HomeCity NewsGUSD, Teachers Mediate Contract Terms

GUSD, Teachers Mediate Contract Terms

First published in the Jan. 21 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.

The Glendale Unified School District and Glendale Teachers Association will continue negotiations next week with a state-appointed mediator but have not yet settled an agreement to advance a new contract for teachers, whose last contractual terms were for the 2017-2020 period.
Mediated negotiations were held on Wednesday, with another scheduled for Jan. 25.
On Tuesday, the GTA held a rally at the school district to show support for teachers ahead of the monthly school board meeting, with employees, parents and children walking around the block and encouraging cars to honk in support. Some teachers attended the meeting afterward and raised signs that read “I don’t want to strike, but I will.”
Representatives from GUSD and GTA told the News-Press on Friday they are hopeful an agreement will be met.
“We’re moving in a good direction,” said GUSD Director of Human Resources Kyle Bruich. “I’m cautiously optimistic; the district and the GTA are committed to working together.”
GTA President Christopher Davis also said: “We’re hopeful we will reach an agreement. The intention of both sides is to avert a work-stop issue.”
A state-appointed mediator assigned by the Public Employment Relations Board is helping forge a new contractual agreement. A new collective bargaining agreement would outline salaries, benefits, rights and working conditions for teachers.
The COVID-19 pandemic delayed negotiations for a new bargaining agreement, resulting in negotiations focused on contractual settlements for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 school years. The last bargaining agreement was effective July 2017 and expired in June 2020 — during the height of the pandemic.
During the pandemic, the district and the GTA came to 18 memorandums of understanding that were primarily about health, safety and working conditions.
Both GUSD and GTA said on Friday they are very close to agreeing on wage stipulations; however, one of the biggest points of contention remains around the classroom preparation time being allotted to secondary teachers and whether that time should be scheduled on a daily or condensed weekly basis.
“Our members tell us it is important to them that every day they have time to talk to parents, plan lessons, evaluate student work, meet with students and facilitate daily time to do all the other jobs that go into teaching,” Davis said.
If the next meeting on Jan. 25 fails to result in an agreement, the mediator will schedule another round of negotiations if progress is being made. If not, the mediator will declare an impasse and the state will conduct a fact-finding report, to be made public. At that point, the district would have the right to impose the contract language as it stands on the teachers, who can accept it or decide to strike.
“Glendale Unified strongly believes there is a good faith contract offer on the table, we look forward to the transparent review of the outstanding items by the mediator and are hopeful that this process will bring this nearly yearlong negotiation to a swift close,” GUSD said in a statement.

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