57.7 F
Davis

Davis, California

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Educators with the Davis Teachers Association rally in downtown Davis

Amid ongoing negotiations between DTA and Davis Joint Unified School District, community rallies for better funding

 

By JILLIAN MARCH — city@theaggie.org

 

After the school day ended on Nov. 30, parents, teachers and community members gathered at the intersection of 5th and B Street to demonstrate their support for teachers, paraeducators and other school faculty within the Davis Joint Unified School District (DJUSD). 

With their rallying call “Davis Students Deserve the Best!printed across their signs, the crowd assembled in front of Central Park before occupying all four corners of the intersection, including the corner in front of Davis City Hall. 

The main goal for the Davis Teachers Association (DTA) in organizing this event was to promote stronger community solidarity and support for Davis educators during the ongoing contract negotiations process between the DTA and DJUSD. In addition to garnering community support, the DTA and California School Employees Association (CSEA) set out to further pressure the school board to accept their most recent proposal and prevent an impasse in bargaining. According to a media advisory email released by the DTA, this proposal includes a salary increase for all bargaining unit members, a one-time bonus and 100% coverage of the lowest single-member health plan.

This is not the first instance of a gathering for this cause; recent DJUSD board meetings have seen a public comment section often consisting of parents and teachers advocating for the DTA and the CSEA in their pursuit of reasonable negotiations with the district. 

At the Nov. 3 DJUSD Board Meeting, over three weeks prior to the rally, a large crowd of parents, teachers and community members convened to advocate the same message with the same rallying call.

Educator and DTA President Victor Lagunes claimed at the rally that the best way to support and invest in the district’s students is to better allocate resources and funding to faculty who have been chronically underpaid for years. 

“We’re talking about this huge influx of money that’s come in from the state in the last governor’s budget,” Lagunes said. “What we really want to do is make sure that we’re providing our students with the best, and the real way to do that is through attraction and retention. We want to make sure that we can do that at all levels, at all years of service and all levels of experience as well.” 

Retention for teachers in the district has been a large part of the recent conversation surrounding negotiations. According to DJUSD educators, there is not enough incentive and compensation for educators, causing many to seek employment in neighboring districts as the cost of living goes up. 

“We think that our current proposal addresses that [attracting and retaining quality educators]. We’re hopeful that today demonstrates exactly where we want to end up, which is providing our students with the best and that [way] we can reach a settlement soon,” Lagunes said of the event.

 

Written by: Jillian March city@theaggie.org