We hope you were all able to watch the forum last night and hear from the candidates running for PVUSD Board of Trustee seats in Area III and Area VI. School Board Trustees have an oversight and accountability for our School District. The decisions they make as a school Board affect us as educators, affect the students and their families, and also the community that we all live in. We currently have two candidates running for the Area III seat that Karen Osmundson will be vacating, Amanda Hernandez and Oscar Soto. We also have two candidates running for the Area VI seat, Maria Orozco (incumbent) and Adam Bolaños Scow. If you were unable to watch last night the recording has been posted on the pvft.net website and on our Facebook. Our membership received their electronic ballots via their personal emails from “Election Buddy” at 7:30 pm on Wednesday September 2nd and they will remain open for voting until Sunday, September 6th at 9:30 pm. We hope you will take the time to read over the questionnaires from each candidate from PVFT and the survey conducted by our affiliate, Monterey Bay Central Labor Council. This provides important information on the values of each candidate, measures they support or don’t, and will help you all to make an informed decision on who should be endorsed that supports the values of teachers, students, and labor unions. Teachers’ working conditions are students’ learning conditions.
Please check you junk/spam folder first and if you did not receive a ballot contact Radhika Kirkman at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are getting closer to the end of the school year and the start of summer. What a ride it has been for the last three months of school! Every single one of you deserves an innovative teacher award for the work you all did during this global pandemic. I think it is easy to forget once you are in the swing of distance learning but you have maintained those connections with your students providing vital emotional support and stability for many of them. Not to mention all the creative and innovative academic engagement that you have shown.
PVFT Highschool seniors Scholarship: We are very proud to announce that there were eleven recipients for the PVFT senior scholarship. The recipients in no particular order are: Hali Muir, daughter of Burnne Yew at WHS; Trinity Smet, daughter of Robert Smet at WHS; Riley Crahen, son of Jane Real at Starlight; Ashley McLay, daughter of Michell McLay at Bradley; Allysa Fernandez, daughter of Abel Fernandez at PVH; Janet Camacho-Bautista, daughter of Jose Camacho at Mintie White; Joshua Clymer, son of Jennifer Clymer at Hall; Eric Aldrich Jr, son of Katie Aldridge at RHMS; Parise Zeleny, daughter of Randy Alaga at WHS; Truman Natividad, son of Kristina Carter at Mintie White; Damian Rivas, son of Carlos Patino at WHS. Congratulations Seniors!
Negotiations Update: We have tentatively finished this negotiations cycle with the district. You will be receiving an update from PVUSD regarding new contract language and total comp agreements. Our negotiations team has been working with the district since last year in order to ratify our contract. It has been a long and difficult process, especially now negotiating through distance learning and the current economic downturn that has resulted from this pandemic. Within this framework the team aimed their focus to get some great contract language wins for the membership. The team had to make some difficult decisions regarding our total comp but felt that it was prudent with the looming budget shortfalls and cuts in the fall. Our priority is always to protect our membership and keep them working. We will be holding a General Membership meeting scheduled for June 1st from 4-6pm (ZOOM link and reminder to follow) to discuss the new contract language and answer any questions from members. After our discussion we will go into the details of using Election Buddy, the online platform we will be using to ratify the contract.
Budget review: We have joined the district for a budget discussion committee to prepare for cuts coming in the fall. The district is facing an over 15-million-dollar loss in revenue and funding. PVFT’s number one priority regarding budget cuts is mitigating lay-offs and those impacts. While we cannot negotiate with the district regarding whether layoffs happen, we can negotiate impacts to members and students.
Fall planning: We will continue collaborating with district and CSEA representatives regarding what school will look like in the fall. We have representatives from many different departments that we represent who are all advocating on how we safely return to sites. We know that school cannot resume normally, so what we are planning for are various scenarios dependent upon what measures are in place from county health directives.
Board Meeting tonight: Those who wish to address the Board during public comment or on any agenda item may do so by completing the Google Form on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 between 5:45pm and the start of each agenda item. Each public comment will be read by Vice-President Holm and will be limited to no more than two (2) minutes. You can also upload a presentation or video as a form of public comment in the Google Form, and each item will be shared up to the 2 minute time limit. https://forms.gle/q5ZKuX6MuD5GHGPz9
Benefits open enrollment: Open enrollment ends on June 12th. If you do not wish to change your current benefits you do not need to do anything for this. However, we want members to know there are many benefits options that offer a salary kickback to the member, that PVFT negotiated, if they choose to enroll in a more cost-effective plan. Please visit the District benefits website for more information. https://pps-pajaro-ca.schoolloop.com/benefits
Measures to support: Schools and Communities First will be on the November ballot. It is imperative during this budget crisis that we pass this measure to ensure that increased funding for schools and community services is put in place. We need to get the word out in our communities to rally support and dispel the false claims from opponents. You can find more information about this at: https://www.schoolsandcommunitiesfirst.org/
PVFT Educators Show Compassion
As Santa Cruz County faced COVID-19 and ordered for its members to shelter in place, we were tasked with completely transforming our work and home life routines. For some, this meant intensifying the various hardships already endured everyday. Since we started shelter in place, Pajaro Valley Federation of Teachers educators have worked tirelessly to flip our curriculum upside down and transition to online learning, all the while meeting the needs of our students and their families. Many of whom work 2 to 3 jobs in order to make ends meet and keep up the cost of living. The CARES Act was created to help lessen the financial injury of COVID-19, but it is no secret that some of these families do not qualify. In combination with living in a county with one of the highest costs of living, this has increased the financial struggle that many of these families face.
As millions of workers have applied for unemployment, it is apparent that the economic fallout will greatly affect many of our families, especially those families who are unable to receive these supports or benefits. Moving through 2020, a humanitarian crisis brews for members of our community.
Our union, Pajaro Valley Federation of Teachers, has relentlessly worked and demanded to make workers and families a priority during this crisis, while supporting our most vulnerable members in their time of need. Thanks to our union’s advocacy we are fortunate to keep our jobs and pay. As educators, union members, and advocates for our community, it is imperative that we do not ignore the needs of our PVUSD families and that we stand by our underrepresented community members. Join PVFT educators in pledging to give part or all of the stimulus check to create a fund for unqualifying laborers and PVUSD families.
Let’s keep this teacher appreciation week going with the distance learning heroes of Pajaro Middle School and more! Pajaro Middle School, like many other sites, serves families that live in some of the more remote areas of Watsonville and beyond so internet access has been a huge challenge for their students. Never the less, teachers adapted and persevered to provide quality education to their students. #Teacherappreciation #pvftproud #unionproud #Thankateacher #everydayshouldbeteacherappreciationday #pvft1936