Monday, April 11, 2011

State of Emergency for California Education

CTA’s State Council of Education has declared a “State of Emergency” during the week of May 9-13 and has approved a series of actions including a sit-in at the state Capitol building in Sacramento and several major regional rallies in order to pressure lawmakers to pass a budget that includes tax extensions to protect schools, colleges, and essential public services from further cuts.

In a demonstration of its commitment, Council passed a resolution approving at least $1 million to implement the action plan.

“The State of Emergency grew out of a grassroots movement. Council wanted to take bold and aggressive action to make sure the state Legislature knows that we are serious when it comes to preserving education in this state,” said CTA President David A. Sanchez. “That’s why we are engaging our chapters and reaching out to other coalition members and labor groups to participate in a week of activities that will culminate in regional rallies. You may not feel you can do absolutely everything, but we can all do one thing.

For several hundred volunteers, that one thing may be a sit-in at the State Capitol building. On the heels of the bold action taken in February by their colleagues in Wisconsin who took over that statehouse, members of State Council voted to send 300 volunteers to sit in at the Capitol for a week. Although details are still to be worked out (California has different regulations for its Capitol building), the volunteers will be “freed” at the end of the week during the statewide rallies.

State Council committees devoted part of their meetings Saturday afternoon to brainstorm possible events for the week in May. What resulted were lots of ideas which will be available to organizers of the activities.

Council adopted the acronym L.E.A.R.N. as a way of organizing activities for the week. On Monday, May 9, the focus will be on LEGISLATIVE activities; on Tuesday, May 10, members will be asked to reach out to EVERY PARENT; Wednesday, May 11, is California Day of the Teacher, a time to APPRECIATE educators and Allies; Thursday, May 12, will be the day to promote the need for REVENUE for schools, and to educate our members and the community about tax fairness. Finally, Friday, May 13, will be the day of NOT Business as Usual, when educators will gather for rallies in Sacramento, the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Fresno or Bakersfield, Inland Empire, and San Diego.

“We were hoping that our legislators would to the job that most Californians want them to do: make the cuts they needed to make, and put the issue of tax extensions on the June ballot. Let the voters decide! But they didn’t, and now we have to step up our level of activity to pressure them to do what’s right. We need a budget that protects schools, colleges and public services from further cuts,” Sanchez said.

More resources and information will be coming soon, but a leader’s guide, member flyer, SOE ideas, and SOE plan are available at

Sanchez: "State is having a meltdown"

The state budget, or lack thereof, was very much on the minds of delegates and CTA President David A. Sanchez when State Council met in Los Angeles April 1-3.

Unlike the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Sanchez told Council that the emergency we’re facing is very much man-made, “and that is a state budget that could result in another 19,000 educator lay-offs and the further erosion of our public schools and colleges. It’s like our state is having a meltdown right in front of us.”

Although CTA and Californians throughout the state supported Gov. Brown’s budget plan of $12.5 billion in cuts and $12.5 billion in revenue extensions, it became clear that Republican lawmakers “have no real interest in solving this budget crisis without destroying public education and other public services,” Sanchez said in his remarks.

Instead of striking a budget deal that would have allowed the public to vote on tax extensions, the lawmakers presented a list of 53 different demands, some of which made the deficit even bigger.

“Their other demands included a host of so-called education reforms and attempts to dismantle the secure retirement system for teachers, nurses, firefighters, and other public employees. Governor Brown said NO.”

He continued, “We are in a state of emergency, and we need to take bold action that sends a crystal clear message to Sacramento. “We aren’t going to sit back while the negligence of some lawmakers bankrupts our schools, closes our parks, abandons our sick and elderly, and puts entire communities at risk.”

Carolyn Doggett talks about attacks on Middle Class

On the day before the marking of the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 4, CTA Executive Director Carolyn Doggett used her own Sunday morning address to talk about how some of the things King strived for are eroding today.

“We in California and throughout the nation are in the middle of a perfect storm,” Doggett said. “State budget cuts are denying our students the opportunities they deserve and are ultimately destroying the very fabric of our local communities. The attacks on public education, teachers and organized labor are well orchestrated and very well-funded. And, we have a set of tax policies that are destroying the middle class while letting Corporate America take a pass.”

Doggett made note of a few inequities including:
The average CEO earns 185 times more than the average worker.
The richest five percent of Americans claim nearly 64 percent of the nation’s wealth, while the bottom 80 percent hold just 13 percent.
The corporate share of our nation’s taxes has fallen from 30 percent of all federal revenues in the mid-1950s to 6.6 percent in 2009.
 General Electric, which had a profit of $14.2, billion paid nothing in taxes in 2010.

“At the same time, 14 million Americans are without a job. Child poverty rates and homelessness are at an all-time high. Students can’t afford to go to college and public schools are shutting their doors,” Doggett said. “This is not the America I want for my nieces and nephews.”

Doggett summoned the words Dr. King said to sanitation workers in Memphis:

"You are reminding the nation that it is a crime for people to live in this rich nation and receive starvation wages. The best anti-proverty program for a worker is a union. Now, our struggle is for genuine equality, which means economic equality. for now we know that it isn't enough to integrate lunch counters. What does it profit a man to be able to eat at an integrated lunch counter if he doesn't earn enough money to buy a hamberguer and a cup of coffee?"

Doggett further urged Council members to turn out with their colleagues to We Are One rallies that were to occur on April 4 all over the country, as well as to share information from the CTA website on tax fairness.

"We are under attack like never before. The sharks are circling and waiting for us to flounder. It is why we must continue to have a STRONG CTA. A strong voice for our students...for our schools...for our colleges...our union...and our future," she said.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Electing Brown, Torlakson Are Huge Wins For Our Students

In the first State Council since the November elections, CTA President David A. Sanchez praised delegates meeting in Los Angeles for their hard work in electing Jerry Brown governor and Tom Torlakson as state superintendent of public instruction.

“You made recommendations, you approved a plan and resources, you showed up to the polls in record numbers – and our students won,” Sanchez said. “All your hard work around the election is paying off.”

He cited the governor’s willingness to meet with CTA and teachers as a good sign. And he praised Brown’s quick appointments to the State Board of Education of real educators as a breakthrough. “This act alone will put an end to the teacher-bashing and blaming that the past State Board participated in.”

He noted that one Brown appointee – Sacramento County educator and CTA legislative advocate Patricia Ann Rucker – will also represent California on the National Common Core Standards Commission.

The governor’s budget proposal is a balanced approach of cuts and revenues to resolve the state’s $25 billion deficit, in part by extending certain taxes, Sanchez said. “We recognize the governor’s attempt to limit cuts to K-12 schools as our students have suffered a majority of the state’s budget cuts in the last few years,” he said. “Extending current revenues is critical to having any hope for maintaining a quality public education system in this state.”

Electing Torlakson means students and educators have a true advocate in Sacramento. “He has already declared a state of financial emergency for California’s schools and urged Californians to come to the aid of schools across the state,” Sanchez said.

He pointed out Torlakson’s public distress over a recent Education Week study that gave California’s education system a C-grade overall – and a D-minus in education spending, ranking the state 43rd in per-pupil spending.

Torlakson, as a legislator in 2006, also authored the landmark, CTA-sponsored Quality Education Investment Act (QEIA). The largest education reform of its kind, QEIA provides $3 billion over eight years for proven reforms in nearly 500 of the state’s lower-performing schools. Thanks to funding for smaller class sizes, more counselors and quality professional development for teachers and administrators, QEIA schools are succeeding, Sanchez said. Council delegates received a 40-page CTA report by an independent researcher that documents the steady preliminary progress at QEIA schools.
Academic Performance Index (API) scores are rising at QEIA schools, but so is collaboration among all stakeholders, Sanchez said. “Learning and working together have taken center stage.”
To read the entire Council speech of President Sanchez, log in to the Members-only section of and see the State Council section.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Meg Not Good for Schools

Tuesday night’s gubernatorial debate at Dominican College in San Rafael may have gotten a bit too confrontational for some, but despite the grenades hurled back and forth, Jerry Brown continued to show his support for California educators. That occurred when moderator Tom Brokaw asked Brown about the role of the teachers union in California. Brown responded: “It is a very important role, since they represent, through free elections, hundreds of thousands of teachers in California classrooms. They’re a very strong advocate for more money for schools. And that’s very important, particularly when you have people like Meg Whitman coming around wanting to cut the capital gains tax and put a $5 billion hole, which a certain amount of that will certainly come from schools.”

Check out "Meg for Meg," video.

Election Day Coming

Election Day is less than three weeks away, and we still have a lot of work to do! The outcome of this election will have enormous consequences for educators, students and schools, so I want to encourage you to make sure our members are doing everything we can throughout this state to make sure public education prevails on Election Day. We can’t let up now. In addition to electing Jerry Brown and Tom Torlakson, we must ramp up the effort to save schools from more cuts and layoffs by passing Proposition 24, the Tax Fairness Act. This is CTA’s initiative. We sponsored it and collected enough signatures to put it on the ballot, and now we must continue the work to make sure it passes on November 2. Passing Prop. 24 will ensure that California’s largest corporations continue to pay their fair share. It will help save 22,000 teacher, nurse and firefighter jobs, keep class sizes small, and protect education programs, public safety and other services.

To help you, we have created a new Take Action Page just for Prop. 24. You and your members can help get the word out during this final push:

First and foremost, talk to family and friends about why passing Prop 24 is so important to our schools and communities.

Share CTA’s Yes on 24 webpage with all of your members. There, they can get ideas of how to help using CTA’s social networks, get the latest on Prop. 24, and print and download posters to display and share.

Watch and share the Teachers for 24 video.

Write an Op-Ed or letter to the editor of your local paper and share your thoughts on tax fairness.

Respond online or in a Letter to the Editor to articles and blogs about Prop. 24.

Participate in a Prop. 24 “100 Grand Bar Giveaway” to parents and voters on Halloween.

Vote YES on 24 on your mail-in ballot or at your polling place on Nov 2!

It’s time to give students and educators a break, not big corporations. Let’s all make sure Prop 24 passes on November 2. Thank you for your leadership in this effort.

David A. Sanchez
CTA President

Thursday, September 23, 2010

New Movie Slams Teacher Unions-CTA Response

I’m sure most of you have heard about the latest film attacking the teachers unions—Waiting for Superman—which opens in L.A. this Friday, and the rest of the state October 3. This is one of three movies out right now talking about teachers and public education. Like many of Arne Duncan’s education reform ideas, this movie is half-baked.

Unfortunately, traditional public schools— along with their students and their teachers— are strangely absent from this documentary. Director Davis Guggenheim attributes this partly to the fact that “a lot of schools don’t want you to shoot film in them, no matter who you are” – so instead of getting the story of what’s really going on, we get the story that Guggenheim could tell more easily. If you want to make a documentary about improving education, and if you want to make a documentary about daily feats of heroism, you shouldn’t ignore public schools.

Waiting for Superman will stir up the national discussion about public schools – following Newsweek’s shoddy report, and the L.A. Times recent attack – and it does so at the expense of public school teachers, our union and the students we serve. We can talk about what doesn’t work – slashed budgets, overcrowded classrooms, a lack of time for training and mentoring – but who would go see Waiting for a Fair and Balanced Conversation That Supports Our Students and Teachers, and Improves Learning?
We will be covering this issue in the upcoming October issue of the California Educator magazine. Until then,
Take a sneak peek at our interview with Guggenheim
Read NEA’s response
Join the NOT Waiting for Superman Facebook Page
Read one USF Professor’s Response

And be sure to tell your own stories about public education to all who will listen. When your friends ask you about this movie, or even your day, tell them! You don’t have to see this movie to let your friends and neighbors know about the challenges, the rewards and the realities you encounter every day that you go to work in a California school. We can’t wait for Guggenheim or the L.A. Times to tell the complete story. We must speak up. We must speak out. We must stand together.

Join us on the CTA Facebook page where we are discussing this and much more.

David A. Sanchez
CTA President

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

RCTA Asking About Teacher Evaluations

RCTA President asked for input from members, "What are your thoughts about beginning a dialogue with the district concerning the use of student achievement data in a responsible, fair, and accurate manner as one component of the teacher evaluation system?
I would hope that members that give input would keep in mind the following CTA Policy on teacher evaluations.
I encourage everyone to go to and give him input on what you think about evaluations.

CTA Policy on Teacher Evaluations
Evaluation and Due Process (Policy manual pages 144-145)
CTA believes evaluation is the key to excellence. Well-planned evaluation programs based on policies cooperatively developed by staff, administration, and board assure that evaluation will serve its primary purpose of benefiting bargaining unit members, students, and community.

These principles apply to all bargaining unit members, whether full-time or part-time, regardless of the age of their students. Their implementation should be bargained by the appropriate bargaining unit and should apply uniformly within the employing unit.
1. Evaluation and Due Process protects:
a. Children and society against incompetent or unfit professional staff members.
b. Bargaining unit members against disciplinary or dismissal proceedings without just cause related to the quality of instruction.
c. Bargaining unit members against disciplinary or dismissal proceedings for arbitrary, capricious, unsubstantial or unsubstantiated reasons.
d. Academic freedom.

2. Due Process for certificated employees provides:
a. For a procedure by which an individual subject to dismissal may obtain a fair and full hearing before a group of his/her professional peers.
b. For judicial recourse or appeal if a school board or a bargaining unit member feels aggrieved at dismissal or disciplinary actions.

3. The California Teachers Association recognizes:
a. Bargaining unit members are professionally competent and can be counted upon to initiate self-discipline within their own ranks,
b. An adequate probationary period is necessary and that no dismissal action should be initiated unless the bargaining unit member has been informed of his/her alleged deficiencies and given time and assistance for their correction.

Evaluation of instruction refers to those procedures in a school district which assess the effectiveness of the school in meeting the goals and expectations it has agreed upon for itself. This includes, but is not limited to, evaluation of the performance of individual certificated personnel. Effective evaluation of instruction requires that procedures be designed to focus on the improvement of educational services to pupils. CTA believes that the preparation and dissemination of observations, evaluations, or any data concerning unit members shall be confidential. Once a hard copy of the information has been generated and disseminated, the computer memory of the information shall be erased.

Basic Principles for certificated personnel
Evaluation of instruction is the key to a successful educational program. It provides:

1. For the improvement of instruction through interaction among all concerned parties.
2. For a planned program to keep certificated personnel informed of respective strengths and weaknesses and for appropriate professional growth activities to meet identified needs.
3. For the continued services of certificated personnel who strive to demonstrate professional competence.
4. For capable, qualified, certificated personnel to achieve and retain permanent status.

These principles are dependent upon the following guidelines relevant to both certificated and classified employees:

1. Bargaining unit members shall participate with their evaluators in the development of criteria for satisfactory performance. These criteria shall be mutually agreed upon by both bargaining unit members and evaluators and shall be subject to periodic review.
2. The criteria, procedures, and form relating to evaluation shall be fully publicized and available to all concerned.
3. Procedures for collecting, processing, and interpreting data shall be objective and uniform.
4. Evaluation shall include a conference between the evaluatee and the evaluator(s) at which time information relating to the individual's strength and weaknesses should be discussed openly and frankly with the individual being evaluated.
5. The availability of needed resources and other factors unique to the individual assignment which might affect the program of instruction shall be identified and considered in evaluation conferences.
6. Help and assistance to bargaining unit members in areas indicated as not meeting district standards shall be provided, and a record of such assistance shall be maintained for review in subsequent evaluation conferences.
7. Evaluations shall be recorded and signed by both evaluatee and evaluator(s), a copy provided to the evaluatee and a copy retained in the district files to provide a continuous record of the individual's service.
8. Provision for appeal on items of disagreement shall be available.
9. Provision shall be made for self-evaluation or other action programs for the benefit of all bargaining unit members to upgrade their professional performance.
10. Provision shall be made to remedy deficiencies in the conditions under which bargaining unit members perform their services.
11. No standardized test norms shall be used to assess teacher performance.
12. Certificated bargaining unit member assessment based on non-instructional duties shall be minimal. These duties shall be specified in advance of any utilization of for evaluation purposes.
13. Bargaining unit members shall evaluate administrative and support personnel and shall have the option of evaluation by their professional peers.
14. No student assessment shall be used in the evaluation of bargaining unit members.
15. A beginning bargaining unit member shall be evaluated as is every other member of the staff. Work with a mentor bargaining unit member shall not be within the realm of evaluation.
16. The findings of any practice evaluation shall not be made accessible to anyone outside the administrative training programs
17. Bargaining unit members shall be evaluated based on their individual performance. Teaching strategies such as team teaching, core groups, and others shall not be the basis for the evaluation of an individual bargaining unit member's performance.
18. District standards for evaluation purposes must be clearly stated and attainable by the evaluatee.

Friday, September 10, 2010

A New Year and New Blog

Well, here we begin a new school year. Since I am no longer RCTA President, I intend to be involved in the union. So, I will post my thoughts on things that are going on in both the District and RCTA. My thouhgts are my own and do not reflect any official RCTA views.

Some have wondered what I will be doing after 6 years as RCTA President. Currently I am at Summit View independent study. This is a new adventure for me, after 28 years in the classroom, but I am doing well and learning a whole new program. I am running for RCTA site rep here as their previous rep retired.

I will continue to be involved with RCTA and CTA. I have offered Tim any advise on issues that have come up over the years, and I know the Exec Board will always be there to help in his transition. I continue to be on the CTA Elections and Representation Committee, and will be attending all State Council meeting in that capacity.

If anyone wishes to contact me with a question, I will try to answer it to the best of my ability.

Wishing you a great year!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

2010-2011 Salary Schedule

This schedule is for one year only, unless it is negotiated to extend it.

This image  is the best I could do on this blog.
Click image to see clearer image.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a teacher's union?
Teachers’ unions are made up groups of people like you and me who work together to solve problems and to have a voice in what happens in our work environment. A teacher’s union gives us a louder voice on the job with regards to salary, benefits, safety, job security, and the ways in which our work is done and handled. Teachers’ unions give teachers a voice in how best to run our local public schools. We build stronger work environments, and give teachers a stronger voice than that of any one teacher alone. It is because of teachers’ unions that we often have better pay, better health benefits, and better pension benefits than workers who do not belong to unions.

What’s a Contract, also known as a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA)?
The contract is an agreement between Riverside City Teachers Association and Riverside Unified School District. The contract stipulates the conditions of your employment, such as: our work hours, discipline procedures, evaluation procedures, salary, health and welfare benefits, and more. The contract should be upheld not only by RUSD administrators and principals, but also by our own members. When you let contract violations persist, you weaken our contract and make it harder to work for everyone. When you do work outside of our contract, this also weakens it. For instance, if your principal asks you to do extra work after school for less pay because there isn’t money in the school budget to pay you the negotiated supplemental employment rate stipulated in our contract, then you’ve sent the message that it’s okay to negotiate outside of our contract. As a consequence, you’ve weakened our contract for others who are entitled to the regularly negotiated supplemental rate. Moreover, if your administrator reneges on your agreement with them, and it’s happened, then you’ve jeopardized your contractual grievance rights and you might not get paid for your work. Don’t weaken our contract by letting violations persist and don’t work outside of it!
Furthermore, you should not sign anything other than your employment contract. Your job and what you are entitled to is outlined in the contract (CBA). If someone is asking you to sign something, and you are unsure if you should, contact your Union Representative immediately.

Who negotiates the contract?
The contract is negotiated by trained representatives from both RCTA and RUSD. These representatives are appointed by the President of the RCTA, and the Superintendent of the District.

Who are Site Representatives and the Executive Board?
Site Representatives are your elected school Union Representatives. They represent your school at our Representative Council Meetings where they vote on issues that affect our Union. They are the first union members you should talk to when you have a question or problem about working in RUSD. They have generally had training in how to handle problem situations with an administrator in the District and have surface knowledge of our contract.
The Executive Board is a group of elected union officials who have the fiduciary responsibility for overseeing the governance of our Union and By-laws. They work closely with the President to work for the betterment of the RCTA. They are there to make suggestions to the President and Site Representatives at our Executive Board and Representative Council Meetings.

5. What do I do if I have a problem during my employment with the District?
If there is a problem or contract violation at your school site, be it with an administrator, teacher, or parent you must first speak with your elected Site Representative at your school; they should be able to help you. You should also look up what the contract has to say about it; the contract can be found at If your Site Representative cannot help you or they do not have the answer to your question, then you can contact your Director under RCTA Leadership. Only once you have exhausted your peer resources should you call us at the RCTA office.

What do I do about contract violations?
A contract violation occurs when a district administrator or principal does something or orders you to do something that goes against our negotiated contract with the Riverside Unified School District. Since there is quite a bit of information in our contract, often times, the violation that occurs is due to the District or administrator not knowing what the contract says. So, you shouldn’t be afraid to advise your administrator if he or she unknowingly violated the contract. Many problems can be easily fixed this way. However, if you speak with your administrator about the problem and nothing gets done, you only have 10 days to file a grievance. It is at this point that you should contact RCTA immediately so they can advise you of what to do. The contract needs to be upheld for it to work. If our contract is weakened by one, it can be weakened for all.
If you feel that the contract is being violated on purpose, then you should contact the RCTA President or other RCTA officer who will advise you of what to do. You may contact them by email or at their schools.

How can I get involved and help out in our Union?
You can help out by reading your contract and understanding what it means to you and your profession while working here in the Riverside Unified School District. You should uphold the contract and be active in the Union and in our local school board politics. When our Union leadership calls for your involvement in an organized event, you should be prepared to participate – there is power in numbers. You can also help out by running for an elected position such as a Site Representative at your school, Director, or assisting on any one of our committees in the Union. Some types of your work may also count towards professional growth hours for when renewing your credential. To get more information you can contact the RCTA office.

How do I know if I am a member of the RCTA?
E-mail our office at , or call the RCTA office at 951-684-6744 and we will tell you.

Can I transfer sick leave from one district to another?
Yes, you may transfer sick leave (Ed Code 44979.8772).

Do my sick days carry over each year?
Yes, the number of days not used shall accumulate from year to year (Article 16 Section 3).

How many sick days can I use for personal necessity leave?
A unit member shall be entitled to use during each school year a maximum of 8 days of sick leave towards personal necessity leave (Article 16 Section 12).

Can I view my personnel file?
Yes, make an appointment with the Human Resources Office at anytime during the year. You may call them at 951-788-7135 ext. 80101. You should also know there is only one file that may be kept on you, which is held at the district office. Your principal may keep a working file on you throughout the year. Nothing can go into your district personnel file without your written acknowledgement. The only personnel file that counts is the one kept on file at the district office.

How and when can I reclassify on the salary schedule?
Employees planning to meet the requirements for a higher classification on the salary schedule effective with their September payroll should submit the form, "Request for Reclassification," to the Human Resources Office not later than June 30. Transcripts, or verification of courses in progress, must be submitted to the Human Resources Office by August 30.
A second opportunity for higher classification is available to Employees planning to meet the requirements for a higher classification on the salary schedule effective with their February payroll should submit the form, "Request for Reclassification," to the Human Resources Office not later than November 30. Transcripts, or verification of courses in progress, must be submitted to the Human Resources Office by January 30.
Employees may only advance one salary column per school year.
You should make sure to have the personnel office time, date stamp, and copy the materials you brought in for you to take so that if they are misplaced by the personnel office, you will have record of your turning in your materials.

When and how do I file a formal complaint?
If you feel you have been acted upon inappropriately by anyone in the district, by an employee, student, or a parent, you may file a complaint with the District.

If you feel your employment rights have been violated or feel you have been discriminated against by the RUSD, you may file a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing. The Department of Fair Employment and Housing maintains the authority to investigate complaints of discrimination in the areas of employment, housing, public accommodations and hate violence. You can reach them at .

When and how do I file a grievance?
If you believe your contractual rights have been violated, then you may file a grievance against the site administrator and/or district. Please contact the RCTA office for further information.

What do I do if I am accused or charged with criminal misconduct?
You should download the form
"Do's and Don'ts for school employees charged with criminal misconduct" put together by the CTA, which gives step by step directions of what to do in the event of being accused or charged with criminal misconduct. You should also read your Weingarten Rights. Notify RCTA immediately.

17. Can I be forced to change a student's grade?
In the absence of clerical or mechanical mistake, fraud, bad faith, or incompetence on the part of the teacher, grades given by a teacher to each pupil shall be final and not subject to change by others. A board or superintendent shall not order a grade changed unless the teacher who gave this grade is given the opportunity to state orally or in writing, or both, the reasons the grade was given, and is, to the extent practicable, included in all discussions related to the changing of the grade. (Ed. Code 49066)

Can I suspend a student from my class?
1. A teacher may suspend any pupil from the teacher’s class, for any of the acts enumerated in Section 48900 of the Ed code, for the day of the suspension and the day following. The teacher shall immediately report the suspension to the principal of the school and send the pupil to the principal or principal’s designee for appropriate action. If that action requires the continued presence of the pupil at the school site, the pupil shall be under appropriate supervision, as defined in policies and related regulations adopted by the governing board of the school district. As soon as possible, the teacher shall ask the parent or guardian of the pupil to attend a parent-teacher conference regarding the suspension. Whenever practicable, a school counselor or a school psychologist shall attend the conference. A school administrator shall attend the conference if the teacher or the parent or guardian so requests. The pupil shall not be returned to the class from which he or she was suspended, during the period of the suspension, without the concurrence of the teacher of the class and the principal.
2. A pupil suspended from a class shall not be placed in another regular class during the period of suspension. However, if the pupil is assigned to more than one class per day this subdivision shall apply only to other regular classes scheduled at the same time as the class from which the pupil was suspended.
3. A teacher may also refer a pupil, for any of the acts enumerated in Ed. Code Section 48900, to the principal or the principal’s designee for the consideration of a suspension from the school.

19. If I am called to a meeting with one or more district officials what should I know before I go?
1. Remember, your private life is your own. Read your
Weingarten Rights.
2. You can expect to be treated in a professional manner. A meeting between you and your supervisor should be held in a professional manner. You should, therefore, not expect to be yelled at, or berated by an administrator.
3. If you are called to a meeting with one or more district officials, you are entitled to (1) know what the meeting is about, (2) know approximately how long it will last, and (3) to have a representative accompany you to the meeting.
4. If the occasion arises that the administrator wants to tape record the meeting, you can decide yes or no. If he/she persists, demand a copy of the tape, refuse to answer any questions without counsel and state your objections on the tape.

What are the guidelines for parent observations and do I have to allow parent volunteers into my classroom?
Per section 51101 of The California Ed Code, parents have a right "within a reasonable period of time following making the request, to observe the classroom or classrooms in which their child is enrolled or for the purpose of selecting the school in which their child will be enrolled." The law also states that, although parents may volunteer their time and resources for the improvement of school facilities and school programs under the supervision of district employees, they must have approval to volunteer in the classroom from the classroom teacher. Moreover, they are under the direct supervision, of the teacher, and although volunteer parents may assist with instruction, the primary instructional responsibility shall remain with the teacher.
This means that parents should never just walk into your classroom without permission or an appointment. They should make an appointment with you and generally stay for not longer than 5-10 minutes. Also, any parent who visits a classroom more than once whether to observe or volunteer, should have a negative tuberculosis test and a volunteer form filed with the district.

What are my rights as a probationary teacher?
You can read the following document provided by the CTA on
"Rights of Probationary Teachers."

What is the Williams Case and how does it affect me and my students?
In the Williams v. State of California Education lawsuit, the class in this lawsuit has been defined as the following:
All students who are attending or will attend public elementary, middle or secondary schools in California who suffer from one or more deprivations of basic educational necessities. The specific deprivations are as follows:
A) a lack of instructional materials such that the student does not have his or her own reasonably current textbook or educational materials, in useable condition, in each core subject (1) to use in class without sharing with another student; or (2) to use at home each evening for homework;
B) a lack of qualified teachers such that (1) the student attends a class or classes for which no permanent teacher is assigned; or (2) the student attends a school in which more than 20% of teachers do not have full, non-emergency teaching credentials; or (3) the student is an English Language Learner ("ELL") and is assigned a teacher who has not been specially qualified by the State to teach ELL students;
C) inadequate, unsafe and unhealthful school facilities such that (1) the student attends classes in one or more rooms in which the temperature falls outside the 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit range; or (2) the student attends classes in one or more rooms in which the ambient or external noise levels regularly impede verbal communication between students and teachers; or (3) there are insufficient numbers of clean, stocked and functioning toilets and bathrooms; or (4) there are unsanitary and unhealthful conditions, including the presence of vermin, mildew or rotting organic material;
D) a lack of educational resources such that (1) the school offers academic courses and extracurricular offerings in which the student cannot participate without paying a fee or obtaining a fee waiver; or (2) the school does not provide the student with access to research materials necessary to satisfy course instruction, such as a library or the Internet; or
E) overcrowded schools such that (1) the student is subject to a year-round, multi-track schedule that provides for fewer days of annual instruction than schools on a traditional calendar provide; or (2) the student is bused excessive distances from his or her neighborhood school; or (3) the student attends classes in one or more rooms that are so overcrowded that there are insufficient seats for each enrolled student to have his or her own seat or where the average square footage per student is less than 25 square feet.
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Am I protected if I file a complaint against the district for noncompliance with or violating state or federal statutes, rules or regulations?
Yes. Under Article XI of the contract, we have a responsibility to report unsafe conditions to our immediate supervisor. Furthermore, California Labor Codes 1102.5 and 98.6, protect any employee who discloses information to a government or law enforcement agency where the employee has reasonable cause to believe that the information discloses: 1. A violation of a state or federal statute. 2. A violation or noncompliance with a state or federal rule or regulation, or 3. With reference to employee safety or health, unsafe working conditions or work practices in the employee's employment or place of employment. This would include both William's Case and Clean Restroom legislation.

24. What should I do if I am injured on the job?
You must report the accident to your school site administrator, complete and accident/injury form, and submit it to Risk Management. You should also call us at the RCTA office, and, if necessary, we might refer you to a workers compensation attorney.

I was evaluated last year and my principal wants to evaluate me again this year. Can they?
It depends on your status as a teacher in the district and your prior year evaluation. Permanent employees remaining in the same general assignment and receiving a meets or exceeds standards of performance evaluation one year shall not normally be evaluated in the succeeding year. Such an employee may be scheduled for evaluation based upon justifiable reason(s) communicated to the employee in writing.
By mutual agreement between the employee and the evaluator, the employee may be evaluated once every five years (5) if the employee meets all of the following criteria:
1. The employee must have obtained permanent status as a certificated employee in Riverside Unified School District;
2. The employee must have been employed as a certificated employee in the Riverside Unified School District for at least ten (10) years;
3. The employees most recent evaluation has been rated meets or exceeds standards of performance;
4. If the employee teaches in a core academic subject area as defined by the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, the employee must be identified as a Highly Qualified Teacher (HQT) in the subjects taught.
The evaluator or the employee may withdraw consent of this agreement prior to the date designated for the identification of the primary evaluator of the employee. Withdrawal of consent in accordance with this Article is not subject to the grievance process.

Can the school Literacy Coach observe or evaluate my teaching?
Observations and evaluations are the job of the site administrator, not RCTA members. RCTA unit members should not observe or evaluate other members without their permission and should not be offering unsolicited advice and feedback unless such advice or feedback is requested. As a courtesy to each other as members who are in the same bargaining unit, you should always ask about visiting another members classroom. Furthermore, our Union Code of Conduct prohibits any member from negatively speculating about a fellow unit member; therefore, no member may negatively disparage another member to administration.

My class size seems too big, how do I know if the District is violating our class size ratio?
The RCTA's position on class size is: the smaller the better - for both students and teachers. We all know that smaller class sizes contribute to better student performance, more individualized teaching, and better morale amongst staff because of the decreased workload. Read Article 12 for Class Size limits for Elementary, Middle, and High schools.
Should you feel there is a class size violation, please contact the RCTA Office immediately.