After four sweltering days standing together on the picket line, the 16 members of Forestville Teachers Association (FTA) this evening won the contract they demanded—one that will help attract and retain the qualified teachers Forestville students deserve.
FTA won the 13% wage increase over three years they wanted, following a short negotiations session held at 6 p.m. tonight. The terms are the same that spurred Forestville Union School District (FUSD) managers to walk out of negotiations on Monday and refuse to resume bargaining. The district’s silence continued until this morning when FUSD called FTA to ask to continue bargaining tonight.
This was only part of what FTA President Gina Graziano called “the best day ever,” as Forestville parents made a loud statement on the first day of instruction that they stood with their teachers. School buses arrived nearly empty and parents driving their kids to school parked and joined the picket line. According to unofficial reports, only 15 Forestville students out of 216 went to school today—a heartwarming and unmistakable show of support for FTA teachers and their commitment to Forestville students, families and the school community.
Even in 100-degree heat, these Forestville teachers, parents and students were joined by members of the CTA Board of Directors, educators from nearby CTA locals and FUSD classified employees, represented by CSEA. Following the inspiring show of support, FTA and FUSD met for no more than a half-hour before the FTA team emerged with a signed agreement in-hand.
School will start tomorrow morning with all 16 Forestville Teachers in their classrooms, and a school full of students (and Forestville community) grateful to have them back.