It was a busy day at the Unit 3 bargaining table as we continue our work, demanding recognition for the quality of work and commitment of our Professional Educators and Librarians.

Local 1000’s represented employees provide vital service to many Californians, and today’s work at the table focused on lifting up our sisters and brothers at the California Special Schools. Put simply, their dedicated work changes the lives of those they serve in remarkable ways.

We utilize Subject Matter Experts to lift our represented employees off the page. Today, the State team was provided a deep look into the culture and climate of the Deaf community and the challenges they face.

Landen Gonzalez is a senior at the Fremont School for the Deaf and spoke about how his experience as a student is allowing him an opportunity to thrive, flourish, and develop as a whole person.

Ty Kovacs is a teacher in Fremont and spoke to the State about the gap between Deaf children who are able to experience the dual culture of hearing and hearing impaired. “I was able to live and learn American Sign Language and English at the same time, but I had peers who weren’t similarly exposed and suffered an isolating and often traumatic experience.”

“Lack of immersion in both cultures affects the social and emotional intelligence of students and parents alike,” added Kovacs. “Without a Deaf school, there’s no community, and we all lose.”

With that passionately delivered background, Unit 3 proposed a big economic package of contract sections from Article 22 – State Special Schools.

We’re demanding respect for our represented workers there. Teachers at Special Schools are paid $100 less, per day, than similar educators in state service. We identified the huge disparity of cost of living between Fremont, Riverside, and other Diagnostic Centers, and proposed a solution. Here’s a more detailed examination:

We proposed new contract language in two sections, recognizing the contributions of our represented employees at the state’s Special Schools:

  • X.X.3 State Special Schools Recruitment and Retention Differentials (Unit 3)
  • XX.XX.3 Fremont School for the Deaf, Blind and Albany Rehabilitative Center Housing Allowance (Unit 3)

We proposed stronger contract language in the following contract sections:

  • 22.1.3 Discipline and Discharge – Special Schools (Unit 3) 
  • 22.2.3 Academic Year – Special Schools (Unit 3) 
  • 22.3.3 Work Assignment Notification – Special Schools (Unit 3)
  • 22.5.3 Extra Duty Assignment – Special Schools (Unit 3) 
  • 22.10.3 Coaching Advisor Differential (Unit 3) 
  • Unit 3 Teachers Salary Schedule California Schools for the Deaf and Blind Fremont and Riverside (Unit 3)

We proposed the following contract sections as “rollover,” preserving existing rights:

  • 22.6.3 Tenure – Special Schools (Unit 3)
    • 22.9.3 Salary Schedule (State Special Schools and Diagnostic Centers) (Unit 3) with robust changes, an enhanced salary schedule that expands steps and ranges and respects time in service.

In other business, we reached tentative agreement with the State on three sections that continue our contract rights:

  • 13.10.3 Education and Training (Unit 3) 
  • 21.12.3 Student Discipline (Unit 3) 
  • 21.13.3 Student Class Assignment (Unit 3) 

You can read the details of these and all current contract articles at contract.seiu1000.org

Unit 3’s next meeting with the State to win a contract that Respects Us, Protects Us, and Pays Us is set for May 23. To read about what happened in Tuesday’s other bargaining sessions, please visit the Contract Action Center page at seiu1000.org

There’s real truth to the Local 1000 slogan, Stronger Together. We only win a great contract with a strong Local 1000 membership. So, if you’re not already a member, we encourage you to join us today.

And be sure to save your spot for the upcoming June 8 March to the Governor’s mansion here.