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local

9,936 petitions

Started 7 hours ago

Petition to All NMFT Members

An Open Letter from NMUSD Teachers

An Open Letter from NMUSD Teachers: Our “No” Vote Represents our Community The August-start calendar imposed upon our community by a handful of NMUSD officials and elected board members cannot take effect unless teachers agree to a contract. With this in mind, we will be voting NOT to approve the tentative agreement (TA) that has emerged from the impasse and mediation process.  We believe that a NO vote is the best way to support our NMFT negotiations team, and we want to be clear about precisely why we will vote NO. First and foremost, we believe education ought to be a LOCAL institution.  Community surveys have shown that residents, parents, and students reject the August start date by a 2-1 margin.  The NMUSD board and administration have thus resorted to using contract negotiations to force this calendar upon the residents of Newport Beach and Costa Mesa.  We believe this is categorically wrong.  We also find it difficult to negotiate with a partner who has broken our current contract.  At the very least, negotiations ought to be suspended until all legal action pursuant to section 13.2 has been resolved.  Furthermore, the fact that the district’s lawyers have used the contract language relevant to this ongoing investigation as leverage in current negotiations is unacceptable. An administration who fails to honor the current agreement cannot open the next round of negotiations with demands. Furthermore, the math of the TA simply does not add up: The 3.5% raise is swallowed by the California cost-of-living adjustment of 3.26%. The current TA denies faculty a raise during contract negotiations AND shortchanges them for their extra work during August of 2020, costing the average teacher over $1300 in wages.  Grading periods are completely out-of-sync.  The first semester is 79 days, while the second is 101 days; schools on the trimester system will have marking periods of 49, 72, and 59 days. We also take umbrage with the district’s bad faith negotiating: Executing a propaganda campaign designed to mislead students, parents, and teachers about the August-start calendar; Using the installation of air conditioning--a key health and safety measure--as a bargaining chip; Lowballing on early salary and benefit offers to manipulate the mediation process; and Forcing a “punt” on key reforms in elementary equity. We are professional educators who have dedicated our lives to community service.  Put students in a classroom and we will ensure they learn--any time of year. But at this moment, we are also the final line of defense between our communities and an administration that refuses to hear and a school board that does not represent the people of Newport Beach and Costa Mesa. We vote NO because we support the communities we serve. We vote NO to send our negotiation team back to the table with renewed energy and strength. Yours in service, The Undersigned NMFT Teachers

Matt Armstrong
14 supporters