Madera Unified Teachers Association is trying one more time on Monday to strike a deal that prevents a strike. MUTA has been organizing and mobilizing as they head into fact-finding, following a second mediation session where Madera Unified School District (MUSD) didn’t even bother to show up.
The 1,100 members of MUTA are unified in their demand for the resources needed to recruit and retain the quality educators Madera students deserve. A straw poll of about 600 members taken at a February meeting in February about whether members were ready to strike resulted in a near-unanimous yes. While a strike authorization vote is not yet scheduled, and MUTA President David Holder says he hopes there won’t be a need to do so, it shows the commitment of MUTA educators to their students and community.
“We want MUSD to offer the best education possible to our students. And we want teachers to be treated fairly and respectfully,” Holder said. “Madera teachers are standing up for our students who deserve caring, qualified teachers in their classrooms to provide quality instruction.”
MUSD management “offered a 1% raise and work five more days,” he said. “Essentially, when you work five more days you are taking a pay cut. We’re asking district management to come back and offer a fair settlement that respects teachers and their families.” He hopes to see an improved offer as negotiations continue next week.
Meanwhile, MUTA members, students, and education supporters have been protesting to show support for the MUTA bargaining team. MUTA is are asking for a 4.75% increase in pay, better health benefits, and better class sizes.
Health benefits help keep our teachers with young families in Madera and “we believe the best resource for our students are teachers,” Holder noted. “We’ve done our homework. This district can afford our proposal and will have millions left over in their reserves. There is no reason for us to be at an impasse. Our students deserve better.”
Photos by Josh Kob. #MUTAStrong