impasse and a mediator is brought in, who attempts to get the two sides (no longer speaking directly to one another) to reach an agreement. If mediation doesn’t work then a fact finding panel looks at both sides stories and makes a recommendation for settlement.   After that the district may impose its offer, at which point the union my strike.

Rejecting the TA just means that membership tells the bargaining team to go back to the table and try again.  The BT returns to negotiations with a stronger mandate from its members.