PERB Agrees that Distance Learning Negotiations Reached Impasse, State Mediator Assigned
On Monday, teachers represented by SCTA’s 85-person bargaining team informed the District that negotiations were deadlocked, and that SCTA had requested a determination from the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) that we had reached impasse.
Early this morning (Wednesday, September 2) PERB notified us that it had, in fact, determined that impasse had been reached and that a state mediator would be assigned. Later this morning, state mediation confirmed that two mediators had been assigned to the case and that we are now in the process of arranging bargaining. We hope to be at the bargaining table within a day or two.
You can view our last proposal to the District by clicking here.
At its heart, our dispute can be boiled down to one major difference. It’s not a dispute about the length of teachers’ workday, or teacher pay, it’s about providing the best instruction to address student needs and foster a love of learning. In a brick and mortar setting, teachers have the ability to use their professional expertise and judgement to provide an education based on the individual needs of their students. Rather than extend that respect for the professional judgement of teachers to the distance learning setting, SCUSD administrators, with no direct experience teaching in a distance learning environment, are trying to impose a rigid, overly scripted learning model that devalues teachers’ professional judgement. It’s a choice of quality, rather than simply, quantity.
Other districts have been more respectful to the experience of teachers. Here is what one assistant superintendent from Folsom Cordova Unified who “placed his full faith in the teachers” had to say: “Teachers are the educational experts. They went through a lot of training, a lot of college, and a lot of credentialing classes on how to engage kids and help them with their learning.”
There’s no reason such a respect for teachers should not apply in Sac City as well.