Remarkable Moments at Feb. 1 AESD Emergency Board Meeting

Upon reading a surprise announcement on the AESD website of a board meeting to be held the day before February 2, 2015 negotiations, the ADTA Core Organizing and Communications team worked through the night to gather a delegation of teachers to show solidarity at the emergency meeting. The ADTA Organizers from each school site mobilized 63 teachers quickly. They did this despite the fact it was held at 8am on Super Bowl Sunday. Adelanto teachers once again showed the district that its members can mobilize on a moment’s notice.

ADTA members spent some down time together as the board went to closed session shortly after 8am. Even though the school board was in closed session with no timeframe to return, most all ADTA members stayed, wanting to make their presence known. Someone in attendance relayed that a board member walked through the doors about 7:45am as the teacher was coming in. The board member said, “What are all you teachers doing here on a Sunday morning?” The teacher replied, “We are here checking up on what you guys are doing.”

ADTA teacher Christine Smith made an impassioned speech to the board. In it she said, “You don’t respect me or my friends,” pointing to the ADTA teachers in red shirts behind her. Teachers in the audience were seen fighting back tears at times when she spoke. She stated that she doesn’t feel respected by the district and as a result she is considering employment elsewhere. ADTA is frustrated that we are losing good teachers like Ms. Smith because of the disrespect teachers feel from the district.

Marie Calvo-Roth, Special Education Teacher at Eagle Ranch also spoke to the board. She gave an impressive and heartfelt speech outlining all the recent ADTA actions held during Unity Week in early January and beyond. She detailed how the actions have impacted her personally as she connected with the supportive Adelanto parents, community, and teachers. Her remarks are posted here with her permission.

More photos are on Flickr.

Many thanks to the ADTA Organizing team: Nanette Cadilli (Chair), Denise Brail (Co-Chair), Kimberly Toney Smith, Dawn Cummins-Fernandez, Abigail Serena, Lauren Bingenheimer, Timothy Lang (Communications) and Damien Riley (Co-Communications)

Teacher Contract Dispute Makes Headlines Again

Another article has been published in the Daily Press.
Source: Adelanto school board meeting heats up over contract dispute.
board-meeting-heatADELANTO — A four-hour-long meeting got heated Tuesday night as frustrated parents and teachers took on the Adelanto Elementary School District Board of Trustees over stalled teachers union negotiations.

Two newly-seated board members and three incumbent trustees remained mostly stone-faced as parents and young students shared emotional comments asking for the district to settle the teachers’ contract issue and reduce the number of substitutes teaching classes.

“When will this end?” said Lucero Diaz in Spanish, as a translator next to her interpreted. “We’re not negotiating tomatoes and chilies, we’re talking about the education of our children.”
Diaz, 45, is originally from Mexico and is the mother of twins that attend Donald F. Bradach Elementary School. She said parents were “willing to work to help teachers.”

Talks between the Adelanto Teachers Association and the district first began in October 2013 according to ADTA, and the talks are now being led by a state-appointed neutral party in order to reach an agreement.

Chief Personnel Officer Steve Desist, who is the lead negotiator for AESD, said he didn’t want to comment on the ongoing discussions because he didn’t want to “negotiate through the newspaper.”
Another parent, Kelly Jeffers, told the board that it was “absolutely appalling” that the district was “driving teachers out” to replace them with new teachers and substitutes.

“It’s an injustice to our children and it’s absolutely unfair,” Jeffers said. “I ask you to stop taking advantage of our population of Adelanto. We do have a voice.”

One mother threatened to pull her child out of school if the teachers go on strike next month. The union threatened the strike a week ago when a scheduled negotiation meeting was delayed.

Superintendent Edwin Gomez said he heard the public’s concerns and was taking note of them.
“We are going through challenging times in our district and we do want to see a resolution,” Gomez said. “We have a date set in February and I think our teachers, community and students deserve that.”
Newly-elected Trustee Jayson Hughes attempted to console the teachers by stating: “I feel your pain as a teacher myself.”

“I think you’re doing a fantastic job by voicing your opinions,” Hughes said. “And I think we’re all going to be happy and surprised. Be patient for one month or two and I’m sure there is going to be a good resolution.”

Several teachers contended that the sticking point of the negotiations regarded an increase in the school day by 30-40 minutes. Teachers said their work day would extend 18 percent but they were not being offered compensation equal to their per-diem rate.

AESD was also the only district in San Bernardino County to not meet a state mandate to pay 60 percent of its budget to teacher salaries last year, they said. The district fell about $2.9 million short of the benchmark.”

Read the full article at the Daily Press website here: Adelanto school board meeting heats up over contract dispute.

Download pdf of the original article: [embeddoc url=”” download=”all” viewer=”google”]

ADTA Struggle Makes Front Page!


The current ADTA struggle with AESD made the front page of the newspaper! The following is an excerpt from the original Daily Press article.

“ADELANTO — The Adelanto teachers union is looking into the possibility of a strike in February after bargaining negotiations recently passed the one-year mark and the district fired its chief business officer, a California Teachers Association spokesman confirmed.

“Where they are at this point, they are conducting a strike assessment this week, among other activities,” said Frank Wells of CTA. “Everything they’re doing is in the hope of getting a settlement and avoiding a strike.”

adtaWells said district officials postponed a meeting scheduled between the union and the district last week, which has further infuriated union officials. The district and teachers first began negotiations in October 2013 and have been at impasse since July. The next time the two sides are expected to meet is Feb. 23.
“There was a fact finding scheduled for tomorrow and the district has now asked that to be postponed to late February,” Wells said on Thursday. “If there were to be (a strike) it would not happen until after that fact finding. We’re still a ways away from that and hopefully we won’t need to get there.”

Contract negotiations typically occur between a California teachers union and district administrators every three years, according to the CTA website.

In Adelanto, bargaining talks between the district’s administrators and Adelanto Teachers Association are now being mediated by a state-appointed neutral as they are in the fact-finding stage.

The main issues being disputed include the rate of a healthcare benefits cap, salary rates for “professional development days,” walk-thru evaluations, and the extension of work day hours, according to an ADTA Powerpoint presentation delivered to teachers on Wednesday…”

Read the whole article published first at: Adelanto teachers union, administrators remain at odds – News – – Victorville, CA.

Archived pdf of the article: [embeddoc url=”” download=”all” viewer=”google”]

Announcing an ADTA Unibration! Friday 1-16-15

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You all were AWESOME during ‘Unity Week’

Now let’s kick our shoes off for a lil bit~
Come out for some
Friday, January 16th 2015

Whiskey Barrel
12055 Mariposa Rd, Victorville, CA
3:00 PM-5:00 PM
Taco bar, beans, rice, salsa, & sodas will be supplied by ADTA.
You will need to RSVP for this event by 1/14/15
Send text with your name and site to Lori Rhodes 760-524-7055.
We can stay later, but food will be cleared off floor about 5:00 PM.
If you don’t RSVP, you can still come by, you will just be asked to purchase
your own food.
There will be drawings for those that RSVP~
You have worked on the bonds with those at your site, now come work on
bonds with fellow teachers from other sites.