At the conclusion of an extremely contentious round of negotiations spanning from March to September, 2012 MBUTA leadership outlined a different, less antagonistic approach for 2013. There were several good reasons for this.
One, school district revenues were increased by the state and will continue to go up for many years forward, theoretically making it easier to attain a salary adjustment. Two, healthcare costs, although rising, have been increasing at a decreasing rate — making insurance premiums paid by the District less of a burden on MBUSD. Three, there were additional funds promised and delivered by the state for staff development related to the implementation of Common Core based testing. Four, teachers are not belligerent people, we are not confrontational, we are not driven by greed, and we are not obstructionists. Five, MBUTA wanted to give district administrators and supervisors an opportunity to prove that when given unparalleled opportunities they care about their employees as much as we are expected to care about the children in this community and their educational successes.
It has been nearly one whole year since contract proposals were sunshined. Although we have tried to negotiate a fair settlement objectively and collaboratively, we have no agreement and we have an increasingly dismissive district that began to hold teachers in utter disregard. Although many of you participated in numerous attempts in the last 12 months to bring attention to a wide range of concerns, we have received no response from those who govern and administrate. We protested teacher layoffs, duplicitous budgeting, financial misrepresentation, foolish spending on technology with built-in obsolescence, corporate malfeasance, lack of transparency, unfair labor practices, incompetence, unilateralism, lack of concern over construction and safety issues, and most recently the abolishment of a representative body of teachers assembled five decades ago as a recognition of our expertise and institutional memory. The list of grievances are many, but we have yet to hear an acceptable response from this governing body on these issues.
It is once again time to stand up for what we know in our heart is the real reason for the success of schools in MBUSD. We can show students that the righteous voice of people cannot be silenced by those who have chosen self-servitude. Mira Costa has grown to be a great school through your professionalism, vision and dedication in the classroom. Administrators come and go, but teachers remain. We are the bedrock of student success.
As teachers, we have integrity. We must in order to protect and educate the future generation. It is because of this integrity that we must act together. It is because of integrity that MBUTA must now call upon its members to respond with a strong message that we will not tolerate the indifference, manipulation, and corruption that have taken our purchasing power and now our voice.
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