San Ramon Valley Education Association (SRVEA) met at Dougherty High School on February 17th to rally teachers and parents that are going on strike could soon be a reality.
“SRVEA is comprised of teachers, counselors, nurses, school psychologists, teacher-librarians, and speech pathologists throughout the San Ramon Valley Unified School District,” according to the San Ramon Valley Education Association.
Ann Katzburg, the president of the SRVEA said, “We’re preparing for a potential strike and the reason we are doing that is because we are here for our students.”
Katzburg along with other speakers during the gathering expressed their concerns for the quality of education for their students.
Kathleen Humphrey, a Kindergarten teacher, said “I became a teacher to make a difference in children’s lives, a positive difference.”
“But I’m finding that harder and harder to do because of the decisions being made by our school board administration,” Humphrey continued.
Humphrey talked about class sizes and how they negatively impact the quality of education for elementary schools.
“The research I’ve read says both quality teaching and class sizes are important.” In response to the administration plans to increase class sizes, Humphrey said, “Hell No!”
But class size is not the only thing that the SRVEA is fighting for. On their website, they have included a link to a summary of their proposals and how those proposals have faired with negotiations. The document contains a mixture of tentative agreements between SRVEA and administration and some Counters.
The fight for their proposals is still ongoing. Katzburg describes that in the past they had mediation meetings that lasted over 30 hours to make sure their values were respected.
“It was only after that, that management conceded to the salary that we had proposed originally,” Katzburg said in an interview. “They had the money, but they weren’t willing to give it to us until we declared an impasse.”
Even after a proposal was made by the administration, the SRVEA was not willing to budge due to the proposal not meeting what she says do not reflect the values of this community.
“We need to make sure that once we get through fact-finding that the fact-finder discovers that our proposals are affordable that we either are proposed with the best last and final offer or we strike.”
At the time of writing this article, an attempt was made to reach out to Greg Marvel, Vice President of the Board of Education for the San Ramon Valley Unified School District on February 25 and we have not received further communication.