I am speaking tonight on behalf of TVEA.
As the President of our association I would like to preface my comments with “What a difference a year makes!” One year ago as I was about to begin my current position, TVEA and TVUSD were mired in the midst of a negotiations stalemate. We had been negotiating for a renewal of a contract which had expired in June 2013. By the time the contract was finalized in October 2014, negotiations had been prolonged for twenty one months and our contract had been expired for sixteen months.
Fast forward to May 2015. TVEA and TVUSD started negotiations in March and have a tentative agreement that TVEA members will vote on next week. I expect that TVEA membership will ratify this timely agreement which will transition smoothly into a July 1, 2015 start.
I believe that both parties deserve much credit for their focus and efforts to avoid mistakes of the past. The fact that the state economy is better certainly helps, but mutually agreeing to work off of State of California numbers was a prudent decision. Both parties agreed to a target date of May 15 that was met with a commitment of six negotiations sessions over a five week period since our return from Spring Break.
I am of course of proud of our own Bargaining Team members, yet I also want to thank the district team including Joe, Lori, Tiffany and your three site administrators. They recognized TVEA’s interests and worked toward mutual understanding. There were no obstructionist tactics displayed that had typically plagued previous years of negotiations.
This successful round of bargaining gives TVEA and our members confidence for a return to negotiations by October 1, 2015 pending the final 2015-16 California State Budget numbers. More importantly it is a positive step forward toward rebuilding trust and respect with your largest employee group. By shattering the pattern of prolonged, stalemated negotiations it moves our members closer to feeling valued by both the district and board and allows us to focus on student instruction and achievement.