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Obstacles Removed, Bargaining Actually Starts

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Moving past the distractions from our first negotiation session with the District last week, our bargaining began in earnest last evening.  The District responded to a few of the more than half dozen or so proposals we gave them in the first bargaining session.
Agreements Reached:  We reached an agreement on:  the need to update the job classification that are covered in the contract (the list is being finalized); clarified that when the contract references “teachers” in the contract it means anyone in the bargaining unit (such as librarians, counselors, psychologists, nurses, social workers and others); and updated a few definitions in the contract.
Conceptual Agreement on the Need for Supplies etc:  We also had a substantive discussion about the need for educators to have adequate supplies, updated technology, a working computer with internet access and up-to-date textbooks.  The District was in conceptual agreement, but the exact wording remains to be worked out.
The Need to Expedite Grievances.  There was also a lot of discussion regarding our frustration in how long it takes the District to process grievances.  We made a proposal to expedite the grievance process.  In response, the District proposed dragging out the grievance process even further and requiring an additional, time-consuming step that would have the effect of adding potentially months to the grievance process.
Nevertheless, considering the rocky start last week, this week’s negotiations were productive.  We are next scheduled to meet with the District at 4 p.m. at the SCTA office on October 26th.
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