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Calaveras Strike_Montano

Calaveras Unified Educators’ Association members with CTA Vice President Theresa Montaño, on the picket line Tuesday morning. Photo by Cynthia Menzel.

Oct. 25 — Teachers in the Calaveras Unified School District (CUSD) are back in school after a four-day strike. Calaveras Unified Educators’ Association (CUEA) members overwhelmingly ratified the tentative agreement reached yesterday with the school district, 118 to 4.

In the agreement, educators achieved contract language that will help decrease class size and create safe schools, and made changes to the salary schedule that will help attract and retain qualified teachers.

“We are pleased we received an agreement, and are anxious to get back into our classrooms with our students today,” said CUEA President Lorraine Angel. “Our students will greatly benefit from the class size reduction we’ve negotiated. Safer classrooms and smaller classes will give us more one-on-one attention for increased learning.”

The deal includes a restructured salary schedule specifically designed to attract new teachers to Calaveras. All told, teachers will see a 2 to 6 percent raise, depending upon where they are on the salary schedule.

Angel also expressed deep gratitude to the Calaveras parents and community. “We saw how much this community values and supports its teachers. That means the world to us and strengthens our resolve to make Calaveras an even better school district as we move forward.”

CUEA and CUSD have been negotiating since March 2016, and the teachers’ contract expired in June. Months of negotiations were punctuated by rallies and informational picketing held before and after school. CUEA members went out on strike Oct. 19.

Looking ahead, CUEA’s goal remains to keep “this school board and Superintendent Mark Campbell accountable to our students, teachers and community,” Angel said.

Previous coverage: 

Oct. 24 — Calaveras Unified Educators Association (CUEA) members reached a tentative agreement with the Calaveras Unified School District (CUSD) today, and will hold a ratification vote this afternoon.

Negotiations between CUEA and the district over class size, school safety and wages had broken down last week, sending educators to the picket line Oct. 19. Their strike continued until today.

“We are relieved and excited to have reached a tentative agreement today so that we can be back in our classrooms tomorrow,” said Lorraine Angel, CUEA president. “This tentative agreement is the result of hard compromise, after countless hours of dedication by our negotiations team.

“We saw how much this community values and supports its teachers. That means the world to us and strengthens our resolve to make Calaveras an even better school district as we move forward.”

Calaveras strike

Members of Calaveras Unified Educators’ Association are striking for smaller class size and safer schools.

In bargaining, teachers called for smaller class sizes, at 24 students per teacher in grades K-3, to ensure quality education for all students. They also advocated for safer schools, asking that a districtwide safety committee be established, and requested a modest wage increase. All of this will help the district attract and retain high-caliber educators for its students.

Among the points CUEA raised to indicate that CUSD is in a position to meet their demands:

  • Over the last five years the district’s annual level of funding from the state increased by $9 million.
  • The district has a $4.8 million reserve. In just the last two years they have raised it by $1.8 million.

Earlier in the week, Calaveras Unified Educators’ Association bargaining team met with CTA President Eric Heins (back row, in blue shirt).

CTA President Eric Heins, who along with other CTA officers and Board members has rallied with CUEA members during the strike over the past few days, emphasized that all students deserve a quality education taught by highly qualified teachers. “And that is especially true for our rural students. Students who live in remote areas deserve excellent teachers.”

Check back for updates on this story.

To learn more about events  of these past few days, check out the Calaveras Unified Educators’ Association social media at MyCUEA  and @CUEAvoice.