Your President at the Podium

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Board Notes 12-08-2015

Good evening,

President Yarbrough, School board members, Superintendent McCormick, colleagues, and community members.

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and quality family time during the holidays.  I know that we are all looking forward to our Winter break.  Especially our overworked teachers. New venture, curriculum, technology and the like should be implemented in a manner that lowers the stress and anxiety of our teachers while helping our students.  Something new does not have to be stressful if it is rolled out right.

Congratulations to Kennette Babb, Cynthia Smith, Nancy Mark and Janet Ramburg on their retirements.  I would especially like to thank Kennette for all that she has done for our union and the district.

VVTA just had our annual Exec Board planning meeting. We worked through our survey and we are preparing for working with the district on negotiations for 16-17.  We have developed plans for increasing membership involvement, communication, and creating more leadership throughout our Organization and District.

I am glad that the District is increasing the pay for substitute teachers.  I am not sure that our raise will be enough with Perris Elementary raising their pay to $175.  Perris is not having trouble filling their vacancies, but we still are.  In Elementary we are basically babysitting with 10 to 15 extra in a class with no extra support materials to teach them with.  With this lack of desks and appropriate materials, is the district out of compliance with the Williams Act?  Our secondary teachers are working without any prep time which brings harm to the 175 students they are responsible for.  Please think about increasing substitutes pay to a level that will keep our substitutes in the classroom.

Our membership is concerned about the new position of Deputy Superintendent of Business Services.  This new position or title being created will be a substantial salary going out for a position we may not need.  This is reminiscent of past practices where administrative titles and pay have been increase or administrative columns added to the detriment of classrooms and salaries of those closest to the classroom.  Creating this position can also prove harmful by making the road to rebuilding the trust I n the District a more challenging one.  Our teachers had to struggle, fight, and sacrifice to get the fair compensation that was more than deserved, how is this equitable?  This new position that may be paid above and beyond what a district the size of Val Verde warrants.  Not many districts with 20,000 students have a Deputy Superintendent of Business Services.  Moreno Valley with 36,000 students, they pay their person in charge of Business Services 193,000 which is less than what our Assistant Superintendent currently makes.  Is this position really needed?

As we continue to work hard to collaborate and repair the damage from the beginning of the year we look forward to creating more opportunities for leadership for our members.  We will continue the Leadership. The Cal TURN conference in March will help us to continue to find ways to work together and become more collaborative.  Like we have been saying as a district, we need those that do the work to lead the work.  I want to continue to strive and assure that we do just that.

Have a happy and peaceful holiday season.

Thank you for giving me this opportunity to speak.

Albert Trudel

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