Bargaining Unit Members,
So, the crazy thing is I had an update ready to go yesterday, but it hadn’t been proofread yet. Then, I got slammed and couldn’t get it finished. The next crazy thing is that so much of what I had written for Monday morning changed a great deal as Monday progressed. So, sorry for the delay. We are clearly in a time of ever-changing educational landscapes. Onward….
Please see the Key Points (common language), MOU (formal language) and Transfer MOU (formal language) that are attached.. The transfer language would only come into play if we return to in-person school.
Where are we today?
Let me first begin where we are today. So, yesterday we completed our work on the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which was our goal. There are many things that both VUSD and VUTA needed to get accomplished and we got the MOU approved by the VUTA Board of Directors. Now we know the rules we will use during this pandemic as they are defined in the MOU. The schedule is a topic we did not include in the MOU. This is because we needed to put in play many other issues that were included in that document and we could not agree on the schedule to begin Distance Learning.
I want to say how much I appreciate those who want a reasonable schedule change and took the time to write staff and VUSD Board Members. Your work was noticed and at least forced a discussion on the ½ schedule in bargaining. It became abundantly clear that the District was not going to change their position during bargaining and they would unilaterally implement A/B schedule. At the end of the day, they have the power to say “no”. Currently, unless something significant changes quickly, we will be opening with the A/B schedule. Right now I am considering our next move and I am hearing from many members that something significant does need to change.…
I do not consider the schedule discussion over. There is no reason we can not switch to a better schedule that works better for students. Timing will of course be the issue. We need to carefully consider our options. Both students and teachers need to prepare for kids returning to online school.
The MOU will be published today.
What I said and schedules
To be clear, the VUTA President has supported the A/B hybrid schedule for in-person school. I never said I supported the A/B schedule for distance learning. I have many teachers that can attest to that fact as I have been completely transparent about my feelings. In fact, the MOU bargaining team has proposed many schedules similar to the Redwood/Shannon Moore model and also full day models. The VUTA position on schedule is that the A/B hybrid works well for in-person school and social distancing. That was the intended purpose and VUTA supports that schedule if we are back to in-person school.
Many in VUTA believe the A/B schedule is not optimum during distance learning. VUTA has proposed many schedules to VUSD, but they have been fixated on using the A/B schedule for distance learning. VUTA proposed a ½ day schedule, a full day schedule, and a modified schedule. None of these were considered by VUSD. The A/B schedule seemed their only choice.
I am hearing rumblings from the elementary that they are not too happy with their schedule either. We will discuss this in our Board meeting tomorrow.
The VUTA Board will meet tomorrow to discuss where we go from here. We have been working nearly every day this summer to get things in place for this “new normal” and there is so much more to say. But that will be for a later day.
Hoping to bring clarity to teachers today on many issues.