Thursday, February 20, 2014


The FUSD School Board has authorized district administration to unilaterally request impasse.   Apparently, Fresno Unified would rather talk about the teachers, rather than talk to them, and so we are entering a new phase of negotiations on a bitter note.

FUSD teachers were sent links to this video in their email this week, so this may not be much of news to anyone, but I thought I would embed the thing so anyone who views this post can place it in context:

Fresno Unified 2013 - 2014 Negotiations Press Conference from Fresno Unified on Vimeo.

Looks pretty slick, doesn't it?  It was certainly a calculated move on the part of the district,which planned the whole thing well in advance of Thursday's negotiations. This press conference was being set up and materials were being mailed to the press while FTA's Negotiating Team was still at the table, still in the same building where the press conference took place.   So, really, any talk about us being at the 'bargaining table' on Thursday, Feb. 13th is a sham.  

Rather, the FUSD School Board has decided that they do not wish to negotiate any further with FTA.  On Thursday afternoon, we were told, in essence, "Take it or leave it."  Rather than continuing negotiation, the FUSD School Board has decided to start the process required under state law that could lead to a strike.    A detailed summary of the first part of that process can be found here.

I think this bears repeating:  it is not FTA that has taken the step.  The district has done so, and done so over FTA's objections.   We are certainly willing to fight, if it comes to it.   But make no mistake: it is FUSD's School Board that is choosing not to negotiate, rather than the other way around.

Friday, February 14, 2014


In another district-wide display of teacher unity, FTA members congregated at their sites before the beginning of the school day on February 13th.   Members wore black and proudly wore stickers that read, "Count Me In!" to show their support for their Bargaining team.   This post just shows some of the images from just three sites in the Bullard area.

Bullard High School

Slater and Starr Elementary Schools

I make that at least SEVENTY-FIVE strong teaching professionals in black!   Great job!   In fact, there were so many teachers at my site that a student from the school newspaper (the Charger) interviewed me, to ask what all the fuss was about:

The high level of participation is very comparable to what we saw on Feb. 3rd, our 'Day of Mourning.'   

This was Hoover High's cafeteria on that day:

How many teachers in this picture can you find NOT wearing black?   Great job, Hoover area.

And here's what the Roosevelt-area gathering looked like:

Darker room, and....lots of people, wearing dark clothes and the FTA message!

Here are more pictures from elementary school sites:

 Fresno Unified, are you paying attention?

Monday, February 3, 2014


It seems that more teachers than anyone had a right to expect wore black to their Buyback sessions.   Every regional site was dominated by one color.   That means that the majority of the teachers in this district are beginning to wake up, and beginning to realize that they really can (and should) make their interests known.

Channel 30 seems to realize this is a story that won't go away: