Last night (March 26), 600-plus people, including CTA colleagues from Alameda, Contra Costa, Solano and Los Angeles counties, parents, and local union representatives, attended a Dublin Teachers Association rally for a fair contract that provides the best for students. Surprisingly, that was not the lead news item. Just prior to the DTA rally and march to the district office, the Dublin Unified School District Board of Education announced it had “mutually agreed to a separation” with Superintendent Leslie Boozer.
“We want what’s best for our students and this community. If this board thinks this is the best move right now, we are supportive of their decision. We are committed to moving forward, and to finding the best fit for Dublin,” said DTA President Roberta “Robbie” Kreitz. “Meanwhile, we are still certified to fact-finding and will continue to negotiate for the best class sizes, the best educators, and the best supports for our students.”
Just days before the DTA rally, Superintendent Boozer gave DTA an on-the-record proposal that “does not put the needs of Dublin students, educators and the community first. In fact, it puts the needs of DUSD management above all else,” Kreitz told board members during the board meeting. “In over 20 years, DTA has never had to go to this level in the negotiation process, yet this is the second time in less than two years that we have had to escalate, which is telling of the state of this district. I would like to confirm to the community watching and to the community here tonight that we will strike for Dublin students.”
After nearly a year of negotiations of stall tactics on the part of management that prompted an impasse, DTA is steadfast in its commitment to students and a fair contract, she said. And they will fight for what students need. “It is not because we thrive on being called a liar time and time again, or because my bargaining team is craving for some more false statements from management, or that they want to hear false reporting about negotiations; it is because teaching is our career, this is our calling, and this is what we love to do. We work to make a living. We teach to make a difference. Teaching isn’t just a job to us; it is a way of life, part of our souls. It is who we are.”
“What you do in this room impacts all employees past, present and future (we hope), and it affects our students, who are at the core of everything we do,” she added. “We know that the students deserve the best, and the lack of direction, leadership and accountability in Dublin is negatively impacting their best interest.”
An overwhelming 98 percent of DTA members voted to authorize a strike if necessary. DTA members want manageable class size caps, better staffing ratios for counselors and all specialists, collaboratively developed site plans for providing instruction, and compensation that will attract and retain the best educators. “And for that we will march together, stand together, and we will strike together.”
Photos by Katie Barnes