In a normal school year, negotiations with OGSD management would commence in March or April for the following school year. However, in light of the current shutdown crisis in addition to the fiscal problems our district is facing, there is no real advantage to opening negotiations at this time. We will, of course, continue to monitor the District’s financial situation as the year and summer progress. The governor’s economic forecasts in relation to the current pandemic does not look good. We intend to open negotiations for next school year in the fall. OGEA can choose to open salary, benefits and one other article of our contract then.
Our focus this spring has instead been on addressing the current situation that educators our students are in with the school shutdown, which has now been extended for the remainder of the academic year. Per California Department of Education guidelines, all school districts must begin transitioning to a distance learning model. Your OGEA bargaining team and executive board have issued two cease and desist letters to OGSD management to make sure that they don’t finalize their plans without an agreement with us. Our goals in pushing for this agreement are as follow:
Protect your safety. As our members, your safety is the top priority in this pandemic.
Protect you financially.
Protect your careers as we move into the uncharted territory of distance learning. Allowing our members to attempt to provide the best education possible free of risk is important.
Ensure adequate access to professional development and training in distance learning.
Maintain flexibility for educators to provide opportunities for students to learn in the method that you find to be the most effective as a professional.
Set the rules of the road so that administrative expectations are clear and consistent.
Push for equity to our students. It is important that our most vulnerable students do not get left behind at this time.
We are hopeful that a Memorandum of Understanding will be signed with OGSD by the time you read this newsletter. This should give you, our members, time to begin preparing for distance learning.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to fill out the survey. Your feedback was important in driving our priorities at the negotiating table. Please make sure you participate in OGEA elections that are coming up. Our executive board is elected every two years from the ranks of OGEA members. Their direction and leadership will be important as we move towards next school year.