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.